Most long running events are viable because they continue to offer value, making enough money (or otherwise generating sufficient benefits ) to prompt their owners to continue onward with them. These events are supported with strong project plans, sufficient revenue, well-managed costs, the right content, competent staff – and they are proven to be profitable. These events can be considered to have “brains” in that they are well-run machines, and probably generate expected outcomes. Typically, these events have a formula of some kind that can be replicated in different locales, spanning different content topics.
As we return to running face to face events, we must remind ourselves that our events need more than the intelligent execution of a “brain” that focuses upon the logical reason for the event’s existence. They also need a “heart” that embraces the emotional attraction and ‘pull’ of the event. It is my contention that of all the events that exist- only 5% represent events that people really want to attend. That’s a mere one event out of every twenty. The others fall into a range of categories: “I have to attend’, ‘I don’t know why I am attending’, ‘this is my first time attending’, etc.).
I am fascinated by this topic, because I think it’s one which is frequently overlooked. The focus is ‘pumping them out’ versus ‘why these events should exist”. If you are interested in looking to see whether your event has a heart, then I challenge you to dig deeper in your analysis.
Here are some examples of the questions you should ask to determine whether your event has a heart:
- Do you personally know any of the visitors attending your event?
- Do you get jazzed up when spending time with your customers at your events
- Do you look forward to your events?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions above, then it may mean that your event doesn’t jazz up your customers either.
If we want to be in this business, we’d be well advised to handle the things that are completely within our control. Disconnection from our customers and our events is one of a few symptoms which may indicate that your event does not yet have the requisite heart. With all the challenges confronting the operation of face-to-face events during the upcoming couple of years I suggest we do our utmost to make sure that people want to come to our events. There should be a connection – with our attendees and sponsors caring about us, the event organizers. If it has a heart, you already know.
Without a heart, I don’t see how your event can succeed in the long term.
Something to ponder.