The rise of the Anti-Conference
Say the word ‘conference’ and all you’ll inspire is a glazing over of the eyes. ‘Conference’ – the ever dreaded, often multiple-day session of numbers, graphs and awkward role play situations in dark, dingy hotels. Not exactly the best environment to motivate and encourage your delegates.
Yet, events like this still occur, even in an industry where we spend our days striving to bring innovative solutions to try and engage consumers on a deeper, longer-lasting level, working out how to capture an audience’s ever-diminishing attention. So why do we forget these principles when talking to our peers? Do we feel like they’re less important? Or have greater capabilities to tune in and engage with content? We’re not so sure…
And we’re not alone in thinking this – welcome the arrival of the ‘anti-conference’. Gone are the flip charts, PowerPoint presentations and stale biscuits, we are entering a new age where hosting a conference – whether for your employees or your clients – is becoming as much an experiential event as the launch of a new product.
In-depth research is now proving that an intriguing experience allows messages to resonate with people on a deeper level leading to its longevity. To encourage guests to leave their ‘conference’ and go on to talk about what they’ve learned and excite their colleagues, this use of experiences is a valuable tool. Thinking about everything from using quirky venues to what the key message of the day is and how could this be communicated in a creative, and more importantly, interactive way could help re-shape the world of the traditional conference and leave guests as your greatest brand ambassador.
So, when planning for the summer conference, playing with ideas that will disrupt your guests’ thinking and getting them to interact and self-discover, you might find that the value of what was once an excuse to eat digestives and take a power nap now is an event everyone talks about.