We’ve all attended conferences where speakers deliver a keynote and there is no interaction beyond the stage with them. It’s one-way communication only! In such cases, most often, attendees are left with a sour taste about the experience and there is little or no interest in returning next year. That’s where serendipity would have made a difference.
This brings to the reasons why serendipity in events and conferences is most often neglected from the evaluation of time and money invested by companies, startups and professionals.
It’s hard to put ROI’s on serendipity! With less time to go through the mechanics of business development and sales processes from a serendipity perspective, it’s no wonder companies scale back from attending all the events out there.
Research shows that, also in our world of social media and digital communication channels, there is no substitute for face-to-face communication. Chance encounters between people are a major source of creativity and innovation in any organisation. Therefore, smart managers deliberately engage in actions that stimulate such serendipitous connections. Says Freek Vermeulen, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School
Are you a brand manager, event organizer, marketing manager at a company where you need to assign a budget for attending events? If so, then this article is for you as we are debriefing the top 3 tips you need to know to spend your budget wisely because you can always improve on how you spend it.
Here is what you should be looking for to enable the power of serendipity to work in your favour with tech events and more:
1. The structure of the talks
Structure plays an important role in enabling people to interact more, and this is what you should be looking for!
In experience design, fostering interactions in designed formats is one of the most immersive experiences you can generate. With UPRISE, we found that Panels, Talk shops, workshops, Question time and Firesides are the formats that can successfully replace the keynotes and conference formats you’ve already seen far too many times. By disconnecting to reconnect people, we enable person-to-person connections that can lead to great new collaborations and partnerships. We truly believe in People first, tech Second!
Each of the formats is creating a different type of dynamic and enables topics to be explored by speakers and audience in a tandem. This also while keeps the conversation concise and to the point which adds great value for both parties.
2. Serendipity in the power of the setup
UPRISE findings: unconventional, relaxed, vibrant!
Just like a day in a retreat, the power of the context allows people to form a different type of connection with one another. Understanding these tiny details in the ambience, design of space and formats in the schedule has allowed UPRISE to be positioned by many entrepreneurs and investors as a top event for enabling authentic connections between people. In order to get better value for time and money invested, participants identified that leveraging the full setup is key for making the most of it.
In order to get better value for time and money invested, participants identified that leveraging the full setup is key for making the most of it. Previous participants said that the different formats of talks they attended allowed to connect to more people, even if the room was full and as they transitioned from one space to another, they formed new connections on the way. Each space was leveraged by attendees giving the festival an overall good vibe throughout the entire day.
So you should be looking for locations that enable your brand to speak best to its audience. Do you find it too different from the core values? Does it bring perks like tapping into new markets?
Be aware: Most brands are not addressing the millennials properly. They are missing out on the focus on most of millennials today: self-awareness and serendipity!
3. Keynotes are for conferences; moderators are for authentic events
Don’t look for typical conferences!
Unless you want to project a certain level of acknowledgement for your brand, look beyond the number of attendees at a festival and the profile of their speakers. Focusing on the other elements helps you understand the power that moderators can have for enabling your brand to speak to the target audience.
With UPRISE, we’ve realized that having the mixed traits of a summit as well as the perks of a relaxing music/ cultural festival, is what gets people excited. This enabled panellists and attendees to ask the hard questions and throughout the editions, this brought UPRISE the reputation of a festival where we don’t talk about the future here, we help create it! While some of the formats allow questions from the audience, others are moderated by people from the industry which stir the conversations to the same raw formats of questions. There is no standard for the questioned asked and that enables the future of an industry to be discussed freely by their leaders in the context of UPRISE.
So what does Serendipity in the context of an event really mean?
Some might say serendipity stands for a mindset of doing things differently which is an acquired taste. Sure, we can agree to that. But being able to leverage the momentum in events is essential! Part of that is enriching your network with people who can contribute and bring value to your business or life. Serendipity or personal development is often left out of the metrics to measure the impact of events. Even if less quantifiable, it clearly has a much bigger impact than you are able to assess on the spot. UPRISE will reach on 26th October in Dublin its 6th edition with its most international audience so far