Conference News June 2022 | Page 17

17 Opinion


f two years of a pandemic have taught us anything , it ’ s that people are very picky about what they choose to spend their time on . As anyone with a television , computer or phone knows , there are millions of channels and platforms vying for our attention .
Research also tells us that people crave unique experiences . As event marketers , it is up to us to deliver creative , interesting experiences that deliver value to brands and their target audiences . That leads to a key question which should inform any creative ideation session : what will be of value ?
When it comes to brand value , it usually means : positive impact ; how people feel about the brand ; and how to drive behaviors that are aligned to business priorities ( i . e . sales / retention ).
With target audiences it can be a bit trickier , but there are two macro-trends Smyle is paying attention to .
Sustainability The first is sustainability . Minimising environmental impact when it comes to events is simply a must . We risk damaging brand reputations if we don ’ t address this authentically and transparently .
But sustainability goes beyond the environment , and it can make for a more creative experience . For example , consider how the brand and audiences can contribute meaningfully to a relevant cause - using the event itself to drive positive social
Dax Callner , strategy director , Smyle , provides insights into breakthrough event planning through sustainability and DEI
outcomes . This can lead to goodwill all round .
Diversity , equity and inclusion The second is diversity , equity and inclusion ( DEI ). The DEI macrotrend unveils a critical creative imperative : make sure everyone in the target audience can get parity value out of their experience . As a creative exercise , try starting a brainstorm by thinking about how the event can deliver value to physically disabled people or people from a range of socio-economic backgrounds . Or consider how to create an experience to suit the needs of the neurodiverse .
When it comes to diversity and content , Smyle is experimenting with techniques aligned to how people learn , which is not the same for everyone . We look at designing distinct content
Dax Callner
experiences for visual , aural , read / write , and kinaesthetic learners ( the VARK model ). This makes for very interesting ideas .
Experimenting with technology Technology , of course , is another critical driver of creativity . We ’ re not fans of doing tech for tech sake , but emerging technologies do often inspire . For example , we ’ re fascinated by metaverse-style platforms and the expansive digital worlds that are possible . VR / AR / MR has come a long way – we do think it ’ s worth paying attention to what people are doing ( particularly gaming companies ) in this space . We ’ re also experimenting with immersive audio technologies , as these can help to immerse audiences in a multi-sensory experience ( both for physical and digital events ). CN
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