The Jolt! 01.15.2014

Hope everyone’s New Year is off to a fast start. Good to be back.

Here’s The Jolt!


Ever think about putting the emphasis on “why” instead of “how”?

Whether you are pitching business to a prospect, or pitching creative to the team; getting people to stand up, salute and buy in is the essential first step.

A smart person named Jennifer Mueller set off to study the problem. And it turns out that there is something you can do to help your cause. I’ll leave the methodology to the article and cut to the headline which is that how you frame the problem (aka set up the duck, position the idea) has a lot to do with how a new idea is received.

The concept is that people who are looking at “why” are more open to abstract ideas, or in our case to exploring new ideas. As soon as you get to “how,” the focus shifts to trying to evaluate (usually with very incomplete information) how feasible an idea is.

As a CD I can tell you that the more “far out” or “undeveloped” an idea is, the faster “the producers” will kill it. From the vantage point of this article I can see that what they are reacting to is the uncertainty around the execution, not the idea itself.

Reminds me a lot of the Six Hats exercise we were taught at JMW – no bad thoughts until you say why you like it.

Recognizing which mindsets stifle idea assessment is the first step toward resolving the creativity dilemma. Managers prone to practicality can begin pitch meetings with a quick intervention that promotes a more abstract frame of mind.


Ever wonder what to do with a prezo after the show?

It should come as no surprise that in the mad rush to feed the ever hungry content monster, online presentations are now a Top Ten content marketing tactic. You can find all ten here in this 2014 forecast from The Content Marketing Institute.

Given the amount of time, money and angst that goes into building event prezos, coming up with a plan for repurposing them may offer some of you a “value-add” opportunity or a nice upsell opportunity.

The idea here goes beyond simply uploading the session files. Think more about SlideShare or even creating an online webinar using the existing deck as a foundation. And it may offer another way a company can leverage their SME’s to support a sale.

Knowledge Vision makes an app that takes your deck to the next level. They would like you to download their e-brochure on the topic.

The Big AHA!

Ever think about telling a story using social media posts?

One of my guilty pleasures is Bleacher Reports, a sport blog, which ran this story on Lindsey Vonn. Last week (1/7/2014) Lindsey announced that she will not be skiing for Team USA in Sochi. As my Beantown roomies used to say, “She’s a real gamer” and we’ll definitely miss her.

If you are an absolute non-Olympian, Lindsey is the first American to ever win gold in the downhill (Vancouver.) A year ago she had a hideous crash, requiring that pretty much every moving part in her knee be replaced or rebuilt or redone. Tough story.

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to do events and tell stories about legends. But I do think that this post is a nice example of what can be done to tell a story curating social media posts. This is visually strong (doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty,) but it’s also intensely personal.

You start to imagine a nicer framework and integrating Vine snippets, Instagram etc and you could have a very rich piece. Dangerously akin to pawing through an old shoebox or the carton in the corner labeled “History”…

Metrics and Data

Did you make a New Year’s resolution with the word “data” in it?

As in “this year” or “we have to” or ???

If so, good for you. Here is a straightforward infographic that will help you get started. You’ll find that you are already surrounded by event data. That there is some specialized knowledge required. But that like most things, an awful lot of it is plain old common sense.

To master data in your organization, the graphic recommends following these steps:

1. Compile all the statistics.
Collect information from social media, website analytics, ads, email promotions-everything you can get your hands on. You want to create the most accurate portrait of your customers as possible.
2. Appoint a data expert.
Select one person to manage how the company collects, stores and analyzes the data. This person can help translate the information to the rest of the company.
3. Share and analyze the data.
Share the data across departments so the right people can review, analyze and use the information.
4. Draw conclusions.
Keep an open mind and be willing to make changes to better fit your customers’ needs.One hundred percent of chief marketing officers say successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions, but 45 percent of companies don’t use data to personalize their marketing campaigns.

Marketing 501

Quick. Can you identify five trends that will change events this year?

Neither can I so here is a list of 10 Event Trends for 2014 from Julius Solaris at the Event Manager Blog in the UK. Some very forward thinking. Pay attention if Millenials are an increasing part of your audience.  Or you have Millennials as clients. It’s a new value system folks, and Julius is passionate about it and a great guide.

This study is put together using a very novel dataset – a Pinterest board that Julius hosts which now accounts for around 1,000 event industry startups. (Yes, everybody suddenly wants a piece.) It’s a very interesting approach and I am guessing that it is more reliable than the average digit based, wind blown prognostication techniques favored by most.

What’s really interesting is that all of these start-ups are getting down in the weeds of event implementation: things like speeding check-in, collaborative event planning, the hotel nightmare and analytics.

Good food for thought – why not get some of your big thinkers together for an hour or two to see what might fit?

A big introduction is that this year you can vote your favourite trend by tweeting it from the presentation. Check slide 33 for instructions. Results will be announced later in 2014 and we’ll discover who won the preference of #eventprofs.

See what I mean?

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