Most events I have attended and quite honestly some of the events that we have done, do have a very steep but short experience curve.
It usually has the shape of a church tower. The experience starts on the way to the event and ends by the time the participant is back home.
Let me take you back to the last pop or rock concert you desperately wanted to attend and were lucky enough to get tickets for.
How was the experience curve there?
It climbed quite high, when we saw the announcement that our mega star is coming to town. This high kept on and reached even higher levels, when we bought the tickets and were lucky to get them, although the show was sold out in minutes! After that, the curve dropped again, because it took forever until the date of the show. A couple of weeks before the show, we connected with some friends that were also going. Days before we listened to the music of our favorite star. Then came the day and we planned everything accordingly to have a perfect and emotional day.
When our star came on stage the experience curve went through the roof. What a great concert! But it didn't stop there, it lingered on. We took pictures, that we could show the other poor people, who didn't have the privilege of attending. We had stories to tell, that kept our conversations going on for weeks….
…can you see that experience curve?
It has a shape of waves. Big and small ones. It starts very early and never loses focus, to finally end slowly touching the ground when the show itself is long past.
Of course, you cannot compare a management meeting, strategy meeting, conference etc. to a pop or rock concert. But what If we could create this momentum of experience that starts early and ends late? Wouldn't that be amazing?
The good thing is, we actually can do that, and it has an amazing impact to the experience the participants have.
Sending out the save-the-date and later the actual invitation is not enough. We should try to be in constant communication with our participants from the first moment of contact to late after the event/meeting/conference has ended.
If we do so, we would get the participants into the right mindset. They would have engaged themselves with the topics and the speakers of the meeting before even going there. They would have thought of questions to ask, ideas to share, people to meet, before starting their trip.
After the event they could continue the conversations, they have started at the venue and keep the momentum going.
To make that happen, we have to provide the right communication means. Be it with the use of technology or with analogue means, that depends on the event or meeting. But we will have to offer the possibilities to create this long and wavy experience curve, which makes the event sustainable.
Try it! You will see how it works!