With more than a dozen years of experience in the event industry, Bill McGlade is a thought leader seeking to provide provoking conversations that push the envelope and the industry forward. He is founder and CEO of Victory Productions.
It’s the year 2013, we are all thriving after a great few years of growth from the 2008 economic downturn. We are plush with happiness and looking for exciting new ways to grow our events. With great times, come well…a mix of great things and complete complacency. And so, with that we began to throw the idea around of extending the life of our events. How do we make them longer without being boring?
It is now the year 2021…there is nothing else that need be said about the year that shall not be named…you know the one that came before. However, we have learned and grown so much as an industry and although some of us came together more than others, I believe in the hopefully not too distant future we will thrive as an event community and industry.
What is remarkable is we have been ideating about extending the life of events for at least seven years now. Yet, here we are, given all we need through the vast innovation our industry has seen, and we immediately go back to the three-to-five mindset.
What is this mindset? It’s the three-to-five days of our event a year and completing the cyclical nature of our event lives by doing the same ole’ thing year after year after year. Why, after an amazing year of true innovation do we simply go back to “normal?”
Let’s be(e) better. And so we begin with the Bee Better Way of Eventing. This means taking our colony, our members and event audience, and having them thrive not only at our “live” events for 3-5 days a year but also delivering them immense value and true engagements throughout the year. Simply add a six to the three-to-five mindset for 365-mindset—or as I call it, “Outside the Circle.”
We begin with simple human behavior and evaluate what we and our audience engage with outside of our events — social media, videos, content, forums, all things that allow them to be “educated” and informed. But more importantly, true engagement comes when they can share their voice. What many (well, maybe they do now after the Gamestop stock fluctuations) do not realize is that text chat is a key factor to engagement. Reddit is one of the most popular platforms on this planet.
Let me clarify a bit. Text is great outside of the event, in my opinion. Events have been around since the dawn of ages and the key element driving this astounding marketplace is the ability for individuals to connect. This is done most significantly through in-person connections. Afterwards, as behavior has shown, we like to “text” and therefore text communication via forums and chats are key to driving engagement year round.
Here is another example. In the dating world, we typically will meet in person and immediately move straight to texting. Or we have originally met online through chat, met in person and then go back to text. So you see, text is ingrained in us as a go-to behavior.
So, I go back to the age-old question of can you change a habit? I hope the answer is yes, as our industry has been given all they need to extend the life of their events. My wish is that we do not go back to our cyclical habit but instead take the next steps to Bee Better, not “normal.”