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Events – Electronic Villages with Tribal Drumming

Dezember 2, 2013

By Manfred Ritschard; Zurich, Switzerland

The famous media guru of the seventies Marshall McLuhan had described his vision of the future media with the image of a global village with the beat of tribal drums in the air. Thanks to internet todays online world has really become a global village. Everyone who is banging a drum any place at any time can be heard in real time all over the globe. And events? Are they electronic villages? How about the human touch?

Life communication means connecting people with similar interests at a specific place at a defined period of time. Tribes are called communities and the drums are our new media which are accessible with the mobile devices in our hands or even in front of our eyes (Google Glass!).

Todays and future events provide connectivity among vendors and buyers. No more exchange of business cards: people who want to get and stay in contact activate common CRM tools or social networks and know who is there and who is interesting and interested to get in touch. As soon as the human touch replaces the electronic contact archaic instincts check the feel-look-and-smell of potential relations within seconds. In those moments of truth the 21st century technical standard is faced with Stone Age instructions of our limbic cortex: enemy or friend?

The new media seem to provide full transparency of all participants at an event. API (Application Programming Interface) enables Outlook, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and others to interact with each other. Who is who at events is no mystery anymore. Full transparency will be a standard in the near future. Name badges will disappear, but CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – will be on the rise: what happens with all our personal data when I am attending an event? Will the person I encounter at an event appear as a potential enemy because with both know a lot of business data from each other from the very beginning?

Control is Good, Trust is Better

Social competence builds up trust and will become more important than it is already now. To prove as a friend and not an enemy within the first seconds of contact will be key factors to success in building sustainable business relations at events of all kind. Hospitality talent and the development of interpersonal communication skills will be in demand among professionals. Even though control of data is great for marketing and target group selection, trust is better. Even tough procurement managers rely on their gut instinct more than on transparent customers thanks to advanced online and mobile technologies at future events.

This will probably be the main reason, why life communication will be of increasing importance. Both high tech and high touch are interdependent.

Hospitality is not Enough

A mere professional hospitality standing will not be sufficient anymore for enabling successful customer relations. Beyond our expectations of being just friendly and professionally welcomed and served we are keen on trustworthiness and sympathy for selected relations at conventions, trade shows and all kind of corporate and public events.

So how can we create more than mere professional hospitality at events? Three approaches can help:
Less corporate more human touch – that means enable more interaction at different places of a trade show than just a selling attitude at the corporate stand. In this way more relaxed face-to-face encounters will create an ambiance of trust and natural attraction. The triage in reference to the customer value will follow. First sell yourself, then the product!

Invest in the magic of words – that means invest in exceptionally gifted speakers who make the presence of everyone at an event significant for his or her life. Who has been overwhelmed with emotion and had tears in his eyes wants to get this again and become your emotional follower. Such sensations are more intense in a tribal setting, when the master of ceremony beats his drum… the setting of a good event!

Invest in Social Responsibility and Sustainability – that means provide more and different contents than only your promotion message. Make collective fund raising at events and create a feeling of achieving common goals together. Create a moment of excellence and collective success – the feeling of achieving a common purpose, like a hunting band killing a mammoth.

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From → Eventmanagement

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