Mapping The Emotional Highs And Lows Of Your Event

Image by ~~Tone~~

Do you as an event or conference organizer plan scream machine roller coaster event experiences? Or ho-hum, obligatory amusement park train rides?

What do your attendees want in their conference experience? Do you even know what they want?

Do your attendees want a plain vanilla, flat-line experience? Or do they want something unforgettable with unexpected emotional twists? Or maybe they want a Golden Corral smorgasbord all-you-can eat buffet experience?

So what type of emotional experience are you planning?

Emotional Highs And Lows Visual Exercise

The next time you are planning an event or conference, try this simple yet insightful exercise. It will help you view your event differently from a linear experience. You can view your attendees’ emotional peaks and valleys rather than a series of smaller chronological events.

  1. Draw a horizontal line across the middle of a piece of paper.
  2. Mark off every half-hour of your event on the horizontal line. If your event is several days long, consider one-hour segments.
  3. Looking at your draft event schedule and using your instinct, draw the ups and downs of your event experience per segment.
  4. Once finished, label each emotional peak and valley.
  5. Now it’s time to evaluate your attendee emotional experience.

Questions To Ask About Your Planned Conference Emotional Experience

Using the peaks and valleys graphical representation, consider these questions.

  • What does your conference or event attendee experience look like?
  • What type of roller-coaster event experience are you providing?
  • Do you need to provide more peaks? Taller peaks?
  • Is your event experience flat-lining?
  • How will you ensure that your attendees will connect with the emotional highs you are planning?
  • Should your tweak the flow of your event elements to create more unexpected emotional turns and excitement?
  • What time of day are your emtoinal lows? Are they after a meal? If so, should you move those lows and create highs after meal functions?
  • Does your event start and end with an emotional high or low?

Evaluating Your Post Event Emotional Highs And Lows

Once you have a peak and valley conference experience planned that you like, save that drawing. After the event, redraw your attendee emotional peak and valley experience based on the feedback you received. Now compare your pre-event graphic with the post event graphic. Where did you succeed in your conference planning? Where did you fail? What can you do differently next time?

How do you intentionally plan the emotional experience of your event? What tools do you use to guide the peaks and valleys of the experience?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Hurt, Lara McCulloch and Meeting Tomorrow AV, Zerista Pro. Zerista Pro said: RT: Mapping The Emotional Highs And Lows Of Your Event: Image by ~~Tone~~ #eventprofs […]

  2. Terry Barber says:

    Great write up Jeff. I am in the process of putting together a significant event for next May and need all the help I can get.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Although as someone who presents on inspiration, I suspect you have this down!

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