Fires. They are powerful forces. Sometimes detrimental. Sometimes beneficial.
Ultimately, fires are the visible, tangible effect of matter changing form. Fire is a chemical reaction.
Just like fires, your meeting can serve as a visible, tangible effect of transformation. It can help people transform their professional lives, direction and goals. It can bring light to new situations, help them energize their plans and provide relevant takeaways that fuel their futures. Or your meeting can be seen as a destructive force, obliterating time, goals and resources to a pile of ash and rubble.
Three Things Your Meeting Needs To Ignite and Maintain A Burning Fire
In order to maintain a meeting filled with beneficial fire, you needs three things:
- The Meeting’s Purpose – the ignition source that starts the fire in participants’ minds
- Goals And Objectives – the fuel to keep the fire burning
- Engagement – the oxygen that continues to fuel the meeting
Without these three things, your meeting will lack the essentials to ignite hearts and minds.
It Only Takes A Spark Of Purpose To Get A Fire Going
Like the start of a great fire, all meetings start with a spark. A spark of purpose that begins in the mind. An ignition source that sets fires to imaginations.
Your meeting actually starts in your participants’ minds when they receive your first event communication. They have an inner conversation with themselves about the purpose before they ever decide to register. If the purpose is clearly articulated, they can align with it and it will serve as the ignition source that stirs their imagination.
Without a clear purpose, they cannot identify why to attend. They follow in the footsteps of the Doors and Jose Feliciano, and sing, “Come on baby, light my fire!”
Goals And Objectives: Fuel For The Fire
Your meetings’ goals and objectives serve as a fuel for the fire.
Potential attendees look for goals and objectives in your conference marketing materials that align with the purpose. Clearly articulated goals and objectives serve as fuel to fire. However, without the ignition source of purpose, the goals and objectives don’t spontaneously catch on fire and spread.
Participants’ Engagement Serves As Oxygen For The Fire
Engagement, the oxygen that sets your meeting ablaze, is supported by your meeting design.
Your meeting design should consider participants as co-creators and collaborators of the experience. Co-creation, collaboration, connections, contributions and sharing are necessary for combustion. If the meeting design highlights active engagement, it sparks the imagination. Potential participants can then consider their level of involvement.
If the meeting design showcases talking heads and passively listening, it decreases engagement. It’s like removing the oxygen from the fire. It snuffs out the imagination.
Ultimately, the meeting design must offer a balance of information and engagement in order to stoke the fires of participation.
Becoming A Strike Anywhere Match Fire-Starter
Your job as a conference or event organizer is to be like a “strike anywhere match.” Your meeting design and communication materials need to create a visceral emotional reaction that ignites the imagination with excitement. It should create a gut reaction in potential attendees of “Oh, I want to be there.”
It is important for conference marketing materials to provide a way for people to have an inner conversation with themselves about the purpose of the meeting, the goals and their level of engagement. With each communication piece received, potential attendees begin to craft their personal story about gathering together. They begin to consider how much money, time and resources they want to invest. And you want them to be fully invested.
What are some things you as a meeting professional can do to help potential attendees visualize the purpose of the meeting? How can you positively impact the inner conversation people have about their event experience and get them to invest their resources to register?