April 11, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
Relevant conference content should be the crack cocaine of conference attendees.
It should create euphoria, an alertness and extreme craving for more. The right content for the right audience can create a pleasure rush. When relevant content is presented within applicable context, attendees’ brains get juiced.
It creates the conference pleasure principle!
Have you ever had an “Aha” moment? It’s when the light bulb in your head turns on and you finally “get it.”
You may have responded with, “Ah-h-h,” or “Oh, I see.” You feel a great sense of relief as well as accomplishment. You body may even get a rush.
Solving problems brings pleasure. We like to solve problems.
Any cognitive work (thinking) that leads to success creates a pleasant feeling in the brain that causes a flood of positive emotions within the body. There is a sense of satisfaction, enjoyment and accomplishment when we successfully think through an issue.
The brain even rewards us with a dose of dopamine, the chemical responsible for stroking our brain’s pleasure system.
Conference lessons to apply:
Problems that are easily solved do not lead to a dose of pleasure. It didn’t feel like much of a problem from the beginning.
Similarly, working on a problem without any progress leads to frustration. We don’t get the dose of dopamine. Rather we me get the dose of cortisol, the hormone related to stress.
If the problem is too difficult to solve, or the content doesn’t maintain interest, attention is lost.
People are naturally curious. We like uncovering new ideas, solving problems and pursuing hobbies. In fact, we like mental activity…well some mental activity.
Curiosity is actually fragile. Content may prompt interest but it does not necessarily maintain it.
Content that is too difficult to understand can cause us to lose interest. It kills our curiosity. Content that is too simple causes boredom.
How can those responsible for the logistics of the meeting ensure that those responsible for experience create content that aligns with the pleasure principle? What are some things we can ask speakers to do so that attendees get a dose of dopamine during their sessions?
Filed Under: Event Planning
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