November 24, 2014 by Jeff Hurt
What type of emotions does your conference experience activate?
“Huh?” you say. “My conference is supposed to connect on an emotional level with attendees?”
Whether you like it or not, your conference does initiate some type of emotion. Unfortunately, many conference experiences are bland, sterile boring events. They lack passion, enthusiasm and emotional highs and lows.
Your cerebral brain is an amazing organism.
It has 100 billion neurons. Each neuron has more than 10,000 connections. That’s more than one-thousand trillion connections. (Source authors James Zull and Daniel Mauro).
Like your brain, your heart has the equivalent of its own nervous system. It communicates directly with the brain. And it also influences key body systems throughout your body.
Some researchers have labeled this nervous system the brain-in-the heart. It boasts may of the properties of the cerebral brain.
Your heart contains 40,000+ neurons. It releases neurotransmitters and hormones to communicate with the brain and other organs.
What’s unique about your heart is that it can disobey orders sent by your cerebral brain. It can respond based on the nature of the task.
The heart is truly intelligent says Daniel Mauro, M.Cog.Scis.
A great conference experience triggers this type of heart intelligence. Not just the cerebral brain intelligence.
So how do you do that?
The key to stimulate heart intelligence is to activate coherence. This is an optimal state that reflects alignment between the heart, mind, body and emotions.
When the heart is coherent, the entire body feels a sense of harmony. Its thoughts, feelings and physiology cooperate harmoniously with one another says Mauro.
According to research from the Institute of HeartMath, positive emotions can definitely influence and harmonize many of the body’s systems.
Conference organizers can craft experiences that can motivate the heart to communicate with the brain in constructive ways.
Creating experiences that generate heart-centered emotions such as appreciation, care, compassion, empathy and kindness encourage a state of coherence in the heart. Thus the heart responds by sending appropriate signals to the entire body.
When attendees experience a state of coherence driven by positive heart-centered feelings, they feel relaxed, alert and happy. Then their cognitive, emotional and physiological systems function as a whole. Then they are ready to learn, think and reflect.
When your attendees experience positive emotions from the conference, it triggers their Autonomic Nervous System function (ANS). The ANS controls many of your attendees’ bodily functions like heart rate, breathing rate and gland secretion.
The ANS responds to positive emotions by calming their flight or fight syndrome and stimulating their rest-and-digest systems. It produces a harmonious balance between the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic system (rest-and-digest).
This is exactly what you need to create during your conference! We want more attendees at a state of rest-and-digest so they can have transformational experiences. Then they are satisfied and walk away ready to return next year due.
Sources: Your Heart-Brain Interface and Build Yourself A Better Brain by Daniel Mauro, M.Cog.Scis, The Art Of Changing The Brain by James Zull, and HeartMath research.
How can you create a conference experience that activates heart-coherence and harmonious thoughts, feelings and physiology? What types of conference experiences create emotional contradictions and thus disharmonious body systems?
Filed Under: Event Planning
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