As you may notice, I am genuinely interested in how we can leverage psychology in events and event design. Appealing to some core psychological mechanisms on which we operate (consciously and unconsciously) makes any event-related action more natural and brings more results easier.
I got to think about it again recently because I came back from IMEX18 in Las Vegas, and there were a few moments that I’d say provide good examples to the above.
Setting the tone
There are various ways to set the tone for an event. Here is one example from IMEX18. When entering trade show floor, there were many volunteers around showing the way and answering questions. Apart from being generally pro-active, what impressed me was that volunteers greeted visitors by their name which they picked when scanning their badges. A tiny detail. Yet, name is a powerful tool (an argument backed up by science). When hearing their name, an individual immediately feels more welcomed. It adds to personalization of experience and creates positive emotions right at the doors. Whoever instructed volunteers to do that was absolutely knowledgeable of how well it works.
I followed IMEX social team prior to the event and as an attendee, I got lots of practical info, for a start. Also, from what I observed during the trade show itself, the online presence was so timely and so intense that I would get FOMO, too, if not at IMEX! I believe this is crucial part which consists of dozens of small details (planned tweets; fast and relevant responses; helpful info; videos and photos up right when it’s time, etc). It helps creating a sense of live stream that tags along many emotions and I am sure influences someone’s decision: ‘next time I am in!’
IMEX is a huge trade show; to get noticed, exhibitors should carefully think over how to stand out. Some played big – made beautiful, striking, show-like booths. This was more typical for large hotel chains and country booths. My personal preference though goes to those cases when little details say more than the size. And almost always it is when psychology comes into play.
For example, in Smart in Meetings booth they offered a cover photo session to everyone. A photo booth is known to work great with attendees. Yet what I liked about this idea is that it aligns with the exhibitor’s field (an industry publication), and elegantly uses human’s craving for fame – who would resist being on the cover of the well-known industry publication, even if it is just for fun? People love acknowledgement, love to be famous (this is why sharing pictures from events works so well).The cover photo session worked absolutely same way, only that it added traffic to the booth and made it a win-win for everybody. I could not resist either, by the way 🙂