I’ve recently become a fan of podcasting. I’ve resisted it for a long time because I am not an audio person, so listening to audiobooks is not my cup of tea. But the starting driving force for me was that I haven’t been able to get much time to read over recently, and I have been travelling more. That’s how I decided to give podcasts a try – and since then got addicted.
Of course, it’s a whole ocean of various shows and hosts, and topics, and one needs to learn how to swim in it. There is a lot of garbage just like it is in the ocean, too, and one needs to sort through it to find those pearls that would bring joy. Ok, so in short, podcasts are great source of knowledge, inspiration, fun – and now I am enjoying it. At the end of this post I am going to share my favorites; one of the best things about them is that they are not highly specialized or too narrowed to discuss specific subjects. Life has so many facets everyone of us can be interested about simultaneously, and if I can learn and laugh, or learn about one field and get it applied to my own – that’s exactly what I look for.
Well, but how does it all relate to this blog’s headline though? Read on.
I recently listened to Rory Sutherland who talks about psychology and marketing. A fascinating conversation I highly recommend to every event professional. In the very beginning Rory gives an example of the most pressing issue the airports have, namely that huge amount of people attempt to bring liquids through security. They don’t do that deliberately of course (in most cases), this is just the way their behaviour is (e.g. they forget). Rory argues that instead of addressing the behaviour, what usually happens is that we apply other solutions – say, engineering solution (e.g. building more space for check-in lines etc) – and by that we ‘engage in changing reality rather than changing behaviour’.
He says, ‘It’s much more acceptable to spend money on infrastructure than to spend money on psychology’.
I believe this is a remarkable statement as much as it is true in my view. I make parallels with event industry as he discusses the intangible value that marketing of the product or service creates, and it makes me think once more that the secret to winning hearts (and competition) in the current environment lies in going in-depth, pretty literally, by studying and addressing people’s cognitive abilities, behaviour, and emotions.
Let’s take an example with iPhone (which Rory mentions, too). It’s well known that some of its technical characteristics (or may be most) are not better or even worse than those of the competitors’ products. How come that iPhone has become so popular, such a desirable object and even the one associated with a certain status of those who own it? The answer is in addressing people’s inner motives and old, universal,fundamental desires. Such psychology-based marketing changes the perceived quality of the object without changing its physical characteristics. It makes people feel different about the product/service by creating ‘psychological value’.
Now, imagine you have an event which competes with hundreds of others. It’s actually the reality we see today. You can invest in ‘engineering’ solutions like introducing new tech, or you can try and apply solutions that impact people’s mind. But don’t get me wrong: I am not saying tech or any other solution like that is a bad decision. They can perfectly co-live. What I mean though is that psychology should be a basis rather than an add-on, to any design, including event design.
Adding psychological value is more effective than competing on any objective feature.
That’s why it’s vital event planners work on things like emotional component of an event; first think how it makes people feel and what they associate it with; and what they think attending your event says about them (that is, what status it helps them achieve – just like with iPhone). That way you will be able to outperform your competitors much faster and without significant financial investments like with any other tool. However, you do need to invest your time in thorough studying how to apply psychology and neuroscience to your event design, so get in touch to see how my skill boost session on #eventpsychology can help.
And in conclusion – my top 5 favorite podcasts as promised.