By Jim Steele from Rogen Si
With an estimated annual £11bn spent in the UK on conferences and events (ranging from training to sales and marketing to the AGM) it is hardly surprising that procurement and finance departments are waking up to the need to show a return on investment.
An estimated 2% of an organisations revenue* is spent on meetings, conferences and events. Despite this figure, expenditure is rarely consolidated due to the differing cost centres it can be attributed to; after all training requires a different audience reaction to the motivational annual kick off meeting and sales and marketing events will inevitably require a different output from merger and acquisition activity.
The need for consolidation, and a return on investment, has led organisations to review whom, how and why their events are held.
After all, there is little difference between today's media savvy audience and a 19th Century audience watching a magic lantern: sit back, relax and in many cases count the clock.
Recent research by Rogen Si Conference & Events highlights that an audience's reaction to messages and subsequent retention can be affected through engagement and involvement.
The research highlights their underlying premise that ‘there is no commitment without involvement’.
Bright lights, sound and action may help add impact at an event (and ensure that the budget holder spends their budget) but it is ‘the psychology of engagement’ that will ensure that messages are retained.
Challenging the audience in a subtle and non-confrontational manner - monitoring their response and thereby setting the tempo will facilitate a collective willingness to participate and in the long term learn; increase our knowledge and our abilities.
We are conditioned from our school days not to engage - we are all too used to being talked to and not to take part. When it comes to events we must seek to elicit a behavioural change with the audience.
Rogen Si have subsequently developed a unique conference and event proposition that marries procurement's need for financial diligence with the creativity and vigour required to appeal to today's conference harried audience.
By understanding the organisational needs from the outset and ensure that events appeal to the audience’s state of mind it's important:
- information and messages are imparted in a manner that appeals to the audience
- the messages are subsequently explored through memorable use of presentation and interaction
with the keynote speaker re-iterating the messages, the audience will in turn understand their application and how they can affect the organisational goal.
With finance departments becoming far more involved in the decision making process for live events, we are seeing our research reap benefits”.
* source American Express Meetings and Events Best Practice Study carried out by A.T. Kearney
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