Hey, Jack! That seminar I sent you to last week? Any chance you can give us all an overview at the team meeting?" Jack's boss had just delivered his worst nightmare. Not only had the event been tedious and disjointed, he couldn't find the paperwork to remind himself of the key points and his memory was not providing any brilliant clues.
You want your event to be memorable. You want it to flow effortlessly from beginning to end. You want every aspect of the event to be professional. This means you don't just want the event to be managed; you want it to be designed with a degree of panache and flair.
Take some inspiration from the radio and television networks that make their living from presenting. Notice how they use words, music and images to identify a complete program; how programs are broken down into chunks and how one chunk is blended into the next using segues (pronounced segway).
A simple segue does the following:
* It acknowledges what has gone before
* It connects that presentation to the overall theme of the event
* It then connects both with the presentation to follow and in some cases introduces the speaker.
"That was an opportunity for you to understand the theory of how our organization works with suppliers using the Provider Performance Feedback Process. Now it's time to hear a real-life example from one of our suppliers who has been trialing this process for 6 months. Jane Smith is the Sales Director of Jones Cooper Inc and she has been asked to give her unbiased opinion about working with the Provider Performance Feedback Process"
No event is too small to have its own identity. Even a one hour seminar should have some sort of a personality to catch the imagination of the potential audience. An appropriate piece of graphics can be commissioned for a very reasonable fee and will tie in with the theme of the event. For example, Herbal Medicine would feature naturalistic plant imagery whereas Engineering might use cogs, electronic circuitry or industrial illustrations.
This piece of graphic art which might also incorporate the name of the event will, ideally, be used on all printed matter, presentation material, signage and promotional items.
You may have a talented amateur graphic artist in your company who can produce good work but be careful that their quality is appropriate and be honest with them if it does not meet the standard expected.
Professional graphic artists use computer programs that link to the systems used by printers, so they can guarantee that the finished product will look like the samples they present to you.
Branding, it seems, has deep psychological meaning. Apparently our brains deal with a brand image in a different way from most other information as it taps into our emotions. Emotional memory is more accessible; think about TV adverts. So, it makes sense to connect with your audience in as many ways as you can.
If Jack had been looking for the big fluorescent green folder with the bright red tree printed on the spine and if the contents reminded him of a coherent, connected list of stimulating topics on the subject of 'Sustainability', he might not be dreading the team meeting quite as much.