The key ingredient to successful events is the balance between designing an environment that makes sense and setting up an emotional context for the attendees. Both are needed for unforgettable experiences that will not only enchant your guests, but also give them a flawless and stress-free interaction with the event itself.
As an event professional (or someone who is responsible for running events), it’s crucial to act from a pragmatic perspective, while also making sure not to neglect the emotional element.
But before learning how to combine these two aspects, what do we exactly mean when we talk about logics and emotions when planning and running events?
The hardware of your event
Logic represents the bloodstream of the event logistics. Every single decision you make must be backed up by a clear reason and result you want to achieve, while also taking your attendees into account.
Whenever you’re setting up an event, you must ask yourself how the guests will feel, what questions will they have, and what challenges will they encounter when navigating the event environment.
For example, let’s say your event is spread throughout multiple venues closely located to each other. When designing the event maps and signage, you must look at the venue from the eyes of someone who has never stepped into the rooms before and has no idea where to go.
To make your event is easy to navigate, all signage should follow a logical order and address any possible questions your guests might have.
Another example is when setting up the event website. Your final goal is to get people to register, so you can’t just set up a website without sharing important information about the event or “hiding” the registration form.
All that will give you is a low attendee count, since people might give up trying to understand what your event is about or find the registration form.
In other words, the logical aspect of an event responds to the logistics and ways in which you are dealing with the planning process, ensuring the attendees easy access to the event experiences.
Connecting with your guests
If we think of the logical dimension of an event as the hardware, then the emotional part can be seen as the software. The emotional element is the additional effort you must put in to assure a certain degree of gratification within your guests.
Only events with a well-developed emotional character are truly memorable.
The emotional aspect can help you achieve your event objectives more easily, because it gives you the opportunity to transform your attendees’ perception, get their attention, and possibly influence their behavior or opinions.
For example, you can use humor and engage the services of a well-trained moderator who can incorporate this element into his or her narrative. On the other hand, you can ensure the humane character of your event by giving your attendees extra attention and guidance.
Logic and emotion are intertwined, and only a good balance between the two will make your event a success. How do you achieve this balance? We’ve put together a few tips that might help you:
Tip #1. Design the optimal attendee journey experience
According to the CPG Agency, setting up an attendee journey map refers to “a timeline that details every aspect of the experience your people will meet leading up to, during, and after your event.”
Whether you’re planning a congress or a trade show, it’s crucial to identify all the engagement stages attendees will experience when interacting with the event environment. From registering for the event to traveling and checking in, the entire range of actions guests must take to attend the event defines their attendee journey.
When identifying each stage of the attendee journey, apart from covering the logistical part of the event, make sure to introduce the emotional aspects of the guest experience.
Let’s say your intention is to pique your attendees’ curiosity and grab and keep their attention focused on your event’s brand message. This is one point on the emotional attendee journey map where you could outline the strategy you’ll use to make this happen (for example, engaging storytelling or gamification).
Then, add to it the logistical part of you map and determine what you’ll need to set up for the dynamic that will invoke your guests’ curiosity.
Tip #2. Focus more on keeping it personal
One of the reasons why the logic/emotion balance is crucial for planning successful events is to help you gain the ability to produce a large-scale event while providing personalized experiences.
Think about segmenting your attendees based on their profiles or expectations, and then deliver customized event dynamics or environments.
For example, you could plan various workshops for different topics (activities that require logic to cover aspects such as the venue setup, signage, registration procedure, etc.). Then, you can design an intelligent form and use emotion (ask your attendees about their wants and needs) to place people into different workshops.
Tip #3. Don’t hide behind digital tools
There’s no shortage of digital solutions out there that assist with logistics and help you achieve speed and precision in making event-related decisions. These tools are a necessity if you want to up your game and be one step ahead of your competition.
However, it’s important to remember that your event should remain interpersonal. What does this mean? It means that instead of using event apps or chatbots to interact with your guests throughout the entire event, you’ll achieve a greater balance between logic and emotion if you maintain a certain degree of “human touch.”
For example, your attendees might want to communicate with someone from the planning team rather than the event app, so don’t rely on your digital tools to take care of your guests—make sure they receive enough support and care from your team.
Tip #4. Make sure the planning “logic” won’t affect your attendees
Sometimes, we might think there’s common sense in what we’re doing and overlook or not realize any negative consequences of our actions.
Imagine packing in a full day of sessions, believing this will make your event more valuable, although the sessions start at 8 a.m. and finish at 9 p.m., with only a few short breaks in between.
The logic is simple: The more speakers, workshops, and roundtables, the better the event, right? Wrong. This intensity will have a negative emotional impact on your guests, translated into fatigue, lack of concentration, and a desire to escape.
Regardless of the logistics and logic involved in the planning process, never forget that your event should be attendee-centered, meaning there’s an emotional component that always needs to be taken into consideration. So whatever you do, always think about your attendees’ emotional well-being and balancing this aspect with the logic behind your planning logistics.