THE - EXPERIENTIAL DIFFERENCE

Universal Orlando's Meeting Enhancements program is meeting this trend by offering planners a choice of exciting options, such as branded characters showing ...
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- THE EXPERIENTIAL DIFFERENCE Why you should get your meeting out of the traditional conference mentality

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Reasons Why Event Spaces

ARE CHANGING The ICON Orlando offers groups a bucket-list view of the convention district from 400 feet

1 Cutting Through the Noise

“For meetings to be viable in this modern age there is a required element of experience in order to cut through the noise, keep attendees engaged and make the outcomes of the meeting sharable for a greater organization,” says Scott Dzierzanowski, associate creative director of Mosaic, an experiential agency. Dzierzanowski emphasizes that “there are elements of experiential strategy that can be applied to even the simplest meeting.

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Since we live in a world with constant distraction and noise, a meeting that is not in some form experiential will not be effective” – Scott Dzierzanowski, associate creative director of Mosaic

The Crowd is the X-Factor “In an age where professional development and training is always at your fingertips thanks to the Internet, we know that the conference must deliver more than what can be found online. And that is experiences,” says Dzierzanowski. “Whether it’s the environmental design of the conference, the sessions that make up the learning component, or the entertainment that happens after hours, each should create an experience that delivers the promise to help attendees connect, learn, and share.” According to Dzierzanowski, most of the event business is stuck in the 20th century operating on the principle of a monologue. “They put someone on stage and hope to evangelize a crowd. That doesn’t work anymore. Attendees are not visitors. They have a voice. They want to express themselves. They are participants,” says Dzierzanowski.

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Northstar Meetings Group | northstarmeetingsgroup.com | @NorthstarMtgs

Attendees want to engage with speakers (above) and have content augmented by entertainment options like Universal Orlando’s Meeting Enhancements program (right)

Universal CityWalk ™

3 Content Must Become Immersive

“‘Experiential’ is the buzzword du jour and it’s changed the way attendees, interact with content,” says Dzierzanowski. “Attendees need to be immersed in the event’s message — from the information delivered to the medium it’s delivered in, to the venue where the communication occurs — it all must be working together.” One of the most effective ways to make an event more immersive is to meet in spaces specially designed to get attendees thinking, to rethink the way they’ve been doing business. Experiential meetings “are not passive,” says meeting architect Adrian Segar, founder of Conferences That Work, a company that designs and facilitates participation-rich and participant-driven events, and author of Conferences that Work: Creating Events that People Love. “They encourage people to connect and learn through interaction.” Companies are increasingly seeking out “experiential elements that not only promote their brand but really add value to the attendee experience.” One strategy for building valued interpersonal business-to-business experiences is through introducing unique entertainment into the event. Universal Orlando’s Meeting Enhancements program is meeting this trend by offering planners a choice of exciting options, such as branded characters showing up at the event and inspirational themes that can become a part of the event’s message.

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Northstar Meetings Group | northstarmeetingsgroup.com | @NorthstarMtgs

4 Attendee Satisfaction

More broadly, Oni Chukwu, CEO of etouches, expects that enhancing the attendee experience will only grow in importance over the next year. He points to etouches’ survey of event professionals, which found that 48 percent believe attendee satisfaction is the single most important indicator of success. “Planners c