Driving the Message Home
One good way to create a sense of drama is to use a theme that runs the whole length of the event. A theme lets you get away
from the conventional speaker-only type of event. It helps you build an entire unified experience that ties in the evening
social events. Try and incorporate as many engaging elements as you can, keeping in mind the content of the information that
needs to be presented. Ask yourself questions like, "What kind of stage do I put them on?" "What medium do I use to present
the information?" "How do you maintain the attention and focus of these people?" Asking and answering these questions will
help you form a solid presentation and keep people entertained and excited, anticipating what comes next. With that anticipation
you will have their undivided attention and your event will become memorable for them.
Pyramid Scheme Background changes are a good way to re-awaken your audience and help them focus on the most important part
of the product-launch message.
Here's a tip: Sales reps are young these days, some as young as 22 years old. If you want them to respond, try making use
of pop culture. And try to be ahead of the curve, not behind it. If you know in advance that the new and final installment
of the Indiana Jones movies will be released in the coming year, you can piggyback on all the advertising that or will be
going on out there. If you can tie in a launch to the talk and hype of a growing trend, sales reps will want to be part of
something that is gaining popularity instead of following along with an overexposed product. Maximize the elements of pop
culture to keep reinforcing your message throughout the course of the year.
Outside the Conference Room
Themes are especially effective when they provide opportunities for teambuilding and motivation. Some currently popular choices
Castaway To build on the popularity of television shows like Survivor and Lost, planners can create a memorable environment that is fun and adventurous. For the welcome reception, take guests out to the
beach for a dinner under the stars and then turn them loose to use their own survival instincts. Planners can set up search-party
or scavenger-hunt events to encourage team building and unity, and to get the group moving toward a common goal. A theme of
this sort plays into the reps' competitive instincts. The goal is to get them energized about winning the prize—and then translate
that feeling into more aggressive selling .
Lord of the Rings J&S recently produced an event that had the popular book and movie franchise as its theme. The entire week's
product launch was set up around "Fangorn Forest," which was created with a backdrop and several three-dimensional trees.
Each day, the backdrop scene would change, and the reps would be presented with a different challenge. It was fun and engaging,
but it also had a serious subtext: Just like the characters in the books, the sales reps had to learn that no matter what
the circumstances, and no matter what the odds, they had to push forward as a team.
Your Attention, Please
If it's necessary to keep sales reps in a room for two to three hours at a time, how do you make sure that there is some different
level, a charge of energy that moves them from one topic to the next? Meeting planners need some transitional elements to
encourage sales reps to switch gears when the presenters do. Set changes are a good way to recapture attention and re-engage
the participants. It's a chance to re-awaken your audience and help them focus on the most important message you're trying
to deliver. But if you really want to have an impact, consider incorporating live entertainment.