Events extraordinaire

We'd just like to say, if you have an ordinary kind of event coming up and you want to make it extraordinary, we'd love to talk with you.

And we'd like to give you one real-world example of our work.

We were working with a not for profit servicing clients who typically had high levels of engagement with various professional service providers.

The organisation had an AGM coming up and wanted those professionals to take note. So how do you get busy professionals to take time off work to attend someone else's AGM?

Here's what we did. We talked with several of the organisation's clients and documented some actual stories, including how they'd sometimes felt alienated, pushed around, labelled and poorly serviced. We broke each story down into small episodes built around key actions, and simplified each process into a short, multi-step role play.

We set up the meeting room with various booths representing points of professional contact. We staffed the booths with clients, not professionals. They played the professional roles, according to a scenario we gave them.

When the professionals arrived, they were randomly allocated to client roles. They had a few minutes to study their scenarios, then they were thrown into the professional services room, to see how they fared on the other side of the desk.

We told the professionals about this in advance. In fact, it was the drawcard to get them there. We pushed it pretty hard, as a uniquely valuable educational experience and as something so different it would be fun.  (We may also have pressured some CEOs into believing their staff should attend.)

Did professionals turn up? Yes. We filled every role play position.

When the role plays were over, we had an informal evaluation session and then the AGM began. Of course most of the professionals left then, it wasn't really the point to bore then with a meeting: the point was to make them notice the organisation.

What happened in the evaluation session? These hardened professionals were surprised and even shocked at what they felt like, in the client role. They agreed they had learned something valuable from this rare experience. Did they notice the organisation? You bet. They talked with the organisation's people, praised and thanked them for mounting the event. They appreciated being invited. A few even stayed for the AGM (we did promise excellent post-meeting refreshments).

All told, an extra-ordinary event.

PS We also do conference promotion and write conference reports.