Whenever you deal with people, communication is key. The life of an event organiser – and the success of an event – is dependent on everyone pulling in the same direction.
From the team that creates the event, the people who speak and those who attend, success depends on communication.
We spoke to Tina Altieri, conference MC, TV news presenter and professional speaker about how event organisers can communicate clearly and strongly to their audience, their speakers and the media.
Thinking about the audience
A sign of a great event organiser is someone who puts the audience front of mind. How that audience is going to learn, connect and enjoy the experience. A great organiser will work hard to establish how the audience is going to look back on the event…..will this event be memorable – for all the right reasons?
To do this, you need to have a clear strategy that you communicate to everyone involved in planning, setting up and speaking at your event. For Tina, the signs of a great event are obvious in the build-up.
She said, "As an MC you can always tell that an event is destined for great success when the organiser has a very clear line of sight around the look and feel of the event. For example, how do they want conference delegates or guests to be talking about their event by the end of it?"
"A great organiser will also share with me what needs to feel/look different from previous events. I'm constantly thinking about what my audience needs and wants at every step of the agenda - so to have an organiser who is fully focused on taking the audience on a unique journey with me is really exciting - whether I'm speaking in front of a room of engineers at an international conference or a National Awards evening for entrepreneurs."
Thinking about the media
Promotion is a critical tool for event organisers. Getting coverage from the media is a great way to spread the word and to drive interest for tickets.
There’s no doubt, it’s a struggle to be heard in the media space – getting interest from media outlets who don’t always understand our industry can be difficult. Even when the media comes calling and you’re in the spotlight, giving that powerhouse interview or quote can put you out of your comfort zone.
Tina's advice for engaging with the media is to think concisely, succinctly and timely. She said, "It's important to capture the media's imagination by thinking like a news producer or a journalist. Before sending a media release or inviting the media to come to your event, try thinking through what are the story angles that are fresh and timely that will be covered by your event."
"Think through your narrative carefully - be able to tell the story in an interesting and imaginative way. Give them the headline you want to read about your organisation/ your event. and keep your messaging to the media short, concise and crisp. Don't go into information overload."
Thinking about communication
Communication is vital in all walks of life, but especially in events. We need to be able to communicate clearly with people all through the planning and execution of an event. That includes making sure everyone involved in setting up the event knows their roles and goals, that the audience is told why the event is perfect for them and that speakers know what you're trying to achieve.
For Tina, who's had a hugely successful career as a story teller in front of a variety of audiences, the key to successful communication is in making a clear point.
She said, "I'm passionate about powerful communication and the outcomes it can bring to an organisation, an event and to each of us - when we communicate successfully. I often tell my coachees (some who happen to be event organisers) to forget backloading and focus on frontloading."
"Backloading is an out-dated mode of speaking when you give the long-winded justification or background for everything before you get to the important information that people need to hear."
"Event organisers who are super sharp know not to backload by spending too much time going into history, but instead make a clear point. Then, if it's necessary, go on to explain why it needs to be done like this. In the media - front loading is imperative. There's no room for backloading when we consider how ridiculously short our audience's attention span is our digital world."
See Tina Altieri in action as she MCs at The Business of Events 2020. The conference is held on 19 March 2020 at Luna Park, Sydney, with a line-up of some of the biggest names in today's events world sharing their tips for success. Tickets for this one-day conference are on sale now.