5 ways event organizers can learn from the Hunger Games.
Spoiler alert! So if you haven’t read the Hunger Games books or seen the movies (coming out this weekend) this will make no sense to you whatsoever. I recommend reading the books first before reading this post or just seeing the movie. I am excitied to see this movie and I really enjoyed the books which are a quick, fun read.
Someone doesn’t have to die to have a great event
Every year the Capital holds the Hunger Games in Panum and every year they try to make it better experience for the audience.
I understand driving a bunch of kids and teenagers to kill each other is a stretch for you to think about for your next meeting or event. Some of you reading this may be smiling thinking about a fight to the death with your current executives, but realistically your yearly sales meeting or event should be building your story to get attendees fired up.
Planners should be thinking about how to engage the audience behind the over arching message you want them to recieve.
The Hunger Games main message was to keep the districts down and not taking action. This was accomplished by striving to make each hunger games better than the last.
Get your audience to do something when they leave the event.
Figure out what kind of talent you have for your meeting or conference and build your event story
Sometimes you have executives who are awesome at their jobs but not great speakers or presenters. Much like Katniss Everdeem the heroine of the Hunger Games stories. She was a terrific game player but not a great speaker.
Working with your executives before they hit the stage helps you get the message for the meeting across in a more engaging fashion. Presenters need to understand that it is about the audience not the speaker.
Much like how Katniss learned to do this before entering the Hunger Games. She learned her role and preformed beautifully.
For your events, offer speech coaching, presentation development, and driving the message in an engaging way. Using videos or images can help speakers have main talking points and help the audience sponge up the content.
On the other hand Katniss teammate Peeta Mellark was a fantastic speaker and could turn an audience to the desired message or action with ease. Working with executives like Peta is a wonderful experience for everyone involved, especially the main focus the audience. Tag teaming these types of speakers can also work well to hold the interest of audiences.
Your meeting design drives your meetings message and moves your audience to action
The designer Cinna who led Katniss Prep team before the Hunger Games made sure that Katniss looked the part for the message he knew the audience would resonate with. Girl on Fire!
The bigger picture game makers especially Plutarch Heavensbee made sure the game had a fresh look and new engaging things happened in the story of the Hunger games event. The whole effect was cohesive and drove the message of the games.
Basically, the Hunger Games is a virtual event because the audience is watching virtually from home. Even Hybrid because sponsors could send things in to help tributes.
The whole Hunger Games campaign the design is to get the audience leaning forward, interested in each next session or chapter of the event. This is why the look and feel of your meeting or conference should drive the message through design.
Hire your own Cinna team. A production company (like Grass Shack Events & Media ) or a creative director who can build that look and feel to drive your message or story through the agenda, environmental design, media design.
If you need another example look at the MockingJay pin that Katniss wore that became the logo of a movement. It appeared in places to move the audience in the story to action.
Think about ways you can build a brand like that with your story.
Research your companies meetings or conference history, leaders and sponsors to build engagement
Haymitch Abenathy- Haymitch was a grumpy old drunken ex-winner for the Hunger Games who was Katniss and Petas advocate.
Where I was trying to tie Haymitch to a certain position in the events and meetings world I drew a blank. What I do think about his character is he represents history and experience for your meeting or event.
Make sure you are researching and knowing what has happened in the past of your company, vendors and make sure you mine this information to craft your meeting or event and to build your story.
Hamish was also entrusted to handle the sponsorship duties for his tributes (Katniss/Peta) It brings to mind what and how you want to get the most from your sponsors.
Getting the right person for this job can be monumental to the success of your event.
Don’t always judge a book by its cover.
Have a cause when building your meeting or conference theme
Their are advantages to having a villain in your event story.
In the a Hunger Games the fact that Katniss was an underdog, the villans were the Capital and President Snow as the chief instigator drove the story.
In the business world having a cause or a competitor can be used to engage the story of your meeting or event. This is tricky and should be done carefully to inspire your audience, not to “just bash or complain” about competitors.
Make sure you are clever to gain the trust of your audience to move them to some sort of action. If its selling more widgets or learning a new product useing villains or challenges from your competitors is a good way to get your audience behind you.
- Countdown to Hunger Games: See Liam Hemsworth’s Cutest Photos! (popsugar.com)
- On The Hunger Games Trilogy (wesleygant.com)
- Leadership Lessons from the Hunger Games (colleensharen.wordpress.com