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Telling a Story with your Event; part 1

Posted by on in Corporate Storytelling
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Telling a Story with Your Event

My recent blogs have focused on how we use music throughout our clients' events to energize, motivate, and connect with audiences of all types, whether the program is public or private, live or webcast.

There's another connective tissue I make certain to design in advance and incorporate throughout every event. It's one of the most essential ingredients in making any meeting successful and its importance cannot be overstated.

Storytelling.

Story is, of course, at the foundation of every book, film, TV show, play and so on. Corporate meetings and events are no different. There must be a through-line, an overarching message that helps create a compelling narrative and lasting impact for your event.

The structure of your event, designed with story in mind, allows you to create the emotional link from your company’s speakers and content to your audience, whether that audience is comprised of employees, the public, or some other targeted group.

We value outcomes above all else in our productions. Not just in execution but in content: Every speaker, breakout, graphic, on screen and scenic element--every subset of the larger intention must connect to this through line. Whether you think of each piece of the program as an actor, a sub plot, or simply an element that connects and builds on your message, they must all weave seamlessly together to support your intentions and outcomes.

Think about it. Every good story has a beginning, middle, end. It has structure. It takes you from nowhere to somewhere—and not by accident. You need to think of each segment as its own story and the big picture, all elements taken together, as the larger narrative. We do.

The storyline could be simple, such as the bright, healthy future your company has when presenting at an analyst meeting. The graphics, video, and speakers must all tie back to that theme. It could be a new product or incentive plan that needs to be embraced by your sales people. Sometimes, we even have the headliner entertainment we hire and produce customize their performance to include patter that supports our story.

Sometimes, the storyline is complex, involving multiple themes, educational components, and even multiple venues and types of events, such as meetings, trade shows, large breakouts, networking rooms, and so on. It's equally important to tie all these things together, conceptually and in physical execution to further the storyline.

In a way, your content checklist can be as short as one question: Does each element relate to the overall message and intention of the event, and does it support the story you want to tell? You don’t need to mimic Shakespeare or be so literal that you force perfect but you do need to stir up emotion in your audience and story is a great way to do it.

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