Planners need to start thinking like product developers.
One of the silver lining effects of the past two years is that we now know how to deliver our events in multiple ways. We have in-person products and digital products, and those who learn how to think in a strategic product development way will find success. Those who get stuck at the hybrid livestream level will lose audience, revenue, and opportunity.
Product development starts with understanding the audience at a fundamental motivational level, knowing what they want before the audience even knows it themselves.
Steve Jobs famously said, “A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." He’d had a vision of a touchscreen device for years; it had appeared in earlier Apple products. But the gamechanger was understanding the job that a phone could do for people. Beyond making calls (remember when we used to use phones for that?) to carrying their phone, their music, their cameras, and the internet in a small device that fits into their pocket.
Apple develops its products through a combination of surveys, customer feedback, analysis of internal data about what is driving sales, paying attention to what drives competitors’ sales, and beautiful, simple design that removes all friction.
This quote from their Careers page says it all:
“Apple products work beautifully because our designers maintain an intense focus on simplicity and usability. They judge the success of their work not by everything they put into it, but by everything the user gets out of it.”
So how does all of this apply to events?
Product developers are focused on the customer, and they build for what the customer needs. We’ve done a great job the past few years of understanding what our events do for our organizations, and why we have them. But we haven’t put as much focus on what our audiences need – and what they don’t even know they need.
We’ve made assumptions about credits and booths and networking, but when was the last time you took a step back and really thought about the job your event does for your audience?
So how do we translate all of this into new thinking for events? It begins with five steps:
If you are interested in learning about how 360 Live Media can help you plan your next event, reach out to us here!