When you plan an event, you constantly have to present it, in writing or verbally. This requires the use of storytelling, a technique that has quickly become a marketing favourite over the past few years. Have you ever wondered how your storytelling — or even your story — is highlighted when you present your event? It allows you to build, beyond your event alone, a booming community with an interest in your story — past, present and future. In this article, we will look into how event planners can use the power of storytelling to better present their event and convince attendees.
What is event storytelling?
Let’s start with clarifying the term — event storytelling combines all the elements that will help your attendees create an emotional bond with your event. It is the story that humanises what you do and what you say to your audience on a deeper level than that of a transaction alone. To make it simple, the least human message would be the following: “We sell shoes, you should buy our shoes”.
Why should you tell your event’s story?
You may have sold your event’s tickets really successfully without even thinking about your event’s story. So why start now? Well, first of all you have probably already built a strong storyline around your event without realising it, which is great! You can now put it on paper to maintain consistency in the future and across your communication channels — and thus provide a guideline to your future new hires.
What are the questions to ask yourselves before presenting an event
Each event has their own story. Here are a few questions to help you think about it. Write down your answers in a document if you are the event founder, or record an interview of that person. Then share it with your team.
- Where and when was your event first launched?
- Why did you create the event?
- What did you and the other team members do before this?
- What were you hoping for in creating this event?
- How difficult was it to launch the event — what challenges did you overcome?
- How has your event evolved and developed?
- Who are your attendees and why do they attend your event?
- What are the goals you have achieved thanks to your event?
- What is your mission and what are your goals for the future?
Write down where you are from and where you are going on paper to define a strategic orientation. This will help you identify who is well suited to join the adventure.
Who are you writing the presentation for?
To identify the stories that will enthrall your participants, you should think beyond their demographics — age, gender, profession, income, etc. — and understand who they are as people. To do this, you should identify their characteristics as well as their underlying needs. For instance:
- ambitious executive wishing to accelerate their career;
- tired parent looking for “me-time”;
- young adult disenchanted with technologies and wanting to find love “in real life”.
What will catch their attention? what bores them? what challenges do they face? what are they afraid of? what are their dreams? The more you know your audience, the easier it will be for you to catch their attention. You can then emphasize a specific part of your story for each profile to help you achieve different goals.
What is your event’s standard profile?
Now that you have identified the characteristics of your audience, it is time to turn your attention to yourself. Imagine your event as a person: give it a name if it helps, then write down their description. What do they look like? Do they wear trendy or classic clothes? What political party would they support? What bands would they like? Would they spend their holidays exploring the unknown or reading a book on the beach?
While these questions may seem ridiculous, they help you build a real personality for your event. It then becomes much easier to find your tone of voice and write your event’s description.
How does your event’s story influence your communication?
Your goal is to transcribe your event’s story every time your audience receives a message from you, whatever the communication channel — online or in person, through your website or Weezevent minisite, your social media, your ads, at registration, through your customer service and in your post-event thank you notes.
It is not about having a consistent tone of voice — it is about continually inspiring your audience to communicate your values. The story of your event should always tell a beautiful story, tell personal tales and trigger emotional responses.
For instance, if you post a backstage picture of your event, use it to tell a story such as “Céline, our event planner, spilled some coffee on her laptop then was stuck in the lift for 30 minutes. A bad day at EventOrga = cookies 🍪”. Even the most serious of events can gain sympathy and increase its audience engagement by telling a story that resonates with people.
Finding inspiration to tell your story
Transforming your event’s communication with multiple stories can seem like a challenge but you don’t have to tell only your own story — your audience can be a wonderful source of inspiration. Sharing real stories of attendees can create trust and loyalty. It is the best way to show the benefits of your event on your audience. Including your audience to the story of your event and to your communication will always be proof of authenticity.
We all love a good story. If you want your audience to stop and listen, don’t bore them with facts and numbers, give them a story they can hold on to. Put your audience at the centre of your story and you will have their full attention.
Presenting your event will have more impact if you communicate with the right tools. Whatever stage you are at in your event planning, Weezevent can help you. Make your life easier by clicking on the button below: