Live Union, a London-based events agency, likes to shake up traditional events. Putting the audience at the heart of their plans, the events team breaks the mould to create original and inspiring events.
It is becoming more and more apparent that today’s audience is valuing networking over content; audiences want more engagement, connections and control.
The research Oracle conducted on their 60,000-strong audience at OpenWorld, as well as research from Experience Institute, put weight behind the notion that audience-focus has shifted.
Absorbing this research whilst keeping a keen ear to the ground, Live Union’s content director, Jez Paxman, created the Super Connectors – a series of reports to demonstrate how different event formats, technologies, facilitation and content delivery can help people make more valuable connections.
The first report looks more closely at five formats that use the latest thinking, technology and design to turn audiences into ‘Super Connectors’. It delves further into the Campus format, Campfires, Box Events, Digital Playgrounds and the Unconferences, giving real client examples and advice on what type of event each would suit.
As some of the names suggest, these events take inspiration from the latest technology, campfire-style settings and open discussions.
“These events give more power to the audience,” Jez commented, explaining that discussions, debates and open dialogues allow events to still present their content, but in a more interactive and engaging way.
“We even encourage attendees to leave a talk/discussion if it’s not in their interests,” Jez said. “This may leave the speaker with fewer listeners, but it’s better to have 20 engaged listeners than 100 uninterested ones.”
In presentations, talks and discussions, audience members are encouraged to interact with their neighbours to discuss the presentation topics. This creates opportunities to start a conversation with like-minded people, allowing them to make connections.
One of Live Union’s clients that have used some of these formats at their live events include Santander UK. Melissa Noakes, head of events and divisional sponsorship commented: “It’s undoubtedly true that what audiences want from live experiences is changing.
“Finding intelligent ways to help people network and make the most valuable connections is key. This means thinking about format, spatial design, technology, facilitation – all the tools available to us when designing events.”