Event Experience Design Monthly — Edition No. 2

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Welcome to the second edition of the Event Experience Design Monthly Newsletter!

This time, we take a look at what happens beyond the event — especially the time before and after a (physical) meeting takes place. You’ll also get some tips on how to apply this to your own work. Okay, let’s get right into it!


Beyond the meeting 

Today, information and knowledge are easily accessible online and your (potential) participants aren’t waiting until that next conference or workshop to discuss topics they care about. They want to start now because it’s relevant now.

As a conference organizer or workshop facilitator this is something you simply can’t ignore — to be a host means to go beyond regarding your event as a singular, temporary event. If you want your gathering to be and stay relevant, you have to create a continuous experience beyond the conference or workshop. This means, providing relevant content and possibilities to interact and exchange on certain topics regardless of when your physical meeting takes place. 

Keeping this in mind is worth the effort because potential participants and clients are more likely to keep you in mind. Consistently providing value is all about relationship building is all about trust. Only hosting a website just to sell tickets for your event or only being approachable when your workshop takes place isn’t going to cut it. 

Ask yourself: Would you prefer to attend an event about topics that you are familiar with and knowing what kind of community will be there or an event you haven’t really heard much about since it was last put on? Who do you trust more? The innovation facilitator selling you the single workshop or the facilitator empowering you to tackle the questions and issues you face after the workshop has long finished?


SXSW - Beyond the Festival 

To make it less abstract, let’s take a look at a conference example: SXSW (South by Southwest) – a festival and conference at the intersection of art and technology. The (physical) event runs for ten days every year, but SXSW provides multiple channels, such as a magazine and a radio (SXSW fm) that publishes content on its main topics all year long: music, film and interactive media. Besides this, SXSW involves its participants in its program curation and planning using Panel Picker, a tool for suggesting and voting program ideas, formats or content. This creates an early exchange before the festival has even started. With activities and channels such as those listed above, SXSW is relevant for digital creatives all year long. Looking for inspiration on how to design experiences beyond the physically event? Check out the SXSW website, magazine and radio.


Beyond the meeting Map  

Alright, I promised you some tips and ideas on how to apply the principles above to your own projects. The next time you design a workshop or conference experience, why not try this template to guide you. Instead of only focusing on the physical meeting time, the template maps out the whole year as the timeframe to analyse and rethink your activities and channels, and design an experience beyond your event. Download the template and also check out this article to help you work with the template.

If you are looking for some inspiration for conferences, you might find these slides and the associated talk helpful.

If you have any questions or suggestions for topics that should be covered in the Event Experience Design Newsletter (EXD —Monthly) , please drop me an e-mail!


Thank you for reading!
Yours, Claudia 

PS: Can’t wait until the next issue is been sent to your mailbox? 
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Hello, I'm Claudia Brückner and I write this newsletter for you. This mailing list is the best place to keep up with articles I write about Event Experience Design. 
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Claudia Brückner
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