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How to Make Your Event 3D Instead of 2D

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How to Make Your Event 3D Instead of 2D

Many events are 2D. The audience watches the players do their thing. Some events are 3D. They are alive, exciting, engaging and connected.

With 2D events, as I call them, you arrive, settle into passive mode, and wait to be entertained. The players, the organisers, work hard to entertain you. You’ve paid, they provide. It’s a transaction.

In what I call 3D events you are an active player, and the organisers are engaged with the audience. There are usually multiple players and multiple ways of engaging. These are the events that leave an impression, and that create wins for all.

A 3D event is an experience rather than a transaction.

The other night I attended an event like this. It was so much more than a piece of entertainment and so much more than a straight transaction. Yes, I paid for my ticket, but that was just the start.

The event was a pitch fest. I’ve attended many, and I certainly enjoy them more than most other business events as listening to people pitching their passion is a pleasure. However, being part of the experience takes this enjoyment to another level.

Pitch for Good (a partnership between Start Some Good and the City of Parramatta) is unique. It is planned so that you are part of the experience from the get-go. Women founders or social enterprises compete for the top five positions that get to pitch on the night, and the audience is drawn in to be part of the result.

The formula to engage the audience of Pitch for Good is this:

  • Purchase a ticket to access the pitch fest (the ticket also bought dinner).
  • Re-use the value of the ticket in $10 tokens to support the projects of your choice (or voting with tokens).
  • Watch the $10 tokens double in value with matching contributions from the sponsor, Parramatta City Council.

Then there were the extra bits:

  • The invitation to tweet or share the projects to promote them amongst our community and get the news out for the Start Some Good fundraising campaign (so the audience became marketers).
  • The extra boost from the Council for the project that raised the most tokens (a sense of satisfaction for everyone).
  • The other social enterprises that had been engaged as service providers or who were able to showcase their wares on the night.

From the start, I felt part of something, not a passive attendee.

Here’s the thing. When you invite people to attend an event you need to acknowledge that it takes time and money for each person to be there. They are choosing to spend their time with you, rather than with their family, at work, exercising, or caring for a sick person, or frankly, out boozing if that is their thing.

Every member of the audience is important and special. In my years of fundraising for a large not-for-profit we used to have a saying:

The next person you meet might be your biggest supporter.

That’s true. When you know that, and when you understand that every person has the potential to be an important influencer on your behalf or on behalf of your project, you will recognise the power of getting your audience or participants to engage from the get-go.

A 3D event is not about transactions; it’s about experiences.

It’s about connecting, engaging, and finding mutual wins. How can you turn your next event from boring 2D to dynamic 3D?

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