S.3 Episode 8: Bringing Back Human Experiences to Events

How did you get into events?

I fell into it. I was on my way probably to the FBI and my aunt was in PR and on a plane and sat next to a guy.  As she was talking to the guy she thought I’d be good at it.  4 months later he was my boss in the events industry.  That was 24 years ago.

Tell me what you do?

In general we are experience designers.  We map out best ways to move the needle on people using events. It’s what we intend to do. What your producing has a human outcome. If that’s your product then you have to understand people at their very core. You have to understand feeling, thought, learning, and emotion. I like to say our company is really grounded in that principal of knowing and understanding people but there is a lot of talk of this.  We are not the only one’s, the much bigger agencies are committing a lot of time and energy to behavioral science. It’s smart its the way to go!  More of us need to be doing that. 

How much of human behavior is changed because of culture and technology?

Yes there are so many sciences of things. In terms of thinks like are we changing fundamentally, no. It’s too fundamental, now you are talking about evolution. But if you look at simple day to day stuff, like technology, yes that’s a new change. Technology allows you to do stuff but what’s happening in that interaction with your phone that’s fundamental psychology, it’s addiction. 

When people are planning an event how do you help them to better understand this idea and process of human behavior.

The first thing you have to do is become an expert on the science of that stuff. We are in an age of instant experts because you just google it. 

What do you say to the young planner out there to use as good advice to become more in-tune with these things?

You don’t have to be the person who knows this in the event industry, you can be the designer, the stylist, the logistics, create content, you can do a million different things, but a strategist is a new position you may need to have on your team. Someone who can design based on human behavior. To someone who is looking to get into this, again, you don’t have to be a psych major, there are series of authors, Daniel Pink for example. They get into specific things that are applicable to things that we do.  Sit down with those books and go down the rabbit hole. Think about the objectives we are often trying to achieve. 

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About the Author
Event and Video Production

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