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How to Make Your Event: an EVENT!

August 6, 2017

Do you want to make your conference, meeting, or reception more engaging, memorable and interactive? Are you concerned you might unleash only a barrage of bullet points? Do you worry about what your attendees will say when they talk about your event?


If you are even pondering these questions, congratulations! You want to give your audience a positive experience! That's step one in your journey to truly creating an EVENT!


an EVENT! 


An EVENT is an experience that people are excited to take part in, and proud to post about afterward. An open bar is not enough! This will get people excited, but what will they talk about as they're downing gin and tonics? The weather? How bad their flight was? Their hotel room? This will all work against you, if your messaging of the day did not sink in.


You're also fighting against the temptation of the smart phone distraction during your event. People check their phones over 40 times a day, many times they forget why they're even on it, after getting lost on social for 10 minutes. This distraction is problematic! Despite what we all say about ourselves - most of us cannot multi-task.


Breaks are very important, you'd be surprised how many events don't build time for breaks. These are the times your audience can reflect, and when they reflect - they learn. Yet, even the most attentive listener can be overwhelmed by an entire day's worth of information.


You need a way to focus the group, communicate clearly, and show them a good time.


Silent James gives you something you didn't know you needed


There's so much power, expression, and value in live illustration. 


I've live illustrated over 150 events, and people crave excitement and visuals. Auditive learning alone lacks the dynamic impact on the brain, people pay attention and retain more info by having a visual to hold onto. Think of your brain as a database and the filing system works better with thumbnails.


Powerpoint is good to prompt the speaker, but even the most designed powerpoint (most are not, by the way), is still stale.

"We are LIVE!"


Why do people go to live events? It's because there's an excitement in the air that potentially "anything can happen". I starred in Speakeasy Dollhouse immersive theatre for over 3 years in New York City. It was originally scheduled to be just 3 nights, why did it run for over 3 years? I'd like to say it is all because of my superhuman improvisation and acting skills ;), but it is more likely because of the unscripted immersive experience. That special feeling of being "live". 


That feeling is lost with powerpoint. People know it's prepackaged, it dulls their senses, and distances them from your message. Think about it: you're subjecting a room full of strangers to a slideshow! Stop it!


The number 2 question I am asked at every event is, "Do you know what they are going to say beforehand?" This is meant as a compliment to the work I create because people are amazed how I'm able to listen, process, draw, and make connections live. They want to know the trick.

Going into 99% of events, all I know is the title of the talks


It's true! I'm hearing this for the first time, same as you! Also, most conferences have panel discussions and "fireside chats", these are all organic conversations and it would impossible to know what they are going to say in advance. My illustrations are vastly improved by this, they have an energy to them because they are improvised. This also takes a lot of burden off event organizers, they have enough to do without needed to go over multiple presentations with me in detail. I'm grateful and accepting if they do, and sometimes the discussion is very technical and requires more prep, but still - people always go off script and keep me on my toes!


Audiences and presenters are excited by seeing the story come to life before their eyes, it creates an illustrated memory for them. These memories reinforce the talks, show how all the points relate, and provide a creative takeaway as a visual summary. Now your guests will be talking about the experience they just had. Your message continues because it is a creative, tangible, summary that they can identify with and share. The boards are digitized and sent to the attendees after the event, these memories will neither blur nor fade! Many times the client can get 5-10 social media posts from a single board by isolating the individual soundbites. The engagement spans beyond the event and shows you as a leader in your industry.


The event organizers will look like superstars by the end, that's always a huge plus of hiring me. Think of me as part of your team! You're not just hiring an average bozo off the street, you're getting a professional that is dedicated to making your conference, meeting or reception as successful as it can be.


Silent James is my dream job


I'm very thankful when attendees come up to me at events, as they're happily photographing the board telling me what they enjoyed about the talk. They also want to know more about me and what I do, their eyes light up when I tell them, "This is my dream job". I get to take what I love about silent film (using words and imagery to tell a story), and my passion for drawing, and apply it to different industries in different parts of the world with the aim of creating a memory for the audience. That pride and positive energy is something I will bring with me to make your event: an EVENT!


Are you having a conference, meeting, or reception? Contact me today, the earlier, the better! I'm able to consult your agenda, plan the day with you, and identify how I may best support. It's also best to secure the date, as my schedule fills up quickly. Let's create an illustrated memory together!



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