Is there still room for fun?

The ex Business Theatre Producer in me was re-awakened by a recent post by Velvet Chainsaw (they always get me thinking) which called for a move to bring ‘the sexy’ back into conferences.

There’s been a great deal of discussion and research over the last few years about how to deliver content that’s relevant and actionable and about the style of  delivery mechanisms that best achieve the event objectives.   As a passionate advocate of content curation as an approach to delivering conference programs rather than the outdated aggregation method I can only applaud these initiatives.

But do we have the balance right between content and environment?   Are we risking becoming too serious and neglecting the lighter side of life?  After all, we know that adults as well as children learn and retain information best when they are having fun and enjoying the process.

Could we maintain our focus on delivering ROI and the serious business outcomes and at the same time work out a way to surprise and delight;  provide the unexpected, the whimsical, the elements that make us stop and wonder.

As the Velvet Chainsaw’s blog goes on to say ‘when it looks like last year’s conference, smells like last year’s conference and feels like last year’s conference, it’s outdated and out rated.  It’s stale.

What are you going to  do differently this time?  What do your delegates see and experience when they first enter the venue and approach the registration desk?  Your banners, your sponsors banners?  Is that all ?

Is it time to bring back some of the ‘theatre of business’?   I’d like to see more attention paid to the ‘environment’ and less to technology and the latest ‘apps’.  What do you think would be more memorable a whimsical performance group providing a welcome or an app?    Gen X and Y are embracing vinyl records and letter writing (using envelopes and stamps no less) so for live events how abot we  go back to basics and remember what ‘live’ actually means.