Storytelling within events, think back to your childhood.
Remember how captivated you were by fairytales, the soaring of the imagination and whimsical escapes into mystical worlds?
Think back to the emotional investment you had in these stories, and the mental journey they started you on.
Think about that sense of fulfilment you were left with once you reached “The End”.
Now… imagine the power and emotional impact of a story well told through eventing.
Your guests should be left with the same impressions as good storytelling had on them as children.
A well-executed event should leave them feeling as if they’ve once again lived through the stories of their childhoods.
A spectacular event takes guests through the same sentimental journey as a well-told, well-loved childhood fairytale.
While the tools of good storytelling can often be overlooked by event organizers, the fact remains that they have the potential to transform an entire event and set the tone for an upcoming experience.
It is up to you to create the golden thread which will tie every step and element of your event together, from start to finish, and create a storyline that will remain as memorable as any great story ever told.
Using the 5 essential elements for great storytelling in events, here are some tips on how to harness the power of storytelling and create an eventing tale that your guests will find hard to forget.
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The most important element of any story is its characters.
Similarly, the most important element of any event is its guests.
No amount of words could properly stress the importance of taking time to fully understand the characters of the people who will be attending your event.
Their personality traits, sense of style, habits, likes and dislikes are some vital factors which will help you answer questions of how to execute an event which best appeals to them.
Not only that, but these factors can help you generate a language of understanding and commonality between you and your guests.
This language will dictate the manner in which the event is conceptualized as well as identify ways to best cater to their experiential needs.
Knowing your audience means knowing best how to tell a story they’d like to hear, and how to throw an event they’d love to attend.
Where do all exceptional stories take place? Somewhere out of the ordinary, or somewhere unexpected.
The setting of your story translates to the venue for your event. In order to be memorable, it has to be unexpected, extraordinary.
Finding an appropriate venue is integral to telling a good story through your event.
Your venue is the canvas upon which your creative vision will be realised.
So, it is incredibly important to pick a venue which will help tell your story and help bring it to life.
Think about the needs and desires of your characters, and find a setting appropriate to that narrative.
One of the most important elements in a fairytale is the castle or the kingdom. So too is your venue essential to the tale your event is weaving for guests.
The first thing you want your guests to recall in future, when your venue is mentioned, is your event, and the exhilarating story they have to tell thanks to it!
Also read – Venue Selection Is A Very Essential Process
This is the essence of the event and journey you want to take your guests on.
With events, the “plot” starts when the first guest receives their invite.
How do you want them to feel? What emotion would you like to evoke in them? Our advice?
Aim to evoke anticipation and excitement.
The tone of this first point of contact must carry through to the whole event.
Connect the dots.
Weave a golden thread connecting all the elements of your story through your event from beginning (invitation) to end (the execution of the event).
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Here comes the element of SURPRISE.
Truth be told, with time, attending events becomes monotonous and extremely predictable.
The questions you should ask yourself is “what can you, as an event coordinator, do to keep this from happening?” as well as “How, and what will it take to hook your guests and wow them at an event?”
Well the answer is right here: study the character of your guests and identify the very last thing they would expect to enjoy at an event.
That’s the sweet spot!
Unexpected pops of colour, surprise acts, fostering creative environments and activities are sure to leave your guests amazed by the sudden twist in the narrative!
Be cautious though, while surprises can be exciting and attention grabbing, if they do not connect to the essence of the event and make sense to the guests, the only thing they will do is leave them confused and unamused.
Remember the golden thread of storytelling that connects seemingly disparate elements to create magic has to weave your climax into your story as well!
“…and they all lived happily ever after.”
As the actual event concludes, the baton of storytelling gets passed on from you to all your guests – they become the narrators of the event to their families and loved ones.
Your guests should leave having had an experience worth talking about far beyond the confines of the venue.
Every element and step involved in telling the story of the event should sound like a tale worth sharing over and over again.
A great tip to ensure the story gets told for years to come, is to gift guests with an item which they can share with their others.
By doing this, the chronicles of the event do not only remain with those who attended it.
Send your guests home with memories, experiences and conversation pieces which they can’t help but share.
If you’ve told a good story, all theirs will start with: “I attended this AMAZING event…” and end with “…I CANNOT wait for the next one.”
Until next time, The End.
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