Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Back in the 1960s, sociologist Marshall McLuhan expressed some downright revolutionary insights. Technology, he explained, would one day advance in such a way that the whole world would be interconnected. Communicating with someone on another continent would be just as simple as walking over to the neighbors’ house to borrow a cup of sugar; perhaps more so. To give shape to his theory, he coined the term “global village.”
In essence, McLuhan conceived the notion of a worldwide communications network; a tight-knit global community which transcended physical distance.
With the birth of social media, it’s safe to say that his theories have become reality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of enterprise, where establishing a rapport with consumers has become an inarguably vital element of business success. No more is it simply a matter of putting your product out there and telling people why they should buy it: people need to know why they want to buy from you. They want to put a human face on your organization.
They want their relationship with your business to be a personal one.
Events are a great way to help consumers along in this, but only if they’re handled correctly. All too often, event planners and organizers become so caught up in logistics and planning that they seem to forget why they’re running it in the first place. They become so consumed by the details that they forget one of the most important cornerstones of modern events planning: storytelling.
The actualization of the global village that arrived hand-in-hand with the birth of social media has brought with it a renewed focus on storytelling. This shouldn’t come as any great surprise.
Storytelling is one of the oldest—and some might say most personal—modes of communication in human history.
Well before we had business or government, well before we had cities or services; men and women gathered around the fire to share their stories and hear the tales shared by others. In essence, that’s what you’re doing when you run an event, albeit on a considerably larger scale than those ancient gatherings.
In essence, people who attend your events are showing up to hear you tell the story of your organization, but they’re not going to be interested if there’s nothing human to it.
Unfortunately, the wide net created by social networks somewhat complicates things. It’s not enough to simply have stage presence, nor is it enough to hold the attention of attendees. Instead, you need to be capable of telling a story across multiple mediums; your personality needs to shine through on Twitter and Facebook as much as it does during a keynote presentation. Anyone can be a talking head in a booth; only the best hosts are capable of imbuing their presentations with a personal touch.
So how exactly does one tell their story successfully?
Creativity and honesty are at the core. Find unique and memorable ways to share details about your organization, and don’t be afraid to let your own character shine through. Talk about the industry your organization operates in, talk about the challenges that you and your business face; talk about the people who’ve done business with you in the past. Share with your attendees and supporters, and give them an opportunity to share in turn. It’s really as simple as that.
The global village envisioned by Marshall McLuhan decades ago has finally become a reality. The Internet has never been more personal or more closely connected. Everyone online now has a story to share, a story that brings people closer to those around them. Share your own story, and people will feel a genuine connection to you. Fail to do so, and you’ll just be one more voice screaming at them in a sea of white noise.
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