What Star Wars Taught me about Event Design and How it Can Help You

Is the Force Strong in You?

You may know that in my other life I ‘help’ (in very loose terms) my wife to run her cafe and catering business.

The cafe is popular for being a ‘second home’ for our regulars, a place that they can feel comfortable.

Last year we did a promo for International Star Wars Day (May the Fourth – say it aloud and think about it…)

Anyone who came in wearing any kind of Star Wars gear got a free coffee or hot chocolate.

It worked a treat with kids dressed as Darth Vader, Storm Trooper dads and R2D2’s aplenty!

So what does Star Wars have to do with you?

Clearly, this was a bit of fun. It didn’t take a huge amount of work and we got lots of good will from our customers and plenty of Social Media action.

So it got me thinking about people like you who need to design or run meetings, workshops, seminars, site tours or field trips as part of your their role.

No matter how keen and motivated you are, sometimes you’ll feel like you’re being slammed by a laser beam from the Death Star. Things like…

  • It’s a challenge to get people to your events
  • You’re often wondering how to get people really engaged
  • You’re unsure what action people will take from attending
  • You’re not sure where to start

Four tips to help you design effective events

Here’s four simple tips to help you run effective events

  1. Be clear on the purpose of the event and make sure this guides your event design. This should also be clearly communicated to your target audience.Tips
  2. Use Adult Learning Principles to design the event activities. Remember we all have a mix of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning preferences (V = 35% A= 25% K = 40%) so you’ll need to cater for this in your event design.
  3. Have a framework for planning your event- this should identify your target audience and include a brainstorm of potential activities. These need to be congruent with your learning and organizational outcomes.
  4. Identify how you’ll measure success – have simple and effective tools that you can get participants to willingly use to provide you with open feedback that you can also use to plan and promote future events



Want to go to the Dark Side?

Admittedly, we’re just scratching the surface here. You could go away and do a heap of your own work to delve into this further…

…Or, you could spend just one day with me to learn how to design events that have your clients motivated, excited and raving about you!

I’m teaming up with the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) to roll out my one-day workshop, ‘Designing Effective Events – Using Adult Learning Principles.’

Some details…

This intensive one day workshop will give you an understanding of the key adult learning principles to enable you to design an event that best meets the needs of your target audience.

You’ll be able to:

  • Clearly define the purpose and outcomes for your event to ensure you get   your design right
  • Make your message ‘stick’ through understanding the basic Adult Learning principles to successfully engage people
  • Get practical tips on facilitation of your events that are modelled throughout the workshop
  • Receive a critique to refine the design of your next event
  • Have some simple evaluative tools to measure the success of your events

Check out the Designing Effective Events Workshop Outline

What are participants saying?

Here’s just a few of the comments from the Darwin and Ingham workshops…

“Plenty of good, practical examples that I can take and use.”

“Enjoyable and will be useful in my future event planning.”

“Good, practical workshop with a little useful theory, but not too much!”

“The workshop was very interactive and definitely gave me some new ideas to pursue”

Feel the Power of the Force

If you’re serious about improving your skills in 2014, then pack your light sabre and get to the workshops being held in:

Adelaide on 30th June

Launceston on 2nd July

Hamilton NZ on 4th July

Brisbane on 7th July

Merredin on 25th July

Perth on 28th July

Bunbury  on 30th July

PS – when you register, let me know and you’ll get an extra one hour coaching call with me (valued at $330.00)

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Andrew Huffer

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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