Humans thrive on stories. Virtually everything we see, hear, and consume is, in some form or another, a story. Stories tug at our emotions and awaken something deep inside us. Often they leave us with a trail of emotions, but they almost always keep us entertained.
So it shouldn't be surprising that events also take advantage of this age-old medium of expression. Knowing how to leverage event storytelling into your event show can set you apart from your competitors and add a unique touch that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.
"But how do I go about it?" You wonder. How can you effectively incorporate event storytelling elements into something seemingly so banal?
This guide is here to talk about all that. We discuss event storytelling, its advantages, and how you can implement it into your current and future events.
What Exactly Is Event Storytelling?
Event storytelling is using unforgettable stories and incorporating the storyline into your events. The goal is to create a memorable experience, especially for virtual events.
Event storytelling helps establish emotional connections among event planners, professionals, speakers, and attendees. Once the last speaker graces the podium, each participant leaves the virtual event feeling like they've just become a part of something historic and spectacular.
Getting event storytelling right can take time and effort. It's not merely rehashing stories and narratives from others. It's pulling from great stories and creating an emotional connection.
The only way for you to leverage storytelling for your event is to understand its purpose:
- Give clarity to the business message.
- Tell your brand story for increased awareness.
- Build a lasting impression on the audience and speakers.
- Call on the audience to take action, whether buying a product, availing of a service, or becoming a part of a community.
Tips For Event Storytelling
Event storytelling is best executed for virtual and hybrid events, as they're the perfect avenues to do so. But before you go about looking for a virtual event platform, be mindful of these tips:
1. Determine Your Target Audience
Event or brand storytelling only works if you understand what makes your audience tick. Start by focusing on which group of people you want to attract. Then, create a marketing strategy that appeals to your audience's experiences.
For example, if your target market is aspiring business owners, your event storytelling must focus on their struggles and challenges. You may even create visual storytelling that traces how difficult it is to build a successful company amidst fierce competition.
Figure out what narrative can elicit a response from your audience. Add a personal touch by relating to your own stories as well. Then, create a visual storytelling experience founded on these aspects.
Design your brand stories around your target audience and plan a virtual event experience that triggers an emotional response from them. You can even incorporate tactics like experiential marketing for an added level of immersion.
2. Plan Your Ideas
You may be tempted to start your virtual event storytelling off on a wing, but it helps to have a plan. Remember that stories are powerful enough to create emotional connections.
But they must be cohesive so you can get your message across. Otherwise, the audience will just be left wondering what on earth just happened. You don't want this. To create a relevant and interesting story, event planners and managers should first prepare an outline.
Outlines are the key to any good story. They help present ideas in a linear and non-confusing manner that keeps audiences engaged and facilitates conversation among them.
Brainstorm with your team and find a way to craft a great story that will keep the audience listening throughout the event.
3. Make It Personal
If you're familiar with the age-old motto: All business, nothing personal, then you know it also applies to events. Let's face it. You're holding an event because of a goal, whether it's to establish brand awareness or boost your company's ROI.
But when it comes to event storytelling, getting up close and personal is where it's at. Even if you're holding a branded event, you don't want it to sound dull, boring, and monotonous. The key is to add personality to your story.
One way of doing this is by garnering testimonials or leveraging impact stories. Use your event as a platform that highlights how your brand has impacted communities, individuals, businesses, etc.
For instance, you can showcase a story from one of your clients whose life was positively impacted by using your products or services. This could inspire people in the audience and lead them to your event's desired outcome.
4. Use Audio-Visuals
Audio-visuals are a game-changer. This means your publicity/marketing materials, event presentations, and visual experiences must wow the audience.
For example, the presentation must feature eye-catching elements relevant to your brand if you're holding a corporate conference.
Leave a semblance of your brand here and there and allow the audience to visit your website or social media channels.
EventX's event management platform has a feature which lets you create branded exhibitions or trade booths. Our platform allows users to upload videos and share slides, presentations, and other visuals to showcase their compelling stories.
5. Incorporate Event Technology
Facilitating conversations and engagement between you and the audience strengthens your event's storytelling. It's best to use event tools and technology to create live interactions, making it easy for participants to react, network, and engage.
For example, virtual event software can facilitate Q&A sessions, ice-breakers, and other gamified elements. These activities encourage people to interact with one another and effectively play a role in event storytelling.
Using technology may seem difficult in a virtual setting. But organizers can use event management software to set up breakout rooms and hold group sessions. These allow people to talk with one another and open up networking opportunities.
What Are The Advantages Of Storytelling?
Storytelling during an event is an oft-underrated tactic for boosting engagement. Few have mastered its art, but this shouldn't be the case. All event organizers and planners will benefit from the wonders a compelling story can do for their events.
In B2B settings, for instance, storytelling allows people to recognize your brand more personally, allowing them to foster emotional connections with everyone.
These "human" experiences translate to positivity among potential leads and loyal customers, making them more likely to trust your brand and remember the event even for days to come.
Hybrid and virtual events also tend to draw out for several hours. But the magic of storytelling can make any event feel like a fleeting moment begging to be immortalized in the audience's minds.
Therefore, your brand story encourages them to participate and keep their attention glued to the experience at hand.
Conclusion About Leveraging Storytelling During Events
Many inexperienced planners think that going by the book is key to any successful event — but not quite.
While fundamentals make an event, there must be a disruptive force that tugs at people's heartstrings and inevitably makes them grow closer to your brand.
This is the power of storytelling during your events. It's an underrated yet highly effective method of generating leads and prospects and delivering higher ROI for your business.
Start your brand storytelling with EventX. Our virtual event platform in Singapore is rich with awesome features that will take your event to the skies.
Try a demo now or contact us for more information. Our platform is perfect for webinars, virtual conferences, job fairs, trade shows, and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Storytelling During Events
What Are The Basics Of Storytelling?
A tried and tested way of telling stories which allows your audience to connect with your brand involves five simple elements: People, Personal, Platforms, Places, and Pictures.
What Makes A Good Event Story?
A good story is easy to understand and does not seek to alienate its audience. It's narrated in a language accessible to your target audience so they don't waste away trying to decode your message.
How To Do Storytelling In Business?
The heart of any business storytelling lies in emotion, genuineness, simplicity, and meaning. Don't make the mistake of pulling from fictitious experiences. Instead, use real and personal experiences that can convey your brand story and make it easy for the audience to connect with you.
What Makes A Virtual Event Successful?
Planners and organizers measure the success of their virtual events through audience engagement. If the event offers good two-way conversations and networking opportunities, it's more likely to leave an impression on the audience.