While it often seems that the goal of an event is to get through it without an embarrassment, the goal should be to make a lasting impression favorable to the company, products and services at the core of the event. You can't do that by talking to slides or reading off a prompter. You only do that with passion, a focus on excellence and a few of the amazing visual tools we've developed over the years.
With Analytics, Your Audience Can Get What It Wants
Analytics is one of those tools. With it, you can get a sense of who's in your audience (whether it's media, analysts, customers, employees or investors). When you know this at a granular level, you can tailor the experience for every influential attendee, making sure that every one of them gets the experience that will best move him or her. If someone's been Tweeting about Charlie Sheen, for example, you can work in a related joke that applies to the message you are attempting to convey and pulls that Twitter user back into the discussion.
Analytics can show, over time, what's working and what isn't. You can build in corrective procedures and prevent a disaster. For instance, if you notice an influential attendee getting angry, you can push resources to him. Offer a relaxing spa service, perhaps. (I once got worked up at a Compaq event, and that's exactly what the company did. Damned if it didn't make a difference.)
Because so many technology firms sell analytics products, this would also be an incredible showcase of their tools and a fantastic example (which could be conveyed in a TED-like talk) of the benefits of using them correctly. Not only would it showcase how the firm is using the tool; it would drive home by personal example what a huge difference it could make for the customer.
The Tools Are in Place to Do Something Magical
We all have limited time in our jobs and, unfortunately, on the planet. We get a choice to tread water, and not take risks, or to swing for the fences. Granted, when you swing for the fences and miss, you strike out - but, my goodness, if you make contact, it transforms your life and those around you. TED and Steve Jobs show us all how to do amazing things. Why not do it at events where your company depends on the results?
HP talked about technology and progress at its analyst event and made no major mistakes. Here's a company that has revolutionary cloud technology, whose products are used to make blockbuster movies, design supercars and even customize walls in your home or the exterior of your car. Hell, at one time HP had a smartwatch that made the Samsung Galaxy Gear look insignificant.
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