For both agency and corporate planners, the Event Canvas™ is a well-known tool already. It is supposed to show current entering behaviours and desired exit behaviours of event participants, so that an event concept can be developed in a structured way, leading coherently from entering behaviours to desired exiting behaviours. That sounds useful and good – but how well does the Event Canvas perform in reality? For those of you who do not know the Event Canvas yet, or who’d like to refresh their knowledge a little, here you go:
A short refresher:
The Canvas is – as its name tells it – a working canvas. It shows aspects like the entering and exiting behavior of the target audience, as well as their pains, costs, expectation and returns, promises and satisfaction. The exciting part is the center of the canvas as it is the playground of conceptioners and planners: “Jobs to be done”, “experience journey”, “instructions design” and “promise” are the four areas that ache to be filled with content: filled with an event concept that handles the transition between entering and exiting behavior.
Depending on the event and target audience, the content varies.
Just like every client expects a tailor made concept for their event and every planner and every agency are keen on offering tailor made concepts, there is – as everyone says it – no “one-fits-all” solution regarding event concepts.
- Paper is patient –
- be it a notepad for collecting ideas or mind maps for structuring
- our thoughts or indeed a pre-structured tool like the Event Canvas:
- Written on paper, an event might look amazing and a huge success already.
- But how do things work in reality?
Planners and agencies always give their last shirt for every event to make it a success for both clients and attendees. The goal is to create added value instead of just putting together another week of boring agendas and free food. Most of the times this goal is not even reached. Of course, planners do have an idea of what they want to communicate and achieve with their event – but also the participants do have certain expectations towards events.
To drill down on the attendee’s wishes is a delicate issue. Planners and agencies sell themselves as professionals, being able to anticipate every wish. But haven’t we all experienced at least one event, where the planners and agencies were content with their performances but the attendees left without added value? – for sure!
Communication is one of the key factors within the MICE industry, as misunderstandings can lead to not achieving the event’s goal at all. In an ideal situation, a part of the target audience can answer some key questions to an event in its planning phase making the concept phase more target-oriented. Participants do not necessarily need to work through an entire canvas on their own, but we all can try to work closer altogether – involving our participants.
The Event Canvas is offering the opportunity to make the interaction of planners and participants tangible in a structured way. It could and should be more present in our minds. Currently, we find many events and workshops about the Event Canvas – and they are well booked. Many participants understand the potential of the Event Canvas, but only very few actually use it to its fullest. Events should be tailored to their target audiences in order to maximize the added value. Using the Event Canvas is not only extremely helpful with that, it could be an essential part of planning an event if planners are speaking to their participants during the planning stage of an event and do not solely rely on feedback directly after the last event.