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We’ve all been there – the comms events where within half an hour eyes have glazed over and attention spans have been exhausted…

However, an IoIC London workshop called ‘Going Live’ has been lined up to show how high-energy formats and innovative event technologies mean the days of the zombie delegate should be over.

We are in an incredible age for live events. The evidence of brilliant performers, thought-provoking content and mind-blowing conversation is everywhere from TEDx events to the music festivals like SXSW.

“People are used to exciting events,” says Jez Paxman creative strategy director at Live Union, who will be hosting the workshop. “We want to address how that energy can be reflected in internal comms events to make them come alive.

“In the worst examples of the bad old days of corporate events, you’d get glazed-eyed employees sitting like zombies in a basement of a hotel being fed bullet points. But now we live in an experience economy, it’s an exciting time for designing events.”

Comms teams can be daunted by events and he admits: “They can be time-consuming, exhausting to organise and expensive, but they have powers beyond other channels.

“If an organisation has some heavy lifting to do, live events have powers beyond other channels. If they want to break down silos or create a culture of collaboration, or if senior leaders want to make an impression, those are things live events are better for.

“Fundamentally, all other comms channels can be ignored, delayed or actually deleted, whereas for events you’re actually there and there are moments of saliency that other channels can’t deliver.”

IoIC London director Nada Zbirek explains: “This is part of a trilogy of workshops we’ve organised under the theme of ‘Connecting People’.

“The others were based on people skills and video, but we wanted to do an event about events because they can be such an interesting way of reaching an internal audience.

“Presentations can be very dry and one-way but the event format can turn that into dialogue if used effectively. It can also be great for building your internal brand."

In June’s InsideOut (the FREE monthly magazine for IoIC members) Jez and Nada outline the areas that will be covered at the evening workshop in London on Tuesday June 23. They will include:

  • Audience
  • Preparation
  • Technology
  • Different formats
  • Logistics and…
  • Fun!

There’s also a case study from Just Retirement of an 800-employee gathering that won Best Event at the IoIC Awards 2014.

More details of IoIC London’s ‘Going Live’ event are here

IoIC members can read the rest of the ‘Kill all zombies’ feature in June’s InsideOut, the Institute’s free monthly magazine. Members should log in at the top right of this screen. You’ll then find InsideOut in ‘IoIC Knows’ – simply click on ‘Publications’ in the drop-down menu.

Also in June’s issue we take a look at:

  • how to approach ethics in comms
  • why e-cigarettes can be a burning issue for communicators
  • an interview with Mark Earls on why you shouldn't be afraid to copy
  • a personal plea for a return to a high standard of writing and
  • the Sector Spotlight falls on Kier Group.
  • 28th June 2022
    Head of membership at CIPD and former IoIC board member Oli Howard has recently joined our impressive list of internal communicators who have received Fellowships. Here, he shares some valuable...
  • 21st June 2022
    Our latest IoIC Fellow Joanna Parsons, head of internal communications & culture with teamwork, discusses overcoming a case of imposter syndrome, being a “silo surfer” and the impact...
  • 14th June 2022
    After over 20 years of working in internal comms, Jo Bland, head of strategic engagement and internal communications at NHS Digital, has received a Fellowship in the profession. She tells us why...
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