The Hunt for Human Moments Inside of Technology-Driven Experiences
Event marketers are tasked with refining the quality of interactions in our increasingly (dis)connected culturescape.
A human moment refers to a physiological connection that occurs between people sharing the same space.
There is an innate challenge in connecting with another person over a screen, that being the inability to read physical cues. You are able to pick up on small movements of facial features or body language in a face-to-face setting. But when FaceTiming or on any video chat, this is lost. The reason being, we're distracted by a mirror of ourselves on the screen and are not looking eye-to-eye, but rather, slightly away from the camera and at the people (including you) in the frame.
"I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m video chatting, I tend to look at myself more than the person I’m talking to. It’s hard not to. A 2006 study in Belgium showed that one’s own face is a very difficult thing to ignore.
It’d be rather distracting if someone held up a small mirror next to their face during conversations, but this is essentially what we are doing in video chatting today." - Aaron Stout, Nationwide
While many brands forge ahead on the front lines of our digital world, seeking to replicate true human moments, creating connections via digital mediums (like social channels) and fringe technologies (like virtual reality), event marketers are in a unique position to harness the power of technology to craft these moments in the traditional, face-to-face space.
What can we do to refine the quality of tech-enabled interactions through brand experiences?
It's important to understand your attendee's intentions. Why are they there? What are they looking for? If all somebody wants to do is network and connect with the community and you've packed the schedule full of speaker sessions and brand activations, they likely won't find the human moments their looking for.
Likewise, somebody else might be coming in with the sole purpose of finding new vendors on the trade show floor. Learning this about your audience beforehand is a crucial step toward mapping out an attendee journey that works on many levels and successfully fosters meaningful engagement.
"Only 7% of our communication takes place through words. 38% is tone of voice, and 55% is body language. So when we’re focused on our electronic communication, we’re missing 93% of what takes place in a human moment." - Mike Bechtle
Within your event, how can you create opportunities for attendees to be fully present with one another. We have a tendency to build big sets and put on big shows with big surprises at every corner. Shock and awe is certainly an effective brand experience strategy, but equally effective in the surprise and delight category are sometimes just the simple moments. The distraction-free time out zones where people can clear their minds, reflect on messages they've heard and conversations they've had, and just maybe, find their next human moment.
Brain Dates have perfected the recipe for connection with four essential ingredients—community, space, time, and technology. Their tech brings together event attendees who express similar interests and a willingness to converse, and then fades into the background once people have engaged thus making way for real human moments. Personalization, and presence.
At your next meeting or event, how can you utilize technology to bring people together and then allows them the space and time to create real connection? We're all out here hunting for human moments, and some experiences make those easier to achieve than others.