Keep it simple, or should you?

Recently the Sheraton Hotel Edinburgh hosted the TED Global 2011 conference. A friend of mine works at the Sheraton and I went to visit him there one day and got very excited when I saw all the people walking around with their TED badges. I think badges are one of the coolest things on earth, because they make your guests feel special and that is exactly what you want at your event, isn’t it? However, a couple of weeks later I was doing my usual TED talks catch up during which I discovered the following talk by Tim Harford:

During many discussions I had with friends about anything, I remember thinking that some of the arguments I was confronted with were just a little bit too simple for this complex environment we are living in. I experienced the same thing in events management. If you are an events manager and believe that you exactly know what your audience wants because you have experience and you did this kind of event many times before, you might overestimate your abilities a little bit. While I was analysing the results of two surveys I did for two events of my father’s company in June, I had the impression at one point that we occasionally might be thinking too narrow minded. Over the years the ability to see with the eyes of an event attendee might have been forgotten every now and then. This is a dangerous trap to fall for. The company I did an internship with, MeetingMatrix, has employees, who know about this danger, which is one of the reasons they wanted to work with us. We were their eyes into the events world.

Harford kindly calls it the God complex when people think they have figured it all out. I agree with him and think that you can be far more successful, if you admit that you can not know everything and not do it all on your own. Try to be a connector and bring together all the forces required to make your vision come true. At MeetingMatrix employees are working on all kinds of different projects in triads, which, according to the authors of Tribal Leadership, is the way to get the job done.

I would like to leave you with another video, which I found watching Tim Harford’s talk. It is Malcolm Gladwell at TED in Moterey, California in 2004 talking about the diversity of human taste and that we cannot express what makes us happy. It is somehow related to the idea that the world is too complex for simple solutions and also very interesting if you apply his ideas to events management.

Be humble and share your thoughts with as many people as possible, someone who can help you might hear about it.


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