When faced with the question, "What goes into creating an amazing event" psychology likely isn't even in the top ten things to come to mind. It may come as a surprise, but psychology has a large role in creating, planning, designing, managing, and even producing events. At Vision Matrix, we understand the importance of utilizing psychology to improve events, and here is how.
Making things more memorable
Memory is created when it has an emotional tie, or something unexpected comes into play. This can be done by utilizing our five main senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling). Humans are diverse beings, meaning we all learn in different ways. By tapping into your attendees’ senses, you are allowing them a deeper, more personal way to connect to your event. A memorable gathering keeps your event at the forefront of your attendees’ minds when contemplating that next RSVP.
Another way to increase the connection an attendee feels to your event is through active participation. The famous Chinese proverb "Tell me and I will forget, show me, and I may remember; involve me, and I will understand" summarizes this concept perfectly. People are more likely to create a personal connection to an event when they participate; thus, making it more memorable. A great way to do this would be to pair up with a renowned and ethical jewelry brand and design something for your guests to take home for the night. Another way one can do this would be by hosting a pet adoption hour outside in a courtyard and allowing your guests to play with and hopefully adopt a puppy! There is nothing more memorable than puppies!
It's no coincidence that our articles are almost always five points each at Vision Matrix! Psychology shows we can remember about seven items at a time, plus or minus two. This typically means the average adult will remember between five and nine concepts. One example of using this theory at an event would be making sure there are at least five to seven “Wow” moments during the event that will make their night unforgettable. This can be anything from an outstanding meal, special cocktails, a prominent guest speaker, noteworthy auction items, or having an A-list entertainer perform.
Paradox of choice
It is best to keep choices to a minimum when catering to people. The paradox of choice suggests that we get overwhelmed when presented with too many options, which often leads to distress or upset. When presenting attendees with options, keep the options as concise as possible. While planning your next event, you can have delectable, yet concise, options for food and drink. A great way of doing this would be to invite a Michelin Star Chef to cater for the night(s) of your event.
Hierarchy of needs
Maslow deems our hierarchy of needs to be as follows: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization:
Physiological: food, drink, shelter, accessibility. Make sure your venue properly caters to all these needs.
Safety: Those hosting an event should be proactive and accountable for any safety concerns held by attendees. Watch out for slippery floors, overcrowding, sanitation, etc.
Love and belonging: Help your attendees feel a sense of community with ease! Prior to, and especially after the event, reply to and continue a conversation with everyone who has reached out to you via social media. At the event, small things like name badges and icebreakers go a long way in helping facilitate a sense of belonging among your attendees.
Esteem: Find ways to make attendees feel recognized, especially if the event is something like a fundraiser or award ceremony. One way you can do this during an award ceremony would be to create an award for “Outstanding Fundraising Professional”.
Self-actualization: When the needs mentioned above are met, attendees will feel comfortable exploring, growing, networking, and choosing to attend your next event all while reinforcing why they chose your event to begin with.
Psychology influences the success of an event much more than you might think. At Vision Matrix, we know the value applying some basic psychological concepts can bring to hosting any event, live or hybrid. Intergrade these tips into your next event to ensure your attendees have the best and most memorable experiences.