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  • Writer's pictureTerri Walters

Flow and Rhythm

The next couple of entries are from a longer piece I called “From Idea to Experience.” I have always been, what I call, “An Executioner.” I know, it may have a pejorative connotation, but I love being provocative like that. The essays will talk about the various components of a Live Event. Some are tangible, and some, not so much.

The first is Flow and Rhythm.

Like life, each event has a flow and a rhythm. There’s an order and a pacing, and they’re two different things. Order and flow refer to elements and the actual stuff that gets shown, heard and eventually, hopefully, felt. All events are seeking to solicit an emotional response, because that’s what drives people to act. So all the elements should push toward driving that response.

Emotions are stronger than logic (that’s why people purchase homes that take their breath away, but are not necessarily the best investment). So, again, flow is the order of the elements. An introduction obviously comes before an interview, but how do you get there? Is there music? What does the stage look like? Do we shift lighting from one side of the stage to the other to move the viewer’s eye from one place to another? How does all that work, subconsciously, to create a strong and emotional response in our audience?

When you go to a Broadway show, or a concert, the artists are surrounded by surround sound audio, and light and darkness, and, increasingly, video and projection. There’s hydraulics, and smoke and wind machines. All this sensory stimuli supports the mood, and elicits an emotional response. You feel good being there, and you anticipate something. You're ready for the ride.

To you corporate folks out there, your meeting doesn’t need to be Broadway, or a rock and roll show, in order to achieve success. It does, though, need to elicit a response or satisfy a call to action, whether it’s to provide information, or to motivate, or to, ultimately, sell or buy something. Your event is created to actually get people to DO something, isn’t it? (The answer is yes!)

Now, while all the elements must execute and be triggered with an order, it all must adhere to a natural rhythm, as well, including pauses, pacing and interludes. Include time for people to take a breath, or step away, and reflect and share with each other. Let them think. This allows the audience a chance to absorb and actually have and feel the response. You don’t want them walking out gasping for air…or maybe you do. The bottom line as it relates to rhythm is, you may not want to jam-pack an agenda so much that people can’t discover the thing you’re looking to achieve: An emotional connection to you and your brand.

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