Crafting Unforgettable Experiences: The three M’s of Occasion Success


Crafting Unforgettable Experiences: The three M’s of Occasion Success written by John Jantsch learn extra at Duct Tape Advertising

The Duct Tape Advertising Podcast with John Janstch


On this episode of the Duct Tape Advertising Podcast, I interviewed Phil Mershon. Phil Mershon is the director of expertise for Social Media Examiner and writer of Unforgettable: The Artwork and Science of Creating Memorable Experiences. He’s been designing the Social Media Advertising World expertise for over a decade. Drawing from over 25 years in creating personalized occasions, Phil likes to create memorable moments and transformational experiences.

Phil introduces the idea of the three M’s—Memorable, Significant, and Momentous—as the inspiration for crafting unforgettable experiences. He breaks down how occasions want to face out, present private worth, and create vital moments to grow to be actually unforgettable.

Key Takeaways:

Phil Mershon emphasizes the significance of understanding the shopper journey, shocking and delighting attendees with surprising parts, and remodeling occasion audiences right into a supportive neighborhood. Phil shares insights on measuring success by means of post-event surveys and a 30-day engagement plan, making certain that the influence of the occasion extends nicely past its conclusion. Whether or not you’re an occasion planner or trying to improve your understanding of crafting distinctive experiences, Phil’s experience offers actionable methods for internet hosting occasions that go away an enduring and significant impression.

Questions I ask Phil Mershon:

[00:57] What makes an occasion unforgettable?

[02:50] Describe the three M methodology?

[05:22] How will you make the most of social media advertising and marketing to convey the aim of an occasion?

[07:52] How will you serve each viewers and neighborhood ?

[09:45] What are among the methods to make each buyer and worker experiences unforgettable?

[12:29] What are among the greatest practices for digital occasion planning?

[15:17] How do you measure the success of an occasion?

[17:54] What are among the methods to get individuals engaged earlier than, throughout and after an occasion?

[20:39] The place can individuals join with you and seize a duplicate of Unforgettable?

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John (00:08): Hi there, and welcome to a different episode of the Duct Tape Advertising Podcast. That is John Jantsch. My visitor at present is Phil Mershon. He is the Director of Expertise for Social Media Examiner. It has been designing the social media advertising and marketing world expertise for over a decade, drawing from over 25 years in creating personalized occasions. Phil likes to create memorable moments and transformational experiences. As well as, Phil is a jazz saxophone, so I did not know that. And a pickleball fanatic who is not, and the writer of Unforgettable, the Artwork and Science of Creating Memorable Experiences. So Phil, welcome to the present.

Phil (00:47): Thanks, John. It is nice to be right here.

John (00:48): So I suppose lots of occasions I decide on titles. I do not decide on ’em, I simply wish to decide ’em aside slightly bit. So the primary apparent query is what makes an occasion unforgettable?

Phil (01:00): So I simply discover it this manner. There’s three M’S that go into it. So that you make this straightforward, like the corporate three M. So it is memorable, it is significant, and it is momentous. So let me break these down for you. It is memorable. So it is acquired to do one thing that stands out, one thing that is going to get your consideration, one thing that possibly you are not anticipating. It is a shock, it is uncommon, it stands out, but it surely’s additionally memorable within the sense that it is participating as a lot of your senses as it might. Even digital occasions can do that, however stay occasions, particularly should you faucet into all 5 senses, then it is going to grow to be memorable, significant, it is vital. It is one thing that you just personally are getting worth out of. It should stand the take a look at of time for you. And momentous is main on the work of Chip and Dan Heath. I do not know should you’ve learn that guide, the Energy of Moments, but it surely’s understanding that some moments are extra significant than others. It is Andy Stanley’s quote, you do for one, what you want you might do for everybody. So that you’re making an attempt to do issues that you just’re leaning into these moments that actually matter, and also you’re inflicting these to face out. And while you’ve acquired a bunch of significant moments, it has been designed for you. So it is like a personalized, personalised occasion, and it is memorable. Now abruptly we’re leaning into one thing that is grow to be unforgettable. You will be speaking about it for years, hopefully a long time, possibly the remainder of your life.

John (02:26): Alright, so I’ll put you on the spot slightly bit as a result of I do know you have designed or been very instrumental in designing a sure expertise that is fairly giant. I’ve attended, I do not know, you mentioned a decade. I have been there no less than six years, possibly seven years. I will be again this yr to social media advertising and marketing world. Clearly I’ve lots of context. Possibly listeners do not sort of body how you consider that have based mostly on what you simply described, the three M methodology.

Phil (02:53): Yeah, so a few of it comes all the way down to wanting on the buyer journey. Plenty of your viewers are in advertising and marketing, so that you’re used to taking a look at buyer journeys. Effectively, the shopper journey for an occasion consider begins the minute they purchase a ticket and it is all the way in which up till the occasion. So that you’re wanting on the phases of somebody’s expertise and saying, how can we make this extra significant? What are they in search of proper now? And three months earlier than an occasion, individuals aren’t wanting for lots. About six weeks out, they’re beginning to consider what is the agenda? Who am I going to satisfy up with? What am I going to do earlier than and after and through the occasion? So that you’re making an attempt to anticipate that journey. You wish to make individuals really feel as comfy as you’ll be able to. You wish to perceive what their targets are so significant.

(03:34): I am making an attempt to know who’re these individuals? What are their targets? How do I create experiences for them that they care about? Momentous. I am taking a look at what are these key moments which might be going to make the occasion higher or worse. Once more, you’ll be able to’t take note of each single second inside an occasion. In the event you did that, you then would go loopy. So what are these moments that I could make a big effect that may grow to be memorable? After which I am taking a look at what are these alternatives to do one thing that’s possibly surprising? So you have been there for six or seven years. You will bear in mind most likely one of many years no less than, the place we had a musical that was on stage and folks weren’t anticipating that, particularly the primary yr we did it. Mike completed his keynote and as a substitute of getting up and making bulletins, we broke into a ten minute parody on Wizard of Oz.

(04:22): Completely memorable, completely surprising. Individuals who left the room had FOMO as a result of they missed out on it. Not everyone did, but it surely was surprising, and so it gave individuals one thing to speak about. So we’re making an attempt to have a look at issues like that, but additionally leaning into what did they actually come for? They got here to, to begin with, study from individuals such as you, John, proper? So how will we make area the place you’ll be able to present your experience in not solely within the classroom, however within the hallways and the conversations that you’ve got. We wish you to stroll away having had an amazing expertise, not simply the individuals who’ve paid cash to be there. We wish the distributors that we work with to have an amazing expertise. So the three M’S helped me to work with all these completely different individuals and create that have.

John (05:07): I learn in a guide someplace, it was referred to as The Artwork of Gathering. I can not bear in mind the writer’s identify, however fairly massive guide, and he or she will get into dinner gatherings even. However one of many issues I used to be struck with is she talks about this concept of earlier than you ever design any factor logistics, it is like what is the goal of the occasion? Do you are feeling like social media advertising and marketing world begins there?

Phil (05:27): We do begin with what’s our goal? What’s our buyer? I imply, a few of that hasn’t actually modified within the 10 years that we have put the occasion on, however we undoubtedly begin there. What’s modified within the trade? Who’re these individuals? After we’re designing the content material, we’re doing deep evaluation on what is going on on within the trade, how do individuals reply final yr? What are they responding to by way of the issues that we revealed, the analysis that we do, ensuring that we have now a lineup that matches the persons are coming to the occasion in order that we will placed on the perfect factor. After which we’re doing the identical factor with the experiences that we create. How did they reply to that final yr? Who’re the individuals which might be actually coming? We have made some errors through the years as a result of we did not perceive who the individuals have been.

(06:11): And that is certainly one of my errors, and that is one thing any marketer can do that. In the event you begin to assume that your viewers thinks and responds the identical approach that you just do, you are most likely on a path to bother. So John, I am a jazz saxophonist, and so I assumed that folks loved jazz and that it might be good background music. That is actually all it was purported to be is background music for individuals to community. Effectively, it seems not everyone obtained it that approach. They mentioned it is good, but it surely truly was taking my vitality down. I need one thing that is going to construct my vitality up. So after I began to appreciate that the common attendee at our convention is a 40 yr previous girl, not a 58 yr previous man, which I have been doing it for a decade. So I began in my forties, however that is after I mentioned, oh, they’re most likely not listening to the identical music that I’m. I ought to most likely determine what they do hearken to, and it is an apparent level, but it surely’s simply missed. After we get busy, we begin to suppose, nicely, everybody sort of seems to be at issues the way in which that I do, and that is not the case.

John (07:17): Effectively, I like jazz, however I’m reminded of the joke. Nation music is three chords performed to 1000’s of individuals, and jazz is a thousand chords performed to 3 individuals. That is

Phil (07:25): About proper. Yeah, there is a thousand ravenous jazz musicians in New York, however they’re actually good.

John (07:31): Oh, that is each city. I imply, I stay on this little rural city of Colorado, they usually’re unbelievable bluegrass musicians simply hanging out in bars. It is wonderful. So viewers is an enormous a part of an occasion or actually of any advertising and marketing. Discuss slightly bit about, as a result of I feel, and I hate to maintain main on social media advertising and marketing world, however that is actually one thing we have now in widespread. How do you view viewers versus neighborhood? I do know that the social media advertising and marketing world neighborhood is one thing that you just speak rather a lot about as nicely. So how do you differentiate these? How do you serve each of these?

Phil (08:04): So yeah, that is a very good level. We try to construct neighborhood and positively social media Examiner itself has a neighborhood. Individuals who observe us, whether or not they’re getting emails from us, whether or not they’re studying our content material, whether or not they’re following us on any of the social channels, I’d say there’s that broad sense of neighborhood, however they’re actually extra customers, the issues. So individuals who come to the occasion now, they’ve the prospect to grow to be a neighborhood, and we’re intentional. Often about 60 days prior we launch. Proper now it is a Fb group. In prior years, it was a LinkedIn group, and we have executed different numerous methods to deliver neighborhood collectively, however we attempt to get individuals collectively, assembly one another, understanding one another, planning, supporting each other. That neighborhood finally ends up being one thing that folks participate in all yr lengthy. And clearly there are deeper types of neighborhood.

(08:57): So after I say viewers, that is, I am a performer. And so after I look out from a stage out at a bunch of individuals, it is an viewers, however we wish them to help one another as in the event that they’re neighborhood, they know one another, and there is clearly completely different ranges of that emerge based mostly on individuals’s personal habits, but additionally by our intention. We get a bunch of folks that their complete job is to assist individuals make connections earlier than the occasion and whereas they’re on website, and it is truly two completely different groups of individuals, and that is what they do. Make connections with individuals and assist them meet different individuals like themselves or that may be supportive of them.

John (09:35): So we focus totally on a bodily occasion, which clearly is an expertise, however we have now buyer expertise and we have now worker experiences. What are some ways in which that unforgettable ought to, may very well be utilized to these environments?

Phil (09:51): So I feel once more, this precept of doing one thing that’s surprising or past expectations may be a greater option to say it. I heard somebody say creating little moments of wow, I feel that is in buyer experiences. That is what you are able to do when somebody clearly goes above and past. I had this occur with an insurance coverage firm yesterday, John, the place I used to be making an attempt to get some data, and a girl actually spent an hour on the cellphone with me whereas she made all of the cellphone requires me to all of the locations and simply let me keep on maintain in order that I did not must go chase this data down myself. To me, on the finish of that hour, I used to be like, okay, yeah, I spent an hour, however I truly most likely solely spent 10 minutes speaking to her whereas she did all of the work. I used to be wowed by that.

(10:36): So she went above and past my expectations. So I feel that is a type of issues we will do in buyer experiences, even in worker engagement. I feel if we get to know who the persons are and hearken to them as a substitute of assume we will begin to create distinctive experiences. If I knew when your birthday was, and I occur to know that you are a Chiefs fan dwelling in Bronco nation, I feel we did this for you one yr, did not we, John? Did not I purchase you a hat, a chiefs hat or one thing like that after I know I’ve executed that? You probably did.

John (11:07): You probably did. You probably did.

Phil (11:07): Sure. Yeah. So I feel while you get to know individuals and you purchase issues for them, they do not must be costly, however you do one thing particular for a birthday or for a celebration. These are issues that once they’re not anticipating it’s when it is the perfect.

John (11:22): Hey, have you ever ever tried to rent freelancers and located that the standard of labor was missing otherwise you acquired all of the outsourcing excuses as to why the work did not get executed on time? Effectively, desk Crew 360 has revolutionized the outsourcing recreation with their insourcing program that eliminates all these frustrations and excuses. You get limitless graphic designs, web site funnels, CRM, e mail automation, integrations, automations, actually something that requires you to log into software program. Think about on a regular basis and frustrations it can save you from making an attempt to get your tech work executed correctly. We use Desk Crew 360 on daily basis in our enterprise, and so I’ve negotiated you a ten% deal. That is proper. Simply go to a desk group three sixty.information, guide a discovery name, and you will obtain the particular duct tape advertising and marketing 10% off as a result of hey, your pal John all the time takes care of you. In order that’s it. Go to desk group 360 information and guide your name at present. So know-how is sort of crept into the whole lot, together with expertise. I imply, we’re doing lots of occasions just about now. There’s some issues, recommendation or greatest practices, understanding that in some instances we’re not going to get collectively and hug, we will do that.

Phil (12:37): Effectively, primary, I feel while you’re doing issues just about, we all know that folks’s consideration could be very brief. So you have to maintain issues shifting. You have to have some issues that you just’re interrupting patterns that maintain their engagement. The identical is true for you, John, while you’re talking on a stage, I am positive you most likely are having to design your talks otherwise than you probably did 20 years in the past as a result of persons are not sticking with you. However I feel in digital environments it is much more so as a result of earlier than this name, I had 20 tab leaping. You informed me to close all of them down by means of the app that you just despatched me, so I did, however I may have 20 tabs open after which I am tempted to go have a look at certainly one of them when a notification reveals up. That is what’s taking place in digital occasions. Persons are being tugged by issues on their display screen in addition to in actual life, most of us are working remotely anymore, and so there’s issues taking place in our actual life that the canine’s barking the cat, the children are crying, the opposite cellphone’s ringing.

(13:33): So I feel that is certainly one of them is in search of methods to maintain the content material participating. That may be the visuals that you just’re utilizing. That may very well be you are interrupting patterns by telling a narrative. Tales are superior, but it surely is also simply the way in which that you just current one thing. One of many issues I did, the core analogy within the guide, John, is about baking bread. So in one of many talks that I did, I truly had a desk arrange on the stage and I had all of the substances for baking bread laid on the market, and I combined it collectively on the stage whereas I talked concerning the significance of every certainly one of these substances. After which we had some actual life classes the place I did not have sufficient water. I had misdiagnosed how a lot I wanted as a result of the recipe I used was not totally correct, which was an amazing studying as a result of if you do not have sufficient water flour or the dough turns into very lumpy, and a few of it simply the dough or the flour by no means will get folded in. Effectively, water is communication. So if you do not have sufficient communication, persons are getting omitted, individuals do not get folded in. The entire expertise goes to have clumps of fine stuff and unhealthy stuff. And so it was similar to this nice visible studying that we had proper there on the stage, on the display screen. It was on video too, the place individuals acquired to expertise, huh. That is actual life proper there,

John (14:55): Particularly occasions. I imply, you’ll be able to plan all you need, however one thing’s going to occur, proper?

Phil (14:59): One thing’s going to occur.

John (15:00): So I am positive, nicely, I do not know should you get this query on a regular basis, however I’ll ask this query. Plenty of of us are slicing again on budgets and issues and straightforward place to chop typically or frills at occasions, however lots of that goes as a result of we’re not measuring the success. So speak slightly bit about the way you measure success. I imply, to illustrate our purpose is we wish individuals to be engaged and energized and blissful. I imply, how do you measure stuff like that?

Phil (15:26): Humorous sufficient, I used to be on a name yesterday with some individuals at Google xxi, and their complete purpose is attempt to enhance engagement at occasions. Like Google is placing apart some huge cash to assist occasions get higher at what they do, and notably serving the neurodivergent communities. However there’s an organization on the market that may measure individuals’s delight by means of their face at an occasion. So should you’re on-line and even in individual, that they had cameras arrange they usually decided that eight out of 17 classes that we did had above expectations by way of individuals’s enjoyment of what was taking place. And that is based mostly on smiles of their eyes and who is aware of what, every kind of issues. So there’s that degree of measurement that may be executed. That is subsequent degree, and that is most likely one thing that is coming the place all of us can do it. However I do suppose it is the surveys that you just do and what questions you ask, clearly will must be issues that you will act upon, however they’re going to inform you, did they actually take pleasure in the way in which you probably did this or that?

(16:30): And so to me, crucial, we ship out a number of surveys after the occasion to know the standard of the content material. That is clearly what individuals paid for. So we measure that. We wish to know each single session, how did they do? Is there any suggestions that we wish to give the speaker in order that they will get higher at their craft? I feel each speaker ought to wish to get higher. If they do not, then possibly they should cease. You guess. However we’re additionally taking a look at all the opposite issues, the intangibles, what did they care about? I had this suspicion that folks actually cared concerning the high quality of the video on a digital camera within the recordings. Then I went and regarded on the knowledge of what individuals informed us and like, nicely, no person talked about that. Possibly they do not care about it as a lot as I believed they do. I imply, we do count on to see faces, however what we’re actually there for is the training. Possibly we do not care to see what the speaker seems to be like once they’re saying, this is do a Fb advert.

John (17:28): So that you began to go there, and I used to be going to ask you about, I feel an actual alternative for lots of people. I feel lots of people put lots of vitality into the precise occasion or the precise expertise, however I do know that you have hinted slightly bit at some belongings you do to get individuals fired up forward of time, after which some issues that you just do to maintain them. Now, in your explicit case, you need them coming again subsequent yr. You are most likely going to do it. You’ve got most likely signed a contract for 3 or 4 years on that conference heart. So what are some belongings you do to get individuals fired up earlier than they arrive, after which what do you get them to do to remain engaged with the expertise that they had? So it wasn’t only a Oh, that was good.

Phil (18:03): Yeah, so I realized this from Aaron King who used to do social media for the Oscars, and he or she got here up with a 90 day social media plan, which I do not mimic completely, however I mimic to the way in which that works for us, and that appears like this 60 days earlier than. You are doing lots of content material that is slowly constructing the engagement and the keenness and getting individuals speaking to one another, planning, suggesting plans, giving steering to the newcomers. We do a newcomers orientation in order that they will come and study, this is the issues that you just wish to just remember to benefit from. Then there’s the precise occasion itself, and in order that’s additionally acquired this sluggish burn, and it is sort of like yeast. You need it to slowly rise. So we’re making an attempt to get it to slowly rise to this place the place everybody’s actually excited and blissful to be on the occasion once they go away.

(18:59): Then there’s one other 30 days. So we spend 30 days after the occasion, and most occasions I’ve seen, and ours is included, after a few week or two, the eye drops off dramatically. I’ve tried to do a 21 day problem to get individuals practising the issues that they realized on the convention, and I’ve seen that it would not occur. So this yr, we’re truly going to make it seven days. Let’s make it sensible, one thing that folks can truly do. Simply say for the subsequent seven days, this is a immediate and we will do that collectively, and we will have some prizes. We proceed to correspond with them, however ultimately they grow to be a part of the broader social media examiner neighborhood. Once more, that group, that Fb group does keep open all yr lengthy, however we do not maintain pumping it with content material after 30 days. 30 days, we do.

(19:46): We’re actively managing it, selling it. We’ll even do some follow-up meetups after the occasion. However these are principally only for networking and inspiring folks that I’ve discovered that almost all of individuals, as soon as that one week after Mark hits, they’ve moved on to the subsequent factor. So we do the whole lot we will through the occasion to assist them make plans for the way they will observe by means of on this, after which they’re going to get the movies, they get the recordings. We remind them of these issues for a few months, and that is just about the place we’re. It is not a yr lengthy neighborhood for us. I do know it may very well be, however that is only a enterprise resolution we’re making of claiming, you realize what? We have one other paid all yr lengthy neighborhood that is referred to as a social media advertising and marketing society. So for us, that is the place we wish individuals to be engaged all yr lengthy, the convention is extra of a seasonal however annual occasion.

John (20:36): Yeah. Effectively, Phil, this was nice. I respect you stopping by the Duct Tape Advertising Podcast. You wish to invite individuals to the place they could join with you, after which clearly try a duplicate of Unforgettable.

Phil (20:46): Completely. So might be the perfect place to go. There is a option to get on e mail listing with me. All of my social handles are there on the highest. If you wish to purchase a signed copy of my guide, there is a approach to do this straight there, or there is a web page slash buy that gives you all of the hyperlinks to a lot of the locations in the US the place you should purchase books and you’ll help native bookstores or go to the massive boys, Amazon, goal, any of people who promote books, they’re all there.

John (21:15): And you have a podcast as nicely, proper?

Phil (21:18): Effectively, my podcast is at present doing it, so I’d say I plan to begin one associated to occasions and experiences, however that is going to be a subsequent yr undertaking.

John (21:27): Effectively, for individuals who have not executed a podcast should not a easy factor, let’s put it that approach. They take a good quantity of labor to get proper. So once more, I respect you stopping by and we will run into you quickly on the market in San Diego.

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