Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture: the first in our series of recommended books for #Eventprofs.
As an event owner or event planner, you know that organisation, planning and measurement are key elements to success. From choosing the right venue to coordinating the perfect schedule, every detail matters. However, there could be a ‘big picture’ view that you might be missing out on that could take your events to the next level. Fortunately, there are some great books out there to help you think more broadly about event, your business, and inspire new thinking. In the first of an occasional series; here are five books that we recommend for any event owner or event planner looking to elevate their game. Compulsory reading if you run an event measurement consultancy!
- The Day the World Stops Shopping: How to have a Better Life and a Greener World, J.B. Mackinnon A look at consumption around the world, in material terms. How we support our economies by buying and using ‘stuff’. Includes an interesting look at what effect the pandemic had on links to happiness. How much is ‘enough’? Is GDP even a good measure of success? In a nutshell, the books shows through variety of research and studies that that more ‘stuff’ does not equal happier lives, in fact almost the opposite. How is this relevant for event profs? In a world where sustainability is such a buzzword, a great book to think more widely about what sustainable really means and how it could be applied more meaningfully to events. (To be really sustainable, try and get this from a library and not Amazon!).
- How To Measure Anything: Finding the Value of the Intangibles in Business, Douglas Hubbard A seminal text, explaining how anything can, in fact, be measured. It’s not too complex on explaining a variety of different approaches to measurement, with fascinating real-life examples on the measurement of risk, qualitative data, other intangibles and cross-industry case studies (from piano-tuners to dam-builders). If it matters, the book explains, you can measure it….and as we all know, what gets measured gets done! How is this relevant for event profs? Measuring success is a key part of delivering any event, but are we always measuring the right things? And are we missing some things that could be measured which might more effectively demonstrate success? Definitely worth a dip into.
- Buy-ology: How Everything we Believe About Why We Buy is Wrong, Martin Lindstrom Another look at the accumulation of ‘stuff’ but this time why we as consumers buy things and how brands use this to sell more things to us. A fascinating dive into marketing by brands and why we buy them, with case studies from Pepsi vs.Coke, McDonalds and others. If you’ve ever wondered quite why you bought that extra pair/set/thing from a brand, this book will explain the extraordinary lengths brands will adopt to get us to buy their stuff! How is this relevant for event profs? Do we really know why a visitor might choose our event and not another? What does our brand say to them about the choice they are making? A chance to step back and really thinking about how effectively we are selling the promise of our event.
- Overthrow: 10 Ways to tell a Challenger Story, Adam Morgan & Mark Holden We all love a good David vs. Goliath story don’t we? Here the authors outline real-life examples of how brands deliberately position themselves as challengers, up against the big brands, in order to win over their customers. Using the ten categories of challenger brands identified in their previous book Eat Big Fish, they show us how brands have successfully adopted these stand-points, in some cases even eventually becoming the Goliath themselves. How is this relevant for event profs? If your event is new to the market or up against a stronger and more dominant one, a great stimulus to think about how you could make that work to your advantage and think like a challenger.
- Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, Johann Hari An immensely enjoyable look at why all our attention spans are currently so fragile, looking at a variety of possible culprits, not just social media and the digital world. A call for how, if we can just re-learn how to focus, we could be happier, more content and more productive. How is this relevant for event profs? We all have pressured lives but if we can’t take the time to sit and think deeply from time to time about some of the challenges ahead, we’re simply going to find ourselves running to stand still. A thought-provoking read and a manifesto for finding more time to pick up a book!
Five starter books that we think are essential reads for event owners and event planners looking to inspire their thinking and elevate their events. Whether you are looking to create a sustainable business model, think about measurement more holistically, take a lateral look at the branding of your event, or find time to focus deeply, these books all offer inspiration to help you achieve your goals. We recommend picking up a copy of one of them to take your business to the next level.
To find out more about our measurement, data and insight tools for event planners purpose, track and predict – and how they can help event planners and owners measure and track whether they’re living up to their event objectives, get in touch.