What a brilliant event this was!
This story began in Bydgoszcz. I was very impressed with the Bydgoszcz Trade Fair and Exhibition Center (BCTW. I think it’s a hall that is fashioned after the EXPO XXI in Warsaw. Many event specialists may not know BCTW because it opened just a few years ago. Bydgoszcz is not a top place to organize conferences, or at least it has not been so far. As more people realize the potential of BCTW, this may change.
As you will see in the video below, it was an event with a bang. In the audience, more than 1500 people and for me as the event host it was quite a challenge!
How to maintain the enthusiasm and commitment of people for over 9 hours of speeches? More than 25 speakers passed through the stage, including employees and partners of the company. For many of them it was their very first time presenting. So as much as on stage, I supported them behind the scenes as well.
Preparations started many months before the event
Together with the lead organizer, Małgorzata Serwa, we created many moments of joy and emotion. An important point of the program was a lecture by Marcin Prokop and Dorota Wellman on change – about why it is necessary in life. Famous presenters explained that a crisis does not have to be anything terrible because such times bring unknown opportunities if we remain open to it.
After their speech, I led a 30-minute block of conversations, that is, I gave conference participants a chance to ask their questions to Marcin and Dorota. You can see these sometimes moving and sometimes inspiring moments in my Instagram coverage.
After 5pm, when the audience was already feeling a bit tired, I helped change the mood. I proposed a short 5-minute dance block, in which we turned on dance music and grooved! For those who dared to show the most daring movements and choreography, there were prizes from S’ouvre. Thanks is due here to Chris and Julia who supported me in that task. And the organizer, Gosia, thank you for your trust. I know she’s never seen such activities (like the dance break) at events and yet she trusted my word for it that it would be good.
At least 2 times I brought the audience to the forefront
For Karolina, one of the speakers, members of her team prepared a special surprise. So my task was to keep Karolina after her presentation – so that she would not leave the stage as quickly as the other speakers. I gently gave her information on stage that some of her people would like to give her a special message. It was then that touching slides and films appeared on the big screens behind us – an absolute surprise for Karolina. I quickly saw the first tears in her eyes… I wanted that moment to resonate, so although I still had to keep an eye on the punctuality of the presentation, here I slowed down the pace. I talked to Karolina, who spoke about her first reaction. The audience was delighted. Dozens of girls in the audience got up and presented the rest of their offerings with the characteristic white and red sneakers: a sign of belonging to #teamKarolina.
As an announcer of the S’ouvre motivational event, I focused on people. While during the preparations I was in sync with the organizers, on the day of the conference I associated my feelings the most with the audience. I knew that if our guests were satisfied and well taken care of, the organizers would have no reason to worry.
While running this event, I wanted to be close to the audience. The first thing I use is to blend in with the crowd right at the very beginning. Thanks to the fact that the organizers opened registration long before the start of the conference, I was able to get to know some participants from the first morning. I asked them where they were from, how they found out about the event and what their hopes, expectations were. When we learned a little about each other, that was the first icebreaker.
Do it only if you are not afraid of people
The second method I used took place onstage at the event itself. I offered the organizers to establish a dialogue with the audience as often as possible. And it was not cut and dry or an invitation to an application where you can ask a question impersonally. Instead, after every few speeches I gave a nod to Krzysiek, the cameraman – so that he could expect in which direction I would go each time. Each time I headed in a different direction of the hall to interact with participants from all over the world, all from the stage, thanks to a good microphone and sound system!
These conversations were also inspiring for the speakers, because they could get to know their target audience better. Nothing will describe a large team better than a random interview with its members. Let me just tell you that what we got at the event finally was both charming and meaningful!
Thank you S’ouvre again for your trust. By the way, congratulations. Few companies would embrace the work of organizing such a large event without the help of an event agency.