The Biggest Challenge For Weddings/Corporate Events: How To Make People Care?
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
How do we overcome the social inertia of your group?
It's the event planner's worst nightmare: The wedding where nobody knows each other. The corporate event where the trust exercises, team building and interaction just...Do not work. If you're in the events space or if you are an event coordinator for your organization, choosing the right activity can be the difference between being the office hero or the one who ruined Christmas.
The most important thing to understand about events is that frequently the things that make people want to connect to each other: Being part of the same company, a relationship with the bride, being on the same fundraising donor team, are the same things that lead to social inertia.
Nobody wants to look bad, or silly in front of their peer groups in any situation. And when it's your job or your best friend's wedding, the stakes are that much higher! As a result, in many events of various sizes, you have groups that would love to participate, but they're afraid. How do we help your group overcome that initial inertia or resistance to taking action?!
How do we make you feel welcome? We don't force it.
The first step is to make everyone feel welcome and accepted. If guests feel judges or like the have to perform, they instantly shut down. One of the best ways to make people who are more on the introverted side feel confident is to let them know that whatever level of interaction they choose is okay. We always ask our attendees in our small classes (30 or less), on a scale of 1-5, if 1 is they just want to relax, enjoy drinks, and talk, without worrying about getting behind the bar, and a 5 is they want to light drinks on fire and cook cocktails underwater, and learn Japanese stirring...Where are they? A 1 answer is totally okay, we've all had days where we feel like a 1, and days where we feel like a 5.
Once we find out who the most extroverted and proactive members of the group are on that particular day, we know to focus on the 5s first and bring them behind the bar and engage them, while we keep the 1s happy by serving them drinks.
We go first
If we are asking our customers and guests to get behind the bar and make drinks with us, we have to have a similar mindset that they do. That's why every event, cocktail class, and activation we run at Aqua Vitae has at least one new component. It could be a new drink, a new mixing method, a new ingredient, a new type of glass, or all of the above, but every event we are pioneering some technique, or tinkering with a recipe, and this allows our events to feel alive and dynamic. It gives us a spirit of adventure and discovery, because we are all learning, and we are all on the path together.
Give them opportunities and welcome them enthusiastically
It's important to give people multiple ways to enjoy and contribute to the event. One of the lessons we learned from the Dale Carnegie speaking classes, is to only give attendees positive reinforcement, and really make them feel proud and excited for getting behind the bar. There are lots of different drinks, and ways to contribute to an event, from using an ISI to put yuzu foam on a garnish, to something as simple as choosing the herbs for a garden drink, or deciding if whisky or bourbon should be the base of a New York Sour, there's something for everyone at every level of engagement.