Many of you may remember the 1984 Wendy’s commercial taunting the other fast-food restaurants and claiming they were more bun than burger. Wendy’s made fun of the other burger places, saying that they had big fluffy buns . . . not much meat. In Texas they like the phrase, “all hat and no cattle.” You get the idea.
To carry this concept out, try these thought starters on for size:
- An average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes. But, if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes.
- An hour-long TV program is 36% commercials.
- An 8-hour day at Disneyland may only lead to a total of 30 minutes on a ride or experiencing a major attraction.
- Out of the billions of words written over time, the mere 272 words of the Gettysburg Address are among the most memorable.
- The Beatles, arguably the most prolific rock band in history, produced a total of only 10 hours of music.
- And finally, in life, it’s said that most of us may at best experience 15 minutes of fame . . . out of a lifetime of 42,048,000 minutes.
So, what’s my point? The point is that a very small percentage of life is what makes it all worthwhile. The beef is what we’re looking for. And we are willing to wait and sift through a lot to get it. In the end, if there were a recap video of your life, think about what would be in it and how long it would be. Add up all of the special moments of your life—marriage, the birth of a child, graduation from college, the moment you met your lifetime best friend. Hopefully we all have a long list of these special moments. The truth is, when we add them all up, out of the 42,048,000 minutes of an 80-year lifetime, we may have just a few hours of these magical moments. And you know what? These few hours make our lives meaningful and worth living.
Now, how do you apply this to your work? When you design an event for an audience at your annual conference and trade show, what are the moments that will be remembered? What are those signature moments that will leave the lasting impression on your guests? “Where’s the beef” that your audience is looking for?
The good news is that you can engineer these moments into your event with intention, purpose and meaning. It’s up to you to put the beef in a world of big, fluffy-bun meetings and conferences. If you are the architect of your event, or if you are the leader of an organization hosting an event, remember that it’s not only your responsibility to deliver the beef, it’s also the most enjoyable and rewarding part of your job. It’s what people remember, what they thank you for and why they come back.
What will be the most memorable moments of your next event? Will they set a new bar? Will they be different than last year? Will they lead to exceptional audience evaluation scores? Will they be worth the wait? Will they make you proud?