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Your Meeting - The Soundtrack

One way to make your meeting more memorable is to consciously brand your event via all of the senses, including sound.

As I write this, I am listening to the soundtrack of a three-day event I attended last March. The first track, Red Hot Chilli Peppers' "Hard to Concentrate," triggers all of the positive memories and feelings I have for that event, the people I met, and what we accomplished together. If this music was delivered with the email promoting the next event, I would register again in a heartbeat.

Each of the three days had its own playlist, building on the theme. At the time, I am sure I was barely conscious of the music, much less the lyrics, but now listening again, both combine to reinforce the intellectual and emotional take-aways.

Although I have frequently heard music at meetings, loosely themed to the city, I can't recall another event where the organizers planned an event, conscious of all five senses.

Do you score your meetings? Do you make the playlist available to participants?



Music -- you have to pay to play. Playing most recorded music means you have to pay a royalty fee. See page 150 of the 4th edition of the Association Law Handbook. (The chapter is in earlier editions, too, I just don't know the page number.)

iTunes allows you to setup "My iTunes" and create lists using a My iTunes Widget - you can display this in your blog or web page. So, if you're having a meeting in New Orleans or St. Louis or Chicago or... you get the idea - you create a city-specific play list for that meeting and display it on your meetings page or blog. Members can purchase the playlist or parts of it if they would like. Or, you give away the playlist as part of an e-mail promotion ... clearly the possibilities are there. Great idea to tie a city’s music history to the meeting experience.

Although you noted you "barely" noticed the playlist, my experience is more along lines of increased use of loud and intrusive music at conferences.

Conference planners and even instructors seem to sometimes forget that attendees actually want to network, and when loud music is played in meeting rooms (before class) or throughout receptions it removes or limits the opportunity for real conversation. Attendees returning business calls before class don't want it sound like they're calling from a bar.

I've heard rationale is to wake up the class, create energy, set a theme or mood throughout -- but not clear who asked for that. And who said to crank the volume. Over-stimulation overload.

Loud music is great for dances, to accentuate video presentations with images, and when lightly played during meals and receptions. Other than that, can't we just think and talk anymore?

Cindy's comment reminded me of the Food and Wine event at Annual Chicago - the music was really, really loud in the main room - you had to go outside if you wanted to talk. I saw some people text messaging each other instead of talking. ; )

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