Prior to the global pandemic and UK lockdown I had contracted an illness and subsequent infection that had seen me in isolation at home for almost three weeks before everyone else! It’s a tough gig, but I am lucky. I have more than one living / dining / kitchen room and a garden that catches the sun. Even so you still need your routines and triggers to stop each day blending into one.
For me this is music. It always has been. I love it in (almost) all forms. It picks me up when I’m low. It fires me up when I’m getting ‘ready to go!’ It sets the tone for everything I do. I’m also not fussy, currently I am writing this on my breakfast bar streaming to Kacey Musgraves simply because my daughter is making cookies. It’s not my cup of tea but she’s singing along and that makes me smile.
I’m old skool. I have CD’s, I have (original) vinyl, I have (newer, thicker) vinyl, I have 7” vinyl!! I play it all, and literally have done over the last two and a half months. Recently, as my health has improved, my attention has turned to the event environment.
Music plays such a role in our profession.
Creating the right atmosphere as people enter a space, move towards the stage, collect an award contribute to what memories are made of, even in the world of financial conferencing. Let me give you an example.
For the last four years we have delivered a large graduate induction event for a global financial institution. 900 grads, one week in and out of the main room. Yes, the purpose is for the grads to start their career on the right foot but it’s essential to create the right atmosphere and environment to kick start that journey.
As you can imagine the Spotify playlist was huge.
It takes a while to get 900 22-year olds in and out of a main room cabaret style four times a day for three days. That said it wasn’t just an afterthought 10 minutes before the delegates entered the room. The list was cultivated. The pre-event app asked for songs that made them want to wake up to, a song that they wanted to dance to, a song that made them want to SHOUT! The playlist was created from there, and boy was it eclectic. But isn’t that what being a human is all about? We’re an eclectic mix and that’s what makes us unique. On that event I saw delegates walking in and out of the plenary singing along, not just by themselves but with their new colleagues and friends.
I wonder how music will continue to motivate in the virtual event space?
We have regular conversations on our Broadsword Huddle about the evolution of our industry and the way individuals have accepted a different way of life and a different way of communicating with others. Things have changed, are changing and will continue to change. This is where I see the importance of music bringing order to our chaos. Picking us up and putting us back down again. Welcoming us into whatever room we’re entering and bidding us farewell, packing us off from our dining room table to the kitchen sink with a buzz and a feeling every little thing’s gonna be alright.