Published in 2022, Gather: The Business of Coming Together, is already an invaluable resource for meeting planners, and its author, Doug Binder, will speak at the next Visionary Summit in September.
Doug Binder, whose book Gather: The Business of Coming Together, provided an insider’s look at the business of planning meetings and events, will be the keynote speaker at the Next-Level Events Summit—part of Prevue’s Visionary Summit series—set for Sept. 18-19 at the Seagate Hotel & Spa in Delray Beach, FL. Register here.
Binder, who is also a 30-year corporate event producer and creative director, aimed to both tug at the heart and stimulate the mind with his mix of how-to strategies, real-life examples, and exuberantly expressed passion for this business. The goal of the meeting planning book, he says, is to provide inspiration and techniques to make all events more engaging, effective and memorable through experiential design, storytelling, collaboration and management.
Among the many tips Binder shares in the book:
- “Apps are practical but people are powerful. Whenever possible, give your attendees real people to interact with: employees, partners, customers, peers, even leaders and VIPs. Most likely they have more charming personalities and better ideas for navigating your experience than mere apps.
- “If you want your brand to breathe, don’t suffocate your tribe. Respect their time and need for freedom in the otherwise regimented world inside your event. Give them more control, especially when it comes to adding their voice to the experience.
- “When things go wrong at your event or for your audience, remember this: Things go wrong all the time; it’s what you do in those moments that define you and engender new levels of connection and empathy with your attendees. Some of my favorite event memories were born of misfortune, panic and correction.
- “Storytelling is at the core of all gatherings, business and personal. Here are a few tips for crafting better stories: 1) allow (or force) yourself to be vulnerable, embrace your imperfections; 2) tell us what you did to address and overcome the situation or condition, including some of the missteps; 3) show us the human impact of your story on yourself or others (rather than on the data or numbers alone); and 4) be fearless, at least in the first draft.
“At its core, our business is about connecting an audience with brands and ideas,” Binder says. “Central to that, though, is to elevate the audience (as much as, or more than) the brand. I think we go off the rails when we don’t put audience first.”
The book is available for purchase from Amazon.