If you’re a meeting planner, then you’re familiar with the extravagance of the corporate event scene. Extending floor to ceiling and spanning wall to wall, business meetings are often overdone with fantasies of projection mapping, celebrity entertainers, corny skits and even game shows. And that’s just the “business” side. Evening social events tend to be even more flashy and delicious – the wine flows like a river and the dessert looks like art. Cue the band, let’s welcome the after dinner entertainment!
Yes, much of the over-the-top extravagance in staging and awards has deflated since the recent economic downtown. But so have the event production budgets. Some trade magazines predict a return to opulence, but we predict a return to the essence– the message.
Enter Facebook – a company without any apparent budget issue and a leader whose communication reflects a strong, distinct brand image. In his sneakers and sweatshirt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg must hate the overblown pomp at most corporate meetings. When presenting his own corporate communications, we’re willing to bet that Zuckerberg doesn’t include pounding Top 40 hits, the “voice-of-God” announcer, or the quasi-motivational opening theme videos.
In fact, this week’s press conference at the Facebook campus proved exactly that. A basic laptop setup with simple graphics and succinct copy stood in lieu of branded screen surrounds, fancy lighting, and elevated platforms. Keep it focused.
There was no need for complicated simulcasts or slow-loading web streams. Live blogging was as good as being there, and the news spread instantaneously throughout the social network.
Though the graphics were minimal, the content was substantial. Surely Zuckerberg could have easily created the flashiest graphics known to man, but that is not the Facebook way.
If Content is King, then Zuckerberg is the most loyal follower in all the land. He presents from a (literally) equal platform while delivering the core message. Logical and direct, Zuckerberg lets the content stand on its own. No tricks.
From the man who redefined interpersonal communication, is Zuckerberg also redefining corporate communications? With a renewed emphasis on the quality and clarity of content, attendees will focus on the content of the message instead of being distracted by theatrical gizmos. Corporate speakers who ‘Go Zuckerberg’ will feel that they are the main act, rather than an understudy in a B-school play.
Do you agree or disagree? Leave comments to let us know what you think.
Cadence, Inc. is a full-service meeting planning and event production company in Chicago, Ill. For more unexpected perspectives from the event industry, follow @Cadence_Live on Twitter, connect on Facebook, or visit the website.