Emotions are what make an experience matter


Two days and over 1000 participants in one investment even in Helsinki. You can certainly feel the good atmosphere of the event. There are smaller info sessions, talk show seminar, short film studio, tasty buffet and informal interaction and networking. This all sounds nice, but what exactly is the outcome of all this - for the participants and for the organizer?

We've been thinking over this topic a lot! Even though there are different Event ROI (Return On Investment) calculation methods, we believe it is more essential to understand your participants and their states of mind to predict and understand their future behavior. And to do this, we need to be understanding the emotions that are evoked during the events.

In this investment orientated event, we piloted the emotional measurement scheme that we are currently developing together with Technological University of Tampere. The aim of the measurement is to ask a simple question: what is the emotion that you are feeling, how intensively and for what reason. With the help of this knowledge we can develop the event even further, reflect the goals of the event with the atmosphere of the event and by designing emotions into the experience, participants can be more engaged to the message of the event. By doing this questionnaire we can find the most excited, frustrated or the most potential customers.

And this particular event was successful! In our emotion measurement, this was seen clearly as 85% of the respondents choose a positive emotion. This is great, of course, but so what?

With the emotion measurement scheme that we are developing we can go further than just identifying the emotions of the participants, going behind the reasons of the emotions. In this investment event the excited participants were experiencing the emotion more intensively than the others and the reasons behind the excitement were easily seen in the answers. And, likewise, behind the emotions of the (luckily not so many) unsatisfied participants could be seen many good improvement ideas for the future events.

Beside measuring the emotions of the participants, we are currently working on identifying the ideal emotions for different kind of events. Which emotions are related to increasing the customers spending or the commitment of employees? There are some excising studies of the topic and currently we are working with one of the leading consulting company of the field to develop and refine our knowledge around this and to validate the emotions that are most important in our events.

The importance of emotions in the decision-making process and in the customer experience is widely acknowledged and the companies are beginning to pay more and more attention to this matter also in Finland. But we believe that the same goes with the participant experience. Only by deeper understanding we can answer the participants' needs, deliver exceptional experiences and encounters that truly bring value. Not only to the participants but to the organizer as well. And this true value is exactly what we want to be delivering to our clients.