Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Hunger Games - and 10 Event Lessons

A great book or a great movie should offer an escape; change the way you think; leave you inspired or moved. The Hunger Games is "an addictive read" (my 11 year old's words), and my 13 year old read the three books in three days. I was not far behind, captivated and fascinated by the way the author takes many things so wrong with the state of our world and rolls them all up into a tidy package of mayhem. The analogies are endless, and I am certain much smarter and more learned people than me will also be writing their perspectives as it leeches into our pop culture one thrilled audience member at a time.

As with all things pop culture, at some point, someone in the world of events says, "Hey, we could make a theme out of this Hunger Game thing." While on no level can I see selling this concept, it did make me consider this from a new perspective.

The impact of reality TV has for example led us to create teambuilding events such as Survivor, Beach Olympics and Apprentice style events. While these events take us out of our normal "box" and with the right debrief may aid in finding new approaches to our business systems, nobody dies to get to the end. What else did I learn?
  1. If you are really hungry, even squirrel tastes good. So the next time someone complains about "rubber chicken", you can offer them alternatives.
  2. Sponsorship is both ubiquitous and fickle - give your sponsors what they want.
  3. Ask for what you need. When they needed medicine, they asked for it. When you need information or resources, ask for them.
  4. Be aware of the game changers. They are two steps ahead and you don't want to get caught in their traps.
  5. Have the right tools - in their case, rope, spears, land mines and knives all came in handy. For event planners I find zap straps and mobile devices are critical.
  6. Mastering disguises is useful, whether to make a wow during an interview or tribute parade, or to hide under a log, the ability to fit into the environment with the right outfit for the right job is a necessary skill.
  7. Think sustainably. Take just what you need and when you have enough, share with others.
  8. Water is the most important element for survival. Make good choices.
  9. When you can plan ahead, do. Be as prepared as you can be before you begin, which for the tributes meant years or weeks of training prior to going into the arena. For your own self, stay healthy. For your event, consider the what-if scenarios.
  10. When things aren't necessarily going as you planned, trust your instincts. When you live with integrity it is easy to make the right choices for your business or your event.

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