K.I.S.S. – an old colleague of mind used to write this all the time.
It took me while to realise what it meant. Turns out it was Keep It Simple, Stupid! I’m not sure if the fact it took me a while to decipher it was a reflection on me, or an oxymoron of his mantra, but I did adopt it for a while.
The thing is, everything’s getting more complicated isn’t it? Ever increasing means of communication, social media, video conferencing, webinars, I could go on… What happened to the good old fashioned get together? You know, actually talking to one another.
Years ago I used to think it amazing that I’d received a simple email from someone sat not ten metres away from me in another office. “Why not just come and talk to me?” I used to think, but then I got sucked in to doing this myself! I’d inevitably give myself a shake and get off my chair to walk the ten metres. Anyway, I digress from the point but it’s a classic example of what I wanted to mention.
There’s real merit in ‘keeping it simple’ – whatever it is you’re doing – and it’s a philosophy that we pay very close attention to in our line of work. But I wonder what other people’s perceptions are of this, good practice or a lazy cop out?
I’ve experienced so many examples of conferences that have been ‘over-thought’ where the message gets lost because it’s too difficult to decipher, or so much effort is required understanding the layout of the conference programme or a map of the venue that the delegates are exhausted by the time they sit down to listen to the message.
Organising a conference is hard work, there’s no doubt about that, and the best organisation at large scale events has to do with keeping things simple and clear to ensure that your time isn’t taken up answering the same questions from confused delegates. On the flip-side, some of the best presentations I’ve witnessed (and I’ve witnessed thousands believe me) have been the simplest – clarity, a mix of clear phrases and some pictorial or graphical content to back up the message, no one want’s the dreaded ‘death by PowerPoint’.
And the same applies when you’re thinking about the AV and production for your event. It’s true that we technical types love our gadgets, we love to do something technically exciting, but there are times I’ve advised that keeping it simple, yet striking and effective, is the best course of action. Not because I’m too lazy to plan and deliver a complicated set up, more that I can see it being a conferencing-car-crash!
In the world of bottom-lines and revenue this often may mean our slice of the pie isn’t as big, but our honesty, clarity and integrity is, in my humble opinion, something that can’t be underestimated when it comes to building the foundations of a great customer relationship. No one asks for complicated advice do they?