Animations: a response to the challenges of your event

Sometimes considered as simple moments of relaxation during seminars, animations - whether they are team-buildings (*) or incentives (**) - are however major levers of success for your events. By supporting and reinforcing the strong message of your meeting, they perfectly accompany your event strategy, leave a mark on people's minds and change their behavior.

However, structuring a balanced agenda is not easy. Surround yourself with experts who know how to find the right animation formula(s), the ones that will allow you to reach the goals you have set in a faster and more impactful way. It is also a good practice to ensure that these experts have adopted an ethical charter that is aligned with that of their client.

When the business gets into the game

As we know, play or the playful approach to things has several beneficial impacts on the human organism. It increases the size of the brain, improves spatial location, and increases the volume of grey matter (***). Playing helps develop memory and logic by stimulating decision-making, organization and cognitive skills. Curiosity and concentration are also greatly stimulated. Finally, by creating emotions, the game creates vivid memories. And everyone has unforgettable memories of their childhood games.

It's no coincidence that the corporate world has taken up the game to boost professional stakes. During seminars and events, animations have become a must to get messages across and leave a lasting impression.

Serving the objectives of the event

L’organisation d’un séminaire se structure toujours autour d’un ou de plusieurs objectifs qui doivent être clairement exprimés lors d’un travail en amont entre Business Sponsor, consultants, facilitateurs et chef de projet événementiel. Et les animations doivent naturellement être adaptées à chaque but recherché. À chaque objectif, qu’il soit pédagogique, opérationnel, comportemental, mental… doit correspondre une animation ad-hoc. Dès lors, il est important de se poser les bonnes questions avant de proposer l’animation adéquate : « Que cherche-t-on à faire  ? Fédérer ? Bousculer ? Surprendre ? Récompenser ? »

When you want to convey messages and change behaviors, games are really the vector that will bring about change. The interaction inherent in animations (escape games, team sports challenges, brainstorming, etc.) is essential for changing behavior. Through the game - in teams but also individually during skill boosters - we create awareness, implementation and anchoring. This anchoring is all the more significant as the game was strong in emotions.

The fundamental task of the facilitators is to create a reassuring environment, a springboard where the emotions of the participants can be released, where resistance is lifted one by one.

It is therefore a whole architecture, a global design that must be imagined during your events. Because when it comes to animations, it's all about relevance and tempo.

A musical score

Tempo, rhythm, breath... a professional event is often like a musical score.

Knowing how to alternate plenary sessions, animations, sub-commissions and incentives is a subtle and effective art. Hence the idea of getting help. A sports event during the 11 o'clock slack period or an interminable plenary session just after lunch are all false notes that will diminish concentration and therefore the positive impact on the desired objectives.

In this order of ideas, the incentives, or pure moments of relaxation like the evenings, the meals, the aperitifs with music... are also essential animations of the event. These moments often allow you to "digest" the different highlights of the day, to create professional and extra-professional links, and to share together your feelings about what you have just experienced. This informal sharing is as impactful as the event itself and contributes to the success of the day.

This musical score must also be in tune with the populations that play it. Each population, each target, each nationality and even each team within the same company has its own codes and culture. It is imperative to know them and to take them into account.

Quid du feedback ?

A successful animation is one that has perfectly served the objective of the meeting or event.  How do we measure this success? By listening to the participants tell us about their experience of the event, during and after the event. This "hot" and "cold" feedback allows us to formalize the feedback and adjust the sliders for the next event.

Faites vos jeux…et gagnez !

Les animations, qu’elles se traduisent par des activités de team-buildings ou d’incentives, varient  par leurs formats, leurs règles, leur esthétique en fonction des objectifs à atteindre ; mais toutes finalement portent en elles des messages moteurs et fédérateurs, véritables boosters de réussite.

Jouer ensemble. Parler ensemble. Construire ensemble et finalement se rencontrer : là est la véritable valeur ajoutée des animations lors des événements d’entreprise.

Article written in collaboration with Carly Abramowitz, founder and CEO of CA Consulting Goup, partner of the Serge Kampf les Fontaines Campus and with Edith Combier, Center Manager of Capgemini University.

(*) : collective playful activities to build, develop, federate or reinforce
(**) : activities to reward, to please
(***): Research presented at the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference