Perspiration, Inspiration and a DSA Story Better Told
By Jennifer Knapp, Account Executive / 07.19.2016
As experts in producing meetings for Direct Selling Association companies, we’ve come to identify a core challenge for the category: Many direct selling companies feel their content is inherently interesting, needing only a simple AV and scenic set-up to connect with their audience. From highlighting their founder and testimonials, to dramatizing their products and services, we demonstrate how their story can work harder for them, showing how the more “perspiration” put into scenic design, staging and all around stagecraft, the more inspiration and engagement generated for their audience.
Using the meeting ITC produced for Silpada as an example, here are some essential guidelines for raising the bar and telling a better DSA story.
Over the Top is Never Enough
For a category fueled by passion, that often positions its business model as a true lifestyle, rather than your average 9-to-5 job, there’s no real limit to the amount of enthusiasm and spectacle an audience desires. For the Silpada National Conference, the theme was about recognizing heroes within the company. We challenged our clients to swing for the fences, not just focusing on the more aspirational aspect of “hero”, but also paying off the more theatrical version of the word with a dynamic superhero concept.
Scenic consisted of individual squares designed to look like comic book panels, with superhero versions of the company’s leaders as the central images. And for the crowning touch, the leaders themselves came on stage dressed in authentic, movie-caliber costumes of superhero heavy hitters: Batman, Superman and Cat Woman.
When in Doubt, Put It in Motion
With a meeting model driven by talking heads, the proceedings can get pretty static and uninteresting pretty quickly if you’re not careful. If there’s ever a question of holding the audience’s attention, adding dynamic motion is a surefire solution.
For the Silpada Conference, ITC designed and fabricated a multi-level, dimensional stage that created multiple opportunities for surprise movement, unexpected entrances and all-around excitement to maintain audience engagement. Batman slid down the Bat Pole to address the audience, Superman appeared from a futuristic side stage elevator, and Cat Woman descended from a top deck level of the stage via a utility ladder.
Transform the Product into an Event
The reveal of the coming year’s new product line is usually the most highly anticipated segment of any direct sales meeting. A quality array of new items can usually speak for itself, but a little bit of added drama can make the reveal really shine.
Before Silpada members could experience the new products firsthand for the coming year, they were made to wait in a lobby in front of a massive sliding door. While a large LED monitor counted down the minutes and seconds, a video screen showed a live stream of leadership from within the ballroom on the other side of the sliding door, teasing members about the awesome new products they were about to discover. Once the clock hit zero, the door slowly slid open to let in the rush of the excited crowd. Inside, members could experience every new item, laid out and arranged on long tables for maximum interaction.