What's your story?

I was reading this post on storytelling and branding on A Clear Eye, and it strikes me that this is a lot of what is missing in the meeting marketing materials (say that three times fast!) I receive. It's all about all the great stuff the meeting will have: the speakers, the keynoter, the facility, the networking, blah, blah, blah. It's a big data dump, and sure, some of it may compel me to want to attend (there is, after all, a reason why we've always done it that way).

But where's the story? As Tom Asacker, author of A Clear Eye, says:

    So, stop and ask yourself: What story does my audience conjure up in its imagination about itself when purchasing or experiencing my company or products? Do we complement and enhance that story in every single thing that we say and do? Do we even know what that story is?

He's not talking about a theme, or a gimmick, or a mission statement. Not even testimonials. Your meeting does have a story of some kind—just ask your attendees. (And if it's not the story you want them to be living about your meeting, you have some work to do.)

This reminds me of something American Society of Business Publications Editors did recently: They put together a book of stories they solicited from members about how their publications somehow changed the industry they serve. That's a powerful message for a trade magazine association's members to tell (and one that will be prominent at the annual meeting): We do journalism that matters.

What's your story?

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