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3 Lessons About Meeting Planning I Learned from My Peloton Obsession

Take your experience, your brand, and your meeting to the next level by paying attention to your community.

I joined a cult. All right, not quite a cult—but close! It started while I was in New York City with my two adorable goddaughters and my incredibly smart (and fit) best friend, our annual Christmas tradition. She told me about her new obsession, a Peloton. No, not the Tour de France group of riders but the sexy spin bike that people are buying for their homes. (If you haven’t already, check out their crazy-hot ads on TV.) So, I bought myself one for Christmas without any real knowledge or experience. I thought hey, I used to spin! How hard could it be? (Answer: hard but ah-mazing!)

Here’s where the message gets crazy interesting though. First, I am not the fittest person I know. To my credit, I am addicted to barre3 in my local Doylestown studio. I do love to run—but outside! This winter treadmill training is revolting! But now, putting something else in the mix? Buying the Peloton on a whim? I wasn’t sure if I would even use it. But I went out and bought the matching shoes (of course) and all the accessories so I would look cute when riding my new obsession—even though I had never done it before. What does that tell you? 

It tells you they did some things very right. Look at me. I teach branding. Productivity. Marketing. Sales. And yet I was hooked, addicted even. Since hopping on the Peloton bandwagon, there is literally not a day that goes by when I am not riding my bike. In fact, some days, I ride twice. When I was away on vacation recently, I even used the Peloton app at the hotel gym. Yep, I am that hooked.

And it’s not just me. It’s the Peloton brand. It’s their business model and how they pay attention to their community.

Here are three lessons every meeting professional can learn from the Peloton brand:

 Make It Sexy. The bike is sleek, the website is easy to navigate, and don’t even get me started on the instructors and their insane bodies! (For the record, Jennifer Jacobs’ abs are to die for.) The packaging, the language, the people—and they even have their own line of clothing! That’s brilliant when you want to make sure that everything looks and feels consistent.

What are you doing to make your event feel like a must-attend event? What does your website look like? What speakers are you choosing? What are you offering attendees that is unique to your event? What are you doing to make it sexy?

Make It Fun. My friend recently shared an interesting fact—that Internet businesses and events very often find that people “come for the content but stay for the community.” That is so Peloton. In my experience, the 26K+ riders on Facebook are obsessed with the rides, their health, and the instructors in the most positive way I have ever seen. They have created a fun tribe of strangers who hold each other accountable, cheer each other along, and post their wins. I have seen people raise money to help strangers afflicted with illness, share heartache and hurt, and post successes, such as the one girl who rode eight times in one day! (Now that’s insanity). The whole brand and experience so far has been fun (while it absolutely kicks my butt and I am breathless and unglamorously sweaty).

Don’t underestimate the power of social media platforms for your event. What are you doing to build community before your event using social media? What are you doing during your event to leverage that sense of community? What are you doing after the event to leverage that energy and get people to register for next year? What are you doing to make it fun?

Make It Matter. Peloton instructors regularly give shout outs by name to the riders on their live rides. You can track how you are progressing against other rides on the leaderboard—hmmm, I might be a little competitive! People share their results and post their Personal Records (in Peloton-speak PRs) and the company keeps surprising subscribers with new features and new workouts (on and off the bike). They share regular software updates on their Facebook page before they are released to the general public. It might be similar to what Tesla owners would experience if there were a software update while they slept, and all of a sudden their cars could drive themselves!

As a keynote speaker I often do shout outs in my speech, which audience members love. What can you do to help your speakers get more familiar with their audience? What can you do to ensure attendees know they matter to you? What can you create that will make people feel your event is the best event they have attended all year? What are you doing to make it matter?

 So how can you Peloton? What do you need to do to make your attendee experience or your conference sexier, more fun, and to make your meeting matter? How can you pay attention to these three things that can take your experience, your brand—your meeting—to the next level? When you answer that, you will have customers like me who feel that becoming part of something—in my case, the Peloton experience—is the best thing that can happen to them? I love it. I hope your team can learn from that kind of customer buy-in. Oh, and now? I’m off for another ride! Want to join me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them here and let me know what sparked your interest.

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