If I were to ask you what your very first memory was, what would you tell me? Your first day of school? Your first time being hugged by your parents? Your first summer day in the backyard?
Firsts aren’t always the most memorable experiences, however. Do you remember the pangs of hunger when you knew you couldn’t afford your next meal? The grief of losing your home to a disaster? Unfortunately, not all memories are pleasant ones.
If you have a hundred different people, you’ll be guaranteed to find a hundred different formative memories. They form an integral part of our lives, inform the decisions that we make, give us comfort, give us pain, but in the end they are formative nonetheless.
What if there were a way to incorporate the power of those memories into your meetings and events? To connect with your attendees and deliver a lasting impression that will stay with them long after an event is over? It is possible, but in order to do so, it’s necessary to bridge the emotional gap between attendee and an overall cause. Now, a cause can be anything from information retention to setting goals for the end of the fiscal year. But the way to truly connect with attendees is to tie in a philanthropic cause to your event.
Returning to our initial example of the power of memories, draw your group’s attention to a shared experience: an event to contextualize the significance of the donation your company is making. Doing so allows attendees to put themselves in the shoes of those that they are helping, grounding them in the reality that there are many people in communities all throughout the world that need our help.
How do we accomplish this? Your answer will vary depending on what you decide to donate, and to what cause you lend your support. It comes down to context and giving your attendee the knowledge to make their own connection to the donation at hand. Ask your attendees to recall their first memory of riding a bicycle. Ask them to share what it felt like to have that independence, that sense of freedom and joy that comes with owning a bicycle. After that memory is firmly in place, let them know that that memory is not as universal as we would like it to be, that there are many young children in communities across the world that don’t get to share that experience with us.
Which is where we come in.
A teambuilding event not only creates a bonding experience for your meeting attendees, it also creates a positive association with giving back to the local community, one that they will carry with them after everything is all said and done. Deepening this connection of memories and cause gives the attendees an ROE, or a Return on Emotion. ROE helps people feel proud to work for their company, and helps reaffirm their belief in the role their company plays in the community.
All it takes is one moment to make a memory, so it’s up to us to make an inspiring one. What will your impact be?