As team leaders, we have a new responsibility when we bring our employees together. We have an obligation to make those gatherings effective, memorable, and frankly, worth the effort to drag our team members from their homes to the office or other gathering venues. Yet there are limited resources on how to create those gatherings.
On today’s podcast, we interviewed a returning guest, Carolene Méli, an Experience Strategist, who has created a tool to help anyone design a gathering that employees will never stop talking about. This tool can help leaders Bring Back the Buzz.
Plan Your Team Experiences
Great team events are memorable, exciting, and contribute to the growth and success of your company. They’re not just events anymore; they need to become team experiences. Great team experiences don’t happen on their own. They need to be planned.
And this isn’t just for big company-wide retreats — even small team gatherings can have a big impact when they’re planned out well.
Carolene’s mission, as an Experience Strategist, is to redefine how we create experiences. And a lot of that comes down to asking yourself, “what is an experience?”
If we are only with our teams in specific moments, how can we transform that seemingly insignificant occasion into an actual memorable experience?
Experience Design is More Important Than Ever
Experience planning should be a part of every company’s strategic growth plan.
What makes this type of planning so important? They are the key to retaining top talent and creating brand loyalty among employees. We live in a world where our competitors are teams, not individuals or companies.
People are making more of an effort to meet. It’s not a regular thing anymore to simply hang out, be stuck in the office, or be stuck at a “working from home” location.
Now, it’s actually an effort to go physically to these places or to gather together. Thus, there is a responsibility to create impactful events. If the event is terrible, uneventful, boring or mundane, then you’ve lost huge potential and an opportunity to produce an experience that your team will talk about.
Storytelling is Key to Your Experiences
In leadership, we talk about great leaders being the best storytellers. This goes for an experience as well. After spending 10 years on tour with Cirque du Soleil, Carolene believes that they’re one of the best storytellers in the entire world.
What is really interesting about the storytelling at Cirque du Soleil is that there isn’t a set story. A journey happens instead — a journey that performers and participants experience together.
Storytelling is key to experience design because it allows us to share our vision and goals, as well as our culture and values. Such engagement goes beyond words and produces feelings, alignment, and mutual excitement.
Resources to Help you Plan Experiences
To create memorable team events using experience design, the first go-to resource to help you design your first or next team experience is a free 15-page guide called, “The 3 Mistakes Leaders Make when Planning these In-person Events and Company Gatherings and Meetings.” It discusses, in-depth, the three mistakes that leaders need to consider and the actionable steps they can take.
For leaders who want to dive deeper into planning an incredible experience, they can also download “Bringing Back the Buzz”. Bringing Back the Buzz is an extensive guide to creating the ultimate in-person experience co-authored by Carolene and Mitch. If you’re a leader who has decided to embrace this experience design process, then this is the guide you are looking for.
- Check out — BringingBackTheBuzz.com
Who is Carolene Méli?
Carolene Méli is an Experience Strategist who helps bring more impact, intention, and success to the experiences we offer, no matter what the business or industry.
This role is brought to life through her leadership program ‘Better Your Leadership,’ where she mentors the next generation of emotionally intelligent leaders, and also through her YouTube channel, ‘The Experience Creators,’ where she asks exceptional experience creators from all over the world ‘What elements make an incredible experience?’
Her expertise stems from over 15 years in global events and entertainment predominantly working for Cirque du Soleil where she ran VIP experience teams across 17 different countries over a 10 year span. She also ran the entertainment department on a cruise ship and was part of numerous store opening teams at Lululemon Athletica.
- Carolene Meli / The Experience Creators — https://carolenemeli.com/
To learn more about experience design, download this episode now.
Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:
Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.