Sunday, October 8, 2023

It's all about the after party...

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

An after party, often referred to simply as an "afterparty," is a social gathering or event that takes place after a larger, more formal event has concluded. After parties are commonly associated with events like concerts, music festivals, weddings, film premieres, awards shows, and other similar occasions. The purpose of an after party is to continue the celebration, socializing, and entertainment that began at the main event.

After parties can take on various forms and themes, depending on the nature of the main event and the preferences of the organizers and attendees. They may feature music, dancing, drinks, food, and a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the primary event. After parties can be exclusive, invite-only affairs or more open and inclusive, depending on the organizers' intentions.

In some cases, after parties are organized by event promoters, artists, or individuals separate from the main event organizers. They can be held at a different venue, or sometimes, they take place in a designated area within the same venue.

Overall, after parties provide an opportunity for people to unwind, socialize, and extend the enjoyment of an event into the late hours of the night or early morning.

I have an opinion: Attend the event, attend the after party. 

Ultimately, attending an after party is a personal choice. If you're interested in the event, have the energy, and can do so safely and comfortably, it can be a fun way to extend your social experience. However, if you're not particularly interested or have other priorities, it's perfectly fine to skip it and make a decision that aligns with your preferences and well-being.

I have lost count how many events I have attended since 1983. Massive events like CES in Las Vegas or NRF in NYC. Lunch 'n Learns, Sunset Seminars, the list is long. Last week over the course of the entire day, we had 10K+ join us LIVE on the Hudson River via Propelify, and 10X that number "signed up" for the event with no intention ever attending LIVE. Zoomtopia was last week at the San Jose Convention Center, and I attended that, from my home. I don't think any event moving forward will NOT be hybrid. 

I think that Behavioral Science plays a big role in the results of Meetings & Events. LIVE webinars are cool, and I love attending from the comfort of my home office. But, I hate finding out that the webinar is really just a bunch of recordings, the classic "a webinar that could have been a YouTube." 

I reflected on the actual "results" of the many events that I have attended since 1983. The actual results, the actual business outcomes that actually turned in to sales, into revenue, into value - were because I attended not just the event, but the ultimate success was traced back to the fact that I ALSO attended the after party. Heck - sometimes I only attended the after party! 

Personally, I am very spoiled. I live 30 miles West of Times Square - you know - the Center of the Known Universe. It is easy for me to attend events in New York City, even at the last minute. It was once famously said; if you stand at Times Square long enough, you'll see the entire world walk by. 

I am feeling that a variation of that famous line is also true: if you attend enough after parties, you will get everything you wanted from investing in the event in the first place. If you bought the airline ticket, if you booked the hotel, if you invested the time and the money in going to the event in the first place - attend the after party. 

Ah yes, the after party. That is where all the magic happens. Not in the webinar Q&A, not in the poll questions, not in the post-event newsletters. The magic happens in the room with (live) people, with the food, with the handshakes and the fistbumps. The room with the smiles and the jokes and the pet stories, and, well, where the friendships form, and partnerships are born. 

After parties are the one thing that cannot be hybrid, and cannot be virtual. 

People still do business with people, not AI chatbots, right? People with cats and dogs and kids and grandkids. After parties with rooms full of people who love the Yankees and people who hate the Yankees...and....and...

Let's meet (LIVE) in NYC! 

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