Difficult Convos?

Difficult Convos?

HOW TO…

The art of having tough conversations

As an events company, we’ve had our fair share of awkward conversations. But we’ve also seen what can happen when you don’t talk to each other – and to us.

Ever seen a team-building day turn into a game of limbo where everyone forgets to shimmy under the bar and ends up doing the worm instead? Or a company executive that is as charming as a potato but insists on being the MC?

Yeah, nah.

A successful event needs class, humour and splashes of fun…without causing people to falter under the weight of embarrassing moments.

Here’s how to have tough conversations:

1.  How much booze is too much booze?

Tread lightly; no one wants to be the“booze police”. But there’s often a group of people who overdo it and unleash the questionability you’re trying to avoid. You might try cracking a joke about a new alcohol intake measurement unit, like “cheers per hour”, to keep guests in line. Or have a cash bar kick in at a specific time and with a specific time limit. After all, no one wants the night to end with a spontaneous karaoke rendition of Mandoza’s “Nkalakatha”. (Not again, anyway.)

2.  The stage lighting fiasco

When it comes to stage lighting, you want to avoid having people look like lost aliens trying to find their way back to the mothership. If the theme isn’t “radioactive forest”, ditch the green lighting. But don’t crush your client’s artistic or branding dreams; rather try to approach the conversation from the audience’s perspective. For example, you don’t want the audience to need sunglasses to enjoy the performance and you’re not keen to recreate Shrek’s swampy ambience.

3.  Working with a dire corporate or event identity

If you’re dealing with a donkey-in-a-tuxedo situation, it’s best to be as diplomatic as possible. Explain the importance of a strong, cohesive brand identity that doesn’t make participants feel like they’re stuck in a 90s infomercial. Help your client to see that slightly tweaking the CI is not a full makeover and the result will be well worth it.

4.  Who’s going to MC?

This is a really tough one because you don’t want to stand on anyone’s toes, especially not in the C-Suite. However, you also don’t want your event to be a snore-fest. You might start by praising the executive’s other exceptional talents and then gently suggest that maybe, just maybe, it’s a good idea to hire a professional MC. For one thing, part of an MC’s function is to handle house rules – where the loos are, smoking areas, parking vouchers – and no CEO should take this on. For another, bigwigs will have a far nicer time if they don’t have to hold everything all together.

 

#nowyouknow

Want 360° event advice? Contact us for more.

EYES ON

Prepare to be enraptured by the spellbinding melodies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo as they embark on a breathtaking SA Legacy Tour!

Kicking off on 24 May at the Joburg Theatre, their captivating performances coincided with Africa Month and Africa Day, paying homage to the rich cultural heritage that underpins their soul-stirring music. This national tour is a poignant reunion with local audiences, celebrating the enduring bond forged over decades of support.

What’s more, in their commitment to nurturing the next generation, Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Mobile Academy has unearthed exceptional talents who will join them on stage, including The Mzamo Young Boys, Mohlakeng Acapellas, Bothshaelo Sunrise, and Good News. Beyond the music, the band will also go to local schools, empowering aspiring musicians through motivational visits and captivating masterclasses.

If you missed them in Joburg, grab your tickets for upcoming shows at Durban’s Playhouse from 26 September to 1 October, Cape Town’s Artscape from 14 to 19 November, and Pretoria’s State Theatre from15 to 17 December 2023. Read more.

BY THE WAY

In April 2023, South African Fashion Week (SAFW) Spring Summer 2023 cast its sustainability spell on the fashion industry, hosting 39 collections across 11 shows. The runway welcomed designers and models from Mozambique Fashion Week and the ground-breaking Italian/SouthAfrican Fashion Bridges project, igniting a symphony of cultures. At 360, we really love the fact that inspiring local designers are not only creating great fashion, but actually offering a vision for the future.

Here’s a taste of what we mean, featuring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.

P.S.

Having tough conversations at an event is like attempting to salsa with a porcupine. It’s prickly and awkward, but if you want to avoid a chaotic tango of misunderstandings, embrace the challenge. Just remember to lead with grace, dip with finesse, and don’t be surprised if you get a few quills on your shoes.

#nowyouknow

Want 360° event advice? Contact us for more.