How We Used Motivation Theory to Enhance an Event

Jane Sarles Larson
Jane Sarles Larson

Using motivation theory for an event

Every October, ITA Group holds its annual conference for its sales team members. It’s a lot like the annual conference your company operates, but last year, we kicked it up a notch.

Meetings like this present a great opportunity for senior management to share their vision and expectations going into a new year. Besides the importance of aligning team members to specific objectives, events like these allow companies to showcase their thought leadership.

For us, at ITA Group, that means testing and fine-tuning what we take to market before making recommendations to our clients and prospects.

Setting Objectives

This past year, we wanted to do something more. Something extra.

We wanted to give our team members an event experience that would keep them talking for months to come, educate them on new services and inspire them to succeed in the year ahead.

We had three major objectives:

  • Increase knowledge of ITA Group offerings    
  • Generate loyalty and enthusiasm around the company
  • Demonstrate ITA Group event capabilities to client-facing team members

Our planning started months in advance. When we create events—for ourselves, as well as for our clients—we pull out all the stops to meet objectives. With Motivology, our own brand of motivation, we planned a dynamic, immersive event to grow awareness and boost engagement around the entire company.

What's Motivology all about? Learn more about our approach.

How We Did It

Planning a totally immersive and interactive event is no small feat. To align every component of our event with its overall objectives, we brought in expertise from around the company to accomplish our goal.

  • To ensure our messages resonated, we needed to better understand our audience through our Motivology approach, even though the event was for our own team members. We identified the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that would elicit the highest level of engagement prior to beginning our event planning.
  • We intentionally wove various motivators and engagement tactics throughout the entire conference to ensure a high level of attendee satisfaction. For example, we appealed to intrinsic motivators by providing networking and social contact opportunities. The fact that this conference is by-invitation-only also appealed to their intrinsic sense of status.
  • In addition, we leveraged extrinsic motivators by providing opportunities to further develop their sales skills and to also to be recognized into our elite President’s Club where an exciting travel event was awarded to sales leaders.

Learn more about how we created a dynamic, immersive event in this case study.

Experiential event examples

  • It was Motivology—the intentional balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and engagement tactics—that aided the success of our conference.

  • To create the right tone, look and feel, we needed the right name, logo and branding for our event. Our Communications Solution Group handled the creation of a seamless, motivating brand to be used throughout the event.

  • While the week-long conference is largely for client-facing team members, we wanted to get everyone in on the action, no matter their role or experience. To create the perfect agenda, we planned the right mix of content for new and seasoned team members alike keeping Motivology in mind, including workshops, in-depth market research, presentation skills training, panel discussions, parties and more.

  • Since much of ITA Group is spread across the country, the Fall Conference is a great opportunity for the entire sales team to network. To create an environment more conducive to this, we planned shorter sessions and offered comfortable, communal seating areas to chat or conduct ongoing, day-to-day business.

  • Demonstrating our SHIFT event potential to our team members was a big objective of our Fall Conference. That’s why we thought of ways to leverage our experience and partnerships to elevate the event.

  • Leveraging state-of-the-art technology to build an interactive website, a mobile app for games and information-sharing, plus incorporating a strong social media presence, we created a highly engaging event that appealed to our diverse team.

After the Event

The attendees may be gone, but keeping the momentum going after the event requires more work.

With positive memories lingering in our attendees’ minds, we needed to capitalize on their experience to build momentum for next year’s event. We implemented a multi-element campaign including surveys, a mobile app, email and social media to stay in touch with the team and keep new information coming.

Motivology played a big part in helping us understand what would engage our team members.

Understanding the right blend of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to maximize engagement was a key component to operating a successful meeting along with seamless strategy and flawless execution—and it’s a big part of making your event successful, too.

Want to learn more about our event? Read all about it here.

Jane Sarles Larson

Jane Sarles Larson

As the Research Manager for ITA Group’s Marketing Strategy, Jane is on the forefront of market research and thought leadership. Her interest in neuroscience and how it applies to human behavior and engagement has led to the development of ITA Group’s approach to motivation called Motivology. Her 30+ years of international advertising, sales and marketing experience is second only to her knowledge of dark chocolate.