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Boss Sibos with Science

Sibos marks an important moment for meeting and engaging with crucial partners who will drive your business forward in the next 12 months. And it’s also crucial for your competitors. The key question at Sibos is how to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in your experiences and exhibition stands. What will make you stand out? What will give you the ability to ‘Boss Sibos’ – whether that be the go-to stand or the hot-ticket entertainment?

In the business, we have a strong heritage in delivering the very best in entertainment and experiences. This year’s Sibos is no exception. We use the expertise of our unique Behavioral Science unit to help us give our clients a distinctive edge.

Here we share 7 tips from our Behavioral Science experts for creating a stand-out moment for your relationship teams, brand and clients at the most important financial event of the year.


1. Don’t appeal to the attendee…appeal to the finance professional

Human beings are social by nature. If we consider ourselves a member of a group, we’ll naturally align with its established behaviors and attitudes (this is called Social Identity Theory). So, an effective technique is reminding attendees of their professional status as finance professionals and the associated behaviors and attitudes. This is called ‘priming’. If we ‘prime’ the professional social identity for Sibos attendees, we can increase their levels of engagement around topics or information that really matter. For example, if we prime a finance social identity, we’re more likely to get attendees to lean into and engage with data or detailed evidence for innovative new products or services.

How can you use your media to remind attendees of what it means to do their job well?


2. DIY means ROI

Strangely, we value IKEA furniture more when we self-assemble than when it’s done for us. This is the ‘effort-reward heuristic.’ Simply put, we tend to think something we’ve applied effort to must be more valuable, because of the effort we’ve put into it. Think about getting onto the best MBA program – if it was easy, would the MBA be as valued? So, if we ask attendees to put some effort in (at the right moments), the experience is perceived as more valuable.

Is there a chance to deliver experiences on the stand that require pre-booking and thoughtful engagement?


3. Make friction work for you

Whilst reducing the amount of effort it takes for attendees to engage with us is mostly a good thing, it does mean attendees can glide through the experience on autopilot. Friction can disrupt old habits and routines (‘we always go to that supplier’) and open the door to re-evaluating products and services attendees are used to. That doesn’t mean building a brick wall in front of your competitors’ stands (although that would certainly be effective); friction can be far more subtle. For example, a well-timed question about why you’ve always done things a certain way can create constructive friction in a conversation.

Are there moments in your stand experience to gently challenge, to ask your visitors to work something out, or make your visitors wait (just a moment) for you to gather the best information possible?


4. Use novel ways to grab attention

When things don’t look right, aren’t as we imagined, or shake things up a bit, we pay more attention. For example, using the different font above was probably a surprise, meaning you may have paid more attention to this tip than some of the others? This is a ‘disfluency effect.’ Disfluency can capture attention, making audiences concentrate harder and engage more.*

*Lists normally run in 3s, 5s or even numbers. So this list of 7 is also disfluent, hopefully making it more salient and memorable for you.

You might think interactives are not right for your brand, but could the right interactive grab attention in the right way?


5. Understand what’s driving your staff

Without motivation, nothing happens. But not all motivation is equal. When we simply pay people to do something, we’re using extrinsic motivation. It’s far better to find ways to generate intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is created by our desire to be autonomous, to become more skilled and competent, and to be considered valued and important in our social groups. When people are intrinsically motivated, they’re better at learning, more engaged and better at engaging others.

Have you delivered dedicated training for staff? This should cover the importance of Sibos for the business and how being the face of the business is important for both the brand they are representing and personal development.


6. Recognize that we all get tired quickly

All conferences and events are exhausting. Schedules are packed, people are everywhere, and we’re all navigating an unknown and complex experience. This takes a huge toll on our willingness and ability to engage, even after a remarkably short period of time. Put another way, our willingness and ability to pay attention is short-lived! The Elaboration Likelihood Model recognizes how fast our concentration fades and tells us to create messages and content to suit both types of mental processing.

Have you thought about having two versions of your content? One rich and complex version for those with the bandwidth to engage – the other stripped down to concise and visual summaries of your points, for those whose energy is running short?


7. The memory of the experience is more important than the experience itself

Memory is a funny thing. Rather than an accurate recollection of an event, our memories are constructed in the moment we need them. This means lots of other things often get swept-up alongside the physical experience – such as the emotions we felt at the time. Emotions help us both evaluate past experiences (‘Did I like that?’) and predict how we’re going to enjoy new experiences (‘Will this be a good thing to do?’).

The team are already helping our existing clients stand out at Sibos. If you want to find out how we can use Behavioral Science to level up your presence (or any other part of your marketing efforts), simply let us know below and we’ll be in touch.


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