The Pineapple Effect: Increasing Event Engagement in an Unconventional Way
Nay, this post is about a brilliant and competitive way that one division made it seem like they were having more fun at an event than the other division. The kicker? It actually helped increase their audiences' energy and engagement WITHOUT that being the intended effect.
What happened was this:
Two divisions both alike in dignity--from the same company--held separate events in a fair hotel where we lay our scene. The rooms were separated within the hotel so each group of ~200+ had their own space.
We were hired by one division to produce their event. We added in game shows, audience response activities, team activities, etc. These ran throughout the event, reinforced content, and kept the energy level going throughout the 3 days. However, at times the audience could get quite rowdy (cheering on teammates, celebrating successes, etc.). It was FUN. It was interactive. It was incredibly impactful.
The other division was overhearing our noise and becoming increasingly jealous. It wasn't disruptive, but it was noticeable. We were having fun and they weren't. What could we possibly be doing?
Then, on day 2, we started hearing cheering--at times--coming from the other room.
"Great!" we thought, "They are having an engaging event as well! I wonder what they're doing..."
The answer? Saying "pineapple".
Due to our fun, the other division made up a rule. Whenever a speaker would say "pineapple", everyone in the room would cheer--no matter what.
It seems sort of silly; they just wanted to show that they were having as much fun as we were, even though they weren't really doing anything to engage their audience.
Except...they were. Inadvertently, they were creating a mini brain-break in presentations every time they uttered the word "pineapple". The energy may not have been sustained, but it was enough to refresh the audience temporarily, and to a certain degree, and to keep them listening for the code word.
Adding in consistent interaction throughout an event is better than a quick trick...but maybe if you're in a bind...try saying "pineapple".