Unleashing the Science of Music to Engage Event Attendees

Ardie Worsley, Chief Marketing Officer, tells HQ how SongDivision has helped well-renowned trade shows like IMEX and AIME, deliver impact through the power of music.

21st Dec, 2023

Making real connections has become more challenging than ever in a world of in- person, virtual and hybrid events. SongDivision, a global people engagement company, has found a powerful solution to create lasting memories among event attendees – music.

Ardie Worsley, Chief Marketing Officer, tells HQ how SongDivision has helped global giants like Netflix, Deloitte and Microsoft, as well as renowned trade shows like IMEX and AIME, deliver impact through the power of music.

1) Could you tell our readers how SongDivision uses music to create positive energy and memorable moments at meetings and trade shows?

At SongDivision, we harness the power of music to create transformative and unforgettable experiences. We integrate the process of creating live music into face-to- face, virtual and hybrid meetings and trade shows.

In face-to-face meetings, attendees can understandably be anxious when they meet for the first time. This produces cortisol in the brain, making us operate from our amygdala in “fight or flight” mode. Creating music together produces oxytocin, the “cuddle chemical”, moving us into the prefrontal cortex, where we can operate from a place of empathy and creativity, the perfect brain space for collaborating with others.

In virtual and hybrid settings, people often find it hard to form meaningful relationships due to the absence of shared physical spaces and face-to-face interactions. During the pandemic, we adapted our approach to deliver the same level of engagement from face-to- face meetings into virtual and hybrid meetings. We saw first-hand that shared musical experiences were enabling a sense of togetherness, even when people were physically apart.

At trade shows, our artists and musicians create personalised songs for attendees and tailor performances to align with event messaging, creating unique and memorable experiences that leave lasting impressions. We offer songwriting at trade show booths, performances at trade show events, and we also provide interactive songwriting workshops and collaborative jam sessions where attendees can directly engage with music and create.

2) Apart from creating a positive atmosphere, how can music succeed in making people connect and bond during business events?

Music can be more than a soundtrack at an event. Working as a team to navigate songwriting strengthens bonds and provides a sense of community and connectedness while promoting positive emotions that reduce stress and anxiety.

Our world-class musicians and facilitators have worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Prince, and Adele. They bring their unique experience to every event, guiding attendees through personal and collective growth moments.

3) Can you tell us more about the techniques you use to tailor your music to different events (IMEX, AIME, international association events)?

SongDivision has delivered its services to all kinds of events of all sizes ranging from 4 attendees to as many as 100,000 attendees. We work closely with event organisers to understand the event’s purpose and what they want attendees to gain from it before exploring ways to elevate the event experience through music.

Our collaborative music experiences include Song Slams, InstaHit® sessions (songs created on the spot for attendees), Sound Baths, Rock n’ Roll Game Shows and Virtual Happy Hours, among others.

4) How does SongDivision ensure that the music selection is inclusive and representative of diverse nationalities, ages, cultures, backgrounds, and personal preferences?

Music is a universal language that effectively finds common ground amongst diverse teams. Creating music collaboratively allows everyone to contribute regardless of age, sex, culture, physicality, or ‘rank’ within the company.

The content is created by the audience members, nobody knows their individual culture better than they do, and they infuse it into their music choices and lyric writing.

Music selection is always guaranteed to be tailored to our audience members as the participants select the music. When SongDivision musicians play well-known songs, they’re doing it based on attendees responding to being asked, “What was your first concert?” for InstaHits® and IntroHits (short, custom songs used to play speakers onto the stage), the style of music is picked by the recipients of the song, not the SongDivision musician.

5) Is accessibility considered while preparing the music selection for specific events? Making sure attendees with different abilities can engage with the activities?

We encourage event organisers to strive for accessibility in their events for greater inclusion. Our process aims to increase accessibility as we target multiple senses:

  • Sight – through visual performances;
  • Sound – through the music that is created;
  • Touch – through audience engagement with physical instruments and clapping.

We also use lyrics on screens, and guided interaction with our band is always extremely visual. What’s more, we also find that some people learn via writing, which we cover via our lyric writing process.

6) Do you collaborate with local artists to ensure different perspectives and styles are represented in the music experiences proposed by SongDivision?

SongDivision has a global network of high-calibre session musicians who are songwriters and team-building facilitators. Our meticulous selection process ensures our clients’ events are led by locally based musicians who have played with the best artists in the world.

7) How have event organisers measured the success of your music-based experiences at creating positive connections?

Our clients often ask for attendee feedback, and we’ve constantly been told about how our experiences successfully engage their people, promote collaborative environments and ignite creativity. This is down to music selection, the immersive nature of our activities and the uniqueness of the experiences we co-create with our clients.

Clients of SongDivision have advocated for our services, resulting in high amounts of repeat business and high word-of-mouth referrals. SongDivision distributed satisfaction surveys to clients of over 1,200 SongDivision experiences between 2021-2022, and the overall satisfaction level was at the highest level, showing ‘Very Satisfied’ on average.

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