Last month I attended Pecha Kucha 20×20 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The theme was ‘The Next Indianapolis’ and the winning presenter would walk away with $10,000 to help jump start their proposed project. For those of you unfamiliar with Pecha Kucha, let me provide a basic context.
“Pecha Kucha” is Japanese for ‘chit-chat’ and was the name of a 2003 event in Tokyo for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. This concept has expanded globally and PK20x20 events are held in more than 230 cities. The format of the event is that each presenter must share their work in 20 images with 20 seconds of presentation time per image.
As I sat listening, I noticed some distinct correlations between the12 presentations and the struggle to create impactful brands.
1. If it isn’t strategic branding, it’s noise.
In the book The Brand Gap, a “brand” is described as being a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s an emotional process implying first impressions are crucial. Let me explain.
In any given presentation, it took about 20 seconds (1 image) before the audience began to create their own perception of the proposed project. As the presentation continued it became more challenging to listen because other audience members were ‘chit-chat’-ing with their neighbors due to confusion, skepticism, or event complete disinterest in the project.
The room was a microcosm of our branding world, – and brands were being established. Voices were struggling to be heard, but only the best broke through.
2. Know your next move – and get there before the audience does.
The presenters that struggled the most weren’t keeping up with the audience. It was easy to see where the presentation was headed and to choose whether or not it was interesting enough to stay seated. As soon as a few members of the audience starting chit chatting, it became a chain reaction. It was clear that if the presenter wasn’t compelling, the audience decided amongst themselves if it was a worthy enough cause. A few presenters, including the winner, received vocal cheering, standing ovations and even support via twitter. It’s safe to say they probably left with a stronger brand than when they arrived. So what was the difference? Guidance.
First impressions are crucial but it doesn’t end there. If you make a good first impression, excellent — but know your next move and when to make it.
Hooked on Pecha Kucha 20×20
The event was a blast and the concept is brilliant. Several of us at Miles Design fully expect to attend the next Pecha Kucha 20×20 event and would highly recommend going to anyone interested in seeing design’s influence in your community. More details for upcoming events can be found at Pechakucha.com.
Laura Henderson – $10,000 winner.