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“Music can change the world.” Beethoven

This morning while I was getting ready to leave the house, I had music playing on my Spotify (other music sources are available) which reminded me that I would like to share what I have learned about sound and music throughout my career in events management.

How can sound affect your event?

Have a think about when you’re running your next event, whether it’s a learning event or whether it’s a party or whatever it is, what is it that you want your delegates and your guests to really get from the experience?

The psychology of sound

Think about the sounds that you put into the room. We all know the psychology that’s been bandied around for ages about restaurants playing different music for different things. Fast food restaurants tend to play quite upbeat and lively music because it makes you eat faster, they want you in the door and out the door as quickly as possible. Luxury restaurants and hotels tend to have that beautiful elegant orchestral music in the background, something soft, quite relaxing. This gives us the feeling of luxe.

White noise?

Have you thought about white noise? White noise can be absolutely amazing for channel and focus, but also it canreally deaden the sound as well. Open plan offices or call centers use white noise quite a bit. If you can hear somebody’s conversation across the other side of the room and it’s driving you crazy, it’s because there’s nothing else filling the space. Pumping in a bit of white noise really brings that down and starts to deaden the sound.

A large space to fill

When I’m at a really big conference event and we’ve got groups of people working on different tables and lots of interaction going on, we want the energy in the room and we want that conversation, but we put some white noise over the top and it just softens things, allows people to focus on their group’s conversation rather than getting the input and bombardment of everybody around them.White noise can be really powerful, especially at filling a large space. If you’ve got really high ceilings or you’ve got a lot of room to fill, white noise can be great.

Beta waves?

Think about beta waves as well. Now we know a lot of research and study has gone into beta waves and the fact that it’s the same frequency that our brain resonates on when it’s in restphase and when our subconscious is active. It can be really helpful for people to focus and study. So if you want to learn something new or you’re doing a task that’s particularly focusedled, switch on the beta waves.

Concentration sounds

Your academic brain and your analytical brain can be really strong for quietening everything else that’s in your head and really focusing your brain. So think about playing beta wave music and go and google it now, or YouTube has got hundreds of beta wave tracks.

I often play it if I’m doing my accounts, I’m not very good with numbers and quite often invert them. So if I put beta waves track on, it just helps quiet everything else in my brain really focused my thinking. So if I was leading an intense group session where I wanted them to learn something complex, or I really wanted them to progress in a piece of work, beta waves would be absolutely amazing to pump into the room.

Setting the tone

Equally, music and sound can build the atmosphere in a setting.When you’ve got people registering, what music can they hear? Even if it’s not loud enough that somebody could sing along to the lyrics, it’s there in your subconscious and it all goes to building this atmosphere. Is it upbeat? Is it joyful? Is it romantic? Is it business focused? Is it that you just want to immerse people in a completely different environment in a completely different way. Sound can do that for your event and it plays an important part in the whole experience setting.

Have a think about what it is that you want your guests or your delegates to feel and take away from your session, that will dictate what kind of sound you might want to think about putting into the room.

Technical sounds

Obviously speaker quality is really, really important. There’s nothing more annoying than being able to hear that crackle or hum in the speaker.Make sure you arrive early, set it all up and test it and walk around the room and the whole space, testing and checking that sound quality.

That’s it for me today. Go and play some music and focus that brain, or if you like just dance!I hope you found this useful. I will speak to you all again very soon. Take care and have a great day. Bye.