In last 7 days I had the opportunity to present at 2 very different events. Different audience, different themes, different preparation and different reactions! This is my short review of Freelance Friday and Marketing Pioneers 2010.
This was the first Utrecht edition of a successful event that has been running in Amsterdam for quite a while. A very relaxed and informal event with around 60 attendants and 4 speakers on the topic of trends.
The organizers gave me 15 minutes to talk about trends in service design. But because for most people in the audience this would be their first encounter with service design in general, I decided to just explain what we do in our studio. Service designer can be so abstract in describing what they do that at the end of the story you don’t have a clue what he or she actually does (yep, happens to me a lot). This time would be different! So I basically create a slideshow using >40 photos from our projects and show all the situation we get our self into from day to day and tell the story.
This resonated pretty well with the audience. A lot of positive feedback and I even got a “So you’re into usability… cool” and “you improve processes right…” instead of the usual “…so what do you do again?”.
Marketing Pioneers 2010
I got invited to Marketing Pioneers to give a short pitch on service innovation. There were about 250 people, primarily with a marketing or sales background. This edition of Marketing Pioneers was all about “supersize your sales”. There were different 5 pitches in total which all had the challenge to squeeze 18 slides into 6 minutes… something no-one managed.
The lead character in my presentation was Carla, a small entrepreneur from Utrecht. I talked about the challenges Carla encounters while running her business. My goal was to show the audience why an insurance company must invest in new and better services for Carla in order to survive. I also talked about the 3 biggest barriers for organization why not to invest in service innovation. Although I got the message about the need for better services across, I ran out of time before I could shed some more light on actually how to do it.
Luckily there were a few minutes for Q&A so of course the first question I got was the famous “and what is it that you actually do”. So I could straighten that out a little but people still felt somewhat left in the dark I guess. A questions you can expect from a sales crowd is “how do you measure the results of your work“, I said that it was thought but a much better answer would have been that we actually don’t.
What did I learn
I noticed that a lot of people really like to see the inner works of a service design process. Showing a creative session done in a regular train gets a lot of people into the design spirit. It might be better to tell a high-level story using down and dirty examples.