Future Proof Your Events with Strategy, Storytelling and Software

Takeaways from JUNO’s first online workshop on NEW Connect platform

JUNO hosted its first online educational workshop to aid events, membership and association professionals envision the future. The workshop held on Monday August 23 directly within the platform on JUNO’s new Connect site featured Don Neal, CEO, 360 Live Media; Kyle Short, CEO, Wisdom Capture; and Josh Hotsenpiller, CEO & Founder, JUNO. Here are some of the top takeaways from this exciting conversation on how to navigate our new era of event modernization. What should you be focusing on for the rest of 2021, 2022 and beyond?


“Strategy is a process that leads to unreasonable competitive advantage,” explains Don Neal. When we think about companies like Apple and Amazon, we as consumers know what differentiates them. It is the same reason why we choose to engage with their products every day, over and over again. And you can bet that Jobs and Bezos both knew exactly what set them apart.

While your company or non-profit may never be an Apple or Amazon, it is an important piece to the strategy puzzle to have a deep understanding of your unique value as an organization. In a digital-first world, every company is a competitor. Netflix, Amazon, Apple? All of them are competing for the time and attention of your audience. Emulate them. Never abandon the expectation to engage with your audience every day, just as these companies are doing. Know your value proposition and innovate to bring it to them as often as you can.

Your messaging should assert how you set yourself apart from the competition. Non-profits can look to their mission statements. But often that isn’t enough. Ask questions.  Challenge your core values and try to envision what they actually look like. Start with, ‘What is it that we (or I) do better than anyone else?’ Then you can start to build your strategy and story around that answer and begin to use software to accelerate your mission.


We are in an era of reimagining what gathering and connecting as people looks like. However, storytelling remains an ancient human practice that drives both engagement and connection. Having a center of gravity, or theme, to cut through the digital noise and compel your audience to spend time, whether on the screen or in-person with you, is critical.

Some tips from our resident story expert Kyle Short? Know your ABCs: Attention, Behavior, and Connection. We know that attention spans are short in this digital age, so keep messaging short and sweet. We also know from human and primate behavior, stories need to provide your viewers with something they can mimic. Monkey see, monkey do. Use music and visual narratives to tell viewers exactly how they should feel and what they should do. Lastly, create connection with a theme that is larger than life, a common connection point that brings people together. For the Institute of Food Technologists’ FIRST event, the organization centered the theme for2021 on solving world hunger. What is more compelling than that?


The most important thing to focus on for the future, of course, is our collective mindset. Despite the pain and trauma of the last 18 months, we have entered into a renaissance of events that are more creative and inspiring than ever. You too can create and inspire with an Imagineer mindset that faces obstacles with ‘yes if…’ rather than ‘no because…’. Understand that we are in the business of creating human connection when it’s truly the hardest it’s ever been to connect. Pandemics, distractions and negative mindsets will not stop us.

Did you miss the workshop Future Proof: Extend Event Impact Year-round?

It's easy to watch the session recording within the JUNO platform here. Register for the Connect site or login to your account to view the recording and check out the rest of our community site while you're there. Click around to check out our educational offerings, discover valuable resources, network and so much more!