Meetings & Your Brain

You Aren’t At a Meeting. You Are On a Quest.

By appealing directly to our love for stories, this audience emcee was daring the audience not to be intrigued.

The organizers of the C2MTL business conference — “C2” stands for Creativity + Commerce — know a little something about theatricality. The event began as partnership between the global creative services firm Sid Lee and Cirque du Soleil, both of which are based in Montreal.

So when actor Vincent Hoss-Desmarais, above, played the role of storyteller during the May 2014 conference, introducing sets of speakers on the main stage and performing short sketches, both he and the event producers went all in. Hoss-Desmarais inhabited his roles completely and his performances were enhanced by lights, music, and special effects.

It speaks directly to Convene’s February cover story, “Drama School,” an exploration of where the world of meetings and theater meet. I love how confidently C2MTL pushes out to become a business conference where  attendees come, not just for education, but to be on an adventure. C2MTL is, organizers say,  a  quest — “a quest for knowledge, inspiration, for business connections, for environments that spark that elusive insight.”

Hoss-Desmarais’ introduction of a trio of presentations  — Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, creative director Graham Douglas, and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Director Nathalie Bondil —  paints their achievements in mythic terms: a princess “bringing joy and richness to all”; a man fighting for his brother “until the end of time,” and a grand lady bringing the world’s luminaries to her court.

By appealing to our love for stories, Hoss-Desmarais was daring the audience not to be intrigued.

“We are primed for story,” said Jordan McArthur, content marketing manager for Guidebook Inc., as well as an actor, producer, and writer, in our cover story. “People want to feel swept up in something.”

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.