The Golden Nudge

To get the most out of digital events, give people space to explore, and gentle pushes in the right direction

Last month we delivered a whole heap of wholesome and insightful digital sessions for A Taste of Harmony 2021 — Australia’s largest celebration of workplace cultural diversity.

There were iconic moments during each session, like Gabriel Gaté proudly putting on a blue beret (si français, si chic) halfway through a delicious conversation about everyone’s most memorable food experience.
What stood out most to me, though, was the instant spark of connection evident between our guest speakers and the audiences tuning in.

CEO of Community Hubs Dr. Sonja Hood and Australian TV presenter ‘Fast’ Ed Halmagyi, both coming from different outlooks, hit it off with banter about the footy the moment we went live during our Lunch and Learn session. Engaged attendees of our Gen 2 Gen panel event collectively hoped for critically acclaimed chef, Chung Jae Lee, to drop his coveted Kimchi family heirloom recipe in the chat box.

Our sessions organically created a unique community that cut across the boundaries of video feeds and computer screens. It was fascinating to witness the palpable affinity amongst guest speakers who’d never met before.

So how do we bottle up the magic that makes digital events memorable? Can we harness human curation and the undeniable potential of technology to bring like-minded individuals and groups together? Well, there is no tried and tested formula yet but I’d like to explore and share with you all a novel idea I’ve coined the ‘golden nudge’.

Science claims that human behaviour differs in virtual reality to real life. People are apparently more audacious in an anonymous environment., and our activity online is often driven by emotion and the joy of sharing. But online interactions can be timid too! I’ve often doubted whether it was appropriate to send a connection request to a colleague on LinkedIn.

The golden nudge is a recent discovery of mine. We threw a screening of the SXSW 2021 virtual session - What Virtual Communities Teach Us About Humanity, at Think HQ the other day and one speaker argued that for meaningful connections to happen online, you need to strike a fine balance between innate human attributes and intelligent tech.

Wait a minute...this sounds like the whole startup pitch deck for Tinder right? But it’s so much more than that! The golden nudge is all about allowing users to stay curious, to discover, to remain open to all sorts of possibilities, while they are interacting with your digital tools, ranging from event platforms to, yes, even dating apps!

From a digital events perspective, a golden nudge might be equivalent to a pulse survey conveniently triggered at a key moment of an online forum that allows everyone to weigh in on the live discussion. The golden nudge can also be in the form of cleverly coordinating your digital event’s panellists, from speaker selection through to talent briefing; it’s the subtle act of getting everyone confident enough to be themselves around each other, off and on camera. Another relevant example would be sending through a timely and tailored follow-up piece to interested contacts before or after a digital engagement to pause/reflect/connect/share.

In an attempt to simplify, the golden nudge is the intentional fine-tuned tap on the shoulder, the non-intrusive and friendly prompt that sets meaningful connections in motion.

2020 was the year of trying to understand what we can do with digital events. Whilst we are eagerly awaiting for the world to open up again, 2021 will be the year of embracing the abundance of networking opportunities the digital landscape can provide and understanding the golden nudge to create even better online interactions.