The Power of Social Influence

Today’s Keynote: Contagious Author Jonah Berger

Today’s business world is filled with demanding schedules and technology that keeps us in touch with work — even when we’re not at work. But as organizations shift focus toward technology and away from the basic principles of communication, they can forget the importance of social influence.

Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger

In today’s General Session, “Crafting Contagious Ideas,” Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School and the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, will discuss how to entice people to attend your meeting or choose your destination through good, old-fashioned word of mouth — meaning people talking to other people, whether online or offline.

Getting back to technology: It’s changed meetings, leaving some people to wonder if they need to attend an in-person event when there are so many digital resources at their fingertips. Berger says the social aspect of meetings is just as important as the information offered to attendees; he wants to encourage Convening Leaders attendees to get back to the basics and keep people engaged in the social aspect of business events.

What matters more than the technology, he says, is the psychology — the reasons people decide to share information. The more people feel they’re a part of an event, the more they want to talk about it.

“We can be on 10,000 technologies, but if no one’s sharing our content, no one’s engaging with what we’re doing, it’s not going to be very helpful,” Berger said in an interview with PCMA’s Convene magazine. “At the end of the day, human behavior is much more important than the technology.”