Have you ever wondered what draws attendees to create a crowded exhibit? Next time you are on the trade show floor, check out the most crowded attendee exhibit. Turns out, it isn’t only a great engagement-it really does matter what others think about the engage and it influences other attendee’s actions.
At a recent trade show, there was golf simulator game where attendees could compete to see who had the longest drive. If you play golf, you would love the grand prize giveaway- a full set of Callaway golf clubs! The chance to win the golf clubs attracted both novice and more seasoned players. And each player received a sleeve of Callaway balls just for trying.
You might be wondering-did people play the game? Of course they did -and the engagement was a HUGE hit. What was curious were the reasons attendees gave for not playing or even trying their luck. What do you think was the most universal reason people did not want to play?
“Worrying about what people think” was the biggest obstacle to trying the game.
7 Truths About Peer Pressure
1. Taking A Risk Isn’t Easy. Now this may sound obvious, but really when given the chance to try something in front of other people, how likely would you do it? It depends on what’s being asked of you perhaps, but even if it were something you knew inside and out — if there were a crowd, would you do it?
2. Looking “Stupid” In Front of Others Counts. Whether perception is real or imagined, no one wants to look the fool. If there are colleagues around in a group and you are “dared” to try something, how likely would you be to try it?
3. Self-Doubt Happens To Everyone. Gender and age play only a small part in what people think. In the golf example, the audience was largely male and over 35 years old. When asked if an attendee would play, they would look at the stats on who had the longest drive and say “Well I could never hit it that far.”
4. We Listen to Others. If there is a group of people and the group says, “Go on try it,” a person is more inclined to do it. When that same group adds “This is gonna be good,” the person about to take on a challenge suddenly loses confidence and they don’t do as well.
5. Waiting Before Doing Is Safest. Very few people will look at a challenge and jump in. Think about a group meeting when a leader asks for volunteers. The room usually grows quiet before someone steps up. The same is true in a competition. In the example above, people stood and watched for a long time before deciding if they would try to play.
6. Incentives Work. Even when people are in a group setting and everyone is watching, if the person taking the challenge knows the reward is big, they are likely to do it even if in the back of their mind they question their abilities or the likelihood that they will actually win.
7. Determination Wins Out Over Abilities. Without question, if a person is totally skilled at an activity (like golf), they are more likely to try a challenge like the one described here because they know their odds are good. It is also true that people like a challenge. They live for a thrill and they are focused. It is that drive that allows them to ignore the crowd, get in the zone and not care what other people think.
Understanding the peer to peer dynamic is important. Whether you are in a meeting or trying to encourage participation on the trade show floor, knowing what will influence an action is almost more important than the action itself.
Now the question is-What would you do? Are you a person who would try for something because you love a challenge and figure “I have nothing to lose!” and go for it? Or would you be concerned about what your peers think, or even what the crowd might be saying or worry someone might laugh?
In the example above, an overwhelming number took the challenge and tried to win the golf clubs. Despite hesitating, analyzing, reviewing, and worrying about how they might look to their peers, the desire for the prize was greater.
Influence does matter- but…there are ways we can help people feel more comfortable. The difference in every situation is how we approach it, and in this case there were encouraging facilitators who were working the game and made everyone feel at ease