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Make Some Noise With Employee Training Based on Music Festival Principles

When I say simple, you say effective! Those are the takeaways a few months removed from dust filled weekend moving between stages at the Lost Lake Festival in Phoenix. The thousands of music fans, party animals and rugcutters gathered before stages awaiting their instructors and followed their every command.

“Put your hands up in the air!”

Thousands of hands were up in the air.

“Wave them around like you just don’t care!”

Thousands of flailing hands moving without concern for direction, rhythm or smacking the person near them.

Loud, Clear and Easy

If you want to get a large group of people to learn something and take action quickly, make the instructions loud, clear and easy to accomplish. Keep learning and development simple, then repeat them, over and over until your workforce turns into a large unified machine.

Unfortunately, most businesses don’t make money by getting large groups of people to scream at the same time. And most business training involves more complex functions performed by their employees. So…

Start With Simple

Rock stars get everyone on the same page, ready to party. They start simple, but for diehard fans they can get more complicated. They can sing along to every song; they become experts of the band.

Your training and development can borrow the same tactics. Start with simple. Get your employees on the same page. Then progress to more complex learning objectives and turn them into brand advocates.

Keep With the Beat

Having a background beat or through line for your employees to rely on when they get distracted or confused will allow them to easily continue learning without getting frustrated. This can be replicated by having a core narrative, navigation bar, meta-game, reward system or knowledge check that ensures your learner stays motivated to following along.

Make It an Event

Rock stars have the advantage of an intrinsic audience. You won’t find many training groupies, but you can create fans of your company by making your training an experience. Make it more than reading a manual. Provide value to your employees beyond training them to be your money making robots.


Learning isn’t a one time only event. Keep your employees involved with regular learning opportunities that build on the previous experience. You don’t want to waste a well-executed training program by making it a one hit wonder.

What’s Next?

Next time you’re at a big event that involves organizing a large group of people into an activity, make a note on what works and what’s frustrating for attendees. Or take your L&D team to a large event and discuss ways to incorporate what works into your employee training.


Illustration by Kyle Davila, Senior Art Director at Mindspace.


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