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What Influences Decision-making?

An attendee’s experience and decisions at an event, venue or destination can be analyzed using behavioral science.

Do we understand how and why stakeholders make ?

In the inaugural episode of World Lab, Stephanie Cheung, Director of Strategy & Insights, interviews Zarak Khan, Senior Behavioral Researcher at Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. Prior to his current role, Zarak was at Maritz Global Events, an experience design company, as the Behavioral Innovation Director, driving innovation by leveraging a deep understanding of human behavior and modern market trends. He was cited by McKinsey & Company as an expert forging the future of behavioral science.

Behavioral science is an interdisciplinary field that combines psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, etc. Simply put, it explains why people do what they do by looking at key actions or behaviors that drive decisions.

In the travel and events world, those decisions can be influenced by first understanding and then designing the specific decision-making moments. Before you think about how to re-engage your attendee at the event or venue, Zarak encourages thinking more broadly about the principles that have been in psychology for decades and what people’s basic needs are.

The foundational needs are safety and security: Are you able to and do you feel safe? Are the people that they care about safe? That’s a need that has to be met before you can move on to the higher order things that typically relate to travel and events. Once that need is met, a person considers autonomy: to exert influence and control over the environment.

When you can effectively, efficiently, and ethically influence people’s behavior, you can better achieve your business objectives. To learn the rest of Zarak’s tips on what you can do the short term to influence behavior (the “3 C’s”) and some opportunities he sees in the industry, tune into World Lab.