In 1993, Rick Rubin, the founder of Def Jam records, held a funeral for the word “def” after it had been added to the standard dictionary.
“When advertisers and the fashion world co-opted the image of hippies,a group of the original hippies in San Francisco literally buried the image of the hippie. When ‘def’ went from street lingo to mainstream, it defeated its purpose.”
I feel the same way about the phrase “creating a wow” (and its little sister “the wow factor”). Everyone from marketers to home builders are using these phrases to describe creating an experience that now seems empty and common. Plus, it implies doing something to a passive audience, and I think those days are past. No longer can event planners get away with doing something flashy just to be flashy; now all efforts need to be tied in some way to helping the organization achieve its business objectives. Today’s attendees want to be actively engaged. They don’t just want to be party to a show and tell, they want to be part of the story.
Now I fully acknowledge that in the past, our editorial has been full of the “wow”! But I think it’s time to put it to bed. Are you with me? Let’s find something more meaningful to do for our attendees, instead!
And while we’re at it, can we stop “reaching out” and “giving back”? I’d rather you just call me or donate time and money to a worthy cause.
What are some of the buzzwords that drive you crazy? Our friend Meeting Boy set up this poll where you can vote for your least favorite.