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How Risk Averse Are Meeting & Event Organisers?

Ever hear of the behavioural science principle loss aversion? Very simply, it means that we are more motivated to avoid a loss than to experience a comparable gain. To see how loss-averse event professionals are, Zarak Khan, behavioural innovation director at Maritz, decided to do a quick study among participants at his Convening Leaders 2020 session, “Using Behavioral Science to Increase Engagement,”

He split the audience into two groups (randomized by the last digit of their phone number) and presented them both with the same scenario:

Imagine that you are planning an annual event and you suspect that attendance is going to go down by 6,000 people. You are considering two ideas that could help with this group of 6,000. Assume that the exact estimates of the outcomes of the ideas are as follows:


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