When we put on events, we want everyone around us to be having a wonderful time. It turns out it's very hard to do and takes a lot of work. Or does it?
It turns out that for the cost of a payphone call you can dramatically improve someone's perception of how their live overall is going. One of my intellectual heroes, Professor Daniel Dennett of Tufts University explains;
(Yes, that is a rather prestigious group assembled around that table. This was a conference organized in 2012 and there are a few days worth of their conversations scattered around.)
But the lesson to take is that when it comes to making people happy in the moment (in the long term is much harder) a lot of it hinges on details which would seem from an outside observer to be insignificant and trivial. Putting on a successful event means extraordinary attention to detail. It does, in the end, turn out to be a lot of hard work. But when you pull it off, the results are magic.