No one enjoys a boring event. When designing an event experience you want it to be exciting, memorable and talked about. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the business; everyone from a pro-planner to a novice can appreciate a helpful tip to boost the excitement factor.
Hold the hum-drum. We are here to present you with 10 of the most exciting event strategies for 2017.
1. Give Back
Add excitement to an event by incorporating a good cause. You could plan an event-wide community service project that gets attendees interacting while encouraging volunteerism. In addition to volunteering time, many event supplies can be donated or repurposed. Extra food can go to local food banks or shelters, flowers could go to hospitals or senior citizen centers and make sure to share all charitable plans with your guests and on social media. Attendees will feel involved in a meaningful way.
2. Creative Libations
Get creative with your beverages. Craft cocktails and craft beer are all the rage and when paired with interesting, locally sourced foods they are a smash hit. Set up design stations so guests can design their own drinks — which could be just as fun for an iced-tea station, a juicing station or a hot chocolate counter. From local breweries to wineries, try to incorporate local flair here where you can.
3. Engage Guests
Try engaging your attendees through technology. An event app can not only help smooth out logistics, it can engage guests through Q&A sessions and interactive handouts. Hold an Instagram contest with a photo and a unique hashtag. The person with the best comment on your event photo wins an awesome prize.
4. Offer Unique Experiences
It may be that “unique” is the new black for events. Make sure that your event has small audience options, sub-events and sessions that are micro-focused. You want to offer a unique component for each attendee that includes more personalized experiences and intimate settings.
5. Use Real-Time Data
Put the power of knowledge into your hand. Real-time data gathering can assist in logistics and event management. You can assess demand with a quick look at ticket sales, break-out session attendance and even crowd density. Also supplies can be monitored and replenished when needed, also measured in real time.
6. Plan the Pre-Party
Provide ways for attendees to interact with each other before and after the event. Set up internet chat groups based on location and industry. Online interaction may not completely replace the old fashioned hand-shake hello but it can allow attendees to collaborate efficiently and have a nice point of reference if/when they do meet in real life.
7. Live Stream
Live-streaming is one of the hottest event trends and will only increase with video capabilities like 4k becoming more popular. One of the best parts of live-streaming is the cost. You can do it without a budget on a platform like Facebook Live or Periscope or invest in a camera or even drone technology for a few hundred dollars.
8. Venue Refresh
Think outside of the event planning box when selecting a venue. Consider interesting settings that you have seen and try to recreate them. What type of event would work in a circus tent? What if you added a live trapeze troupe to perform above the conference? Your attendees will appreciate the change of scenery.
9. Build a Data Empire
Knowledge is power. During the planning stage of the event, consider which types of data would be most useful to you. Think about what type of information your sponsors may want and what you may want from them. Create an event hashtag and track what your attendees are saying on different media sites. Event apps can help gather information and may be worth the extra expense.
Diversity is a hot topic within the events world. From diversifying speaker panels to accommodating attendees with dietary and food restrictions, it is important to both represent attendees and accommodate their distinct needs. A good step towards diversity in events is to invite a diverse group of people. Curate the guest list. Think about different locations and industries that would be interested and invite them, don’t simply invite the same people year after year.
Keep the lackluster out of your next event with these exciting ideas.