Some events are truly unforgettable – just hopefully for the right reason…
Never mind the moment an executive slips and falls into the lobby fountain. No, we want the ironclad memory to draw from the engaging, inspiring moments that drew the attendee closer to the core purpose of the event in the first place. So, how do you design those really amazing moments where the event is firing on all cylinders to create a seamless, charismatic event and your attendees are glued to the program and actively engaged with every step?
The five things that deserve attention to help make your next event one of the great ones are:
- Congruence: A consistent theme is present throughout every phase of the process.
- Clarity: Event attendees always know where to go and what to do.
- Cadence: The event schedule offers lots of choices and yet doesn’t overwhelm attendees with too much going on. There needs to be some open time in the schedule for rest and leisure activities.
- Breathtaking Moments: These are the “WOW” moments that attendees love and talk about after the event is over.
- Personalization: This is when event producers go the extra mile to ensure each attendee feels considered, special, and valued.
First of all, the event needs to have the same look and feel at each stage of the event. Start by brainstorming a corporate event theme. Once your team is comfortable with the theme, you can use that to guide every design decision you’ll make, from expo signage to general session scenic.
Make your branding consistent in every aspect from the color palette used for the decorations, to the fonts chosen for the printed items, to the uniforms worn by the staff.
One way to test the congruence in advance is by showing samples of things under consideration to a focus group. Ask the prospective attendees to guess the theme by looking at the samples. If they cannot easily guess the theme something is wrong. Make adjustments and try again.
There is absolutely no excuse for holding a disorganized event that confuses attendees. All that shows is a lack of proper planning. Nobody expects everything to be perfect. However, having a good plan, executing it well, and dealing with the problems that always come up, in an efficient way, is the standard for all event planners.
At any moment, each attendee should be able to get help if they have a question or need. One way to achieve this is to use an event application that runs on mobile devices for support.
An artificial intelligence chatbot can give answers to frequently asked questions. Last line of defense-wise, live human chat operators can help to solve immediate problems. Work with expert event planners to avoid these issues about lack of clarity to eliminate them.
Ever heard of the gigantic annual techno-rave party known as the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas?
Music blasts all night and into the next morning at 120+ beats per minute. The audience of thousands jumps up and down in a frenzy of sensory overload. Beside the huge dance event, there are amusement rides and tons of things to do. Sounds fun, but exhausting, right?
Even raves, the most hectic of events in our culture, feature “chill out” spaces and areas to get away from the buzz. Your event might not be a rave, but your people will still need to decompress from time to time.
Great event planners know that an overload of stuff to do without a nice break is simply too much. Having some free time to take a rest in an otherwise hectic schedule is always a good idea.
Offering stress relief amenities such as chair massages and having a mediation room helps, too. Consider having yoga practice sessions at sunrise and sunset as a great way to start and end a conference-session day. Check out more corporate event health & wellness strategies to get a handle on implementing them.
Having quality experiences at a conference is more important than the quantity of the experiences. Make it easy for people to get the information offered without having to rush around and attend everything in person. One way to do this is to record all the conference presentations and offer access to the recordings, so they can be viewed later at a convenient time.
This is the one thing that keeps event planners up at night worrying if what they are planning for an event will create a “WOW” moment. One of the easiest ways to surprise audiences is to have a celebrity guest show up. This usually works as long as the guest is famous enough and is familiar with the corporate event landscape.
Another way to do this is to get the CEO to do something crazy on stage. For example, Jack Ma, the richest man in Asia, who founded Alibaba, dresses up and comes on stage acting like a goofball. In Asia, at certain times, it is OK to look stupid in front of your workmates. That is part of the fun that makes karaoke singing so enjoyable even when the person is singing off-key.
Jack Ma sat on a motorcycle on stage at his annual event during 2017. He was dressed like Michael Jackson and then Jack Ma danced to the song Billie Jean.
The video is unforgettable:
For Alibaba Day, Jack Ma does all kinds of crazy stuff. He once presided over the marriages of dozens of his workers. You get the idea.
The wow factor comes from being surprised and impressed. It is OK to be fun and silly along with being serious. Find out if your CEO has any hidden talents that are just dying to come out.
Another way to do this is what Steve Jobs of Apple used to do when he was alive. He made the new Apple product the star of the show. For the crowd at MacWorld events, Apple products were truly awesome and world-changing. This wow factor comes from superb innovation.
Other things that may contribute to the wow factor include having a spectacular location for the event, serving outstanding food, and having great gift bags of cool stuff that attendees get to take home.
Everybody’s needs should be recognized and cared for during the event. One way to achieve this personalization is to use artificial intelligence (AI) along with a virtual concierge. AI can identify special needs, provide suggestions of things to do, and give support that is tailored to each person’s requirements.
For example, if the AI software knows a person is a vegetarian from the person’s public profile on social media, it can suggest nearby vegan restaurants to try.
Event producers who follow these five tips have a better chance of their next event being a great one. Consult with us if you need some advice about what you can do to have a great event of your own.