It’s a powerful word that translates into behaviours that are key to success in a market as saturated as event planning.
In 2020, event planners across the world should be asking themselves: how are we different? How can we show our different aspects as strengths? How do we ensure clients feel their individuality is preserved and reflected in our service? Here are several tips to help both you and your clients stand out:
Always keep the journey of an event in your mind. Think of the event as if you are walking through it step-by-step. The majority of events are separated by gaps or pauses that feel unnatural. Executing an event in the form of a journey helps participants feel like it’s a fluid experience, not a planned itinerary.
Innovative and interactive experiences are key. Creating a program that involves speakers and presentations is simple yet can be difficult to empathize with. This does very little to differentiate your brand. Instead, embrace technology by engaging with the participants in unique ways – such as allowing guests to participate directly with speakers through digitally asking questions, or integrating them into the program directly. Customize the learning opportunities for each event to boost engagement.
Be authentic and genuine. Gone are the days of repetitive event programs and traditional ballrooms. Dig a little deeper to uncover a unique venue, and curate a WOW moment to surprise and engage your attendees. Be authentic with guests and showcase their personality in event form. Consider hosting in a museum, a planetarium or even a greenhouse. Shock the attendees with dancers that emerge from fog at the cue of harpist strum. The creative options are limitless.
Personalization will move mountains. Attendees want more control over event agendas. A one size fits all approach is no longer relevant. Consider dietary restrictions, an event is made or broken based on what people are served for lunch or dinner. With the use of sophisticated guest data collected in advance, event planners should be able to build a more customized program that allow for guests to personalize their experiences. Planning a conference? Gather specific data in advance to ensure there is an option to personalize the content for each guest. A little extra effort will go a long way.
Curate personal events. Content is the number one motivating factor for attendees, closely followed by networking. However, it’s not just face-to-face meetings these guests are yearning for. It is also the spontaneous conversations that come with networking and socializing. Plan a unique aspect of your event that ensures guests are encouraged to engage in a comfortable setting. Remove the awkward mingling from your recipe and substitute for a special session that promotes guests to partner up on their own accord. Insert conversation catalysts to ensure the conversations flow effortlessly and you are off to the races.
Create efficient registration processes. Events of all kinds require an initial check-in process. This is integral to the event as it is the first experience guests have and can lead to very early judgments. With apps and digital solutions at our fingertips, it is important to optimize this process and create a seamless transition. Confirm you are up to date with the most relevant software to kick of your event with ease.
Spice up any event with a theme. Thematic concepts can make an otherwise simple event more creative and engaging, not to mention more fun for all participants. A theme also provides an opportunity to reflect the event objectives and unify them. Turn an otherwise standard conference into an event to be remembered. Themes can come from anything, a point in time, a fact extracted from a company’s history, a movie, a cultural inspiration, a holiday or a make-believe oasis.
Incorporate health and wellness into your event. Health and wellness are increasingly becoming a dominant value in our society. Event planners should focus on curating events that prioritize health and improved wellbeing. Incorporate elements that inspire guests to be mobile, paired with healthy nutritional food. Encourage guests to stretch their limbs with an aerial Pilates class amidst the skyscrapers and reward themselves with an açai bowl.
Find balance between online and offline interactions. There is no doubt that having both online and offline aspects to an event has become a fundamental consideration in the event industry. But how do can you balance it correctly? It is important to educate and engage guests with technological aspects but also to pull them away from the screen to interact organically. Do your research based on the attendance demographic to amplify your success rate.
As event planners we bear the burden of progressing the industry by pushing boundaries. Keep in mind the ongoing trends to stay ahead.