Guest post by Sarah Hill.
The world of event management gets more competitive each year. With London and other top destination cities for meetings hosting an abundance of intriguing events every month, traditional approaches might not be enough if you want to make your event a success.
That’s why, the best event planners in London and elsewhere know that out-of-the-box ideas need to be developed to make the event truly special and attract guests, even if other similar events are happening on the same day. or week.
But finding new ways to make your event more interesting is a challenge; it’s much easier to just stick to old strategies than to try to come up with an angle of your own.
So, to make the brainstorming process easier, here are a few ways to come up with ideas for your event that are used by prominent event management companies and still produce great results.
Justify Every Idea
When thinking of ways to make your event more unique, keep in mind that just because an idea is different doesn’t mean it’s valuable or that it should have a place in your event.
Being creative just for its own sake won’t necessarily make your event stand out in a good way—it may just make your event so unfocused and distracting that it won’t be able to achieve any of the goals that were initially established.
When brainstorming for ideas, you should justify every single decision in terms of your overall event goals, the audience that you’re trying to attract, the type of event, and other key factors.
Only if the concept lines up with everything else that you have planned and serves to enhance it should you add the idea to your plans, because otherwise it will be a waste of time or even a hindrance to your event.
Put the technology in place to collect data at your event—not just through registration forms and surveys but also attendee activity at the event. This will help you determine what really works and what missed the mark.
Focus on the Venue
No matter how good other aspects of your event might be, its success will be largely decided by the quality and fit of the venue that you choose.
Why? Well, first, if your venue’s location isn’t easily accessible and convenient to the majority of your attendees, it will be tough to attract enough people to make it a success.
Second, your venue must have all the necessary amenities for your event, or you won’t be able to provide your guests with a quality experience, which will make your task of creating a positive, engaging experience extremely difficult.
Finally, if your event doesn’t have a certain “wow” factor that immediately captures the attention of potential attendees, you’ll have a hard time crafting an appealing message that entices people to show up in the first place.
But how can you find a venue that’s a good fit for your individual needs?
Many considerations need to be made when choosing a venue, and the number of options is likely to be reduced from the start because of budget restrictions, a limited selection of sites with the space and amenities you require, and availability.
That’s why, if you aren’t experienced in booking venues, it’s a good idea to find a reputable conference venue finder who knows the local venue scene well and has the connections to find you an exclusive venue that will stand out from other options.
Look for Alternative Promotion Methods
Making your event exciting and engaging for your attendees is essential, but before you can make that happen, you need to make sure that they show up in the first place.
And for that, you need to develop a promotional strategy that’s as distinctive as your event. While conventional methods and channels should be part of the mix, don’t rely on them completely. Finding creative advertising and promotion solutions can help you expand your prospective attendee reach and perhaps even allow you to gain some free publicity for your efforts.
But how can you promote your event in a way that generates attention?
First, use online marketing to its full potential; besides promoting on your website and through traditional paid advertising venues such as Facebook Ads or Google AdWords, also consider utilizing the organic reach of social media to get your message out to your audience. Look for new ideas on the top event industry blogs.
By identifying and establishing relationships with the influencers in your field, you can instantly add credibility to your event by getting a exposure on their social media pages, and also get the attention of their entire audience, which is often both hyper-targeted and sizable.
But don’t limit yourself to marketing online.
Finding creative ways to reach your prospective attendees through offline channels may generate even better results. Think about how you can get in front of your target audience using billboards, brochures, newspaper ads, airport ads, radio, or even posters to generate traction and get people talking about your event.
Once again, you shouldn’t be afraid to add a bit of intrigue to your event—don’t give way too much information. Leave a bit of room for curiosity and speculation.
Engage Your Attendees
Although the specific ideas (venue, decor, lighting, sound, food, topics, activities, etc.) you should use to make your event more unique will depend on your situation and audience, there are some concepts you can focus on to make the process easier.
If you analyze some of the more successful approaches for increasing the chances of success, you’re likely to notice a common thread: most of them focus on finding new and fun ways to engage attendees to encourage interaction and social media engagement.
So, if you focus your attention on finding ways to do that as well, you’re likely to end up with a few ideas that turn out to be a huge success.
This can be as simple as rearranging the furniture in a breakout room to make it feel more like a discussion than a lecture. Other common themes to consider include adding a costume or show element that the audience can participate in, providing a unique experience through food tasting or games, or just creating a spectacle or a unique experience that encourages people to share their experiences and post them on social media.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – one of the leading event agency in London, providing conference and incentive travel, conference venue finding services, and corporate team building services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago; as time progressed, she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.