You may have hosted enough events by now that the whole process is routine. This is a nice comfort zone for the person planning events, but it might not be a good thing for attendees. The greatest risk to your attendees is boredom and that’s the last feeling you want associated with your event(s). It may be time to look for ways to increase event excitement and prevent attendee boredom.
Keep Your Events Fresh and Increase Event Excitement
Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer at Global Experience Specialists, warns not to “confuse fresh and engaging with gimmicky and overzealous.” Newquist points out that when planning your event, “the quality of the content comes first.”
You can still make changes to keep your event feeling fresh without compromising your content.
- Add a new workshop, demonstration or class.
- Don’t use the same schedule event after event.
- Engage a different speaker with new ideas.
- Highlight current industry trends in creative ways.
Tip # 1: Use a Different Theme
Changing venues isn’t always feasible or even desirable, but you can change your themes to increase event excitement.
For example, an unexpected theme could spice up your event. When appropriate, a theme for your event may be just what’s needed to generate excitement. Besides the obvious holiday themes, such as Halloween or 4th of July, there are many other choices.
A few examples of possible themes:
- Play up a single aspect relevant to your industry or company.
- Woodlands, tropical, cityscape or desert theme.
- Specific movie theme, such as Star Wars or Indiana Jones.
- Adult book theme, such as The Great Gatsby or Interview with a Vampire.
- Children’s book theme, such as Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland.
- For a historical theme, go with famous people of the American Revolution.
- A think-tank theme might be great philosophers.
Tip # 2: Utilizing Venue Space
One of the easiest ruts to fall into is to use the same floor plan for your event every time. This habit is dangerous since it doesn’t allow for creativity or inspiration. In addition, you may be under-utilizing the space.
Reassess the layout of your event stations. If you rely on a third party for this, discuss all options for your event space.
Tip # 3: Increase Event Excitement with Little Things
One of the most overlooked aspects of infusing excitement into an event is the small details. When put together, the little things you do become very significant in how attendees enjoy your event and remember it.
The small touches show attendees they are appreciated and even pampered. Some ideas to add to your event include:
- Change up the type of table favors, such as gift cards, local movie tickets or local tour tickets.
- Add a unique “Welcome” token to attendees’ welcome bags, such as individually boxed gourmet chocolates, complementary spa visit or meal coupon.
- If your area is known for a specific item, such as a pastry or a handmade item, give one to your guests or a gift certificate so they make a selection.
Tip # 4: Headliners for Optimum Exposure
A certain way to generate excitement is a headliner speaker or performer. A top industry speaker will create a buzz that will have attendees tweeting. If your budget prohibits a big name headliner, go for the next level down, a well-known local or regional performer or industry professional.
A local radio or news/show personality in lieu of a nationally known one can also create interest and anticipation about your event. In addition, this type of headliner has added human interest since it is a local celebrity.
Tip # 5: Ideas for Including Those Unable to Attend
For those who can’t attended your entire event, consider live streaming one or two activities. This can be very effective in generating sales for your next event.
- Live stream an awards ceremony or one of your workshops.
- After your event, make your keynote speaker highlight available for online viewing.
Tip # 6: Sell Activity Passes
There may be people who aren’t able to attend your entire event, but can attend a specific activity, such as the keynote speech, a party, or an individual workshop. Passes are an excellent way to generate more interest and increase event excitement. Offer a special discounted pass so students can attend your event.
Tip # 7: Social Media
When using social media, look beyond your own company’s tweets and posts. Enlist your speaker(s), vendors, attendees and venue to mention your event via their social media outlets.
- Create a hashtag just for your event and share it so everyone can use it.
- Encourage the event headliner to engage attendees and potential attendees.
- Utilize Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media to post photos of your upcoming event.
- Introduce a new workshop/class, speaker, theme or other aspect with a creative meme.
- Start a clock countdown for your event.
- Award several prizes, with winners selected from those using your hashtag.
Infuse Fun into Your Event
It’s easy to get so caught up in planning an event that you overlook the most important aspect – fun! While attendees expect to gain insight and information, they also want to have fun while doing so. Make sure your event delivers both.