The very first video project One Floor Up did was to create content for a live event. It was a franchisee conference for a restaurant company in Denver. They had around 250 attendees flying in for two days of fast paced, in depth learning about the brand, the culture, and the processes to help grow business. The client wanted to show the audience that they were both prepared and also appreciative of the time people took to be at this event. Over the last seven years we’ve moved from content creation to live event production. What we kept seeing was that although organizations are generally experts about the type of content they want to share, they often value guidance on how to serve that story for a live audience. Here are a few ideas we suggest that can help your event really start to stand apart from others.
Audience: Above All Else, Respect and Value Their Time
People are taking time out of their lives to attend these events. Be it a happy hour or a three day educational seminar, people are leaving their homes, families, workload, life events to come and participate. Give them something in return. If your organization has been hosting these events for years in the same general format it can be easy to lose site of this important detail. Remember this and use this to remind leadership and the entire event team of why you need to engage the audience and you are on the path to making a memorable event.
Engage Them in a Personal Way
For many conference goers, it’s not their first time. There will always be handful of newbies but you need to make your conference stand out from other events. For as much as people focus on the content of the event it’s equally important to create an authentic experience. Before the attendees arrive there is usually a team meeting to get everyone focused on the roles of the event. Take time during this meeting to thank your team for helping shape this experience. Remind them that everyone at the event left their lives to be here. Ask them to greet every single person they pass by with a “hello.” Make the attendees feel seen. Suggest they ask questions like “are you enjoying yourself?” “Can I help you find anything?” These little touches can make an incredible impact.
Don’t forget to staff your registration table with the extroverts on your team. They should be friendly, fun, and informed. If you lack these personality traits within your group hire a few people who have them. This first impression sets the tone.
Want to be memorable? Of course you do!
First, choose a theme. Second, make it a unique theme. Often these events have the same industry buzzwords floating around (collaborate, connect, together, etc.) Dig into your goals and see if you can find something more specific to your products, services and/or culture (Lightening, Abundance, Provoke). Get them curious and then follow through on this. Your speakers, your breakouts, your off site events can all use this as a guide. If done well, your event can feel like an incredible educational experience. And we think that’s a big win, no matter the business purpose.
There are tons more things we can recommend from the early planning and invitation stage, the content you’ll share at the event as well as how to follow up afterwards. Give us a call, perhaps we can help you really impress your audience.