Have you ever been to an event that left you thinking, “Man, I really wish I was at the DMV right now.”
So much goes into planning a great event. From the logistical – Coordinating vendors. Booking the perfect location. To the imperative – marketing, managing clients & customers, money management and insurance concerns. How is your event going to be memorable? How is it going to stand out from all the other events out there? And trust me, there are a ton of events – about 18 million as of 2016.
But in reality, none of that matters if you don’t start with a great idea. The creative is paramount. You want to create an experience that your audience will be blown away by. Because as noted above, there’s a lot of competition, and if you’re not standing out, then you’re blending in, and who wants to do that?
Now I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds nice and all, but you gotta give me something concrete. How do I come up with a great idea for my event?” To which my answer would be, “You mean, aside from hiring One Floor Up?” Here’s a few steps – though not all inclusive – that might be able to help get you where you want to be.
- Title & Theme – First and foremost what are we talking about for this event? What’s the over-arching theme? You want to give people a reason for coming to the event and you get in the door with a great name and a great theme. And the theme can apply to everything about the event, from the paper towels in the bathroom to the drinks served at happy hour.
I mean really, what sounds more exciting? Communicon – How We’ll Talk To Each Other From Now Into The Great Beyond or Future Communication Methods – The Different Ways We’ll Be Speaking With Our Fellow Humans In The 21st Century.
I don’t know about you, but one of those sounds really exciting and one like a great way to catch up on some sleep. And FYI, those are totally made up events.
- Who’s Speaking? – This is a no brainer. You want the best most informative speakers possible for your event. If you get a big-name speaker that your target audience can’t wait to hear, you’re marketing just got a huge boost. But that’s the easy thing to do. Who are the fringe speakers that your attendees will be blown away by? Who are the people that are going to be the big-name speakers two years from now? You want to get those people too. Because then you’ll be the people that got Joe Blow to speak at your conference before he was famous. You know like seeing Nirvana at a 100-person club before Nevermind came out.
- Anchors Away – What are the extracurricular activities you’re planning? And this applies in a couple of different ways. First, what are people doing between speakers on the main stage? Are there breakout sessions with more focused topics and speakers? Is there something physical for them to do between sessions? Can they interact with your company’s products or services? Do we have really cool happy hour/dinners scheduled? As an example, one of our clients in the aviation industry, had a huge event in Seattle, and scheduled an amazing dinner at The Museum of Flight, complete with a guy who made some of the coolest paper airplanes around. Little touches like that go a long way to making a memorable event for people.
We like to call these anchor points. By creating some noteworthy bookends around different speakers and focal points of an event, you’re giving your audience something substantive to “latch onto” which helps with their recall of the event and makes them that much more likely to remember your company, your brand and most importantly the great content they just saw.
- This Place Is Awesome – You know what makes an awesome event even awesomer? That’s a word, right? Doing it some place really, really cool. (I mean everyone’s seen a hotel conference room regardless of how many lights or bedazzles someone puts up.)
Case in point, Microsoft held their annual company meeting at Safeco field one year and opened-up the batting cages, concession stands and everything else to make their team feel special and like they were literally a part of the team.
And, if any of our client’s are reading this, don’t be surprised if I pitch you an event location that rhymes with Brand Panyon one of these days.
So there’s a few tips on how to make you’re next event standout from all the rest. And I’m sure you can handle this on your own, but why would you want to do that when the fine folks at One Floor Up are just a phone call away.