Quick question – as an event management professional, what’s the one quality you want your events to possess? If you’re like most people, then your answer was that you want them to be memorable. You want your attendees to enjoy their experience, talk about your brand for months to come, and eagerly await your next event.
Thing is, creating events that are truly memorable – and perhaps more importantly, truly unique – is a tall order these days. It seems like everything’s been said and done, and with more and more professionals joining the event management field with each passing day, it’s getting harder and harder to actually stand out. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.
Far from it.
You might be surprised how even a few small changes can breathe new life into a seemingly-stale event. That is, of course, where we come in. Today, we’re going to talk about five ways you can work to make your events more innovative. That should be enough to get your creative juices flowing – and to get you back on track to hosting interesting, one-of-a-kind events.
Reconsider Your Keynotes
Who says guest speakers have to give their presentations in lecture halls – or even in well-known locations? Why not offer a few secret tours and keynotes at your next event, or host a keynote in a secret, hidden, unusual location? One event firm known as The Lost Lectures specializes in doing just that.
Take a look at how they do things – you might get a few ideas for your own events in the process.
Axe The Schedule
Why not toss the schedule out the window altogether? Let things play out organically, or give your guests access to an app that shows them when and where the good stuff’s happening. Mind you, you’re still going to need some organization; people are going to need to know when a particular speaker’s going to be on-stage. Even consider incorporating apps that are friendly for the Apple watch.
But by making things a little less rigid, you’ve the potential to allow for an overall deeper experience, as people will be more focused on the message than on how long it’s taking to deliver it.
Treat The Senses
One thing I’ve noticed about most events is that they’re primarily concerned with sight and sound. Other senses, such as taste, touch, and smell, barely factor into the experience at all – and personally, I think that’s a shame. For your next event, why not look into how you might move beyond the standard audiovisual experience into something more sensory?
After all, odors are proven to impact people’s moods, work performance, and behavior, and something as subtle as a uniquely-shaped menu or glass can go a long way towards making a banquet a more memorable experience.
Mix Up the Menu
If you’re struggling to find something to distinguish an upcoming event, and you don’t want to change anything about your presentations or locale, why not simply look at the food you’re serving? We’ve talked a bit about menu selection and hiring the perfect caterer before, but it bears mentioning again that a good meal can be one of the warmest, most enduring memories ever held.
Think about matching your meals to your venue, presenting food in a creative or unusual fashion, selecting unique foods, or simply partnering with a culinary genius.
Listen to Your Guests
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re really running short on new concepts, why not listen to some of your attendees? They might talk about some of their favorite events, offer suggestions to improve your own events, or even discuss some ideas that never even occurred to you. At the end of the day, they’re the people you’re running this event for – if you can offer them precisely what they like, then you’re in a very good place.
Innovation feels more and more like a buzzword these days – but it’s nevertheless something worth pursuing. By seeking it, you can breathe new life into old events, and refresh old ideas so your guests can experience them anew. And even the smallest change can work wonders, whether you’re looking at décor, food and drink, or guest speakers.
Get creative – you might surprise yourself with some of the ideas you come up with.