Events have come back with a fervor. As calendars fill up for 2023 and beyond, how can you make sure your events stand out in a crowd? You want your attendees to be inspired from the moment they walk in the doors — and you want your event to linger in their minds long after they’ve left. If you feel like you’re pulling from a round-up of “old ideas,” there’s never been a better time to get creative with event production. From strategy and marketing to design and experience, it’s time to make every event an experience from start to finish.
Want your attendees to rave about your event? Here are 7 ways to immerse them in an experience that’ll stay on their minds.
Zoom fatigue has settled in. Findings show that only 1 in 3 virtual consumers show up to a virtual event, even if they’ve paid for a ticket. And even when they do join, a recent study showed that only 42% of virtual attendees even make it through an entire session. In-person events are the best way to engage an audience — and hybrid events are a close second. Keep local guidelines and protocols in mind as you create an event strategy, but open the doors for a true experience. Your attendees have missed them.
We mean this literally — a shift in visual perspective can change the entire look and feel of a conference keynote or breakout session. For example, instead of incorporating standard rows of seating that face a front stage, opt to circle the chairs around a center stage! In breakout rooms, find better ways to pass the mic. Choosing a creative setup can keep events from feeling rote and routine.
Did you know that 98% of consumers create social content at events they attend? This stat proves it: you have a digital marketing team available to you at no cost. Make it easy for them to share content! Utilize fun photo booths to create a fun moment for your audience to connect with each other and share lighthearted snaps from the event. And don’t forget to choose a hashtag that will be easy to promote! Some tips: do your research to ensure you’re using a unique hashtag, make sure it’s easy to spell, and plaster the hashtag in key places throughout the event so people will remember to use it!
Engaging the senses always makes for a more memorable experience. With today’s technology, there are countless ways to do this! Virtual reality and augmented reality features are becoming more popular every year, so installing a high-tech experience guarantees a unique interaction with your brand. And don’t forget about classic visual art! Hiring an artist for a live painting exhibit and adding a gallery in a networking space will bring beauty to your event.
Every event attendee is likely walking around with their phone in hand. Use that to your advantage! Leveraging push notifications is a great way to interact with your audience. Let them know when and where a session is about to begin, hop onto social media and share a photo for a chance to win prizes, or to remind them to enter a contest! Incorporating games and contests is a fun way to boost engagement for any event, and push notifications will incentivize more of your attendees to join the party.
Have you ever heard that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see? That number goes up even further when they experience a thing for themselves. If you’re launching a new product, let attendees try it out for themselves at your event! Even micro-experiences create lasting memories with your audience. And even if you don’t create a hands-on experience that’s directly related to your product, the act of “doing” will help your event stand out in any crowd. Some examples: karaoke after networking at a corporate event, a cooking or mixology class at a team retreat, a “relaxation station” that offers quick massages, or a “virtual try-on” booth for your latest product.
Swag bags are not a new concept, to be sure — but there’s an opportunity for event marketers to elevate this offering. Most event attendees are not going to wear conference-branded t-shirt around town months or years after the event’s ended. Instead, create a gift that everyone will truly love, use, and even promote! In the luxury food and beverage industry? Gift everyone a set of linen napkins and a cocktail kit. A footwear brand? New shoes for everyone! Hosting a corporate retreat? Spring for Moleskins or YETI mugs instead of cheap notebooks and coffee cups. Build the cost into the event ticket, and get ready to wow everyone.
If you’re ready to create events that engage and connect with your audience, we’d love to help. Contact us to see how Redstory can bring your vision to life.