Sadly, there is no secret sauce. Every event is different, and every brand has its own unique things to say. But with over three decades of experience putting on world-class events for world-class brands, we do have a few best practices that really up the odds for putting on an event people will really love.
These are our ten tips for putting on an event that makes a lasting impression.
1. Zero in on your target audience.
Make sure you know who your audience is so you can frame your message in a way that speaks to them. We told you to dive into your audience (metaphorically) to become a better presenter, and that principle extends to every aspect of an event. What does your audience care about and how can you communicate with them in a way that’s meaningful?
2. Maximize multimedia.
Leave the never ending slideshow at the door, please.
3. Embrace the second screen.
Remember, those smartphones and tablets in people's hands are not your enemy. In fact, you can use them to your advantage to encourage audience members to engage with what they're seeing. Most distractions are just opportunities for creative engagement in disguise.
4. Consider accessibility.
Are directions for how to register, get to the event space, and navigate the event clear and simple to locate? Is your event space wheelchair accessible? Do your attendees have access to captions or transcripts for your speakers? Questions like these are essential to making sure you don't lose potential attendees to confusion or inaccessibility. Everyone should be able to understand and enjoy your event without bending over backwards.
5. Build connections.
Make sure your attendees feel not only that you're communicating with them, but that you're hearing what they have to say. Give them opportunities to respond to the content they've been given and join communities that will last beyond the event. Making connections also means encouraging interaction and networking between attendees.
6. Say something new.
People come to events for new ideas and exclusive content, not to rehash old content. Keep it fresh.
7. Let people move.
Nobody likes to be stuck in a seat for ages. Pay attention to how long people are spending sitting in one spot, and work out ways to encourage them to stretch their legs (and refresh their brains).
8. Food is essential.
This is a simple one. If you're providing food at your event, make sure it's good food, and, if possible, have multiple options to account for dietary restrictions. If you aren't providing food, give your attendees some recommendations for good places to eat nearby. It's a straightforward way to show you care.
9. Make it fun.
People are going to love and remember your event if it's a fun and exciting experience. Think about what you would want to see or participate in that would make the event enjoyable chances are your attendees will feel the same way.
10. Make it last.
There are multiple ways to make your content last beyond your event, including content libraries, supplemental content, and community building. Don't let your event be forgotten the moment people get home.
Ultimately, every event will take a whole lot of creativity, passion, and organization to be successful. Keep these tips in mind will help you stay on the right track to creating a great event that wows your attendees.