How to create a memorable event – 5 ways to make your event stand out
When you are planning an event, it’s probably been on your mind for weeks. But how can you make sure that your guests will think about it too? It’s important to make an impact, not only to boost attendance but also to help attendees stay engaged with your business or cause after the event. Don’t let your event become just another appointment on the calendar. We’ve listed 5 ways to help you design your event as a moment to remember.
1. Define a purpose for the event
Get your guests excited by letting them know what the event is about. Will you be sharing some groundbreaking research? Will you be celebrating a milestone? If you want your event to be remembered, it’s important to create a buzz around it from the start. Get people talking about the programme or sharing insights on social media so that everyone knows why they should attend!
Plan entertainment, speakers or experiences that are out of the ordinary. Get creative with your planning and present the event in a way that is novel and exciting to your guests. Even if you are hosting a simple talk, can you use technology, social media or sound to make the event less generic?
You might find that you have a poor turnout if your guests don’t feel invested in the occasion. Make sure that you market the event well and entice invitees with an incentive to join you. People will be more willing to give up their free time if they understand the event and know what they will get out of it.
2. Curate the space
It’s all in the details. Don’t forget about the little touches that will make your event stand out for the right reasons. You’ll need to consider how each part of your event is presented to ensure that it has a positive impression on your guests. Even if your event is a success, simple things like standing in a long queue for the cloakroom at the end can leave negative memories.
If your event is catered, think about how the food and drink pairs with the rest of the event. Is it a formal occasion? If so, invest in hiring wine glasses instead of using plastic cups to set the tone! Catering is a powerful way to make a good impression on your guests. If the food is good, people are more likely to remember the occasion positively. If you just serve a cold cup of coffee and a dry biscuit, don’t expect your event to stand out!
Think about the journey of your guests and try to make it as smooth as possible. Make entrances accessible, put up clear signage and have members of your team on hand to answer questions. Set the lighting to reflect the mood and make sure that any background music is not too loud. Close off any areas that you don’t want guests to access and make sure that any equipment is stored behind the scenes and out of sight.
3. Be on brand
Use any opportunity you can to remind your guests what your event is about. For example, make sure that pens, paper, signage and presentations all reflect your company aesthetic. Don’t let poor equipment or facilities reflect badly on the event. Imagine going to a technology conference and watching the presentation through a low-quality projector!
A strong brand identity will make the purpose of your event clear and make it stand out for the right reasons. When guests remember how much they enjoyed the event, they will also think of your brand positively. This is especially valuable if the purpose of your event is to market a new product – but it’s important for growing a loyal audience at any type of event.
4. Use social media
If you didn’t post about it on social media, did it even happen? Don’t forget about the importance of social networks for putting your event in the spotlight. Build a community around your brand by engaging with customers or guests on social media and use it to promote your event.
In the lead up, post exclusive content that makes the event seem unmissable. Why not try using influencers to give the occasion some extra gravitas? During the event, encourage guests to post on social media and use specific hashtags so that you can keep track of their engagement. As well as posting your own photos, you can re-share some of the best snaps from attendees to showcase a different perspective.
If you have an international audience, you could consider live streaming your event via social media so that you can reach more people.
After the event, keep the momentum going by sharing more photos or insights online. This will not only engage those who couldn’t attend, but it will remind those who did of how great it was.
5. Follow up
Keeping in touch after the event is an important way to get the most out of the occasion. Creating an email campaign is a powerful way to reach your audience and follow up after the event. You can also use this opportunity to ask for feedback and find out what your guests thought. Consider sending a quick survey, or asking guests to share their favourite moments. These insights will be valuable for planning the next event!
If you already have another similar event planned, it’s also the perfect moment to let attendees know and encourage them to book. Take advantage of the buzz that follows shortly after the event, and keep guests engaged while the experience is still fresh in their minds.