More and more, guests are expecting to be surprised, delighted and ultimately impressed by all types of events they attend, including corporate events. While it may be less time consuming to follow a familiar way of planning and executing your next corporate event, it will be well worth the extra effort and attention to detail to bring new ideas and ultimately new energy to your next event. So, let's make your next New York business event rock. The following are a few ideas to get you started:
Create a Hashtag and Proudly Display It in the Venue
Hashtags are the new promotional norm. Using them is a clever way to spark engagement at your event. Hashtags make it possible for users to enter search terms and have results come up all on one page. This allows businesses like yours to provide an easy way for interested event participants to stay updated and to share information about your upcoming event. Incorporating hashtags in your promotional campaign makes your business appear trendy and hip to the latest marketing strategies.
Don't Be Afraid to Highlight Your Company.
Don't be afraid to highlight your company, especially if it adds value to your guests’ experience. One of the best ways to highlight your company is to give guests a little taste of your products and services.
Are you a photography services company? Wow your guests with high-resolution graphics and images. Imprint your images on wide-format banners and flags and wave them on flagpoles located in the far corners of your venue. Print examples of some of your clients’ images on everything from the table menus to the wait staff’s t-shirts. If marketing is your company’s expertise, highlight your company the way you would showcase theirs if they hire you. Pull out all the stops as far as exhibition items, presentations and live entertainment. This is not the time to be subtle.
Do Something Different.
Don't be afraid to shake things up. So, be sure to entertain, engage and surprise, even at a business event. Think about what people expect and then think about what you can do to not only fulfill those expectations, but also add something a little special. Remember, know your audience... the event is for them, and when you fully understand their desires, you can craft an outside-the-box amazing experience.
Some ideas for ways that you can do something different are:
- Instead of having your CEO make the keynote speech, hire a celebrity or professional consultant in the industry. Someone like this will be much more likely to draw in a crowd and keep everyone’s attention.
- Hire a well-known live band to open up the event. Bands that are past their heyday, yet remain wildly popular are surprisingly affordable. Live music will excite your audience and prime them to be more receptive to receive your business message.
- Host an auction or drawing during the event to entice people to stay during the entire event. If you interrupt proceedings with drawings as the even goes on, audience members will stay throughout the day or evening to see if they have a winning number.
- Do something totally out of the box and hire entertainers like dancers, hostesses, acrobats or magicians. These can be sideline entertainers that shake up the vibe in the room and prevent the mundane.
Use Technology to Enhance the Experience.
Everyone has a phone and everyone likes to play on his or her phone. Consider any apps or promotional tie-ins that can enhance the experience from a digital standpoint. Get everyone’s cell phone number when they first sign in to the event. In the middle of the proceedings, send out a group text in the middle of the event that gets everyone’s phones buzzing at once. Surprise them with an announcement such as a special event. Instruct everyone to get up from his or her seats and move to another room down the hall, where something special awaits them.
Make Your Event Count, Even After It's Over.
With the help of social media, easy photo and video editing, and other tools, it's now easy to extend the life of your event, even after the live portion is over. Consider how you'll be recording the event and consider investing in a photographer or videographer on event day. You'll be happy you did when you're looking to use the event in promotional materials or communications afterwards.
Post photos of the event on the company’s Facebook page, and invite attendees to do the same. In fact, on the day of the event, announce that there will be a Facebook contest for the most entertaining photo from the event. The attendees will vote online for the winner, and a valuable prize should be awarded to the winner. This will draw in the attendees to your company’s social media page and force them to “follow” your company if they want to be in with a chance to win.
Your event attendees will be raving about your event for weeks or even months to come when you implement these innovative strategies. Get them to look forward to next year’s event and spread the news!