Dallas Fort Worth Event Evangelist, Damany Daniel, has attended and organized his fair share of events. He is here to give his expert opinions on how to create an event supernova!
As event planners, we are often tasked with pulling off the impossible for our clients (even if that “client” is ourselves). We get privilege of working with some of the craziest ideas and seeing them come to life.
Recently, I went to the International Special Event Society’s (ISES) annual Eventworld conference in St. Louis and was reminded of a few things that are often overlooked when it comes to creating amazing experiences.
Promote the purpose
The first step in hosting a truly memorable and successful event is to figure out why you’re doing it. Be honest with yourself here. Don’t say that you want to raise money for the (insert name of charity) if the real reason you’re hosting an event is to throw a mixer or concert. It is easier to convey that philanthropic motive to everyone else once your “why” is established. People can sense when things are disingenuous and one thing you don’t want is people talking badly about your motivations.
It’s often easy to get into conversations about adding additional elements to an event, (i.e. swag, signage, etc.), but you want to make sure that you are staying true to the purpose of the event.
That being said, I think it’s also important to remember that people want immersive experiences, not just flash-in-the-pan memories. People want to go to more than a typical “show”. We are in a unique position to make every event an experience that people talk about and that connects them intimately with our brand.
It’s not just about the signage we hang or the photobooth we hire. It’s about having people leave feeling as if they had a connected experience with a really cool brand or organization. We focus on how we are accomplishing that in everything from branding and signage to band selection to … well, everything.
Invent the Epitaph (or, What are the Takeaways from the Event?)
What do we want people saying about the event when they get home? It’s important to look at this event from a backwards perspective. We should start by thinking about our guests the day after the event. What are they saying, and what are they thinking as they look through their pictures or read their social media streams? How will they talk about you, your organization and your event?
As a very experienced event professional said to me in St. Louis, “What are peoples’ Facebook posts (or tweets) going to say?”
This is a very important and powerful way to make sure that each of your decisions add value.
I recently presented on the topic of engaging attendees before they ever get inside the doors of your event. Yes, we want the event to be great, but in what ways can we connect meaningfully with them beforehand? The key is to think outside of clever copy and cool event pages. What can we do that costs little to nothing but makes maximum impact? Is it pre-event contests, viral marketing campaigns with brand ambassadors, interactive Web sites or street teams that add this value?
Be creative and brainstorm extensively, but most importantly, think about whom our guests are and how they want to be connected with.
Stayed tuned tomorrow for more great insight from Damany on how to add value during and after your event.