When planning any event, the first goal is to get people in the door. With proper marketing, PR, and hype, you can grab attention, encourage sign-up, and populate your event with attendees. Of course, you must then deliver the event you promised in your promotional phase, and this can be hard to do when you and your event company create high expectations.
The only thing worse than low attendance is an event that doesn’t live up to its hype. When you disappoint attendees, they’re not only going to skip future events, but they’re likely to share their lackluster experience, essentially eliminating prospects for future events. This can be impossible to recover from. How can you and your event management team live up to the hype?
Don’t Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
Says Lilia Rosenfeld, Senior Meeting Manager at AMI, “It is imperative that you make good on promises. If you say your event is the best thing since sliced bread, you better deliver a loaf that has all the nutrients of 100% whole wheat but miraculously tastes like Wonder Bread. There’s no quicker way to disappoint guests than promising a new experience and delivering the same old event.”
How can you do this? Before your event company launches a marketing campaign filled with promises of novelty, get your event activities locked in. Fully develop your ideas about how to elevate your event before you start making promises and getting prospective attendees excited.
Work with Event Management on Experiential Marketing
Event attendees these days expect to be engaged. It’s no longer enough to provide celebrity speakers to talk at them – you have to offer opportunities for participation that make attendees feel like they’re immersed in the experience and contributing to the event. This is what experiential marketing is all about.
Your event management team could create an experience that features sets and actors that relate to your brand or the theme of your event. You could add opportunities for gamification, where guests compete and earn recognition and prizes throughout the event (individually or in groups). You and your event company can crowd-source ideas for activities or topics of discussion. Experiential marketing lets you extend a hand and invite attendees to participate in an immersive world you’ve created, elevating the experience for all.
Ask Your Event Company about Elevating Common Elements
Every event is going to have certain common elements, from sponsor promotions, to snack booths, to platforms for information dissemination. How can you go from already-been-done to delivering the wow factor with elements that every attendee already expects?
Elevating the atmosphere is a good place to start, and you can do this by adding over-the-top décor and technological touches like interactive displays, projection mapping, and apps designed to provide information, suggest opportunities for participation, and encourage sharing and connection with other attendees.
Your event management company can also help you find ways to work with sponsors to up their game by providing unique booths or offering opportunities for guests to personalize the experience. Some events feature swag that can be personalized while others might go wild with edgy additions like blowout bars or pop-up tattoo shops. You’ll have to tailor upgrades to your brand and your event, but these unexpected touches can definitely surprise and delight event attendees and help to create a memorable experience.