Business events can go by plenty of different names, and we’ve all been to one form or another. Whether they’re called a summit, meeting, forum, or conference, they’re an important part of doing business. They’re even more important to the transfer of knowledge and ideas.
Few of us have had to actually put one together though. If you have you know the challenge in coordinating all the moving parts. It’s can feel like herding cats. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise that once you have a format that works, you generally stick with it — at least for a while. It makes the planning a bit easier. Over time that can create a new challenge for the organizer. You start to run the risk of the event feeling a bit stale.
If you’re worried about your event getting tired, these five fresh ideas can help breathe new life into your get together.
- Find an emcee: If we had to choose just one thing to make the biggest impact on the overall event experience, it would be to find the right host (or speakers). A speaker can completely change the dynamic of a room, and leave a favorable impression on all the attendees. We can’t underscore the importance of having the right talent to work the crowd. For internal meetings, an emcee might not make sense. However, hiring a speaking coach to help practice materials can go a long way.
- Keep things interactive: There are a lot of great platforms available today designed around audience engagement. A few years back the barrier to entry was connectivity. Audience engagement tools were clumsy to use, and expensive. Mobile phones and increased wireless bandwidth have solved that dilemma, paving the way for great web applications like this one that arm event organizers with powerful tools for engagement and data analytics.
- Thread in entertainment: Maintaining full attention for a full day at a conference can be brutal, especially in our world of constant connection and immediate response. To add fuel to that fire, most conferences are not a single day, but multi-day events. To help break up some of the regularly scheduled programing, keep the audience engaged, and create moments for attendees to connect, try threading in some entertainment. Music, theatrics, games, a celebrity appearance, a guest speaker, or even visual assets can provide something new to recapture audience attention.
- Change up the scenery: This is a simple event hack that can work wonders for keeping things fresh. Sitting in the same room for an entire day is enough to make anyone lose their cool. But the room doesn’t have to look exactly the same all day long. A little bit of lighting can go a long way in transforming the atmosphere. Typically uplighting is used along the stage, but adding some lighting elements throughout the room can give much more control over what the audience is feeling. Pair that with some content changes between speakers and you’ve successfully set up some serious change to the scenery.
- Add motion visuals: It’s surprising how much of the content found in business events is void of video assets. Video is a powerful tool for storytelling because it offers a compelling way to engage audiences, and it’s a strong vehicle for changing up the look and feel of an event. Animated shorts between sessions, video introductions before speakers, animated infographics, or interviews can all add interest while elevating the audience experience. If you aren’t already including video or motion visuals into your content, consider adding some to give things a kick start.
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