Go from surviving to thriving in the New Year
Events may be the ultimate marketing survivor. With numbers almost back to 2019 levels and little impact expected from any slower economic conditions that may occur, events are proving to be resilient and that audiences highly value connecting in person.
But there’s also been a big shift in what it takes to create a successful event packed with attendees.
Whether you’re new to these trends, want to improve your current planning, or just looking for some inspiration, we’ve unleashed 5 tips to help you do more than just survive event planning in the New Year — we’re going to help you crush it.
So, cheers to you! And bring on the 2023 events with these winning tips:
Make your event experiential, built around a story and content that not only provides value for your attendees but is memorable. And if you can offer a personalized attendee journey that puts them in the driver seat, that’s even better.
It’s also important to keep audiences engaged throughout the year. Consider an event app, forums, social media, and other platforms to provide valuable, ongoing content and build a community destination where your audiences can interact with each other as well as connect with your brand.
No matter the size or medium, production value plays a key role in how your audience will experience your event, and it shines a light on how you prioritize that during planning. Picture quality, audio quality, back lighting, accent lighting, and LED walls are just a few ways to make sure your event content stands out.
Tech is crucial both behind the scenes and in creating a memorable experience. So having the right partner to design, plan, test, troubleshoot, and produce your event ﬂawlessly makes all the difference.
Hybrid is more than just broadcasting a live stream during your in-person event. It’s about creating the most valuable experience possible for each medium and audience.
Attendees are facing budget and travel challenges, especially audiences coming from abroad. Incorporating a hybrid model gives your brand a way to capture those audiences, and others who aren’t able to be on site, and engage them.
Getting experiential here can have big pay offs. Those attending virtually get a sense of your event’s “Wow!” factor and why it’s worth attending in person while also accessing valuable content that helps them connect with your brand story.
Being socially conscious is a hot topic for all industries — and attendees are paying more and more attention to the environmental impact of events. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are also a priority (DEI). Incorporating positive sustainability and DEI metrics will have more and more impact on decision making going forward.
Skip corporate accomplishments, long executive introductions, and dry presentations. Keep attendees from scrolling on their phones or leaving in the middle of the presentations by having guest speakers and presenters cover industry hot topics and thought leadership that provides value or even an unexpected “A-ha!” moment relevant to your industry.
Nothing can make or break your event faster than poor execution of experience design, A/V, digital, content creation, and production — the list goes on. Avoid on-site hiccups by working with an experienced and creative event partner that can produce flawlessly and also offer new perspectives and ideas to uplevel the attendee experience.
When choosing partners, be sure to confirm capabilities, testing and QA processes (as well as creative problem solving!), and how they handle on-the-fly change, as there will always be surprise glitches. The best way to tackle the unexpected is having the right pros in your corner (and supporting you behind the scenes).
Another flawless note is on choosing hosts and emcees — these people literally open your event and set the tone. Prioritize casting friendly and energetic on-stage talent to complement your content strategy and above all else, they provide real human connection. Often those friendly, energetic types are in your own organization, which adds a relatable, authentic vibe.
Give life to dead space
Make use of any unused space or even plan to have an extra area for “hang and chill here time” that attendees can use to connect with colleagues – or have a moment to themselves. This kind of spot is especially cool for those who work remotely and rarely have the chance to be together or who never have a moment alone at home (kids, pets, partners, pay attention to me!). And what better place to relax and re-focus than in a spot filled with your brand story?
A little FOMO can make your event an even bigger deal
Making your event content available can help build a community of loyal followers, but it’s also beneficial to plan an experience or offer content that can only be accessed in person to help create FOMO for those who aren’t planning to attend (or didn’t attend).
Then, be sure to promote that there will be in-person-only content and live activities as part of your overall event marketing.
There’s never been a better time for a fresh start. Now that you’ve captured these crush-it tips to fuel your event strategy, you can capture more attendance, more quality leads, and more engagement. (Even more reasons for fireworks!)
Let’s crush your next event together.
Let’s crush your next event together.