If you have an event to prepare for this year, then you will want to be up on the latest event trends. There is no exact formula for creating and delivering upon an incredible event, but there are some subject areas you will want to address to ensure a lasting impression. This article explores five key categories to consider when planning for your event.
Incorporating technology into any event has proven to be an absolute must. More important than the simple inclusion of that technology is the simple implementation of that technology.
Technology isn’t just glitz and glam. It’s the user experience. It’s all about getting people to understand and use technology to create something better. Technology should be there to raise the level of enjoyment and satisfaction for attendees, and it needs to be accessible. This point can’t be stressed enough.
If you’re going to use a particular piece of technology, you will need to understand it. Your attendees will need to understand it. Most importantly, both of you will need to understand how this is going to make the experience better in very clear and simple terms. Not everyone is willing to try the new technological advancement, so the benefits need to be clear and compelling or not at all.
Technology can be a great tool to foster and track engagement with your event and the technology itself. It may be something up and coming, like iBeacons, which is Bluetooth technology that provides location-based information to users and developers alike. It may be another wireless technology, like WiFi, which attendees expect to be included at every event. That engagement may even be something that now seems much more widespread, like photos.
Cell phone cameras are near ubiquitous at this point, and the camera technology in even the dumbest smartphones blows away point-and-shoot cameras from a decade ago. Realize that people at your event will be taking photos of themselves, each other, and your event. Assume that they will capture and publicize the cool parts of your event, and they will do the same with the imperfections, as well. So keep your eyes on the details, because undoubtedly be publicized.
When it comes to the details, security cannot be overlooked. Hackers ideally want to go after big businesses to get information like emails, passwords, addresses, and banking information in bulk if possible. Still, this type of information can be useful for hackers at your event, as well, so ensure that attendee information is safeguarded. Getting your database hacked is a public relations disaster that you would prefer not have to deal with.
The human beings speaking at your event are the people who influence your attendees. They need to be impactful, they need to understand technology, and they need to have their own network of followers on social media.
Talk with potential speakers before making an official invitation to speak at your event, and get a gauge of how well they understand your audience and the subject. Do they incorporate technology into the presentation? What technology do they require? How do they plan to promote their presence at your event? Do they have a web presence with video of previous events?
Really good speakers will require fees. They’re professionals, and they want to be paid like it. Incorporating tried and true speakers bodes well for your event, but don’t be afraid to give the guy or gal who has a great idea in mind and is new to the game. These people are hungry to make names for themselves, and outside-the-box thinkers will round out the proverbial palate of your event. These people push their fields forward, and are often considered thought leaders.
Look for new voices, diverse voices across race and gender, and try to get those people to your event. A wide range of exciting ideas and voices can be found on TED talks, and you may be able to invite one of them to speak at your event. It’s important to get speakers who are capable of engaging an audience, and to always get the audience to walk away questioning preconceived notions.
Efforts to be good to the environment are proving to be more than just a fad, and attendees expect some level of commitment to the environment.
Start by choosing the right venue for your event, and pick a venue that demonstrates sustainability efforts. Find a place that recycles, perhaps even more important; find a location that has great access to public transportation. Not only will people be able to get to your event en masse, but it will cut down on the number of people who drive home either tipsy or tired from your incredible event.
Build upon the technology you’re incorporating into your event and really drive the delivery of information through apps rather than fliers. Use email instead of mail. If you have to use paper for something, make sure it’s recycled paper.
Instead of using traditional paper recycling, advertise with water containers that people will use over and over again. It will keep them hydrated during your event, and they’ll see the logo as they stay hydrated and healthy during the weeks to come.
Human beings love beauty.
When planning your event, find ways to create beauty as often as possible. There are lots of avenues to explore. It may take shape in a location that may otherwise be unflattering, like a barn, and turning it into an enchanted evening with the right lighting and backdrops.
There are opportunities to do so with food by creating dishes that are both vibrant with color and healthy, too. Be sure to combine it with silverware that complements both the dish and the event’s style.
Look for opportunities to deliver a powerful impact with a sign that leaves a lasting impression. There are so many talented graphic designers who are able to make people stop and stare at whatever it is you want them to see. Whether it is a banner, or a digital image, make sure that it stops people in their tracks.
Finally, realize that every location for your event will present challenges when it comes to space and layout, and it may require creative solutions and some flexibility to turn it into something magical that includes everyone.
Assess your location early on in the planning process, and be sure that people with disabilities and special needs will be able to access your event. Determine any additional costs associated with turning a particular location into something compliant with the ADA.