Events Are Becoming Increasingly Similar - Here's How To Stand Out
Think of the last time you attended an event and were truly wowed. Hard, isn’t it? Few things are more cringe-worthy and dreary than a tired, uninspired, and all-round ‘meh’ event. And, as an event planner, the last thing you want is to see your attendees bored out of their minds, fiddling with paper napkins or scrolling through their phones, counting down the hours ‘til they can make their escape.
Trouble is, differentiating yourself yourself from competitors is becoming increasingly difficult - but we’re here to convince you that you should really, really take event it seriously, because standing out from the crowd has serious perks. First off, it can amplify the reach of a marketing campaign – think going viral. It can also boost your event’s image and drive repeat attendance – which is why we’re in the events industry in the first place isn’t it?! But when everyone has access to cutting-edge tech, social media, and countless other forms of #eventinspo how on Earth do you come up with original enough ideas that will be etched in your attendees’ minds?!
We have a couple of ideas…
Goodie bags full of bits of plastic? Branded mouse pads and pens? Yep – those are all the hallmarks of event clichés. You shouldn’t feel the pressure to do something at your event ‘just because everyone else does it’ – that doesn’t mean it works or that it will add value to your attendees’ experience.
Instead, think about doing something meaningful to add to the experience. For example, you could include conversation starters printed on reusable tumblers – this will add more to the experience than a simple logo.
What’s considered cool today is out of date tomorrow and if your branded goodies are are afterthought, there’s more at risk than a bin full of fidget spinners.
Embrace mobile event apps
There’s no shortage of valuable mobile event apps for you to experiment with. For example, Attendify allows you to create a private social network unique to your event with features like a social timeline, photo sharing, messaging, likes, comments, and personal profiles.
If you’re planning a particularly large event, Whova enables attendees to plan their experience around a focus of their choice, so they can participate in the right panels and sessions. A mobile agenda and attendee bios (with social media links) also help make networking super easy. You can also help attendees get relevant updates and reminders that keep them engaged through push notifications. Live polling, too, is a good idea, and can greatly help with engagement.
With constantly buzzing smartphones and email notifications, you probably only hold a fraction of your attendees’ attention. But having one eye on the speaker and other on the screen of a smartphone or notebook isn’t a way to enjoy an event. To keep this from happening, encourage your attendees to disconnect from their phones and completely immerse themselves in the event experience.
A fun and inventive way in which you can do this is by hiring cool event props – think table football, interactive photo booths and arcades.