Don't settle for Kick Ass Events, you can do better!

August 20. POSTED 4 years ago

I am an event organizer, my guests usually say 'it was a kick ass event, or something like, you know how to throw best parties'. If you wonder what the secret is, it is plain and simple. I don't arrange 'just an event' anyone could forget in days; instead offering awesome experiences no one can forget that easily. So I would like to share few of the creative tips/tricks I picked up along the way. Are you ready? I split it into two parts. First part is to effectively engage your target audience to bring the critical mass to your event. Second part is to WOW your guests at the event so you can convert them as your loyal customers, or even ambassadors for your future events.

How to bring the crowd?

You may continue to try the traditional event campaigns as listed here, but let's call spade a spade;

  • Everyone is busy nowadays, or at least pretends to be busy. Why should they care about your event?
  • We live in the information overload era, so your Comms/Invites could be buried under the pile.

So, if you want your event to be a super hit, just inviting or informing them is no more enough. What you should do is to make your event theirs too by engaging them creatively.

  • Surprise your audience in a way they shouldn't forget the event. Why not a flash mob? It does not have to be grand like 'the Hallelujah Chorus', it can be a small treat at your cafĂ© during lunch hours.
  • Subtle campaigning is another way to reach your community. Remember, Vince and Owen on bikes at their Google internship? You can deploy few colorful bikes inside your campus to surprise them for what's going on. Then add your event banner to the bikes closer to the event day, and now you got their attention.
  • Prediction Marketing gives a collective voice to your audience; by providing prizes for participation in the prediction market, you can entice and incentivize them to be actively involved with your event affairs.
  • Who does not want to be treated special? Send invite bouquets or balloon baskets to your VIP guests, also send individually addressed email reminders to all instead sending a mundane whomsoever emails. Simple piece of JavaScript code can send out thousands of individual emails when you supply the TO emails list.
  • Make sure everyone you target should have something at your event, and convey that message consistently and continuously.
  • You may have a fat check to employ event partners, or to outsource your event in its entirety, but never forget to recruit passionate and influencing folks as your event volunteers. Because they will be your local ambassadors; at the least, they will be your critical mass.

How to lock your crowd?

Once you got the crowd at your event, you should lock them in by giving a great on-the-floor experience. Old gimmicks of 'free lunch' wont work anymore. Let us discuss few ideas.

  • Recently we used a Treat to Trick technique for our VIP guests during an event. And guess what: it became an exciting, engaging, and hilarious experience for both the VIPs and everyone who attended the event. We first welcomed the VIPs with a grand gala progressive march band; at the end of their visit we tricked them with a dunk tank where the attendees throw the balls to dunk the VIPs into water. Mission accomplished!
  • Rent few Pedicabs and/or Trollies, mount your event banner, and loop your campus continuously during the event day. Chaperons on board should encourage the by-passers to hop-on for a ride and drop them at your event venue. Folks who just forgot your event are timely reminded; folks who have not thought about attending your event will now be enticed.
  • Having professional performers on site to amuse the crowd is good, but if you create your own experiences relevant to your event theme, the engagement/excitement will be multi fold. Recently I tried a simple exercise using MaKey-MaKey/Raspberry-Pi for an innovation event and it was very well received and became one of the most discussed topics at the event.
  • Hourly quizzes facilitated via an online tool will surely help; with that you can also engage your remote audience, so your event is now Omni present.
  • Arrange an onsite massage to thank all your partners/volunteers to help relax them after an intense and amazing day at the Event. This will go long way than just throwing a regular party with some appetizers and beverages.
  • Always, seek feedback from your customers right after your event. Knowing what worked well, and what your opportunities are, you can throw even better experiences in future.

Over to you!

Please keep in mind the tips/tricks I suggested here may work at some places but not at others, so use your best judgment. And hey, share your thoughts, as always!