Events can get stale, but yours shouldn’t. Whether you’re producing a conference, an intimate workshop, or a holiday tree lighting, you’ve got an opportunity to dazzle a little pizzazz that shouldn’t break the bank. Here are 5 tips to help you supercharge your next event:
1. The little touches count
Details matter. It’s why event planners tend to be crazy foodies, obsessed with ceiling height, and worried about lighting. We want to make sure it’s all perfect. From the environment to the flow, participants need to “be” in the event, suspend reality, and just enjoy. It’s easy to supercharge an event into an experience if you take the time and imagine, what would make it something you wouldn’t do for for yourself?
Don’t just serve brie and pastry, bake it into something masterful that also tugs on the emotional connection your participant has. Don’t drape the napkins, shape them into a swan and pose them on the charger. Hang twinkle lights and use globes or candles in the pool to provide mood lighting rather than setting up spots. Turn your dinner into a gala with simple chair drapings and personalized menus per setting. No matter what, these little touches take it to the next level.
2. Class it up
Classy never goes out of style. It’s why Chanel still owns it, and we might spend inordinate amounts to take tea at the Waldorf. There’s a sense of nostalgia that accompanies certain decades. Whether it’s whimsical and cottage like with crystal from a bygone age, or theming and involving your invitees in clothing to a gentler time, capitalize on class by finding those touches that Emily Post would espouse.
And classy doesn’t mean expensive. From Ikea to Pinterest, there’s budget conscious ways to supercharge your event. Use the hotel linens but add special tea lights with colored crystal. Bring and set your own flowers. Have volunteers provide family recipes and share a special memory. Class comes in all different ways.
3. Animals always win
Want to engage people AND raise awareness for a good cause? Research has shown that animals can lower stress levels. Have a petting zone as part of your next event. Work with a local shelter or animal therapy group to bring adorable animals in for people to relax with. Your event will light up social media for days and have people panting for the next time they can connect with their furry friends.
Pro tip: warn the venue BEFORE you sign a contract you’re thinking about bringing an animal onsite. Most places will be okay with it, but it’s always better to let your venue know with as much advance notice as possible.
4. Make it a game
Check your local venue rules, but I’ve done everything from competitive beer tastings to dodge ball. Most of the time, as long as you ensure that there is a signed liability form on hand and an EMT somewhere on call, the sky is the limit for helping your participates network AND get bragging rights to a trophy.
5. Let your participants help you decide
There’s no quicker way to supercharge an event than by letting people tell you what they want. And you may not be able to implement every idea, but it never hurts to ask your potential pool of participants, what’s the one cool thing you wish we did?
If you can find even one thing you can implement an idea (who knew caption a meme could be so popular?), you’ll have a built in champion that evangelizes the experience to their sphere of influence AND more willing people who will want to enhance the next event you do.