As a keynote speaker, I have seen everything when it comes to events.
With over 400+ digital marketing conferences being held in 2019 alone, there is truly a conference for everyone. That said, competing with so many other conferences can make it difficult for event planners to come up with innovative event ideas to wow their attendees.
I feel their pain.
While each attendees’ goals for a conference or summit vary, they want to walk away knowing that the time and money they spent was worth it. Conversely, event organizers want their attendees to have a memorable experience. They too want each individual to feel like they got what they wanted out of an event. That’s why I curated a list of event ideas that event organizers should steal in 2019.
- Events are still an important way to engage people in the real world.
- Always bear in mind the goals for your event.
- Try new, playful, and unexpected approaches to engaging your audience in interesting ways.
Does It Make Sense?
Before you rush to implement your event marketing strategies, take a step back and ask yourself what the goals are for your event. While wacky, creative ideas are fun, it is important that they resonate with your audience. For example, if you are investing in a crazy selfie booth for senior level executives, it may not have the same impact the way it would for young professionals.
In December 2018, Event Manager Blog listed over 200 unique ideas for events. In it, they cautioned against using innovative concepts just for innovation’s sake. What you thought was funny and entertaining could end up coming across as gimmicky and disjointed from the focus of the event.
This proves why event organizers must ask themselves if what they are doing is relevant to their target audience.
Creative Event Ideas
Now that I’ve given you my word of caution, here is the list of creative event ideas that I found interesting.
1) Arrange for Alternative Seating
In 2014, TEDxSomerville traded in theater seats or folding chairs for large pillows. It gave the attendees an opportunity to relax while they listened to speakers and musical performances.
2) Keep a Secret
It’s a well known secret that adding an element of surprise can help you retain information. From secret screenings to ad hoc keynotes in unexpected venues, event planners are starting to introduce “secret” elements to their events. It creates intrigue for guests and gives them something extra to look forward to.
3) Do the Unexpected
One idea that caught my eye is adding strolling entertainment to your event. If you’ve ever traveled to Venice, Italy, you’ve likely seen what appear to be statues. When visitors walk up to these silver-painted people to take a photo, suddenly the statue moves, surprising the unsuspecting tourist. Adding a similar element will certainly surprise your guests, entertain them, and make it an overall memorable experience for everyone. How cool would it be to liven up your marketing event with an unique feature like this?
4) Encourage Playful Participation
We have all experienced it. A presentation ends and the speaker asks if anyone has questions. The room gets uncomfortably quiet and you see people looking around, wondering who will say something first.
You can avoid this by adding fun elements to your interactive sessions with things like throwable microphones, giant foam fingers and noisemakers for when someone answers a question correctly. These elements will encourage your participants to let their voices be heard in a playful way.
5) Know That You Have Only 5 Minutes
A famous (albeit, controversial) study that found the average human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds.
The implications of our shortened attention span has multiple implications, including the length of presentations given at an event. Some events are testing out speed formats, an event style similar to Ignite talks. Speakers are given as few as 5 minutes or less to present. While it appeals to your attendees’ attention span, the shorter presentations give you an opportunity to offer a variety of ideas and knowledge.
6) Consider Silent Conferences
Sure, our attention spans may have decreased but when we have spent time and money to attend an event, we don’t want to get poor acoustics or outside noise distracting us from what a keynote speaker is saying. That is why some events have started introducing “silent conferences.”
With the distribution of headphones, event attendees can give their full attention and concentration to the speaker’s presentation. Meanwhile, other activities and networking can take place in the same room without anyone being interrupted.
7) Mix-Up the Photo Game
Elevate everyone’s selfie game by offering more than just a photo booth. At a recent Adobe user conference, they had attendees take 3D selfies. This technology captures the shape of an individual and produces a figurine, enabling attendees to take home a true one-of-a-kind momento.
Create Your Best Event Yet!
Even when I am speaking at conferences, I take time to see what new concepts are being used so I can help clients with their events. I’m excited to see what tactics event managers will implement in 2020. I hope to be a part of it!
How can I help you with your next event? Contact us today!