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You might consider yourself an experienced master at event strategy. You coordinate excellent speakers that attendees love and arrange social events that rock in between informative sessions. But there’s a peripheral audience that you might forget when planning: spouses, who often accompany event attendees. Making spouses happy can make your event extra special. How do you make sure they have a great time while you’re taking care of attendees at the main event? Try a few of these options.
Be a guide. Many event planners create guides (often in the form of mobile apps) to provide event schedules, session agendas and information on social functions. To make the experience enjoyable for spouses and family members, it’s smart to include some information on the area. Tell them about shopping and dining, as well as tourist attractions and city landmarks. Make sure you list details about public transportation options or taxis so they know how to get around town.
Host mixers and meals. While you should reserve several gatherings for networking opportunities, it’s important to welcome spouses and family to the other functions you’re putting on as part of your event. Invite spouses to after-hours fun, as time with loved ones shouldn’t be sacrificed just because someone is attending a convention. When you’re planning these activities, make sure to focus on non-work themes.
Arrange a photo scavenger hunt with prizes. Spouses are separated from your event attendees while they’re in sessions. Give them the option of something to do during their down time unless they simply want to experience the event setting on their own. A photo scavenger hunt is a great way to keep them occupied and you can get them interested in the area at the same time. Send them to capture images from local landmarks and attractions – the first one back to the site with all the right pictures wins a prize!
Set up a class that both spouses will enjoy. While an attendee is off hearing about industry news and latest product releases, spouses can enjoy learning new skills. You can hire instructors to teach just about every activity under the sun, from cooking to painting to arts and crafts. As your event is winding down, invite participants to a demonstration where spouses can show off their new talents.
Schedule tours of area landmarks or historical sites. There’s always something to see or do in the cities where you host your events. So take advantage of this opportunity to entertain the guests of your attendees. Arrange a bus tour of the area, including stops to museums, art galleries, shopping, outdoor sites or other activities. Include a stop for refreshments so they can check out local cuisine.
How much do you consider the happiness of spouses at your events? Do you think these ideas will make the experience more enjoyable for all? We’d like to hear what you think.
For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org