Putting a New Spin on an Old Show


An event’s popularity can be its downfall if event planners fall into comfort zones and allow the event to become shopworn. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to completely revamp a popular event to inject new life into it. In the following post, I have outlined some ways that you can put a new spin on a popular show without needing to cast aside the qualities that make your event popular in the first place:

Book an unusual venue. If you’ve been hosting your event at a hotel ballroom every year, consider trying a different venue, either for the entire event or for portions of it. Consider local attractions such as cultural centers and museums. You’ll find that an unusual venue adds some spark to events. As an example, Content World 2015 in Cleveland welcomed attendees to an Opening Night Reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Splurge on a keynote speaker. A high-profile speaker can create tremendous buzz, especially if the speaker is a bit unexpected. There are plenty of celebrities in any industry that regularly hit the conference circuit. The annual Salesforce Dreamforce event does an excellent job packing its agenda with high-profile guest speakers, and not all of them are obvious choices. For instance, to complement the more predictable industry executives that appear at this technology rich event, Salesforce features names such as Goldie Hawn, Steve Young of NFL fame and Jessica Alba. Your budget might not accommodate several movie stars and retired NFL quarterbacks; featuring just one luminary might be enough to give your event a fresh look.

Get attendees involved on social media. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are great for promoting your event, but they are fairly standard by now. Consider newer generation apps such as Periscope and Snapchat. The New Hampshire Democratic Party made use of Snapchat at its recent state convention. Attendees used the social media platform to Snapchat stories live from the event, contributing their personal perspectives and adding to the collective coverage.

Incorporate technology to engage attendees. In addition to social media, there are mobile-ready solutions to help you engage people at your event. Polleverywhere allows you to send survey questions by text and present the results at an end-of-day session. Presdo Match is an easy way to set up one-to-one meetings between attendees and presenters. The app coordinates communication, meeting requests and scheduling to connect each party. Oracle recently demonstrated how an event can incorporate technology in a fresh way. At its 2015 OpenWorld Conference, attendees used wearable devices to participate in an interactive art installation, “Voice of Data.” The experience got attendees more involved in the event and supported Oracle’s image as an innovative brand.

What are some ways you inject life into an event? We’d love to hear your feedback.

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 bduffy@onesmoothstone.com


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