Any event has the potential to be outstanding and memorable, but those perceived impressions rely on how hard you, the event maker, work to create that experience for your attendees. Here are 6 simple ways that can dramatically elevate your event, leaving attendees wanting to return year after year.
- Take your technical equipment for a spin the day before your event. “It is always something”, as the saying goes. If it is not a shortage of power or outlets, it is the bandwidth of the internet the venue provides or infrequently used equipment acting up. Be sure to check the power cord situation, make sure that you have enough extension cords, and have backups in case a vendor forgets one. Check the location of power outlets at your venue. Plan for taping down cords, bring rugs to cover messy cords, and make sure your layout works with the outlet locations. Check the bandwidth of the internet the venue provides to see if you will need to provide a hotspot for additional internet power. Power up devices, and do a dry run of your presentations or any media you will display to make note of the steps in case you are using equipment you are not used to. If you can't get into your venue the day before your event, plan ahead and just bring extra cords, tape, and maybe a hotspot to get you out of a jam. Going through your tech checklist is a must for any powered event.
- Don’t forget about the bathrooms. Nearly every person at your event will use the restroom. Think about that. Put special touches in the bathroom like lotion, mints, and flowers. Make sure to have a volunteer or someone on staff monitor the bathrooms to keep on top of toilet paper, paper towels, and trash. Unkempt bathrooms will turn your guests off, giving them an unfavorable impression about the cleanliness of your entire event - or lack thereof.
- Nobody likes to be the first one at a party. How many times have you showed up to an event, noticed that no one was there, and opted to run a quick errand first, and come back and check on it later instead of going in? It takes a brave soul to walk into an empty venue. All of those errands your attendees are running are costing you money, especially if your event success is based on moving merchandise and food. The sooner event goers show up to an event, the sooner they open their wallets, allowing you to maximize the amount of time your event is scheduled to run for. If you find your event doesn't start getting crowded until 45 minutes after the scheduled start time is, it is not because people are always late. It is because your event has a reputation for not getting going until an hour after starting, costing you an hour of drawer sales. Have volunteers show up and hang out at the start of your event to encourage attendees to want to come in. Another way to incentivise early birds is to offer door prizes or discounts to a select group of attendees, like the first 100 people get a free t-shirt, or swag. These simple tweaks can help to create a happening vibe at your event.
- Encourage Sobriety. If your event is an alcohol based event with up front ticket sales, don't discourage non drinkers from attending. The current model for most alcohol based events and festivals is a slightly discounted ticket for those who are not drinking. That doesn't really scream we want sober drivers to your attendees. By offering swag, vouchers, or discounts during your event, you will see the number of designated driver attendees jump. For each group of drinkers, you will find several people in the mix who do not drink. Incentivising those non drinkers to come to your event with their friends can mean more ticket sales for you, and more merchandise sold during your event. Not only are you making it easier for your attendees to have a sober ride, you are able to capitalize on those extra attendees.
- Plan for a possible medical emergency. If your event is large, make sure your attendees know where the medical tent is, and don’t place it at the back of your event if avoidable. Once your event gets going, chances are the crowds are going to be where the action is. If a medical emergency arises, your medical staff will have to either traverse the crowd in order to reach the patron in need of assistance, or the patrons themselves will have to wade back through the crowd to make it to your medical area. Have small exits placed around bigger areas you expect crowds, where medical staff can enter and exit which will allow easy access to an attendee in need of medical attention. Even if your event is smaller, have a volunteer on staff who knows CPR and basic first aid, and have a first aid kit handy. Adequately preparing for medical emergencies is an easy way to take some risk out of the “what if” at your event.
- Surprise your guests. Have you ever been to an event where there was an unannounced door prize, a special guest speaker, or a parting gift? Special touches make event goers remember your event. Building surprises into your event will make event goers feel special and walk away from your event, already thinking about returning next year. Plan for these touches during your event planning process, secure the surprise, and treat your attendees to a one of a kind event experience that they will remember, after all, that is why you are putting on the event anyway!