Some events are so — for a lack of a better word — uneventful that as soon as you walk out the door it seems like you’ve forgotten most of what went on. Sometimes, despite an event organiser’s best efforts, the event just doesn’t manage to make a big impression.
But don’t despair! There are a handful of simple tips and guidelines that can keep your event from becoming the snooze fest of the century. Follow our Printsome experts’ tips and you may even end up having one of the most memorable occasions of the year — in a good way!
#1 Offer practical giveaways
Here at Printsome, we are big fans of giveaways — especially if they involve awesome T-shirts! But there’s no sense in just giving away any old thing. You really want to give attendees something that they’ll like and use. If there’s nothing that quite fits with the theme of your event, that’s Okay. Just find something practical that people will probably want to use again (I always like getting USB sticks, because I can’t seem to keep track of mine no matter how hard I try. Where do they all go?).
Giveaways don’t have to be a massive production. Stick to simple things, and use the classic rule of thumb — would I like it if somebody gave this to me?
You could also poll people beforehand to find out what sort of things they’d like to get at the event. Phone cases might not be a big hit (doesn’t everyone already have one?) but something like an on-the-go charger for a phone would be. For more ideas, check out our 100 Giveaways post.
#2 Strive for uniqueness with every decision
One of the best ways you can make your event really stand out is by doing things that are different from what everyone else is doing. Instead of doing things the automatic way, really think if there’s any way you can give them your own spin or twist.
Take into consideration who you want to come to your event and what message you want to send them. Is there a creative way you can get the message across?
Occasionally brands manage to stand out by taking a good look at what everyone else is doing — and then doing the complete opposite. Everyone at Fashion Week was keeping their clothes tightly under wrap, for instance when Burberry decided to unveil their complete collection on Snapchat. By doing they got the most coveted accessory at Fashion Week — attention.
All that being said, sometimes the tried and true road is the best one. You probably don’t want to go too out there or people might be remembering your event for all the wrong reasons!
#3 Keep all your information short and sweet
We’ve all been to those conferences where you’re stuck listening to an incredibly dull and long speech. Naturally, the room is always inevitably just a bit too warm and the chairs are always just slightly uncomfortable enough that you have to keep changing positions. This is when thoughts of what you could be eating instead might come up, as well as creative little games you can play in your head (Try seeing if you can name all the characters who died on Game of Thrones this season. Then put them in order. That’ll keep you going for a good while!).
If you’re the speech giver, you’ll probably be all too aware that people’s attention is slowly drifting towards King’s Landing instead of your carefully arranged PowerPoint.
To avoid this tragic situation for all parties, give people time limits – and have them stick to them. If people feel like they have to go into more detail, make additional information available online or have a networking session where people can ask more in-depth questions.
#4 Follow up with guests and speakers
It’s really important to follow-up afterwards with your guests and speakers. After all, they are probably a big part of what can make an event successful (or not…but let’s be optimistic here). A thank you note is always appreciated (email is Okay), and for your speakers you may want to include a small gift as well.
Apart from thanking attendees, this can also be a really good chance to get feedback on your event and find out what went well and what you could improve. You can ask people in your thank you, or you could even create a quick online survey to include at a link at the end of the email. With a survey, you can ask short questions about specific issues that people might not think to comment on otherwise.
#5 Focus on quality, not quantity
It’s a cliché, but like many clichés it comes from somewhere. Quality really is the most important factor, and it’s what can make one event stand out heads and shoulders above the rest. A quick event filled with a few high-quality speakers and activities is much better than a long one that has lots of stuff going on, but not much substance.
Quality is definitely something you should be picky on for your event. Maybe there’s a speaker who’s really well-known but you think is all style and no substance. Skip him and get the lesser-known local expert who might not be as famous but really knows how to give a great speech.
#6 BONUS TIP: Make an effort to personally talk to everyone at the event
People are much more likely to remember stuff if it has a personal touch, and it can really mean a lot to event attendees when the organiser makes an effort to at least say hi and shake their hand. If you have a really big event you may not be able to get around to everyone, but do make an effort to chat to as many people as you can. A quick conversation can help guests remember you and what you had to say.
Now you’re all ready to go ahead and make your next event as memorable as you can. If you’re looking for more ways to have a truly stand-out event, why not check out our infographic? It includes 50 tips for making sure that your event runs smoothly from start to finish. Planning events doesn’t have to be a headache — it can actually be really fun once you know what you’re doing.
Which one of these tips do you think you’ll be putting into action at your next event? Let us know in the comments below or you can also reach us via any of our social media outlets.
In the meantime, keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.