Chances are you’ve been spending a good amount of time making sure every piece of electronic equipment is charged, every giveaway T-shirt neatly folded, and every screen correctly programmed. You’re anxious and sleep-deprived, but as you sip your this-is-the-last-one-I-promise can of Rockstar, you smile because you and your team have done a good job – That is until later that night when you overhear a couple of attendees complaining about how ‘anticlimactic’ the whole thing felt.
You gasp. How dare they? Don’t they realise how everyone broke their backs trying to organise this thing? Chances are they don’t — because as fun and exciting event organising might be, it can also be a very ungrateful job. It doesn’t matter how many wonderful moments there were throughout the occasion, if you end on a sour note, that’s all they’ll talk about.
But don’t fret, there are ways to avoid the M. Night Shyamalan curse and they only require a bit of creativity.
Here are ten event planning tips on how to close an event:
Give them an amazing speech
Like people, there are all kinds of speeches. When ending an event, you want to give one everyone will remember. While creativity is your friend here (the more ingenious the more likely they will recall it), there are still certain guidelines you can follow to create a memorable moment.
- Be sincere, nobody likes a fake speaker
- Highlight the positive, even if the event was a disaster, there must be at least one good thing you can talk about, right?
- Do not end with “Thank You”, it’s been done to death. There are thousands of way to end a speech aside from “Thank You” (Try a quote, an inspirational sentence or even an image or a video)
- Be inspirational, you want people to think about what you said afterwards
- Be concise, if you take too long you might run the risk of boring your audience.
One really great example of this is Sir Ken Robinson’s speech on creativity. His lecture isn’t for an event closing, but you can still follow suit of providing a real-life example to really drive your point home, then following it up with a quick wrap-up of what the next steps should be. It inspires while at the same time avoids being sappy, phoney or clichéd.
For most people, the second best thing you can say to them after a long day of work is “Let’s go out for a drink” (the first one being “I’ll give you a raise” naturally). Inviting your attendees for a drink will give them a chance to blow off some steam in a casual setting. If it’s a large event, hire waiters to serve glasses of champagne at the end of the day. If it’s a small one, take them out to a nearby pub and buy everyone a round of good ol’ pints.
For a classic example of this, we’re looking to the silver screen — to The Great Gatsby, specifically! If there’s anybody who knows how to throw a party, it’s Gatsby (check out our infographic on how to plan a party like him). Anyway, just check out the moment when the party starts and waiters begin passing out the champagne (around 0:40). Doesn’t it just add a touch of sophistication and the feeling of celebration?
An award ceremony
Everybody likes to be recognised for their hard work. There’s a reason why there are so many flashy awards, after all! To receive a prize for your efforts at the end of a long day is sometimes the best way to lift someone’s spirit up.
Don’t believe us? Then check this video from the 2011 FDI Youngevity Convention. It’s all sorts of epic.
Leave the best for last
Not only will that give them a reason to sit through the entire event from start to finish, but it’ll also leave them with something more than a “thank you” to go home with. Of course, this means that you should have something legitimately big to announce. Nobody will be too pleased if your announcement doesn’t measure up to the promises!
While many companies have used this technique to make big announcements, Nintendo has perfected it. Check out the infamous The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess trailer that was unveiled at the end of their conference during E3 2004 — the one that supposedly made grown men cry.
Give an exciting performance
Have you seen Apple’s 2016 keynote? If so, you may have noticed that the part at the very, very end wasn’t actually about the iPhone 7, at all, but actually a stunning performance by Sia! To hire an artist for entertainment purposes is a common method among corporate event planners and it is used to break the pace of the occasion and leave spectators on a high note.
Of course, while you may not have the budget to invite the “Chandelier” singer and her dance troupe, you can still probably get some really awesome local performers who will put on a great show for your guests. To see the performance skip to 108:00.
We can’t seem to stop talking about giveaways at the Printsome blog, but people just love free things, it’s a fact! A well-crafted goodie bag can be beneficial for your event in more ways than one.
- A, it’s a marketing tool.
- B, also an opportunity to collaborate with other businesses
- C, it raises the mouth-to-mouth awareness of your brand
Who’s done the most amazing giveaway ever? Oprah, who actually gave every member of her audience a car at the end of one of her episodes. While today the only official video you can find is a re-cut one with commentary from present-day Oprah, the moment was so iconic it sparked a slew of parodies, remixes and jabs from late-night comedians.
We’re going to guess you probably won’t be giving away any cars, but you can still have a very memorable close with a fun giveaway. How about some cool T-shirts? Let us know and we can help you create shirts your event attendees will love!
Throw a party
Rather than just having a glass of champagne or inviting people to the bar for a drink, you could end your event with an actual party. Sometimes guests like having the chance to bring their friends, family or partners to these events, too. Of course, if your event ends on a Sunday this may not be the best of ideas, but if you’re doing something on a Friday or Saturday night, it might be nice to have a big bash to lend the event finale a celebratory air.
Check out the Webstock event programme where they had a party for the evening featuring a live DJ followed by official closing statements. They made sure not to make the party too late in the day — it was actually late afternoon. There were a few more talks afterwards, too. You could schedule yours like this, or have it be the very last thing. Don’t keep people all night, though!
Put on a 3D light show
3D light shows have been all the rage in Europe lately, with lots of cities participating in events where the local buildings are transformed with clever light art installations projected onto the walls. Check out this one from Adidas for inspiration. You’ll need to work with a team of talented designers to do this, but the effect can be really surprising – and memorable!
Who doesn’t like fireworks? Even those who say they don’t, are mesmerised when the sparkles start shooting into the dark sky. Fireworks are to people what laser pointers are to cats. They’re just that pretty. If your venue has got a large outside area (and your budget allows), why not go all out with a bang (quite literally)? Regulations regarding fireworks change depending on the area, check the laws on your location to make sure everything is safe and impress those attendees! Here is a guide on doing fireworks in the UK.
And who does the very best fireworks? The Olympics! Yep, they definitely take home the gold for this one. Check out these done for the 2012 London Olympics:
Say it with balloons!
If fireworks are not within your budget, maybe balloons are! While not as lavish, they can still provide a visual impact, especially if you time it well. You have two options, you can drop them from the ceiling or, if they’re filled with helium, release them into the sky. If you go with the latter, remember that balloons can be an environmental hazard. They may look pretty, but eventually, they will pop and the rubber can end up in lakes, fields and rivers where they can be a danger to the animals that ingest them. Take the necessary precautions.
To see an example of just how much fun this can be, check out the balloon drop at this year’s Democratic National Convention. There’s a reason American political candidates love the balloon drop! It starts at around 1:40 — keep an eye out for Bill rather enjoying the balloons (the photos were a huge hit online).
So there you have them, 10 event planning tips on how to close an event. We hope you enjoyed them!
Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency in the UK based in London that delivers all across the UK, from printing T-shirts in Brighton to York and anywhere in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.