Putting on the perfect event requires careful planning and lots of attention to detail. But that’s the perfect event we’re talking about here; lots of events seem to just be thrown together at the last minute with little thought of who’s going to be attending. Case in point: how many work or networking events have you gone to that you would actually call “fun”?
Hacks on how to pimp your events (or what EventProfs do)
Still, there are lots of ways you can take an average dull event into something that’s a bit more memorable (and for the right reasons). These little tips don’t have to take much time at all, but they’ll go a long way to making your event a success.
Set your goals and don’t forget them
More often than not, it’s encouraged to do something completely new and out of the box. When it comes to events, the latest trend is to create an experience that leaves an impression on attendees and most of the times the best way to do this is by giving them something unexpected. Mapping, sensorial marketing, and even GIFs booths are elements that are becoming popular among corporate events. But, it doesn’t matter if you somehow manage to make guests bungee jump inside a conference building, if it’s not related to the goal then guests will remember the occasion for the wrong reasons.
How to pimp it: Write down the goals for the event and leave them somewhere visible throughout the whole production of the event. It may sound simple, and it is! But trust me, it is worth it. I’ve seen my fair share of occasions being derailed because the staff forgot the goals halfway through production.
Set up a smoke machine on the rooftop, they said. It will be fine! They said.
Start planning yesterday
The chances of holding the dream event — with the right speaker, the right caterer, and the right venue — increase exponentially with the amount of time you set aside to contact these people.
How to pimp it: Use a platform like Bizzabo that will help you with every aspect of the event from handling sponsors to ticketing and even reports. There are many managing platforms out there, but what makes Bizzabo different is that it was designed specifically for event planners.
Location, location, location
Selecting a proper venue can be tricky. Planners need one that not only looks cool but also has all of the amenities the occasion will require, on top of staying within budget. In order to avoid nasty last-minute surprises, keep the following questions in mind:
- Do they have enough chairs and tables to accommodate everyone? Nobody likes to be standing up all night
- Make sure all of the decorations and catering you’re planning are Okay with the venue (some places might not allow smoking food that might stain walls, for example)
- Have a plan B — if you’re having an outdoor event, have a backup space in case the weather doesn’t cooperate
How to pimp it: Check out our Top 100 UK venue list! We’re kidding. Although we would love you if you read it *wink*. The sure way to pimp an event venue is to pick something that’s unexpected. How about a glass studio? Where participants get to learn how to make their own glass sculptures?
Decorations (oh, so pretty)
Think about planning a theme for your event ahead of time, too. Do you want to have a fun theme, or maybe a colour-based one? Or would you rather have an event centred around talks all on a similar topic? Themes aren’t required, but they can help you focus your event.
How to pimp it: If you need inspiration, look no further than Pinterest. With its almost endless catalogue of images and ability to visit the source website of the material, you’re almost guaranteed to find the ideal theme and venue for your event. Another idea would be to subscribe to well-known blogs where they frequently talk about event decorations.
Schedule even the trips to the loo
Create a plan — and stick to it! A tight schedule is crucial for any type of event. If you’re having speakers, they’ll also want to know when they’re going to be expected to present. If you serve food, you’ll need to coordinate what time it needs to be there. Not having a plan makes it much harder to figure out these details.
How to pimp it: Add some downtime to your schedule. Break up long chunks of speech and presentations with short intermissions that give people a chance to stretch their legs and chat. Don’t make your event super long, either. Your guests will almost certainly have other things to do, so don’t take up too much of their time.
Serve food — and lots of it
Few things worse than being at a long, dull event and having nothing but packets of crisps tipped into bowls to eat. Food is often neglected during corporate events and in my experience, this is a mistake. Nothing gets people grumpy like an empty stomach — there’s a reason why the expression hangry is catching on, after all.
You don’t need to hire Jamie Oliver to do the catering, but you probably will want something more than just a few chips.
How to pimp it:
- Go green — go for catering services that offer organic, locally made products
- Follow trends — food carts are really happening (these require a lot of energy though, make sure that whoever is paying the electric bill is okay with that)
- Make sure you have lots of napkins and appropriate cutlery — nothing ruins the mood like unfortunate spills
- Don’t forget to offer vegetarian* (or even vegan) options — there are more vegetarians every day, so chances are you’ll have at least one at your event
* Unless it’s something like the Carnivores’ Convention — you can skip on that one.
And dranks drinks too! *hiccup*
Bottles of water are always welcomed, with bonus points for chilled ones guests can grab and take with them as they walk around or sit through a talk.
How to pimp it: Serve alcohol! Kidding. That’s entirely up to you — though we wouldn’t recommend it for an early meeting*. If you are going to serve it, make sure to always have an option on hand for guests who don’t (or aren’t legally allowed to) drink.
* Most people don’t drink during the morning and those who do — well, let’s just say you don’t want them near the good ol’ ale.
Be nice and give guests a heads up
Details like time and place are obvious, but often times attendees would also like more information like for how long is the event expected to run. Also, let them know about dress codes so they know what to wear. Being completely over, or underdressed for an occasion is bad. Not as bad as being hungry, but still pretty bad.
How to pimp it: Send guests a jaw-dropping physical invitation with detailed information on the location, times, parking, dress codes, how to get there and others you might consider pertinent. Also, don’t forget to let them know if they’ll need to present their invitation and/or RSVP. Nobody wants to get turned away at the door.
Make your attendees feel comfortable at the event
Nothing will make an event go sour like an annoyed guest.
- Try your best to have somebody greet them at the entrance, and check in with during the event
- Give people a space to leave things like umbrellas, coats and heavy bags when they walk in, too
- Remember to thank guests for attending your event — People generally like hearing thank you!
- If your event runs longer than you expected, try to gently let people know that they have to leave (of course, if your guests are lingering and don’t seem to want to leave, then it’s probably a sign that your event went well!)
How to pimp it: Zkipster (again with the apps) is a platform that promises to turn those long lines into two seconds per guest check-in. It will make your job a lot easier and give attendees more comfort since less time waiting is more time having fun.
Now you got it!
With these small tips, you’ll be able to pimp your event and make it one that your guests will remember fondly. Even the dullest work event is made nicer if the organisers have put a little extra time and effort into making sure that the attendees feel comfortable throughout the experience.
If you have more tips on how to quickly spice up your event, let us know in the comments below or through any of our social media outlets! In the meantime keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.
Printsome is a clothing 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.