Have you ever attended an event that was great, so great that you keep telling your colleagues or friends through the year? Probably you have. Yet is highly likely that, despite your incredible enthusiasm, it is hard for you to say why it was so special.
Amazing Experience, Incredibly Engaging
Every industry has its buzzwords. In the event industry, we overuse engagement and experience.When we market our events, we often use these words in conjunction with positive adjectives, with the hope to sell that unique feeling.The thing is that an incredibly engaging experience is usually a result of careful planning plus that “x factor” we can’t often explain.So let’s try to explain it.
The Difference Between a Great and an Outstanding Event
It is my belief, that the difference between good and freaking awesome events is in the planning.Event planning is seen by the outside world as a mechanical process for control freaks and coffee addicts. A not necessarily difficult task that is just complex and requires controllers.I know it sounds harsh, but I’ve heard it many times. I’ve also attended the events of those who think this way and they are incredibly average.Reducing event planning to a mechanical exercise that just requires budgeting, team control and crisis management usually results in mediocrity. Well planned events that are simply boring.
Fun is a feeling we always tend to forget in our planning. Specially in the MEETINGS industry. See gloomy that word can be, Meetings. Meetings as well as music festivals and football matches can be fun.Regardless of the nature of an event, adding an element of fun to your events will always deliver memorable experiences.One of the greatest examples I always like to reference is how Holland Tourism created the fictional character of Mr Holland. A quintessential Dutch going around exhibitions around the world, taking pictures with attendees.
If you have kids, you know how powerful frustration can be. A frustrated human being in their first years of existence could cry for days or keep you up at night for weeks.The power of frustration is immense. The whole marketing industry is based on frustration management.When we think about planning events, we are always focussed on creating flawless experiences. Don’t get me wrong, this is great and how it should be. Yet adding elements of frustration along the path, may move static attendees to be more engaged and involved with the event.Little pinches of frustration here and there, can make the event experience more surprising and rewarding.In an event context, you can plan small frustration spots to make your audience value more your performer. Think about lines. While lines at registration are completely useless in most events, in some events they need to be there.
Surprise is usually tied to frustration. Oh, the wait before Christmas presents (frustration) and the joy to unpack them (surprise).So how can we use surprise in an event context.The feeling of being in something usual that ends up in surprise is amazing. The fact is that it communicates the message very clearly.Planned surprises could be a great addition that break routine and make attendees happy.The power of surprises is also a strong ally when you are trying to make an impact online. Surprises immediately move attendees to reach to their mobile and take pictures or videos.If the surprise is meaningful and really unexpected it will make an impact online.
Anticipation is a luxury only few events can afford. It comes with prestige and reputation. It comes with time.Those events you cannot wait for are indeed the ones that you will mostly be enthusiastic about. Creating a feeling of anticipation is an art. Steve Jobs was a master of such art.Anticipation is not only a medal you earn on the field. It needs to be fostered with the right choices.
Spontaneity is usually the result of serendipity. Which is usually the opposite of planning. Or is it?Can you plan for serendipity? Can you plan for the attendees to experience unexpected good vibes?So how do you get spontaneity and serendipity. This is the simplest of all : by empowering your attendees. By giving space to your audience to participate, present, sing, dance – or whatever your event is about – you open the arena to the unexpected.This is the concept at the basis of models such as the unconference or barCamps where the agenda is made on the spot and there are no spectators, only participants. What you will discover at an event like this is the unexpected, which could be good or bad, but it’s definitely not boring.
Source : http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/event-magic
Images Source : All About Events