Special Attraction Ideas For a Major Event
When it comes to organizing events, it’s always about doing it big, one-upping the previous edition and, of course, your competition. Trade fairs, conferences, and festivals intend to bring people together, first and foremost. Once you secure your keynote speakers, exhibitors, or artists, it’s time to get creative with additional events to make the gathering even more attractive. Keep on reading as I lay down special attraction ideas for major events.
Being an event planner, you must’ve come across this topic in various relevant groups in social media – what attractions do I bring in for my conference or meeting? How do I make participants stay? How do I create that extra value for them? How do I make my event pop?
On one hand, so much has been done already, it’s difficult to come up with something completely new. On the other, there’s nothing wrong with rehashing some of the proven ideas or adding your own twist to them.
Importantly, you need to find a way to fit in hot topics, excitement, and tangible value into your event agenda. Also, the kind of special attractions you will incorporate will depend on the industry the event’s for.
With that said, let’s now look at a set of concrete special attraction ideas you can integrate into your next trade fair or conference.
Being able to unveil a new product at a trade fair is a promotional opportunity many exhibitors will be glad to take advantage of. If set up properly, it’ll surely attract many of the curious visitors to the booth as well.
Augmented reality and virtual reality experiences are on the rise. From gaming to learning, the technologies are being applied in a variety of contexts. Gamify your event by creating virtual worlds to explore, or run an easter egg hunt in the venue with clues provided shortly before.
Course / lecture
This is a staple as far as event extras go, and rightfully so. Expert knowledge, pro tips, hands-on experience – these are all valuable pieces of information professional visitors will be glad to acquire. For speakers, this will be an excellent opportunity to push their personal brands or businesses.
If you organize a strictly business event, you may want to consider inviting participants who’ll offer career opportunities to people visiting their booth. A professional event will surely have a quality pool of potential candidates whose talents companies may be interested in winning for themselves.
Innovation is without a doubt a business driver. The idea is for you to announce a contest and accept a number of filtered submissions in advance. The grand finale is to be held at the event and involve the public. The point of the contest is to showcase what’s in store in the industry, predict the future, and get customer excited about what’s coming.
Unique lounge / chillout zone
Participation in a major event will take a toll on your body. Why not set up a chillout zone for people to kick back in? Depending on the industry, you may include some games, interactive kiosks, refreshments, or even have baristas serving some original brews.
Any professional meeting is a forum for exchanging ideas, making new contacts, and creating business relations. A pitcher’s corner would allow entrepreneurs to get their ideas across to potential partners and investors. Do you reckon people would queue to get into the spotlight at your event?
I remember being really impressed seeing a person’s hologram for the first time. If you can find a way to fit this technology into your event’s profile somehow, I say do it. Think of projecting whatever’s important for the participants and you’re sure to create that extra buzz.
Speed networking spot
The importance of the social aspect of events is undeniable. Sure, people roam around, meet and talk to each other, exchange contacts, but why not facilitate the entire process in a dedicated networking area? This will make things more efficient by saving everybody’s time and helping some individuals overcome shyness.
Just like holograms, humanoid robots are something we’re all at least somewhat fascinated with. They create that future is now feeling and evoke awe not only in tech geeks. Is there a company, or a tech college in your area you could rent such a robot from? This is a special attraction that’s sure to attract a ton of spectators.
Wearables / 3D printing
I suppose anything futuristic = trendy = cool. Wearables could be a prize in a contest, a part of an AR experience, or simply on display, to whet the appetites of the event participants. A 3D printing show could be a great way to raise the awareness of the technology, or an opportunity to employ it in some entertaining manner.
Once the official show is over (for the day), you may want to invite all, or only selected participants to an afterparty that will help them bond even further. Depending on how relaxed your industry is, you can introduce a theme to the party to make it more exciting. This should ensure that the newly established relations continue past the event, which is obviously one of the main goals.
Any event’s main benefit still is the opportunity to engage and interact with other like-minded individuals. Your goal is to facilitate this interaction on multiple levels.
Throughout the years, people’s expectations towards events have grown. A bunch of booths at a trade fair, or a couple of lectures at a conference will no longer suffice to create a lasting positive impression.
As an event planner, you have to make sure the event is appealing to everyone involved, and special attractions like the ones I discussed in this post are a great way to achieve that.
Just remember to mix traditional elements (what people came for) with some novelty (what will make them stay and create buzz), and the project will be a success. Good luck!