180 Ideas for Your Next Meeting or Event

Kaitlyn Tatulli |

Young businessman with ideas as symbol of business creativityLooking for fun event ideas? Corporate social event ideas? Conference or tradeshow ideas? We know that as a planner or business professional, it can be difficult to consistently surprise your attendees with creative and unique meetings and events. That's why we researched and compiled a list of the top 180  ideas for 15 different types of meetings and events. 

 Let this exhaustive list be your guide throughout the year to inspiring event planning tips and ideas that both you and your attendees will love. Check it out.

Table of Contents

Recommended Resource: Discover the future of event marketing and learn how to incorporate the big ideas into your meetings and events. Download our free guide, "The Future of Event Marketing" now.


 

Award Show


Cool nightlife lights-1

When you think of an award show, you may think of the red carpet, the celebrities, and the beautiful gowns.  And while the typical award ceremony the average planner organizes is not quite as glamorous, it's still one of the most exciting parts of having an awards program. But how do you make your award show  stand out? What are the must-haves of award ceremonies?

To help planners think outside of the box, we’ve outlined the 12 ideas planners should follow to create a memorable award show for their attendees. Check them out.

1. Choose a Theme

A non-themed award show, like any non-themed event, is more likely to be forgotten. So build your award show around a theme. Make sure the theme reflects your company’s goals and includes your branding.

Bonus Tip: If you used an integrated event management software platform to manage your past events, utilize this data to help determine what attendees are looking for and build your event’s theme around that.

 

2. Choose a Unique Venue

When choosing your award show venue consider these criteria:

    • Destination
    • Capacity
    • Amenities
    • Uniqueness
    • Proximity to local attractions
    • The ability to create immersive, engaging attendee experiences

You should also consider the location. Is the venue easily accessible to attendees? Does the city have an airport? We’ve researched the top-rated event cities in the United States. Check them out below.

10 Top-Rated Event Cities in the U.S.

      • New York City
      • Las Vegas
      • Dallas
      • Nashville
      • Atlanta
      • Washington D.C.
      • Orlando
      • San Diego
      • Chicago
      • Phoenix

The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States

While the classic ballrooms are fitted for award ceremonies, consider branching out from the norm and choosing a unique venue to engage and excite your attendees.

14 Unique Venue Ideas

    • A winery or vineyard
    • A rooftop
    • A botanical garden
    • Sport stadium
    • Historic locations
    • Oceanfront patio
    • Observation deck
    • Museums
    • Aquarium
    • A brewery
    • A park
    • A warehouse
    • Farmhouse
    • Art galleries

3. Get Creative with Ticketing & Badging

Ticketing and badging are a great opportunity for you to advertise your brand, theme, or sponsors. Make sure your badges and tickets are eye-catching, simple, and personalized to each attendee.

6 Different Badge Types

      • NFC Badges
      • NFC Wristbands
      • Plastic or Vinyl Badges
      • Paper Badges
      • Barcodes
      • QR Codes

5 Ideas for Ticketing & Badging

      • Use your badges to collect data on your attendees
      • Use digital badges to exchange information
      • Use badges to enhance onsite gamification
      • Get sustainable by print your badges onsite to minimize badges for no-shows, title changes, etc.
      • Use NFC or RFID digitized badges to eliminate long entry and vendor lines via cashless payments

Optimizing the Attendee Journey_Onsite ebook_CTA3

 

4. Provide Ticket Types

To help drive event registration and secure a large crowd for your awards ceremony, offer guests different ticket types.

6 Types of Event Ticketing

  • Early Bird Discount
  • General Admission
  • VIPs
  • Discounted Group Packages
  • Virtual Pass
  • All-Access Pass

5. Create a Unique Entrance

Your attendee’s event experience begins at the entrance of your event, so make sure your entrance is eye-catching and unique. Past award shows events have decorated the entrance with sponsor logos, Instagrammable backdrops, swag giveaways, severs with welcome drinks or appetizers, and more. Whichever way you choose to decorate your entrance, make sure its on-brand and aligned with your event’s theme.

6. Simplify Entry

By using a fully integrated event management software solution to manage each stage of the event lifecycle (e.g. online registration), planners can simplify their entry process for their attendees. Instead of being greeted by long entry lines, attendees can tap their RFID or NFC enabled badge for entrance, use self-check-in kiosks, or verify and print their event badges or tickets in less than 10 seconds. Simplifying entry by integrating event management software throughout your event process not only increases attendee satisfaction, collects valuable data, and speeds up entry, but it also increases your award show’s security for both you and your attendees.

7. Mobile Event App

Mobile event apps are not only essential for your event registration but are also crucial to engaging your attendees during your event. For award ceremonies, you can utilize your mobile event app in these three ways:

· Get Your Attendee’s Votes

To engage your audience during your award ceremony via your mobile event app, create a people’s choice award. Attendees can cast their votes through the polling feature on the event app. These results can then be projected on the stage’s big screen, so attendees can watch the votes come in, in real-time.

· Gamify Your Mobile App

Use gamification techniques through your mobile event app to engage your attendees during your award ceremony. Planners can implement gamification techniques, like scavenger hunts, social media photo contests, and surveying, all through their mobile event app and reward the winning attendee with branded swag.

New Call-to-action

· Collect Donations

Using your mobile event app, planners can encourage attendees to donate to a charity that fits your brand or event’s theme. In addition to being advertised in the form of a pop-up or personalized push notification, donations can also be conveniently collected through the mobile event app.

8. Unique Centerpieces

Centerpieces can easily enhance your event tables. Use this opportunity to engage guests by creating a unique centerpiece. Here are three centerpiece ideas:

  • Make your centerpiece edible: Whether it’s edible dessert flowers, a cupcake Ferris wheel, bread baskets, or fruit baskets, edible centerpieces are eye-catching, engaging, and help planners save time and space.
  • Make your centerpiece interactive: Instead of just using your centerpiece as a way to increase your event’s visual ascetics, use your centerpieces to give your attendees something to do. For instance, your centerpiece could be paint cans filled with breadsticks and Sharpie markers, like at the Whitney Museum of American Art gala, which can be used to draw on the canvas tablecloths, a bucket filled with talking topics and games, or props that can be used to take photos with.
  • Make your centerpiece thematic: Your event centerpieces can also be used to further convey your event’s theme to your audience. For instance, it can feature childhood photos of the guest speakers or award recipients. Attendees can spend time debating and guessing who is who.

 

 

9. Have an Engaging Host

Businesswoman standing on stage and reporting for audience-1

Your host or MC should be engaging and be able to read your crowd. Are they enjoying the event? Are they getting restless? By having a host that can properly read your audience and integrate this feedback seamlessly into your event will help ensure your attendees have a high event satisfaction.

Bonus Tip: Encourage your host to walk around and engage with your audience directly, instead of having them simply stay on the stage. This will keep attendees on their toes and engaged.

10. Go Hostless

After the Oscars held a hostless event in 2018 and saw increased ratings, and the Emmy’s followed suit in August 2019, hostless events have been trending in the event industry. Why?

3 Benefits of Hosting a Hostless Event

  • It saves planners money.
  • It saves time.
  • It allows planners to use that time and money on other things, like a better venue or incorporating surprises throughout their event.

11. Guest Speaker

In addition to your host, drive buzz and excitement around your event by featuring a celebrity, renowned industry leader, or special guest to speak at your award show. When thinking of who to invite to be your keynote speaker, make sure the person encompasses your brand, event’s theme, and is recognizable or important to your audience.

12. Food & Beverage

Food and beverage is a big part of an award ceremony, since it engages and helps your guests connect. Follow these 6 F&B tips and tricks to ensure your guests foster connections and stay satisfied. 

6 F&B Tips and Tricks

  • Prepare Your Kitchen for Dietary Restrictions: 79 percent of planners receive more dietary requests now than two years ago, and 75 percento f planners say catering to attendees’ dietary needs is challenging. So get ahead of this and be prepared by asking for dietary restrictions during online registration.
  • Make F&B Interactive: Use F&B as an opportunity to engage your attendees by making it interactive. Since78 percent of people report meat as their main source of protein, consider having a meat carving station that offers meats like turkey, prime rib, and beef tenderloin. For dessert, planners can incorporate donut walls, sundae bars, cupcake decorating, and more.
  • Choose Non-Messy Food Options: Avoid serving foods that are messy or too delicate and break easily. This will help your guests stay clean and keep full bellies.
  • Don’t Over Order on Appetizers: Because 33 percent of planners’ budgets are taken up by F&B expenses and 63 percent of planners were asked to cut down on F&B expenses, make sure you don’t over-order Hors-d’ourve. Research shows that if you are serving a meal (e.g. dinner), then you only need 2-3Hors-d’ourve pieces per person per hour.
  • Plated Meals vs. Buffets: Debating on whether your award ceremony should have a plated dinner or a buffet? Consider timing. Plated dinner meals tend to average 1.5 to 2 hours, while buffet dinners tend to take 1 hour.
  • Drinks: Drinks can be an expensive part of your event budget. For an open bar, research shows that planners should budget for 2.5 alcoholic drinks per person per hour at an open bar.

Food and Beverage Tips_CTA1

^Back to Top


 

Conference

conference-1

Keeping conferences interesting isn’t always an easy task. When you’re squeezing so much information and so many moments of networking into a few short hours or days, keeping it lively can be difficult. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips, tricks, and refreshing ideas to keep your conferences current and engaging.

 

1. Vamp up the Venue

Sure, maybe a standard auditorium or speaker to audience setup might work well for your event, but don’t be afraid to look into creative venues that can accommodate your sessions. No matter the type of conference, paying attention to the environment you’re creating as a planner is crucial. Do you want it to be warm and conversational? Colorful and exciting? Clean and innovative? Picking a venue that aligns with the objectives of the event is a great way to get started on the right foot.

2. Smooth Out Your Check-In 

Speaking of getting started on the right foot, check-in lines that leave your attendees waiting around impatiently? Not exactly the best first impression. To streamline your check-in process, consider investing in check-in kiosks that will allow your conference attendees to skip the lines and begin their experience effortlessly and efficiently. Show your attendees that you value their time, rather than leaving them waiting around in anticipation.

New call-to-action 

3. Mobile App Magic

Introducing an event mobile app into your conference is a subtle key to success. By giving your attendees access to personalized agendas right on their phone, you eliminate the hassle of printing and reprinting. If there’s a change of location, or a session cancellation, you can send a notification without stressing. Additionally, going paperless is always a plus.

4. Go Sustainable

Going paperless, or incorporating sustainability into your conference, can help to do good while unifying your attendees with a greater cause. For example, this year, IMEX’s sustainability initiative encouraged attendees and vendors to bring together innovative and creative ideas to incorporate sustainability into their events. Not only are you using your conference to promote the green values you believe in, but you’re also bringing people together to share ideas and converse about this important topic.

5. Techy Badges and Tags

In line with sustainability and eliminating lines, remember to explore your options for attendee badges. Whether it's tags, passive wearables, NFC or RFID technologies, or plastic badges, event badges allow planners to personalize the attendee experience and connect attendees. Event badges can become attendee's payment methods, their food vouchers, in addition to being thier ticket into certain experiences. All they have to do is tap or scan. By simply improving your attendee badges, not only will your revolutionize your attendee's event experience, but you will also gain valuable event metrics and attendee data that you can use to improve future events.

 

6. Balance Exclusivity and Inclusivity

In the case of big conferences, it can help to create an air of casual exclusivity, by giving some attendees the ability to purchase VIP registrations. These VIP attendees might be granted access to exclusive sessions. That being said, in giving your VIP attendees extra attention, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to give your general attendees a special and personalized experience.

7. Competitive Conferencing

In a conference that’s beginning to drag, use one of the most simple tools to turn it around: competition. Whether you use a mobile app for gamification, scavenger hunts or live polling, creating an atmosphere of friendly competition will get your attendees motivated and communicative.

8. F&B - Get With It

This may sound simple, but stay up to date on the latest food and beverage trends. Whether your attendees are looking for an interactive food experience, a fancy coffee bar, or a classy cocktail hour, keeping your finger on the pulse of F&B trends will help you to provide them with that experience.

Click here to download the How to Manage Your F&B Spend eBook
 

9. Fun Thought Leadership

Another way to increase registration numbers and to build anticipation for your conference is to bring in a celebrity keynote speaker or a leader in your industry. Whether you decide to disclose who it is or not, the idea of a guest speaker is exciting and engaging, and will get your attendees excited.

 

10. Give Back

Lastly, everyone wants to leave your event feeling good, so what better way than to offer a charitable element. Whether you donate some proceeds from the conference to a charity, build sponsorships and partnerships with one, or simply encourage donations, charitable events help those who need it and leave your attendees feeling like they’ve done good in the world.

Your guests can travel to Old New York in an instant by walking through the doors of the 3 West Club. This historic hotel mansion features six elegant spaces able to accommodate up to 350 guests.

Local Restaurant Highlights: Not only do attendees love to travel to exciting destinations, but they like to experience the local sights, culture, and, of course, cuisine. Check out our exclusive interview with Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in NYC. Discover what makes his restaurant stand out, how the city influences his flavors, and how he can accommodate events.

^Back to Top


 

Coporate Events 


GettyImages-646221006-1

Each new quarter brings with it the opportunity for memorable corporate events that will refresh a company’s atmosphere and invigorate the people that work there. This is where the work of a corporate planner starts. The reason for the event ranges from the introduction of new products or services to team building and attracting new clients.

1. Fundraisers

Fundraising might work well with any theme, but can work especially well with technology and socialization themes. Many consumers are looking for companies that are focused on the community. Giving back to the community is an excellent way to incorporate the theme and develop a socially-conscious corporate environment.

Pros:

  • Offers a chance to build local community connections.
  • Develops a positive image for the company.
  • Provides an opportunity to engage with the community
  • venue sourcing tool will make finding the perfect event venue simple and easy.

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to fit into the objective for some corporate events.
  • Who or what cause to fundraise for can be a controversial issue.

New Call-to-action

2. Musical Performance  

Depending on the event, a musical performance is a great way to utilize a modern technology or social media theme. A theme playing off of social media in some way can be enhanced with a musical performance that draws attention to the corporate party through popular social media platforms.

Pros:

 

  • Musical performances can get event attendees excited.
  • Performances add a good backdrop to other activities and can occur simultaneously to other company events.
  • With a big event like this, a seating organizer is great for allocating seats for your guests.

Cons:

  • Musical performances can be costly, depending on the performer.
  • Musical performances will require added space to use that could be used for other event ideas.

 

3. Outdoor Excursions   

Using good weather to your advantage can help make the technology theme more practical than you might anticipate. Socialization and technology are now focused on mobility. A theme that plays on the mobility afforded by technology and the social aspects of the outdoors could bring much needed life to a corporate event.

Pros:

  • Taking the event outdoors can add life and excitement to the event.
  • Use a survey module that allows you to customize surveys to gauge interest in various outdoor events.
  • Good weather can improve the overall mood of attendees.


Cons:

  • Larger events will find outdoor activities difficult to manage.
  • Weather can easily change unexpectedly.

 

4. Games/Contests  

Games and contests are a perfect idea to include in an event that focuses on a modern tech and social media theme. Many technologies exist that allow for crowd interaction in big events, and technology exists that utilizes social and mobile technologies to make the crowd a part of the action.

Pros:

  • Interaction and gaming are always crowd pleasers.
  • Contests and games create a livelier atmosphere and provide a great vehicle for the theme.
  • You can introduce your game through your event app. Today's mobile event app providers offer gamification options that promote engagement such as scavenger hunts, digital badges, and much more.

Cons:

  • Games and contests can become a logistical nightmare.
  • Some contestants may get rowdier than desired, depending on the type of game involved.

 

5. Live Cooking Demonstrations  

Instead of a typical dinner, a live cooking demonstration is a great way to utilize a modern, technology and social media-centered theme. Culinary arts are becoming more and more popular, and live demonstration with event goer interactivity is a great way to place your theme front and center--even in the food.

Pros:

  • Provides an innovative and unique way to feed the event guests.
  • Adds a form of event entertainment beyond music.
  • Relatively low cost. A budgeting tool will help you manage the costs and stay on track.

Cons:

  • Food costs can be expensive.
  • Food allergies are a major concern.

^Back to Top


 

Fundraiser 


GettyImages-884707970-1

Whether you’re looking to host an internal or external fundraising event, it’s always important to find unique, engaging, and effective ways to collect donations and excite attendees. Although 54 percent of fundraising donors report preferring to donate online, live fundraising events are still integral to generating donations and buzz. To help planners generate a engaging, data-driven successful fundraiser we’ve created a list of the top seven ideas for your next fundraiser. Check it out.

1. Get Creative with Your Emails

Did you know that only 24 percent of fundraising emails are opened? Why? Because people’s inboxes are bombarded with emails today, hundreds to be more specific. But fundraisers report that 28 percent of all online fundraising revenue was generated by email marketing campaigns. So how can you stand out among all the other messages in people’s inboxes? We’ve come up with a few tactics.

3 Easy Email Marketing Enhancements

1. Add a human touch: Instead of using a no-reply sender, use a real email address, like the person in charge of the fundraiser event.

2. Personalization: If you’re using a marketing automation tool to send your emails, you can insert small personalization details, like people’s names. Research shows that adding this small detail (e.g. Dear John Doe) leads to increased opens and click rates over saying “Dear Attendee”.

3. Use photos and videos: Incorporating photos and videos into your fundraising emails can not only make the email more visually appealing, but they also help increase traffic to your event registration page by 80 percent

2. Team Up with a Local School or University

If you’re looking to expand your fundraiser’s audience or looking for a unique venue that will attract a larger crowd, consider reaching out to a local school or university. Universities hold fundraiser events consistently, whether it’s to raise money for the school or local community. You can team up with your local university to host a co-fundraiser event. Aventri worked with and attended Fairfield University’s Push Up for Entrepreneurship Challenge. Attendees had to complete as many push-ups as possible in two hours and all proceeds raised were donated to the Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC).

3. Get Active

Since wellness is a trend for events in 2020, host a fundraiser that promotes wellness by pushing participants to get active. In the past, Aventri has hosted or participated in wellness fundraiser events like the CT Bike Ride, Ride for Rations, 10k Marathons, Neon Run, Tough Mudders, and more.

Planners can also incorporate these five wellness ideas into their next fundraiser event:

1. Choose a venue that promotes wellness, like an outdoor venue space.

2. Offer meditation or yoga as part of your fundraiser event.

3. Feature healthy or local food and drink options at your fundraiser event.

4. Use your mobile event app to send healthy tips of the day to fundraiser attendees.

5. Encourage fundraiser attendees to be more mindful or aware by setting time aside during your event for meditation.

4. Utilize Social Media

Did you know 99 percent of all nonprofit’s fundraising revenue was generated on Facebook? Or that 57 percent of all online fundraising traffic to campaign pages is driven by social media?

As most planners know, social media is a powerful and effective marketing tool for events, including fundraising. So, ensure you utilize social media as a communication tool to inspire your followers to donate and attend your fundraiser event.

To help you succeed, we’ve curated a list of the top ways to utilize social media for your next fundraiser event.

1. Create an event page on Facebook that is specific to your fundraiser and invite all your Facebook friends to join the event.

2. Host livestream interviews to promote your event and livestream parts of your fundraising event to maximize fundraising donations and audience reach. Research has shown that live fundraising raises 150 percent more than non-live streamed fundraisers.

3. Use social media platforms to foster a community before, during, and after your event. You can answer attendees’ questions about your event and show that you care by addressing their needs or concerns.

4. Although this may sound simple, make sure that you identify the peak times to post your content on each platform. Social media platform insights, like Instagram insights, will identify for you the best posting time based on your audiences’ activity. Use this to ensure your followers see your fundraising content.

5. Host F&B Centered Fundraisers  

Some of the best connections during events happen over food and drink. So why not host a fundraising event that is centered on food and beverage? In the past, Aventri has hosted fundraising events like food and bake drives, dinner fundraisers, and ice cream socials to raise money for local charities.

If you want to host a F&B fundraiser event, be sure to check out a few of the top statistics that event planners need to know around the food and beverage industry.

3 Interesting F&B Statistics Planners Should Know

1. Avoid Sugar: Over 50 percent  of people report that they try to avoid eating sugar and 71 percent say they want to eat healthier. So instead of serving your fundraiser attendees sugary foods and desserts, try to offer some healthier options.

2. Cater from a local, environmental-friendly venue: Research shows that 51 percent of people say they would choose a restaurant that offered environmentally friendly food over another and 61 percent of respondents said that they would choose locally sourced food over another restaurant.

3. Offer meat and vegan options for attendees: Although the Golden Globes this year choose to go vegan, meat is still the most popular source of protein for attendees, at 78 percent. So be sure you have some meat options, like carving stations, for attendees.

6. Use a Mobile Event App

Incorporating a mobile event app into your fundraising event is essential in collecting donations from attendees. With a mobile event app, planners can send personalized push notifications or pop-up messages that encourage attendees to donate. Not only does using a mobile event app allow planners to conveniently remind and encourage attendees to donate before, during, and after the fundraising event, but the mobile app also can be used to collect donations.

7. Give Back to Local Charities  

Looking for a theme for your next fundraising event? Why not give back to your community by choosing a local charity to give your donations to. In the past Aventri has held internal fundraising events, like food, coat, and toy drives and gave the donations to a local charity. You can ask a representative of the charity to come and speak directly to attendees at your fundraising event. Not only do the local charities greatly appreciate the donations, but people also like to give back and help the local area.

^Back to Top


 

Exhibition  Hall


BCEC Exhibit-1

One of the biggest struggles for exhibition planners is getting those attendees into the exhibit hall. You don’t want an empty exhibit hall filled with angry exhibitors who feel like they are wasting their time and money by exhibiting at your event.

To ensure you’ll drive attendance into your exhibition hall and keep your exhibitors happy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 technologies and tactics to drive attendee traffic to your exhibit hall. Check it out.

1. Use Data to Optimize Your Floorplan

To ensure you’ll drive attendance into your exhibition hall and keep your exhibitors happy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 technologies and tactics to drive attendee traffic to your exhibit hall. Check it out.

If you used an integrated event management software solution to collect data from your past events, you can analyze how your past floorplan performed (e.g. identify traffic jams or the most popular places attendees visited) and use this information to improve your exhibition hall layout. When designing and optimizing your floor plan, ask yourself these questions:

4 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Event Floorplan

  • Is my event floor plan detailed, but organized?
  • Is my event floor plan mobile friendly?
  • Are there self-service options?
  • Are there monetization options for sponsors?
  • Create an Online Interactive Floor Plan

Your floor plan is an important part of your exhibition, since it helps attendees plan their experience and move around efficiently. To help create buzz around your exhibition hall and build excitement ahead of time, you can create an online, interactive floor plan. Some event management software allows you to simply add the interactive floor plan to your event website so your attendees can map out their journey after they register.

 

2. Use Mobile Lead Retrieval  

To help make your exhibition as efficient and fruitful as possible, you can utilize mobile lead retrieval. With mobile lead retrieval, you can empower attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors by equipping them with a solution that captures business card and other information. All they need is to scan or tap an attendees’ badge. Lead retrieval also gives exhibitors the ability to understand which sessions, exhibitors, and sponsors were the most popular with which attendee population, allowing planners to streamline their exhibition in the future.

 

Optimizing the Attendee Journey_Aventri_CTA1

 

3. Cocktail or Coffee Vouchers

People always love giveaways, especially when they are food or drink related. So, reward your attendees for visiting or draw more traffic to your exhibition hall by giving them a cocktail or coffee voucher. You can build a cocktail bar or a barista bar at the entry of the hall and have attendees tap their RFID badges or scan the voucher off their mobile event app to redeem their free drink.

4. Gamification

Using gamification techniques, planners can not only drive traffic to their exhibition hall, but also motivate attendees to stay in the hall. Check out the top four gamification ideas for your next exhibition.

4 Gamification Ideas for Your Next Exhibition

  • Poll or survey your attendees during your panel and presentation sessions.
  • Create a point or scavenger hunt game to motivate attendees to engage with exhibitor booths.
  • Hold social media photo contests and reward the winner.
  • Encourage attendees to visit and scan (using their mobile event app) as many exhibitors’ booths as they can for a prize.

 

5. Experiential Marketing

A large reason attendees attend exhibitions is to experience different products and make connections. So, if you want to drive attendees to your exhibition hall provide them with an experience using experiential marketing techniques. Check out the top 9 experiential marketing trends and tactics driving experiential marketing in 2019 and 2020.

9 Trends Driving Experiential Marketing

1. Event Management Software Technology
2. Ticketed-Events
3. Instagrammable, Photo Backdrops
4. Greater Personalization
5. 5 Sense Engagement
6. Wellness
7. Giving Back
8. Stayable Experiences
9. Big Data

6. Exhibitor Hall Sessions 

A popular trend at exhibitions recently has been hosting workshops or sessions in the exhibit hall. Exhibitors can hand out headphones to attendees so they can block out all the exhibitor noise and tune in to the session in the middle of the exhibition hall. Not only does this setup save money, since a room does not have to be booked, but it also allows planners to drive attendees to their company’s booth at the session.

^Back to Top


 

Internal Events


internal business event-1

Are you looking for fresh, creative event inspiration for your next internal corporate event? Then you’ve come to the right place. 

We know how hard it is to impress attendees today, even if they are your own employees! That’s why we’ve researched and curated this list of the most creative and popular top 13 ideas for corporate internal social events. Check them out.

1. Volunteer

Give back to your local community, while showing your employees the importance of social responsibility by hosting volunteering events. You can host fundraisers, volunteer at a local soup kitchen, senior homes, and so much more. 

2. Live Music Concert

If you want to get your employees up and dancing, then a live music concert is definitely the way to go. Support local bands or DJs and make sure they play your audience’s favorite songs.

3. Company Picnic

Take advantage of the summertime weather and host your next internal company event outside. Your employees can enjoy some BBQ food and games like potato sack racing, all under the sun.

4. Indoor Go-Karting

One of Aventri employees' favorite internal event spots is indoor go-karting, because it’s competitive and fun! Recently, Aventri visited RPM Raceway, which offers go-karting, head-to-head racing, bowling, virtual reality simulators, and more. 

5. “Family Day”

A take on “bring you kid to work day”, you can host a fair “family day” where employees bring their families. Children can enjoy pony rides and face painting, while employees munch on hamburgers and hotdogs and connect with their peers and their families. 

6. Escape Rooms

Divide your company into teams, either by departments or randomly, and have your employees find clues and solve puzzles together in order to escape the room in time.

7. Bowlmor

Another Aventri-employee-approved corporate event idea is hosting your next event at Bowlmor. Located across the country, Bowlmor features more than just bowling. Employees can sip on cocktails, dine from a selection of delicious eats, like the 14-inch party bacon cheese burger, and more.

8. Scavenger Hunt

If you’re looking for a classic, successfully proven internal team building event for your employees, then a scavenger hunt is perfect for you. You can center the theme of the scavenger hunt around your company’s latest product, a department, etc.

9. Carnivals

Carnival parades, like Rio’s Carnival, have become a popular celebration. You can offer your employees carnival-themed music, dancing, and costumes.

10. Food Trucks

Cater to your employees’ inner foodies by hosting a food truck festival. You can rent local hot dog, pizza, taco, sandwich trucks, ice cream trucks, and more!

11. Paint & Wine Night

Keep your employees engaged all night long, by hosting your next company event at a wine and paint night. Last year Aventri employees went to Muse Paint Bar, but some others include, Painting With a Twist,  and Pinots Palette. 

12. Company Trivia

Trivia parties are classics. They are fun and directly engage your audience. You can put your own company’s spin on trivia night by having all the questions relate to your company, products, and fun facts about employees. 

13. Lunch and Learns

According to top executives, lunch and learns are an one of the three types of internal marketing events that help generate sales. Whether these lunch and learns are centered on learning about a new product, product updates, or learning from a guest speaker, they are a great opportunity to bring the company together while promoting internal learning.

^Back to Top


 

Incentive Events


incentive events-1

Your employees work hard for you all year long. To thank them and acknowledge their accomplishments, you may hold internal or incentive events, programs or trips.

To help you celebrate your employees, we’ve researched the best corporate event ideas, and curated a list of the top 17 ideas for your next incentive event. Check them out.

1. Yoga

Give your employees the tools they need to improve their own wellness, by choosing yoga as your next incentive event. An Aventri-employee-approved and continually requested incentive event, yoga is a great way to de-stree employees and promote wellness.  

2. Managers and Executives Cook for Employees

Treat your employees to a special breakfast, lunch, or happy hour by having their managers or executives host and cook for them. This is a great way for managers and executives to display their appreciation for their employees.

3. Cooking Class

One of Aventri’s go-to incentive events, Cooking Classes are a great way to engage employees, while teaching them something new. You can hire a professional chef and hold the cooking class at their restaurant or in your office.

4. Stand Up Comedy

Raise your employees’ spirits by visiting a local stand-up comedian or improv group. Stand-up comedians not only will make your employees laugh, but they will also interact with them throughout the whole experience.

5. Ice Cream Social

Put on a sweet event, by holding an ice cream social for your next incentive event. You can have an ice cream sundae bar, boozy slushies, and more. Aventri recently did this in our Norwalk office and our employees were melting over the homemade treats.

6. Laser Tag

Get your employee’s adrenaline pumping by hosting your next incentive event at your local laser tag studio. Not only will laser tag help your employees break a sweat, it will promote team building and trust among peers.

7. Theme Lunches

Channel your employees’ inner foodies, by holding a theme lunch for your next incentive event. Some popular themed lunches that Aventri employees have loved are breakfast for lunch, pizza parties, nacho party, Shake Shack, and more.

8. Dress-up the Boss

Give your employees a reward they’ll never forget by dressing up their boss for your next incentive event. Based on survey results from your employees, the boss and executive will have to dress up in a particular costume, a Disney princess, a tutu, an animal costume, etc., and employees can pose with them.

9. Sports Game

Whether it’s a major or minor league football, baseball, or other sporting events, gather your team and take them to the local stadium for a sports game. Whatever the event, employees can enjoy stadium food and bond with each other in team spirit and competition.

10. Mystery Murder Dinner

Mystery Murder Dinners are a beloved classic, and perfect for incentive events. Not only will this event keep your employees engage, but your employees will be randomly assigned to a group, so they can work and solve the murder mystery with peers in the company they normally don’t get to work with.

11. Hiking Trip

image_from_ios-9-1

Take the event and adventure outdoors, by taking your employees for a hike. Pick a local, scenic location and reward employees after with some good food and drinks. Aventri’s Pune office just did this and trekked to Torna Fort Castle in India.

12. Rent an Airbnb for the Day

Utilize your local Airbnb mansions, and host your next incentive event at one of them. Not only are there often great deals on Airbnb but renting an Airbnb for employees allows them to relax and connect with each other.

13. Hatchet Throwing

Let your employees blow off some steam and de-stress by taking them to your local hatchet throwing studio. According to Aventri’s Reading office, the hatchet throwing as an incentive event was a “hit”.

14. Golf with the Boss

Treat a select group of employees to a round of golf with their manager or executive at a local course. If no one plays golf, mini-golf is still a good option. Both activities get employees out of the office and allow employees to spend quality one-on-one time with their boss.

15. Trampoline Park

Channel your employees’ inner kids, by hosting your next incentive event at a Trampoline Park. Not only are Trampoline Parks a ton of fun (according to our own employees), they are also a great workout!

16. Winery or Brewery

Travel to your local winery or brewery and treat your employees to a tasting, vineyard tour, and winemaking demonstration. Afterwards, you can host a company picnic overlooking the vineyard.

17. Company Field Day

Find a local park or field and host a company field day for your next incentive event. You can create teams and have employees play each other in an array of games like volleyball, water balloon toss, obstacle courses, sack races, and more. Aventri’s offices across the globe love to do this. It’s competitive, fun, and relaxing!

^Back to Top


 

Networking Events


Image of business friends discussing brainstorming and ideas at meeting inside beautiful modern building place

Networking events are all about bringing people together, and helping them bond with each other in a meaningful, memorable way. But how do you encourage networking at your event? How do you help people form meaningful connections with one another?

To help meeting and event planners, we’ve researched and curated this guide to the top 11 ideas for your next networking event. Check it out.

1. Wow-Factor Venue

To help spark conversation amongst attendees choose a venue with a wow-factor. You can host your event in a unique venue like a garden, in a skyscraper, or underwater. If you’re hosting the event at your office, add a neighborhood wow-features like local cuisine, beer from a local brewery, and more.

2. Food Stations

Food stations like donut walls, sundae bars, or cupcake making stations are great ways to stimulate networking amongst your attendees. These yummy food stations will tempt attendees to take a break from sessions and make it easy for people to connect one-on-one.

3. Big Badge Design

Badging is essential for networking events. Badges reveal people’s essential information like their names and the companies they work for. To ensure this information is visible, make sure when you are designing your event badges that attendee’s names are large and bolded and that their company information or titles are also visible.

4. Live Entertainment

Incorporating live entertainment into your next networking event can be a great way to get people talking. Have a live band, theatrical performance, or famous guest speaker come and engage with your attendees. Your guests will bond with each other over experiencing something interesting together and also have something to talk about.

5. Mobile Event App

If you’re using a mobile event app for your event, then you’re in luck because mobile apps are an easy way to provide networking opportunities for your attendees throughout all stages of your event. Before your event, attendees can use the chatting feature to network with other attendees and schedule meetings with them. During your event sessions, attendees can use the mobile event app to engage with speakers by answering polls, and after the event, they can use the app to rate their favorite sessions and provide other feedback.

6. Games and Icebreakers

To help attendees get to know each other, incorporate some games and ice breakers into your next networking event. You can break attendees up into smaller groups and send them on a photo scavenger hunt or you have them play desert island, where they will be asked questions like “If you could only bring one item with you on a desert island, what would it be and why”. These games will trigger conversations and lighten the mood.

7. Gamification

Add gamification techniques or features to your networking event to get people talking. You can run gamification photo contests through social media, networking contests through your mobile event app, or a point scavenger hunt game to increase session and booth traffic. Gamification is a fun and easy way to engage and connect better with your attendees.

8. Photo Booths

Encourage attendees to snap photos together at your next networking event by stationing photo booths. You can create a unique, branded backdrop, add props, and link your photo booth to social media, so attendees can simply tap and upload their photos to their social accounts.

9. Social Media Exchange

Using your fully integrated event management software platform, integrate your social media accounts to your event website and encourage attendees to connect with you and each other. This way, you and your attendees can stay connected with each other after the event is over.

10. Create a Networking-Only Area

At your next networking event, dedicate an area to “networking only”. You can entice attendees to visit the “networking only” area by adding high tops and a bar that hands out free drinks to networking attendees. Creating a “networking only” area at your next event creates a safe space where attendees can share their experiences and bond with others in a meaningful way.

11. Themed Event

Looking to spice up your networking events? Then why not host a themed event? Themed events not only get people talking, but also help them feel like they are part of something larger. Some ideas for themed events could be a networking carnival, featuring food, games, and prizes, or a speed dating networking event where attendees are matched (using the mobile event app matchmaking feature) and make “speed connections” with other attendees.

^Back to Top


 

Pop-Up Events


GettyImages-950364510-1

If you’ve never attended or planned a pop-up, chances are, you’ve walked by one. As planners, you want to ensure that your pop-up or experiential event is top-notch, the kind that catches the attention of every passerby! Below are some of our top tricks and tips to help your next pop-ups popularity.

1. Get Sensory  

If you’re getting experiential, you want to create an environment that engages with your audience and attendees in every way. Using the senses—especially scents—can have a lasting effect. Glade played to this attribute perfectly in its pop-up Museum of Feelings in NYC. With each thematic, technological, innovative room came a new associative scent for the feeling depicted. As someone who attended the event years ago (and even purchased a Joy-scented candle at the end of the pop-up) the memory still stands out.

2. Make it Instagrammable  

Plenty of planners know the importance of social media, but with pop-ups and experiential events, the potential for sharing and online attention is through the roof. The more visually and aesthetically appealing your pop-up is, the more your attendees will want to share the experience with their followers, and the more online conversation you’ll create surrounding your brand and its image. Glossier, a beauty brand based on its social media curated beginnings, kept on brand with its feed and brought its aesthetic to life in its Summer Fridays Showroom.

3. Flower Power  

While not every pop-up needs to be decked out in florals, the trend of natural-looking, vine-covered and bushels-of-petals-everywhere-you-turn exhibits has a summery certain draw to it. “Stop and smell the flowers” may just be a saying, but in the summer, many will pause to snap a pic of a colorful and graceful pop-up on their way to work. Even in the hustle and bustle of cities, exhibits like these draw the eye with their creativity, complexity and color.

4. Colors are Key  

Speaking of colorful flower exhibits, color could be one of the biggest attractors to stumble-upon attendees of pop-ups in the summer. Take it from the color-coded experts themselves, Pantone. The brand created a pop-up cafe that branded everything—from drinks to chairs—with its well-known color swatches.

5. Artfully Done  

In some spaces, art exhibits can come across as “high-brow,” but pop-ups provide planners with a great opportunity to incorporate art in approachable, tasteful and respectful ways. Additionally, if your brand can support and empower local and aspiring artists, why not?

6. Time it Right 

Although every event planner pays attention to the time and place, venue and flow of his or her event, pop-up planners need to pay extra attention. While you might not want to set up an exhibit in the middle of Fifth Ave. during rush hour, you also probably wouldn’t want to set up shop in a far-off corner of the map. Finding the perfect balance of foot-traffic-without-trampling is crucial to any and all experiential events.

7. Play with Reality  

If your brand isn’t exactly compatible with the generic pop-up style, don’t turn away from experiential events entirely. Virtual and augmented reality exhibitions have the ability to enhance your brand experience in terms of engagement and excitement. Simple spaces can be expanded into worlds that you’ve created to bring your brand to life.

8. Inclusive and Inspieing

It may seem simple, but in a time of polarization, distance and discrepancies, planners of pop-ups need to be especially careful to consider a variety of worldviews before launching an event. With temporality acting as both an advantage and disadvantage, experiential event planners must be diligent in creatinginclusive environments.

9. Go Big or Go Home  

If you’re going for a fully immersive experience, don’t cut corners on the small details. After all, the small details can make or break an experiential exhibit. If your event is all about aesthetics, but you can see outlets and wires cluttering the corners, it won’t have the same seamless effect you’re going for. Do your best to leave your attendees feeling a little like they’re stepping into--and then back out of--a whole new world.

10. Don't Stray Too Far From Home  

While being experiential, innovative and intriguing with your pop-ups, it is important to keep yourself grounded to your objective and brand. If you don’t keep your pop-up grounded, or stray too far in your brainstorming sessions, you run the risk of creating a great event that has absolutely no connection to your brand. At the end of the day, if you want measurable and successful ROI, you need to be sure that your pop-up event matches your brand image, event objective and mission statement.

11. Food for Thought, Soul, and/or Stomach  

A rule of thumb for pop-ups is to ask yourself how the attendee will feel leaving your event. Are you leaving them with food for thought? Soul? Stomach? A great example of a pop-up that tied all of these questions together is lean cuisine. Rather than simply focusing on weight loss, the company decided to focus on how to “Feed Your Phenomenal,” and used this pop-up to readjust brand image, and leave its attendees feeling fulfilled.

^Back to Top


 

Product Launches 


GettyImages-1093222388-2

Are you pushing your new product to its limits? Heading into a new product launch, it’s crucial that event planners and marketers tap into thought leadership examples of successful similar events. The more tactics, techniques and strategies planners have under their belts heading into this high-stakes type of event, the better.

Below, we have compiled a variety of ideas from thought leadership and events that have succeeded in the past when it comes to launching a new service or product. Go into your new product launch fully informed by leaders in your industry to achieve your goals by following in the footsteps of the pros.

1. Launch Teasers on Social Media  

According to a variety of thought leadership discussions, launching teasers on all of your company’s social media channels builds the suspense and anticipation. Much like in the case of Brooklinen’s vague yet exciting teasers, social media followers want to be engaged. By grabbing the attention of consumers and attendees, planners are building up a repertoire of people who will be interested in attending an event for a product launch. Cloaking an event in mystery plays to every attendees’ FOMO, and may just cause them to reach out of their comfort zone and register for an event.

2. Lean Into the Mystery  

Speaking of mystery—if you’re an event planner for an established name-brand, you have the advantage of a tuned-in audience. If your audience wants to be the first to know about something new, you already have a leg up. Going into your product launch, be sure to keep everything top secret, hush-hush, confidential to foster the allure of the unknown. The more exclusive your product launch seems, the more your consumers will want to know, and the more invested they’ll be in the new product—not to mention any coinciding events.

3. Create a Countdown 

On top of creating teasers and an air of mystery, utilize all of your social media channels—as well as all of your employees—to create a grand sense of excitement surrounding the product launch. Think about it; you probably only personally use a countdown for an exciting moment, whether it be a graduation, a vacation or some grandiose moment. For a company or corporation, a product launch is the equivalent. It emphasizes the urgency and excitement of the personal made larger.

4.Tell a Story 

Storytelling in marketing has grown more and more popular over the years, according to leadership in the industry. If you can create a story surrounding your product launch, you’ll simultaneously grab your audience’s attention, get them engaged in the lore of the brand and product, and increase the positive image surrounding the brand.

5. Incorporate Video  

Not only do you want teaser videos, but as you move into the product launch, promote educational product videos as well. One brand who did this well was Flowater, which launched its product by educating consumers without condescending to them or ostracizing them.

6. Include Giveaways  

Promote giveaways in the coming days. Whether you’re using your own social media channels or micro- and macro-influencers, giveaways create a following and an attachment to the product launch with lesser effort.

7. Create Visually Appealing Content  

From infographics to explainer videos, Instagram stories to Facebook posts, everything associated with your new product should look like exactly that: new. A unified message with an aesthetically pleasing look goes a long way in this day and age, and the novelty plays right into to a planner’s hand.

8. Balance Blogging and Guest Posts  

Not only is it important to promote your new product on your own internal blog, but also be sure to get your new product featured on other popular industry feeds. Whether this means contributing a guest post or backlinking, thought leadership encourages driving traffic toward your site and increasing conversations--with positive sentiment--surrounding your new product.

9. Think Outside the Box  

When Spotify began to draw attention to its data and analytics features, it took a clever approach by featuring playlist titles and user-generated content on billboards around the city. Rather than coming off as creepy or invasive, the data and analytics features instead were perceived as entertaining and amusing.

10. Make Use of User-Generated Content  

Glossier does a great job of this; the company itself is founded from a blog, Into the Gloss, where people post their beauty routines. Glossier proved that by truly listening to consumers in your industry, you can launch successful products that people are braving. Be sure to listen to your consumers and cater your new products to their unmet needs.

As you launch your new product, try to keep these ideas in mind. If they’ve worked for industry leaders, chances are, it won’t hurt to incorporate these tactics and techniques into your product launch strategy.

^Back to Top


 

Roadshow Events 


GettyImages-939039980-2

Plenty of event planners and marketers turn to roadshows during the summer months. Whether you’re looking to build a following for a new product launch, catalyze thought leadership discussions revolving around your brand, searching for client feedback or simply looking to generate new leads in a new way, roadshows are a creative alternative to more standard or stationary events.

If you’re looking to take on this traveling event format⁠—or if you’re simply looking to enhance your past roadshows⁠—here are a few ideas, techniques and strategies to ensure your roadshow is as successful and fruitful as possible:

1. Track Your Journey

When moving from one city to another, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of pre-event, post-event and event execution excitement and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to keep track of what happens at each individual stop. You don’t want the important moments to slip into the background. Try keeping a journal, or even jotting down important moments during the day in the notes of your phone. This way, when you’re looking to tweak the event or even post about it, you’ll have material at the ready to work with.

2. Share Your Journey 

Speaking of posting about it, keep your followers in the loop! A roadshow is an exciting opportunity to keep your followers engaged, not to mention increasing your attendee registration numbers. If your followers in NYC see the exciting moments from your London event, they may just be incentivized to register too. Those who can’t register for the event will still be exposed to greater interactions between your brand and clients, which helps promote a positive brand image.

3. Incorporate Local Sponsors and Vendors 

Another way to incentivize your attendees is to be sure you’re catering your event to them specifically. Sponsorships, partnerships and vendors are the perfect way to link your product and brand with the specific geographic audience you’re engaging with. By partnering with local caterers or venues, you’re telling your attendees that you listen, that you pay attention to what they like and that their interests are yours.

4. Segment Your Audience Through Ticketing 

If you’re offering special VIP exhibits, early bird opportunities or general admission, you’re creating new tracks for your attendees to follow. The more tracks you have, the more personalized the experience becomes, and the greater the impact. If each attendee gets to have his or her own, very personalized experience, they walk away getting what they wanted out of the event, rather than a one-size-fits-all technique.

5. Be Selective with Speakers

First of all, set standards when you’re selecting speakers for a roadshow event. Either make sure that all of your speakers can travel to all of your stops, or have appealing and exciting back-up plans. Keep your keynote consistent; you want your message to be unified across geographical locations, even if other aspects of the event change a bit. Planners need to keep their intentions and objectives consistent throughout the roadshow, and selecting relevant speakers can help.

6. Cultivate Your Content 

Moving from one place to another with high-energy events at each stop can be exhausting, but planners need to stay on their A-game. It may not seem like the top priority with so many moving pieces at the forefront of your mind, but maintaining a creative, engaging and unified flow of content is no less important. In fact, there may be greater eyes on your content in the lead-up and follow-up to and from your event, so keep those key content creation techniques—from SEO to hashtagging—in mind.

7. Build Anticipation 

Don’t be afraid of a little mystery and allure! If you’re launching a new product, play into the suspense and excitement with countdowns and teasers on your social media channels, email marketing, and more.

8. Be Open to Feedback 

A roadshow is a great opportunity to receive feedback from your loyal customers and attendees. Is your product or brand accessible in all regions, or is it harder to reach? Do different geographical locations have different perceptions of your brand? Thought leadership is important, but don’t pass up on a great opportunity to hear from your consumers and clients face to face.

9. Utilize Event Tech 

There are plenty of event technology activations that require no extensive set-up or bulky transport. For example, our Smart Tags allow planners to gather data through session tracking of a small, mobile piece of technology. Before hitting the road, double check that your event is as seamless and optimized as possible; event tech helps.

New Call-to-action

10. Don't Forget to Follow Up

Whether in the form of a mobile app notification, an email or a survey, don’t let your event experience end as soon as the attendee walks out the door. Follow up for feedback, to thank your attendee for his or her time and to even encourage them to register for your next event.

^Back to Top


 

Trade Show


60594050_10156553265303877_439562372005232640_o-1

A trade show is an event that is focused on bringing people in a particular industry together to share and discuss the latest and up and coming products or technology. Although trade shows are beneficial for exhibitors since they get to showcase their products to their target audience, it can be hard for companies to stand out when there are so many other booths with similar products.

To help you stand out amongst your competitors and attract your target audience, we’ve curated a list of the top 13 interactive trade show booth ideas to attract visitors. Check it out.

1. Product Demos

Creating interactive experiences that showcase your products is essential to distinguishing yourself amongst competitors and attracting attendees to your booth. You can host product demos on TV screens and iPads, or host mini demo sessions where groups of attendees can join and ask questions. By creating an experiential trade show booth by adding product demos, you can draw attendees and entice potential customers with your product.

2. Branded Photo Booth

One of the best trade show marketing ideas planners can incorporate into their booth design is a branded photo booth. Branded photo booths are a popular trade show add on, since they engage attendees by giving them the to pose with props and snap a photo they can share on social media, but also because photo booths provide a branding recognition opportunity for companies. By including your company’s name or logo somewhere on the photo, when attendees share their picture, your brand’s name or logo will be share with their audience and may drive interest to your website.

3. Virtual or Augmented Reality

If your budget permits, virtual and augmented reality are always a sure-fire way to engage and attract attendees to your booth. You can use this technology to host immersive product demos, watch past speakers, give attendees a virtual tour of your office or product warehouse, have attendees explore a virtual information booth, and so much more. Virtual and augmented reality are ideal for large-scale events since these technologies not only memorably engage your audience, but also allow you to provide attendees with a unique experience in a cost-efficient way.

4. Giant iPads

Adding anything huge in size to your trade show booth is an effective way to grab event attendees’ attention and draw them to your booth. Giant iPad tablets are a successful trade show display for presenting demos, surveys, photos, or other branded related content. Not only is the content on the giant tablet easier to see for attendees, but giant iPads also have an interest-grabbing effect because of their size.

5. Coffee Station

image-70

After waking up early, visiting dozens of booths, and sessions, trade show attendees are bound to need a cup of coffee. Treat and attract attendees to your booth by adding a DIY coffee station or a coffee barista (an Aventri favorite) at your trade show booth. Offering coffee at your booth is not only a way to draw attendees, but it is also a marketing opportunity. At past events, Aventri has branded all aspects of the coffee giveaway by adding our logo to the coffee foam, branding the coffee sleeve, and branding the coffee cup.

6. Charging Station

If you’re looking for trade show booth ideas for small budgets that will still attract attendees, then this one is for you. Because attendees will be on their phones, tablets, or computers, simply incorporate a charging station into your trade show booth design to attract people to your booth. You can situate the charging station next to a product demo area, so while attendees are charging their devices they can list with or engage in the product demo. Adding a charging station to your trade show booth will invite attendees to engage with your booth and products longer.

7. Live Band

Engage and entertain attendees by adding live music to your trade show booth. Not only does a live band help your booth stand out, since people will hear the music from different areas of the trade show, but a live band also helps create an approachable atmosphere in your booth. Make sure your band and your booth staff work together to ensure that the band does not drown out the demos or other sessions staff are holding.

8. Photo Backdrop

One of the easiest ways to attract attendees to your booth is by providing a unique photo opportunity. Add unique backdrops, branded cutouts, and more, and encourage attendees to snap and share their photo on social media. Make sure you include your brand’s logo or name somewhere on the backdrop or cutout so if attendees share the image, you’ll brand will get the recognition.

9. Giant Branded Balloons

Help your booth stand out by ensuring attendees can see your booth from miles away by adding a giant balloon to your booth. Aventri has used this idea in the past at events like IMEX Frankfurt. You can design your balloon to fit your company’s colors, include your company’s name, tagline, and more. Trade show attendees are sure to see your balloon and grow interested in your booth. 

10. Branded Flooring

Because people are consistently looking down at their phones, why not brand the floor at and around your booth? You can project your brand’s name, logo, hashtag, or other related brand graphics onto the floor. To further engage attendees, you can make the floor interactive. At past events, Aventri staff have seen companies engage attendees’ senses, particularly through lighting and sound. One of the most effective interactive floors we’ve seen used was an interactive piano floor at IMEX Frankfurt.

11. Miniature Golf

Photo_Oct_16_18 01-36-02 PM-1

If you’re looking for fun trade show booth ideas, then this one is for you. Encourage interaction at your booth by including a miniature golf course. Aventri incorporated miniature golf in our booths at past events and even designed the course in the shape of our logo. You can also add branding and signage throughout the course or on the flag that marks the hole so that if attendees take photos, your brand will be showcased. To incentivize the experience for attendees, you can reward people who score a hole is one with branded gear.

12. Appealing Aromas

Capture attendees’ attention by engaging their sense of smell at your next trade show. You can offer different food stations, like donut walls, branded cupcake, sundae bars, and popcorn. At past trade shows, Aventri has followed this idea by offering cupcakes and cookies. We even branded our cupcakes and cookies with our logo, which helps increase brand recognition and buzz.

13. Giveaways

People always love free gifts. So why not offer promotional giveaways at your trade show booth? These giveaways can be anything from branded freebies to branded chargers to branded reusable water bottles. To secure leads, you can be giveaways as leverage. If an attendee signs up for emails or takes a piece of collateral, you can reward them with a free giveaway.

^Back to Top


 

Training Camp


training camp-2

Just like high school assemblies and classes, corporate training workshops are necessary, but can be boring for attendees. Finding the balance between turning your event audience into active event participants  and ensuring attendees are still receiving proper training is difficult. That’s why we have researched and curated this guide to the top 17 ideas for your next training camp. Check it out.

1. Create a Theme

Use an event theme to set the tone for your training camp. Event themes are an easy way to create consistency for and engage attendees. Make sure your theme is relevant and fits with your company’s vision.

2. Pick an Engaging Venue

All planners know how important choosing a venue is to an event, and training camps are no different. To promote engagement and education, choose a venue that is spacey, bright, and offers the latest technology elements.

3. Provide Networking opportunities

Allow attendees to network with each other, speakers, industry leaders, and event sponsors at your next training camp by hosting networking events. You can host networking lunches, cocktails hours, or breakout sessions.

4. Offer Certifications

Whether you’re hosting a training camp for your employees or your customers, certifications are an effective way to motivate and educate attendees. Certifications give attendees proof that they have gained a certain level of product familiarly. After certain sessions, simply encourage attendees to take your online certification exam and share their results on social media.

5. Breaks

Breaks are important for any event. They also provide an opportunity for you to engage your attendees. Whether you choose to host sponsored-snack breaks, incorporate interactive food and drink stations, like customizable coffee stations, or offer unique food choices like donut walls, integrating breaks into your training camp is a must.

6. Breakout Groups

Give attendees more of a personalized, one-on-one experience by hosting breakout group sessions. These sessions can focus on different topics and be hosted by different company leaders or industry experts. Breakout sessions give attendees the opportunity to learn more one-on-one and network with other attendees and professionals.

7. Live Demos

Since your event is a training camp, you should consider integrating live product demos into your lineup. Product demos are a great way to engage attendees and give them hands-on experience with your product where all their questions can be answered by on-site experts.

8. Host “How to Get the Most out of X Product" Workshop

Although hosting a workshop on “How to Get the Most out of X Product” sounds simple, it is an effective way to draw attendees in, while highlighting your product’s best features. This workshop is a great opportunity to specifically highlight the creative way to use your product.

9. Mobile Event App

Integrating a mobile event app into your training camp is a must. Mobile event apps can send personalized communications, like event instructions, before, during, and after your training camp directly to attendees’ phones. In addition, mobile event apps can be used for gamification purposes, generate event excitement, and so much more.

10. Give Attendees Exclusive Resources

One-of-a-kind resources, like data, case studies, and other product resources, are important to share with attendees at your next training camp event. Attendees will appreciate these resources not only because they are interesting, but also because they are difficult for attendees to obtain on their own.

11. Showcase Past Success with Case Studies

Highlight past client success stories during your training camp to demonstrate the different ways your product can be used. Real-live examples are an effective way to inspire attendees to use your products.

12. Answer FAQ’s

Before your training camp, poll attendees, via your mobile event app or registration site. Ask attendees what their most common or most burning questions are related to your product. Based on the results, you can answer the most popular questions at your event to ensure attendees get their questions answered.

13. Change Up the Training Locations

Throughout your training camp, change up the locations of sessions throughout the day. This will keep your attendees moving, awake, and engaged.

14. Record Training

To extend your event’s reach record your training camp, upload it to your website, and promote the recordings as a virtual training event. In addition, you can give attendees who attended your live training camp access to these recordings so they can go back and review sessions to further help solidify their learning.

15. Make it Hands-On

Research has shown time and time again that training events are the most successful when there is a hands-on element. To help promote attendees’ learning, incorporate some type of hands-on experience with one of your company’s products. Not only will this promote attendee education, but it also will help engage attendees.

16. Announce Something Big

At your next training camp, announce something big, like a new product, a product update, the company’s new vision, etc. Doing this will not only excite and engage attendees, but it will also create chatter around your event.

17. Offer Follow-Up Training Events

To solidify attendee’s learning and maintain the relationship you established with them, host follow-up training events, either digitally or in-person, a few months after the original event. This also allows people who were unable to attend your first event to come to this training camp.

^Back to Top


 

Virtual Meetings


GettyImages-555250357-1

In an ideal world, all meetings would be in-person, as discussing important matters face-to-face is easier and more effective than over the phone or video chat. In today's world, however, having all of your stakeholders in one place is sometimes impossible, as more companies expand globally, increase work from home polices, and hire more remote employees. As a result, more and more organizations are relaying on the virtual meeting to keep everyone connected.

But while a phone or video conference platform is overall a powerful and invaluable tool, it's not without its disadvantages. Faulty tech, a weak audio or video connection, and distractions can all be killers to productive virtual meetings, but keeping in mind a few simple rules or techniques can make all the difference.

Whether your next virtual meeting is for 10 or 100 people, check out these tips to make the experience more engaging, fun, and, most importantly, successful.

1. Be Prepared 

This is a good tip for any meeting, virtual or not, but it's a top one nonetheless. Consider creating an agenda or talking points for your virtual meeting and send it out beforehand (or include it in the calendar invite). If it's a new meeting platform you're using, test it out for any connectivity issues. Be considerate of attendees' different time zones. It's the little things, but by taking these extra steps, people will be more prepared.

2. Give Everyone a Role 

Make everyone feel valued and more engaged by giving your virtual meeting attendees each a job or task during your 30-60 minutes together. Some basic roles to consider are producer, notetaker, Q&A moderator, tech support, etc. For larger meetings, consider asking everyone to come to the meeting with something to discuss or give them a talking point to take the lead on. This will lead to more attentive and focused participants.

2. Make a No Laptops/Devices Rule 

It's no secret that the top distractions during any meeting are laptops, phones, email pings and chat messages. Easily kill those distractions by simply asking attendees (especially those at your office) to leave their laptops and phones at their desks or in another room. For remote attendees, require them to turn their web cams on (which leads to the next tip).

4. Embrace Video

If you typically just rely on your virtual meeting's conference call capabilities, start using video primarily instead. Seeing everyone on screen together not only holds everyone more accountable, but helps people feel a bit more connected than just hearing someone's voice or staring at that blank white video conference screen.

5. Include an Ice Breaker 

Whether it's a group of people who are "meeting" for the first time, or it's your weekly global team catch up, start off with an ice breaker or fun question to get everyone to focus and start the meeting off on a positive note. Ask everyone to share one fun thing they did over the weekend, what their favorite food is or what football team they root for; mix it up! This also allows increases camaraderie and eases everyone into the main conversation.

6. Make it a Point to Engage with Remote People

Working remotely comes with a lot of benefits, but it can also feel isolating, especially if these team members don't come to the office a lot. Consider asking any remote members of your team to speak first or give them one of those important roles mentioned earlier to make them feel included and valued.

7. Use Interactive Presentations 

If your standard PowerPoints with bullet points are starting to feel dull during your virtual meeting, try making them interactive. It's easy to add animations and graphics, or you can take it a step further by incorporating video or something like Prezi to keep people engaged and focused throughout the meeting. These are great tips for any presentation in any format, but they apply to your virtual meetings too.

8. Find More Interactive Tech 

Take time to reexamine your virtual meeting platform of choice. Are you utilizing all of its features or does it even have everything you need or what to enhance your meetings? If not, look for something with tools such as chat boxes, Q&A features, screen sharing, polls, annotation, and more. Bonus if it also includes tracks participation data to see how effective it is for your team or attendees.

At the end of the day, virtual meetings don't have to be boring or something people dread. By taking these steps, you can make your next virtual meeting a fun and engaging way to bring your stakeholders together.


^Back to Top


 

Wellness Events 

 

wellness-1-1

Wellness has been trending and evolving in the meeting and event industry for several years now. Why? Because events for planners and attendees can be stressful. In fact, event planning was found to be one of the top five most stressful jobs in the world.

To help planners promote and integrate wellness into their events, we’ve curated 16 ideas of the top trending and most effective wellness activities and strategies. Check them out.

1. Choose a Wellness Venue

An easy way to incorporate wellness into your next event is by choosing a venue that promotes wellness. Look for venues that offer outdoor venue space, outside activities, and are walking distance to parks, beaches, shops bike paths, etc.

2. Offer Meditation or Yoga

Decrease attendees’ chances of getting the flu or a cold at your event by hosting a meditation class or yoga. Not only has research shown that meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness exercises can decrease people’s chances of developing the flu or a cold, but it has also been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, inflammation, depression, promote sleep quality, and improve people’s overall quality of life.

3. Feature Healthy, Local Food and Drink Options

Instead of feed attendees’ donuts, candy, fried foods, offer attendees’ locally grown, healthy food and drink options. Research has shown that if you want to keep your attendees’ minds alert and active, then feeding them with water, complex carbohydrates, proteins, and a small amount of statured fats is key.

4. Outside Sessions

To relax, inspire, and awaken attendees, consider hosting an outdoor session. Not only do outdoor sessions encourage attendees to participate, but they are also a great way to change up the scenery for attendees while allowing them to enjoy the fresh air and sun.

5. Take Fitness Breaks

To help re-energize your attendees, improve their cognitive performance, mood, and increase their blood flow, integrate short fitness breaks into your event. These fitness breaks can include group walks, runs, stretching sessions, and more.

6. Add Screen-Free Zones

Screen-free zones have been trending at conferences, meetings, and other types of events. Studies on secondhand screen time and the presence of technology like a cell phone or a laptop in lecture halls have shown to decrease attendees’ long-term retention of the information. To increase attendees’ retention rates and help attendees live in the moment host screen-free breakout sessions, networking events, or set up screen-free zones at your next event.

7. Chair Massages

To increase productivity and morale, and decrease stress and stress injuries, offer attendees 15-minute chair massages. Just 15-minutes of chair massages has been scientifically proven to fight stress, anxiety, circulatory problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, and more.

8. Encourage Walking Instead of Shuttling

Because attendees’ will be sitting a lot in sessions, encourage them to walk instead of taking a shuttle or bus to get from location to location at your event. Research has shown that sitting for long periods is linked to an increase in several health conditions, like high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and death by cancer and cardiovascular disease.

9. Host a Lunch & Learn on Mental Health

Research on mental health in the meeting and event industry has revealed that professionals are 65 more likely to suffer from mental health issues today than five years ago. To promote educate, eliminate stigma around mental health, and encourage people to get help, host a lunch and learn on mental health.

10. Include Nutritional Fact Information on Everything

To help attendees’ make conscious eating choices, ensure that the nutritional information (e.g. calories, fat, carb, and sugar count) is located on all the food options. By having the nutritional facts readily available to attendees, you will encourage them to make smarter choices.

11. Push for Connection

Having a sense of connection with others has been proven to increase people’s longevity by 50 percent, strength people’s immune systems, lower rates of depression, anxiety, and more. So, to increase your attendees’ overall wellness, encourage attendees to connect with each other. Host networking cocktail hours, mixers, group activities, and other activities that provide opportunities for attendees to connect.

12. Use Your Mobile Event App to Send a “Healthy Tip of the Day”

If you’re using a mobile event app for your event, then you can use the push notification feature to send attendees personalized “healthy tips of the day”. These tips can be sayings like, “Do some cardio today,” “Be mindful,” “Make sure to sip while you sit,” and more.

New Call-to-action

13. Alcohol-Free Events

Alcohol-free events are trending for 2019 and 2020 in the industry. Why? Because people, including event attendees, are focused on living a healthier, more balanced life. Companies like the beverage brand, Kin, are holding booze-free events, that feature alcohol-free cocktail hours, yoga, meditation, and more.

14. Mindfulness

Encourage your attendees to be more mindful or aware at your next meeting or event by setting aside meditation space in a breakout room. Research has shown that incorporating mindfulness practices into meetings and events has increased attendees’ retention ratings and has a long-lasting impact on attendees.

15. Sleep

Studies have shown that sleep is as important as exercise and eating healthy. However, around 19 percent of adults in the United States consistently do not get enough sleep and 70 million Americans have a chronic sleep disorder. Encourage attendees to get sleep by ending your event at a reasonable time or saving time during the day for naps.

16. Promote Hydration

Because the human body is comprised of 60% of water and the brain is comprised of 73% of water, drinking water is crucial for people’s overall health and well-being. Encourage your attendees to stay hydrated at your event by handing out reusable water bottles and having water stations placed around your event.

^Back to Top


 

Workshop

Did you know the first usage of the word "workshop" was in 1556 and is meant for a small group of people to handcraft something together? Although the word workshop is often used in the event industry interchangeably with events like seminars, training sessions, etc., it is important to remember the word’s etymology.

For event planners, workshops should focus on gathering a small to medium size group together to focus, create, or develop a tangible project. To inspire planners and help them create an engaging workshop for attendees, we’ve created a list of the top 14 ideas for your next workshop. Check it out.

1. Breakfast Briefing

If you want to expand your audience and connect with areas of the world that are on different time schedules than you, consider hosting a breakfast briefing workshop. You can offer attendees coffee, tea, and pastries, and livestream the workshop so people from around the globe can attendee your event.

2. Unique, Non-Traditional Venue

To excite and engage attendees, host your next workshop at a unique, non-traditional venue. For instance, instead of hosting your event in a hotel’s conference room choose a more creative, one-of-a-kind venue, like a restaurant, rooftop bar, a warehouse, etc. Whatever type of unique space you choose, just make sure it has enough space to seat all your guests.

3. Play Around with the Room Layout

Instead of the traditional classroom style and rows of single tables and chairs, change up the room layout to engage attendees. If you want to promote connection among workshop attendees, set up a table with a few chairs to create small groups. You can also implement lounge furniture, like couches, and coffee or snack stations to help promote comfort among attendees.

4. Motivational Music

Although this may sound simple, playing upbeat, motivational music during breaks or before sessions can help excite attendees. Make sure the music connects to your workshop’s theme or overall goal.

5. Meditation and Stretching Breaks

Integrate meditation and stretching breaks into your next workshop. Not only can this be used as a transition from one speaker to another, but meditation and stretching breaks also have been proven to decrease attendees’ stress, anxiety, promote better sleep, and improve their overall quality of life.

6. Group Exercises

Because people learn in many different ways, consider hosting group exercises in breakout sessions. You can use these group exercises to brainstorm ideas, mix up departments, and encourage participation, since many people are more willing to participate in smaller groups

7. Giveaways

In return for participation in your workshop, gift attendees with an incentive, like a gift card, a coupon, or branded swag. To really incentivize participation at your workshop, consider hosting giveaway contests e.g. the person who participated the most; the person who shared the most on social media, etc.

8. Invite Industry Influencers

Invite industry influencers to speak to your audience at your next workshop. Not only will this engage and interest your attendees, but you can also utilize your influencer’s social media following before, during, and after your event by asking them to share photos or posts about your event.

9. Host a Demo

Give your attendees a hands-on experience with your product, by hosting a product demo at your next workshop. Not only will hosting a product demo better your attendees’ knowledge of your product, but it will also be sure to engage your audience. This is also a great opportunity for attendees to ask questions about your product, so be sure to have on-site experts there ready to answer questions.

10. Executive Panel Discussion

Host an executive panel discussion focused on the specific topic or goal of your workshop. Encourage attendees to be a part of the discussion by using their mobile event app to ask questions. Panel discussions are an effective and engaging way to get the top executives talking about important topics.

11. Lunch and Learn

Combine networking and education with a unique lunch experience by hosting a lunch and learn. Your lunch and learn can take place indoors or outdoors and should feature food stations to keep people moving, mingling, and learning.

12. Gamify the Workshop

Gamification is a powerful technique to engage your audience during your workshop. With a mobile event app, you can host a point or scavenger hunt game where attendees collect points by checking-in to certain sessions or by completing certain tasks (e.g. onsite training; posting on social media). You can then reward the attendee with the most amount of points at the end of your event.

13. Survey or Poll Your Attendees

Thanks to event management technology like mobile event apps, integrating polling into your event has never been easier. By downloading your mobile event app, attendees can answer surveys or polls during your event. Speakers can then use these real-time results by projecting them onto the screen and discussing the results.

14. Offsite Group Events

If your workshop is longer than two days, consider hosting an offsite event to bring attendees together and enhance their overall experience. For offsite outings, you can host a cocktail hour or dinner at a unique restaurant, tour the local sites, attend a sporting event, and so much more.

^Back to Top


 

New Call-to-action

This Post was Written by Kaitlyn Tatulli

Kaitlyn Tatulli is a graduate from Fairfield University with majors in Digital Journalism and Psychology and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Computer Science. Currently, she is receiving her MFA from Fairfield University. Kaitlyn...

Subscribe to Our Blog

Subhead Here

Created with Sketch.