How to be creative when it comes to conference events
We recently read a quote that stated "conferences are like parties, you need the A-list to attend and then everyone will want to be there" (Tim O’Reilly). This is true, but a lot of delegates are also looking for an experience. Conference events should be exciting, inspiring and full of creative ingredients that help deliver your messages like a pro. Here are some areas that scream for creativity.
Creative use of space is becoming a popular request within conference briefs. We particularly like pop-up conference spaces. They provide flexibility and the chance to host at a venue that is totally unique to your event. Of course budget is always a consideration but if you want to turn heads and nail a brief, pop-up spaces can be the perfect solution.
If a pop-up space isn’t going to work then why not look to create unique and fun break out, lunch or lounge areas. A couple of our favourite ideas include inflatable structures, tipis and airstreams! The list is endless.
If you must choose a venue then that’s okay too but don’t be afraid to be different and go with the “unexpected”. Event pros can steer you in the right direction to ensure your conference still has all it needs to be a success.
Use of technology
All clients would like either the latest and greatest tech, or simply the most useful for their objectives, incorporated into their conference. Tech is available in abundance but tech trends that aren’t difficult to integrate whilst still making an impact are below.
Swipe points bring about two-way data transfers via content collection, personalised information points, check-in and area access management, data, lead capture and more. RFID makes this possible, providing a great addition to your next conference and exhibition.
Q&A microphones no longer have to be delivered by a nimble member of the event team. PickledEgg recently used the app Crowdmics at a conference in London. Delegates were asked to download the app before the conference. Once opened, the app allows delegates to use their phone as a microphone during a Q&A session. Alternatively check out Catchbox, we recommend this throwable mic for smaller audiences (unless you have an audience full of shot-put champs)!
Change the game…
Silent break-out sessions are becoming ever more popular. Similar to silent discos where party-goers listen to the DJ, delegates wear headphones attached to the speakers mic. Ta-daaa!! Break out spaces can be created wherever, whenever! Equally you can run multiple sessions at any one time, in one space. Companies such as HSBC and Red Bull are fans.
We must mention virtual reality. It’s trendy and a hot topic at the moment but we aren’t too sure how many of our clients will integrate VR into their events just yet. However, the idea of taking guests out of the conference or exhibition space and into a virtual world is gaining traction across the board, opening up huge possibilities for demonstration purposes and more. So keep it in your box of toys, you never know when it could be a perfect fit and soon it will be expected.
People want to learn by interaction, collaboration and sharing – both face to face and digitally.
Be it hashtags, access to the A-listers (we mentioned them at the start of the blog) via onstage interviews, networking sessions or audience interaction tools. There is plenty available to encourage interaction, so don’t be boring and kill your audience off via ‘death by powerpoint’. We recommend live Q&A submission via event tools and we love campfire sessions whereby a facilitator encourages storytelling to reveal common issues amongst a smaller group. The knowledge sharing that follows is priceless!
All-in-all never underestimate the power of creativity when it comes to venues, use of space, technology and delegate interaction. The details add to the overall experience, ensuring your message is clearly delivered and your delegates are engaged, inspired and motivated.