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Make user experience more fun and memorable with these entertaining ways to lighten serious events.
Let’s be honest, if an event is fun it sticks in your mind and has more of an impact on you, making a longer impression. It’s just good user experience best practice. The common misconception is that making events interesting and fun detracts from the gravitas of the event or would only appeal to a younger demographic, but sprucing up and adapting some of these ideas will not only appeal to a varied audience but also set the bar for future events. Here are 12 ways to inject a little more fun into even the most serious events.
If you have a bar or drink serving area, hire experienced staff that know their way around the drinks and cocktails. Mixologist can perform interesting stunts while making the drinks which appeals to all age groups while making some of the best drinks you have ever tasted. They also have a dual purpose because it serves as a way to entertain the rest of the attendees who are waiting for drinks, and minimize any frustration if people are waiting.
Add a Theme
Themes aren’t just about tying the event décor and styling together, they can also be used to create a fun atmosphere and get attendees more involved and mingling. Interactive event themes that require attendee participation and effort can spark conversation between attendees to see what creativity others have come up with. This could be as simple as wearing a certain colour or item of clothing, like ugly jumpers or all white parties. At an international social event you could get people to identify their favorite sports team or to bring an item which signifies what they do.
These types of themes can also be adapted to high class events with a senior audience and higher budgets that are more formal, such as incorporating specific eras like the roaring 20’s, which offer a lot of styling options and specifically tie in with a black tie dress code.
Don’t restrict entertainment to just the stage by creating a fun, interactive experience with the guests and having entertainers walking around and blending in. You could tie entertainers into the narrative of your event such as stilt walkers or walking jugglers for circus themed events, historical impersonators for political parties or mascots for sport events. Or you could simply have someone in character and there for comedic effect or acting a little bit odd to draw attention to themselves and push the boundaries.
The key idea is to let the attendees get up close and personal to the entertainment and offer opportunities to interact in some ways as this helps to draw a crowd too. Another interesting idea here is to create a flash mob where you could incorporate a select few attendees before the event to practice with or simply have a dance troop go incognito until the time the flash mob begins.
Having a signature drink is a great low-cost but creative event sponsorship idea and can also create the opportunity to have a little fun with cheeky names and puns. You could also opt for a mix your own drinks station or option that allows attendees to come up with their own flavour tailored to their own likes and dislikes. Specialists could oversee the station and offer advice on great flavour combinations that work well together or even show attendees a trick or two.
Take your staff one step further by adding a fun element such as singing or performing waiters, giving welcome staff characters or having certain phrases that elicit a certain response or clues. For example you could have an “easter egg” for your event that means if an attendee asks a certain phrase to the staff they get a free drink or voucher. Having secrets and hidden surprises are fun, low-cost options for keeping guests entertained and also adds a mystery element.
Social Media Contests
Get attendees involved before, during and after the event with minimal costs by running digital contests on social media. You could create an event specific hashtag and ask attendees to come up with funny one-liner Tweets to describe the event which not only adds a fun element but is excellent marketing to the online demographic showing how much fun everyone is having. Also have best photo competitions and showcase them on your social media channels to gain some traction and have a range of funny and creative images, choosing the winner and offering prizes.
You could also set up digital voting via a web page or app, where attendees can visit and vote on a variety of topics to do with the event, such as best stand at a trade show or best sponsor interaction on the day. This allows attendees to reward the best, which is always fun and offers unique and interactive feedback to sponsors, which means you could charge them a little extra too!
If you have sponsored products or brands at your event, include live demonstrations that interact with the audience and allow them to test products there and then for themselves. Adding a wellness element can also intrigue attendees with a healthier outlook. Consider adding a mini beginner yoga session, learning a dance routine or even an aerobic session to get the heart pumping and entertain the guests.
Health demonstrations are particularly popular at sporting events where there are plenty of sponsorship opportunities and you could even tie it in with health conscious catering options or associated services like massage or chiropractors to set up stalls and offer consultations on the day.
Competition can create fun elements and team building at the same time which helps with networking and acts as an icebreaker at events. Depending on your theme, demographic or event type will depend on the type of event competitions you run but you could make them mental, physical or even digital. Tournaments can include guests and keep them coming back to check out where they are positioned or if they have been kicked off the top spot, which is an excellent trade show idea to make your booth the favourite!
This can also be a fun way to introduce virtual reality into your events and show off some tech at the same time! Create virtual golf tournaments, driving simulations or other fun ideas that attendees can compete against in order to win a top prize.
A Touch Of Nostalgia
Just because something is old doesn’t mean it has lost its appeal and often adding nostalgia to events can resurface happy memories and automatically please attendees. Create nostalgia by incorporating retro computer games as an entertainment idea, offering a traditional sweets pick n’ mix, set up a quirky food station with childhood favorites, add large playground games such as tombolas or a bean bag toss and get the DJ to play tracks from their youth. These ideas are not only fun but bring back fond memories and get attendees reminiscing about the past.
Photo Booths create a world of fun for attendees as you can make the booth big enough for larger groups to interact and add props that are in keeping with your theme. Add an additional sponsorship idea by creating print-outs for attendees to take home as souvenirs and impose brand names, logos or event hashtags on the images. Choose an event app with a mobile photo booth which allows attendees to take photos against a green screen and pick their background.
Digital photo booths are also a unique way to add a different dynamic by projecting images onto a big screen to encourage and inspire attendees to come up with something different as well as being comical when you see some of the results.
A great charity fundraiser idea for formal events are silent auctions, which can raise money and offer excitement as attendees attempt to offer the best price. Prizes can include sponsored products, brand trips and experiences and the items up for grabs need to be on show.
Adult Play Areas
These can add a playful attitude to events because let’s be honest, we all want to be big kids sometimes! You could incorporate a slide, adult soft play, bounce houses or inflatable obstacle courses. Or provide clay or crafts such as painting or puppet making for your attendees to get involved in.
Depending on the space available you can choose activities to relax or over-excite attendees and provide hours of fun! Just ensure you let them know the dress code beforehand so female attendees aren’t trying to bounce in uncomfortable dresses or pencil skirts or getting paint on their best suit!
Ultimately, it is important to remember that no matter how formal or serious the event, attendees will often appreciate entertainment and ways to lighten the mood. These 12 ideas should give you an excellent starting point as well as being adaptive to your event theme and demographic so that everyone can take part in the fun!