200 Event Ideas To Steal Today (2018 edition)
200 unique event ideas to surprise your attendees.
The only article you need in 2018 to plan successful events that wow attendees.
It’s so tough to impress attendees these days, won’t you agree?
That feeling of ‘seen it, done it’ it’s always lingering around.
We need inspiration and creativity more than ever.
Our boss demands them, our attendees want them, our sponsors crave them.
Finding new ideas is in the top five biggest challenges event professionals have in 2018.
When it gets to corporate event planning, new event ideas are the second priority on the list of planners.
So how do you impress attendees, regardless of the type of events you plan?
The devil is in the details my friends.
Sometimes it’s those little twists you add to small details of your event that change perceptions. This is why we are giving you the most comprehensive database to date on event ideas. We are making it public and sharing it with you.
Here is what you’ll find in this article:
- 20 Fundraising Event Ideas That Make a Difference
- 20 Entertainment Ideas to Make your Event Guests Go Wow!
- 20 Promotional Ideas for Events: Start Selling Tickets Now!
- 20 Community Event Ideas That Bring People Together
- 20 Company Event Ideas to Go From Yawn to Yay
- 20 Public Event Ideas To Make Everything Go as Planned
- 20 of the Best Innovative Event Ideas to Surprise Attendees
- 20 Social Event Ideas to Make Your Guests Connect
- 20 Unique Special Event Ideas to Impress Your Guests
- 20 Corporate Event Ideas to Use Today
Fundraising events must be among the most difficult types of events out there. You are inviting people in a room to ask for their money. For a good cause, of course, but still you are asking for their money.
Coming up with cool fundraising ideas that make an impact is not always easy. Getting the audience to empathize with your cause can be a challenge.
No worries, we are here to help.
Let’s look first at some strategies to tackle the ever changing world of fundraising events, then we will share some of the most effective fundraising ideas out there.
Stories can truly connect your audience’s emotions to the cause you are fundraising for. Without a face or story to represent your fundraising need, your donors won’t be able to envision or feel exactly how worthy your cause is. People are inclined to give when they connect on an emotional level with a speaker or a personal journey. By sharing these types of heartfelt stories with your audience at an event, you are much more likely to increase your charitable contributions.
Tug the heartstrings:
- At the event, set aside a time to educate your audience about your cause and show them the impact they are making.
- Use storytelling through things like photographs, videos, quotations, and artwork.
- Providing your donors with actual examples of where the money raised is going and the impact it is having, will provide gratification to your donors and encourage them to continue giving during future campaigns. You should always be looking for the chance to show your donors what their gifts are accomplishing.
Cater to Your Donor
Everyone loves to feel special at an event, especially a high-level donor or top-tier sponsor. You should try to make each one of your guests feel like the most important person in the room, in order to provide a great customer service experience and make them more inclined to open their pocketbooks for your charity. By making attendees feel special, they will be much more inclined to give to your cause or spend some extra money while attending your event. Everyone enjoys feeling like a VIP, so do your best to show all of the guests attending your event that their dollar truly matters.
Make them feel special:
- Calling your guests by name upon arrival and recognizing them for their generosity at every chance you get, will go a really long way in providing a positive and lasting impression.
- Place VIP board members’ names on the invitation. When people receive an invitation if they recognize a name they feel more obligated and motivated to attend.
- Place VIPs on your event board. People who give buy-in and advice on something feel an added incentive to see how it turns out, which means they’ll also attend. This also helps you build a closer relationship with them.
Being connected to your donors and supporters during the event is easier than ever with social media and digital devices. Being tapped into the vibe of your outing will give you a good perspective on the impact your event has had and perhaps the likelihood of your fundraising success.
Are people sharing information about your cause or event with their network? Fundraising is a very social project in this digitally connected world. Almost every day we see someone online who is raising money or awareness for a cause they care about. By making your events more socially connected you will increase your visibility and build upon your potential fundraising income.
- You can follow along with your group through event hashtags and apps during the event
- Don’t be afraid to ask attendees how they are doing with pre-and post-event surveys!
- Connect the digital and physical attendees with a live social wall during your event and flood with messages of donations and support for the cause.
Here are 20 ideas to bolster fundraising revenue at your next event.
Invite guests who are affected by the cause you are trying to raise to speak at the keynote on behalf of others. Motivational or inspiring stories, as well as seeing the affected can hit home for many and encourage more donations.
Rather than a free bar, the sponsor agrees to match whatever was made in drinks and donate to a charity. This is perfect, particularly if they are marketing with a custom cocktail so it is a win-win and also encourages drinking for a good cause!
Full Valet Service
An excellent corporate fundraising idea is to have a valet and car wash available for attendees while they are in the event. The proceeds go to the designated charity, guests are more likely to pay a bit extra for the cause and they have the car cleaned while having fun!
Get an influencer or celebrity guest involved in your fundraising for causes that they are passionate about. Even if you can’t get them to attend the event themselves they could still publicly donate to your cause, prompting others to do the same. Plus, it’s an excellent way to spread awareness.
For animal fundraising, work with local shelters or sanctuaries to bring animal guests to your event to pose for photos or be part of the keynote. Animals strike a chord with people and chances are you’ll have attendees with pets so they will be more likely to donate seeing the animals themselves. Everyone loves an underdog (or cat) story.
Credit: Megan Hunter
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Silent Auction Fundraising Digital Donations Fundraising Donation Kiosks Fundraising Donation Matching Sponsorship Raffles Giveaway/Gifts Bring to Buy Fundraising Pay Per Themes Fundraising Gamification Networking/Play The “Donate” Button Fundraising Purchase Tables Fundraising Homemade Carnival Networking/Play Charity Photo Booth Fundraising Fundraising Exhibition Fundraising Host a Slumber Party Meeting Design Fashion Show Sponsorship
Experience is more than just a buzzword. Creating a great experience for event attendees is essential if you want your event to be memorable. To keep your attendees’ interests piqued, you need to keep them engaged. One of the best ways to do that is through entertainment.
Capture the imagination of your attendees with unique performers, fun activities and unique experiences to create a buzz around your event. It can attract attendees, give audience satisfaction and increase brand exposure in a big way. Get it right and your attendees will do your social media marketing for you!
3 Tips For Event Entertainment
You want to entertain on various levels, big and small. Of course, a big entertainment act is a great idea but what will attendees do while they wait? Consider different tiers of entertainment for continued amusement that hits the right note.
Different tier mentality:
- Consider queuing. If you have elements of your event that may turn into queues and these are unavoidable, entertain them! Having walking entertainers to interact or big screens near the waiting area will make time fly by for guests.
- Amuse crowds. Just because you have minimal space to maneuver everyone doesn’t mean you are limited to stage entertainment. Simply adding props or interactive crowd games can make it more enjoyable and engaging.
- Think small. Don’t forget to think small and consider the personal touches that make entertainment memorable. This could be something as simple as ensuring there is table trivia at a corporate gala for networking, to interactive speakers or roaming entertainment.
Make It Social
Don’t just entertain your attendees, entertain your audience by making it go viral! This improves brand reach by getting your event trending and shared globally.
Time to connect
- Get emotive. People will want to post and share your event if it evokes strong emotions; be it surprise, excitement, awe or amusement! If you use an act, a show or a performer that is so unique (and can also incorporate the brand!) that people are stirred to feeling amazed or surprised, then they are going to want to share their experience with others.
- Record it. Don’t rely on attendees to capture the entertainment (particularly if it is a surprise) so ensure you have someone recording it, you never know when the footage may come in handy for full previews or exclusives.
- Plan ahead. Don’t be afraid to put some thought into how to make the entertainment viral. Do some research on what is popular, create a buzz that includes entertainment teasers on social media and you could even invite press for coverage!
Remember Your Audience
Your event style and type will largely dictate what is appropriate or not. Corporate event profs will first have to take a few factors into consideration when ensuring that the entertainment ‘fits’ the event:
Know who you’re talking to:
- Analyse your demographic. Determine age, social background and sex, and choose entertainment accordingly. A tribute to ‘One Direction’ or ‘Justin Bieber’ may be suitable for a corporate family day event, but not for a black-tie gala dinner.
- Consider venue space. Venue size and location is a factor that many event planners and organizers forget (or remember at the last minute!). This is important, as it will play a part in deciding whether or not you can have that aerial team you want or full-scale swing band!
- Budget. Do you have a strict budget that you have to work within, or is money not a problem? The amount of money a company is prepared to spend on entertainment will affect the options available.
Hungry for event entertainment ideas? Here are 20 things to inspire your next event.
Everything from beach balls, balloons, giant inflatables or even smaller ideas like bubbles can make the experience more interactive, particularly with huge crowds and audiences that it is difficult to get individual feedback from. These can be a way of tying themes together while making it fun and individual as attendees get involved and play games among themselves which can be a particularly good idea at concerts or festivals.
Forget pens and paper, this is caricature art for the New Media Age! Digital caricaturists are one of the most popular options for corporate events that require walkaround entertainment that incorporates technology. Not only will guests want to tweet or post their personal works of art (which can include company logos, branding or products!), but the artist can also email the caricatures to attendees or post them live on to company social media sites!
For some, adding a mythical or magical booth such as palm, tarot or tea leaf reading can be more fun because of the “supernatural” element and things they can’t explain. In the same way, magicians and card tricksters are popular because people enjoy the things they can’t explain. Remember, the better the reader or performer, the more of an impact they will make.
Geared towards corporate clients, artists will perform using products i.e. ladders, machinery, etc. These shows also have added wow factor, as they are a fast paced, high energy performance.
They say that smells trigger memories right? Well, why not ensure your guests remember your event with an aroma DJ! Using an ‘aroma laboratory’, these new and exciting DJs mix a blend of oils, incense and real pheromones; “controlling the vibes of the dance floor by mixing a seamless blend of scents!”.
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Coffee Art Entertainment Retro Video Games Entertainment Live Bands/MCs Entertainment Classy Table Tennis Networking/Play Responsive Flooring Entertainment iPad Magician Entertainment Giant Lego Entertainment Video Mapping Dance Crews Networking/Play Interactive Wait Staff Entertainment Aerial Performers Entertainment Celebrities/Influencers Networking/Play Street Entertainers Entertainment Sand Artists Entertainment Comedians Entertainment Stunt Performers Entertainment
Even if you are the best event planner in the world, if people don’t know about your event, they won’t come.
With the ever-competitive event market it is important to stand out and while this may come at a price, it makes the effort worthwhile.
Good promotion can generate more income from sponsors, as well as improve ticket sales, as brands only want to work with events that can improve their reach as well.
But how do you stand out with so much noise out there?
Event planners say that increased competition is their biggest hurdle in 2018.
So let’s look at some tactics first to approach event promotion, then 20 incredible ideas to sell out!
- Work With Your Venue
Often, your venue has its own PR team that will be able to lend a helping hand and understands its specifications to promote itself meaning that you can focus on the event at hand. After all, it is in the best interests of the venue that your event is a success.
Utilize your assets:
- Discuss what you need. Always talk about what your end goal is for promotion. Creating hype, building awareness or driving ticket sales can have slightly different approaches, so make sure you are on the same page.
- Get your event listed on their event website with a ticket link as early as possible.
- Do the venue have a newsletter of interested event goers? Can they feature your forthcoming event?
- Tap into their local knowledge. Do they have contacts and suppliers that may extend reach or have they got inside knowledge into the city you are hosting your event in that might help?
- Stay Current
People have busy lives, so it is important to keep in the forefront of their minds or they will forget about your event. It’s nothing personal!
Get to the forefront:
- Grow your email list. Do everything you can to grow your email list with those that are truly interested in your event. Having a pop up on your site is a great way to encourage people to receive updates so you can keep in touch if they are not ready to purchase tickets yet.
- Newsletter reminders. Use your email list to share tantalising content with newsletter subscribers, but target it towards those that have bought tickets and those still to book. Make the subject line pop so you have better open rates.
- Social media updates. Engage on social media and ensure that you are around to ask any questions or alleviate issues in the lead up to your event.
- Keep it interesting. If you bore them at this stage, chances are they won’t be attending. You could use different mediums or graphics on your channel as well as a temporary change of colors or profile pictures to add that reminder.
- Content Accessibility
Make sure that you are putting your efforts into being accessible when it comes to promoting your event. This could be sharing on different media where your audience are active or simply not confusing your message and diluting interest.
- Adapt to your audience. If your audience favors Snapchat, start getting up to date on stories and filters you can use. If it’s Instagram, design stunning images that will turn heads! Promotion is all about breaking through the noise and reaching your demographic.
- Be wherever it matters. Don’t just limit yourself to the normal social networks (although these are useful too.) be where your audience is and this means understanding where is best to reach them.
- Native checkouts. Allow tickets to be purchased via the different sites and mediums you have promoted on e.g. Facebook. This makes the process efficient meaning you’re more likely to get sales rather than distracted potential guests.
Drawing a blank when it comes to promotional ideas? Here are 20 ideas to kick start your promotions right now.
Put together a free two-part webinar that precludes the event and gets attendees excited and educated which could include sneak peeks from speakers as well as industry relevant information. Make part 2 available post-event that includes highlights and key takeaways.
Good old billboards
Nobody cares about billboards. Right? Not so fast. If you use them strategically and you target the areas where your attendees tend to come from, you have a fantastic opportunity right there. Search for attendees addresses on your previous year registration. Identify areas with higher concentration of attendees. Whether it is national or local, you can pinpoint specifically those areas sending you more attendees and expose them to a very targeted message. They will feel surprised and intrigued.
Strategic Influencer marketing
18% of event planners say that influencer marketing is the most effective tactic to sell tickets. Identify the influencers in your niche that tend to collaborate with events. We are not talking about general influencers popular on a given social networks. We are talking about only those that attend similar events. Invite them to speak, offer VIP treatment, pay for accommodation and expenses. Expect them to blog, tweet, insta and video about your event in return. Remember to get them to disclose your partnership. It’s not just cool, it works!
Temporary Website Re-Branding
For a limited time, change the colors of your website to include the theme or vibe of your event. You could add a landing page that takes you straight to the event details with FAQ’s and the information attendees would need. You could also include page pop-ups for commonly used posts or pages to highlight the new event to market and let people know. The important thing to remember is to keep with your brand but make it pop and stand out so that users are aware that it is something new and something to be excited about.
Targeted Flyer Dropping
Let’s be honest, flyers are becoming less and less effective and it is no longer good enough to stand in the town center and hand them out because they normally just find their way to the bin. Flyers however don’t have to be wasted and they are still effective if you target them directly to your demographic only and this works better if you choose a niche.
For example, if you are organizing a running event, an effective way of targeted flyer dropping is at other local running or sporting events because your target demographic is all in one place and has their minds on running or fitness. Often, the organizers will allow other brands or organizers to leaflet drop in the goody bags or at the start/finish in exchange for providing a few helpful volunteers for the day (there’s nothing to stop you branding them as well).
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Behind-the-Scenes Build-up Videos Marketing Pre-event Q&A for Attendees Marketing Radio Marketing Giveaways Giveaway/Gifts Snapchat Lenses Social Media Ambassadors Marketing Featured Speaker videos Speakers Get suppliers to promote your event Marketing Claim support from local authorities Marketing Host Meetups Marketing Step up your press factor PR Step up your social media game Social Media Use content marketing strategically Marketing What about remarketing? Marketing Car Attachments Marketing
There’s nothing quite like a community event for creating a local call to arms or bringing people together over a common cause. Whether trying to affect local change, raise funds or simply bring a group of people together, community events can be the best way to do this if done correctly.
Like any event, organizing a community event comes with its own pitfalls and challenges. People need to be informed, engaged and motivated; and like any event, attendee security and safety are paramount.
If you want to organize better community events, you’ve come to the right place. These tips and ideas will help you inspire your attendees and create amazing community events.
3 Considerations of Community Events:
- Protect Yourself
There can be increased liability with community events and this is something you’ll need to consider while planning, to make sure you can have the event that you have in mind!
- Research insurance. You will often need special types of permits and insurance when dealing with the public and the liability that goes with it so do all of your research to keep completely protected.
- Collate your paperwork. Request and create risk assessments for certain activities e.g. those that involve risk, kids or fireworks. Ensure your paperwork is in order BEFORE the event, if you don’t you could leave yourself liable.
- Do further health and safety checks on the day to make sure everything is operating as it should be. For larger events have a dedicated health and safety officer.
- Create a Team
They say it “takes a village” and community events have a village at their disposal so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Find the specialists. Is there someone in the community is a catering expert? Ask their advice for the best deals in town or who to bring in for mobile catering options. The joy of communities is that you have a network of information to tap into. Use it.
- Get together a passionate team. The downside to community organizing is that it can snowball and you’ll find yourself with too much work or many people to manage, so keep things tight knit and delegate what you can, within reason.
- After every meeting make sure that everyone is clear on their own specific actions and deadlines.
- Think Community During Planning
It’s important to remember the primary objective of a community event and that is usually to benefit the community! With this in mind, aim for local sustainability and keep this in the forefront.
- Supply from local businesses. It’s for a local cause and you’re more likely to get excellent rates because the event will directly benefit them. Even better, see what they can contribute and provide.
- Consult with the community. What do they actually want from the event and how could it be achieved?
- Think about how local schools, youth groups, churches, sports teams, local interest groups and activities can have a platform at the event.
Ready to produce a fantastic community celebration? Here are 20 ideas that are guaranteed to be popular….
A fantastic community catering idea that involves each attendee bringing a food item to contribute to the buffet table. For larger events, you want to make sure you have everything from starters to sweets so you can allocate meal (or drink) types to groups of people who can then organize with each other what they are going to specifically bring. This is an excellent way of bringing people together and starts a conversation on what everyone has brought.
It doesn’t have to be Winter to incorporate a fun participatory activity for your attendees because synthetic ice rinks are becoming popular. They don’t use wet ice but the best synthetics rinks can offer a comparable skating experience and can be built indoors or outdoors, even in the height of summer. Accommodating large numbers all at once, synthetic ice rinks are energy conscious and environmentally friendly. Give guests of all ages a unique experience to get active.
#Rent us NOW! We cater for #familyday, #carnivals, #birthdayparties , #exhibitionstand , #exhibition Red shirt skater invasion 💞😛Like-Ice!Asia booth @Dell Event 07 Oct.2017 #likeiceasia #likeicedome #likeice.com #likeiceasia.com #fitforlife #iceskating #portableiceskating #kidsforkids #icehockeyfederation #kurtharand #redbullchallenge #franchise #businessforyou #samuelbrukhethal #sunwayvelocitymall #syntheticrinkmalaysia #bazaarinspirasikubyssm #amansentral #amansentraliceskatingrink #aeontebrau #aeontebrauskatingrink #ministryifhealthmy #dell #dellglobalbusinesscenter #penang
Credit: Like-Ice! Asia
Offer cooking classes and workshops with the attendees being able to add their creations to the buffet (or sell them for fundraising.) Local restaurants could set-up a pop-up stand to accommodate in exchange for signage as an interesting sponsorship idea. Of course, you could also make it a competition too.
Street Party/Block Party
While these can be difficult to get permits for (if you need to close the street), they are excellent and memorable because they involve bringing neighbours together so are more likely to become recurring. These traditions help to create safer neighbourhoods and give children an opportunity for a warmer environment to grow up in.
How best to get everyone motivated for a morning event than serving a pancake breakfast? It’s delicious and fairly cost effective because you can offer a variety of topping but don’t need to worry about other catering options.
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Local Walking Tours Sustainability Crowd Activated Interactive Games Networking/Play Local Radio Marketing Fitness Workshop Entertainment Outdoor BBQ Catering Community Drive Sustainability Craft Stations Networking/Play Giant Garden Games Networking/Play Open Air Movie Screen Entertainment Gardening Sustainability Dance-a-Thon Entertainment Mobile Drinks Mobile Catering Cleaning Wakeboarding Entertainment Treasure Hunts Networking/Play Quizzes Networking/Play
All work and no play can make your event a dull place. Boring company events leave attendees feeling tired and more likely to walk away feeling like they have learned nothing.
Time has run out on boring company events. If attendees are disengaged, they aren’t retaining information. This has to change. It’s time to think beyond “death by powerpoint” and create an event that will excite and engage delegates while keeping the boss happy too.
We’ve got everything you need to bring your company events to life. Here are some ideas and tips to take your company events to the next level.
3 Top Tips For Creating Exciting Company Events
- Creative Theming
Give your guests a break from the glass and steel world of business and dress your event to impress. Design your meetings to wow your attendees.
- Consider using creative themes that relate to the to topic of the day
- Take inspiration from local landmarks, scenery and customs. For business guests flying in from afar, local themes can be a big hit.
- Take time to assess all aspects of meeting design. Use creative seating layouts to promote engagement between attendees.
- Gamification and Competition
Use eventtech to add excitement and create some healthy competition between staff. Get groups to work together collectively and get to know new colleagues and departments.
- Allocate points to reward behavior you want to encourage, such as connecting with other staff, visiting exhibitors, completing a survey, sharing on social media.
- Incorporating a leaderboard will ensure that the battle for the top spots is fierce.
- If your company supports a charity the points earned by attendees could be turned into a donation to the cause and encourage greater participation.
- Food and Drink
Food and drink can be a big part of the event experience and it can be a unique opportunity to add a touch of luxury or additional branding to the event.
- The menu for food and beverage – and the display and service of them – are excellent opportunities to reflect your brand. Walking service and food stations might be a lot more appealing than a 3-course dinner.
- Make sure you have plenty of options for all allergies, dietary preferences, religious beliefs and health choices. Ask in advance for staff to share their dietary requirements.
- For small group events consider a participatory experience where teams have to create dishes on the menu and then come together for a feast afterwards. This can be a great team bonding activity.
Need some advice on company event ideas that your boss and staff will love? Here are 20 as a starter.
Corporate Flash Mob
Add a sophisticated corporate twist to the traditional flash mob to surprise VIP guests. This Charleston flash mob was definitely entertaining and memorable.
This #throwbackthursday let’s go back to last summer when we had the great honour to meet @monty_roberts before our Charleston flashmob performance at @sunsetpolo. Summer is definitely coming again and we can’t wait for those long beautiful nights! . . #charlestondancers #flappergirls #1920s #roaring20s #gatsbytheme #greatgatsbyparty #greatgatsbytheme #charityevent #fundraiser #fundraisingideas #eventinspiration #partyideas #1920stheme #partytheme #eventprofsuk #eventplanner #nicroldan #montyroberts #unikagirls #unikadanceevents #cowdrayhouse
Make stages more engaging to capture attendee attention by using custom backdrops or staging designs. This cool western theme, coupled with some clever lighting draws attention and keeps the focus.
Credit: Encore Live
Another adrenaline filled idea that can utilize open space and be an incredible experience. For team building alternatives you can try zorb football which involves hilarious attempts at football while strapped into a giant zorb ball.
Growing in popularity, the escape room is a problem-solving idea that puts teams under pressure which is good practice for the working world and gauging who can handle it, and who can’t!
If corporate drinks are more the scene for your team, choose a cocktail workshop run by mixologists to design a custom cocktail inspired by the business or brand. They could be incorporated into the next office event and a competition to decide on which is best.
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Roundtable Discussion Meeting Design Walk-a-Mile Retreats Chocolate Making Entertainment 5K’s Networking/Play Live Stream Technology Guess The Baby Networking/Play Dress Down Day Entertainment 360 Staging AV/Staging Sweepstakes Networking/Play Playground Mentality Entertainment Orienteering Networking/Play Dress The Boss Entertainment Table Tea Catering Masquerade Décor Modern Conference Venues Venues
Hosting an event in public can strike fear into the heart of event the most hardy of event planners. In an uncontrolled, unfamiliar environment the number of things that can go wrong can increase considerably.
Don’t worry, EventMB has come to the rescue with a public event toolkit full of ideas that will help you get the best out of your public events. We’ve got ideas to inspire and excite attendees and tips to help you get your public events totally on point.
3 Tips For Producing a Public Event
Confirm Permissions and Public Safety
In public spaces you may need permits or a licence to host an event. Work with the relevant authorities and services to ensure you are doing everything you should be, as this will vary depending on the company you are operating in and according to the state/area/region the event is taking place.
- Lead times for public events can be long. Check on any extra paperwork you need to complete and the deadlines for it.
- Do you need to close roads? Do you need to have a police presence? Who will provide first aid cover?
- There may be a requirement to attend safety meetings with the relevant blue light services.
Communication is Key
Think about communication between staff on site. Event radios are likely to be the best method of communication for a public event. Ensure all radio holders are fully trained in operating the devices.
- Sign radios in and out so you keep track and don’t misplace any.
- Charge radios up fully before the event and every evening. Have spares available.
- Provide headsets for staff that want them, particularly those working in noisy or quiet areas.
- For larger events, have an event control room and keep a log of all radio activity.
Manage Attendance Numbers
How will you monitor numbers and safety on site? If it is a ticketed event with a clear event perimeter you have control over the flow and number of people on site. If overcrowding is likely to be a concern this needs to be addressed within the event risk assessment.
- Even if it is a free event consider making it a requirement to register for a ticket, to control numbers.
- Use clever programming to control audience movement and avoid one element becoming too overcrowded.
- Have systems in place to manage a “one out, one in” process if any areas get too busy.
Want to attract maximum numbers to your public event? Here are some ideas to inspire you.
Tethered Hot Air Balloon
This works two-fold because it creates an experience at your event that many won’t have tried, allowing attendees a ride while also being a massive promotional or signage opportunity to draw attention to the event!
Open Mic Night
From poetry slams to karaoke and musical talent showcasing their original music, an open mic can accompany a variety of events and help bring a public event indoors to transition to the evening. Just be sure to book some good musicians in between to perk things up if the submissions aren’t great!
Add a booth that can offer free (or minimally charged) helpful services that guests can’t always access. For example a free baby car seat check, oil test or tyre pressure which can be an excellent sponsorship idea for public events.
This involves placing notes or ornaments on a tree and making a wish. This can be a fundraising option for public events as well as a unique alternative to a guestbook if you have guests sign cards to add.
Offer an opportunity for informal chats and collaborate with venues with a message, you get people in the door with free coffee (or tea) and then wow them with other events or campaigns. Plus, they become the perfect focal point for parents with young children or the elderly.
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Local Art Exhibitions Entertainment Recycling Parties Sustainability Food Festivals Festivals “Nearly New” Sales Sustainability Balloon Artists Entertainment Pop-Up Shops Mobile Catering Giant Ribbons Décor Local Services Training Entertainment Blood Van Entertainment Fireworks display Entertainment Community Officials Speakers Health Fairs Festivals Endurance Events Themes Local Business Show Themes Silent Disco Entertainment
Nothing grabs people’s attention like being surprised. By using the psychology of surprise, you can turn your event into a memorable experience that will have your attendees reminiscing for years to come.
Use innovation to create moments that your attendees will want to share. By giving them something they have never seen before, you’ll be giving them a unique and memorable experience.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to be cutting edge in your events, look no further. We’ve got just what you need right here.
3 Tips to Create an Innovative Event
- Innovate for the Right Reasons
- Never be innovative just for the sake of being innovative. Otherwise, your attempt at innovation could seem gimmicky and disjointed from the focus of the event.
- It is important to keep sight of your true event objectives and think about how you can work differently, and in exciting ways to achieve them.
- Take small steps. Completely revamping an annual event and losing all previous elements of its identity is probably too drastic for your loyal attendees.
- Don’t worry about the competition, just focus on your own priorities.
- Innovate to Strengthen the Brand
Think about your brand or organization. What does it represent? This could spark ideas for how to be innovative around your true values.
- Brainstorm ideas big and small.
- Get your whole team involved in the process and commitment to innovate.
- This approach should shine through in your event communications too.
- Innovate with Technology
Technology is often a great way to be recognized as a truly innovative brand. There are lots of exciting developments in event technology and those that resonate with your audience and help you to understand them better can bring lots of benefits.
- Use the expertise of event technology providers and ask them for innovative solutions to your objectives and challenges.
- If you have a limited budget there are still some free and freemium products available, so don’t discount the use of technology until you have explored the options.
- Check the venue WiFi can hold up to your plans.
If you want your next events to be cutting edge, here are 20 ideas to lead the way.
It is becoming increasingly popular to create an inception event which involves adding one event type into another. This is an example of a festival theme being used for a corporate dinner, recreating the atmosphere but for a classy evening event.
I’ve been quiet on here this week and this is why – I’ve been busy in Leeds working on an event. This is a quick snap I took last night of the festival themed dinner… amazing 😍 . . . . . #eventprofs #events #eventplanner #eventdesign #event #eventplanning #design #eventphotography #inspiration #eventinspiration #eventmanagement #eventstyle #stagedesign #eventdetails #conference #corporateevents #instagood #eventprofsuk #party #eventpros #entertainment #eventstyling #meetingprofs #eventdecor #eventlife #partytime #eventideas #eventmanager #whatkellidoes
Credit: What Kelli Does
Turn small spaces into big opportunities with augmented reality games such as these mazes that look fairly simple but with the aid of virtual reality turns into a challenge and participatory activity. Plus, it’s fun to watch from the outside.
Reali-team Maze Race! The perfect way to kick-off the year. #1upevents @111minnagallery #maze #race #teambuilding #dronegoggles #reversedperspective #trippy #virtualreality #augmentedreality #games #videogames #happyhour #saleskickoff #kickoff #corporateevents #corporateevent #companyfun #treasuremap #treasurehunt #trippy
It may go against the marketing standard but secret events are becoming popular because of their mystery and exclusivity. They create a buzz, purely because there is nothing known about them until the last minute. From secret screenings in abandoned venues to ad hoc keynotes and lost lectures.
Designate Play Zones
Designate areas of your conference specifically for open play at all times to not-so-subtly promote play. Giant nostalgia games like Jenga, Connect Four, and Twister are becoming a staple at large receptions, on trade show floors, and at outdoor events. These oversized games are like beautiful interactive decor that helps people network while they play in a unique way. They can be grouped together in fun ‘zones’ so they don’t disturb the other components of the program.
More independent Play Zones with sheets of adult colouring book pages, kitschy craft stations, video games, or collaborative mural painting are another way to promote playfulness, and can be enjoyed independently or with friends.
Hire A Meeting Learning Coach
A combination of an expert facilitator and MC who in an ideal world also has a background in education and professional speaking. This person will not just give housekeeping notes, introduce speakers, and give out awards – he/she should (like your participants) have an active role in the program. Your coach should help you train your speakers to be more engaging, curate and facilitate your content, and lead your participants in thought-provoking and knowledge-sharing discussions that reiterate your most important objectives for the conference.
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Live Product Demos Technology Silent Conference Technology LED Robots Technology 3D Photo Booth Technology Clubbing Lunch Themes Fishbowl Chats Meeting Design Sustainable Trade Shows Sustainability Video Booths Technology Speed It Up Meeting Design Gamify Sponsorship Activations Sponsorship Give Everyone A Voice Meeting Design Augmented Booth Tours Technology Giant Touch Screens Technology Mixed Reality Photo Opps Giveaway/Gifts Augmented Reality Thrills Technology
Creating connections between attendees is a key objective for many events but getting people to make those connections is often easier said than done.
For events of this type, the onus is on the event planner to make sure the right wheels are greased to make connections and conversations happen. It’s time to think outside the box and create an atmosphere that makes people feel comfortable and promotes engagement.
Once you’ve got the right environment, it’s time to get creative and think about creating opportunities for your guests to connect. We’ve compiled a list of the most effective tips and tricks to get attendees connected at your events. Read on to find out more…
3 Tips to Producing a Networking Focused Event
- Encourage Pre-Event Chatter
Do everything you can to reduce nervousness and ensure that everyone has connected with someone in advance of the event.
- Having active social channels and providing Twitter chats for those attending for the first time will help attendees to feel more relaxed.
- Discussions around a topic or subject area can naturally bring out affinities or interesting debate and better identify who to connect with.
- Encourage those attending for the first time to arrive half an hour earlier to meet others in the same situation.
- Think of Your Audience
Understand that not everyone is confident or comfortable in networking situations. Some attendees need more support and encouragement than others. Whether your attendees and extrovert or introvert, try to maximize the opportunities to make new contacts for everyone attending.
- Introverts will appreciate more structured and facilitated networking, or anything that can aid the connection process. This could include being matched with someone with similar interests and letting both parties know that they should talk.
- Group work can be a discreet way of getting people to chat
- Have dedicated staff looking out for anyone that looks uncomfortable and be ready to strike up a conversation or introduce them to someone new.
- Utilise Eventtech for Better Connections
If you have an event app encourage people to reach out to others with similar interests so they have people to look out for at the event.
- You can set up meetings via some event apps.
- Gamify the networking process by offering points for every person connected with. This can give a fun and gentle nudge to make people more proactive.
- Consider using AI-powered smart matching apps to ease the process and make better matches.
Here are 20 ways to be social at your next event…
As the name suggests, smart badges are a clever technology to improve networking. Fundamentally they use an app and mobile device to help pinpoint people of similar interests or specifically preset people to talk to and notify or light up when close to a match. These wearable devices can help to avoid the awkward “walking up to people” phase and give an immediate reason to strike up a conversation, as well as prioritizing those you specifically want to talk to.
Personalized Name Tags
For a low-cost and easy idea, you can aim to put extra tidbits of information about the attendee on their name tag. When filling out registration forms merely add an extra box that allows attendees to fill in the information and this allows similarly minded guests to find each other at the event as well as starting interesting talking points to break the ice. Some ideas you could try are:
Describe yourself in 3 words
Talk to me about….
Your most interesting quality
How they take their coffee
Place they would most like to visit in the world
Or you could opt to make it a question about the event theme, their job role or event experience (e.g. previous events that they attended)
While it may start making everyone suspicious, they will quickly bond and form relationships using teamwork to guess the murderer! It also creates for perfect conversation post-event, particularly with a murder mystery that is a bit more elaborate.
It’s one thing to tell a story with your event but it’s another to get attendees to share their own. Being open and encouraging storytelling makes deeper connections and memorable networking.
Disable The WiFi
It may sound like a shock and maybe not for the whole event but removing the internet and taking everyone offline can give the perfect opportunity to network and converse “old-school.”
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Drinks Receptions Catering Lounges Décor -Athons Themes Fireside Chats Meeting Design Virtually Social Social Media Personalized Name Tags Networking/Play Picnics Meeting Design Swap Seats Meeting Design Mini Laser Tag Entertainment Wine/Brewery Tours Networking/Play Crescent Formats Meeting Design Offer Follow-Up Opportunities Networking/Play Use Social Media Social Media Out of Hours Networking/Play Open Brainstorming Technology Speed Networking Networking/Play
When it comes to glitz and glamor, event planners need to be able to turn it up to the max. Your clients want their special event to be spectacular, delivering a unique experience that will leave guests speechless. That’s a lot to ask…
Whether it’s a gala, concert or high-profile award ceremony, it pays to come to the table with a broad range of milestone event ideas that can be used together to create a completely unique experience for those most special occasions.
How To Make Your Event Extra Special
To make an event really extra special you need to think about every single touchpoint of the attendee journey.
- If the event journey can start by providing transport and accommodation to the guest too this can elevate the VIP feeling.
- Add personalized gifts in the hotel room or offer beverages as part of the transfer.
- Capture a picture of every guest on the red carpet and share it with them as a momento after the event.
Strong Theme Throughout
If you have a theme it needs to flow and be noticed by attendees throughout the whole event experience.
- Ensure the invitation hints at the theme, so guests have an idea what is in store.
- The little touches can be really captivating.
- Avoid cliche and overused themes and be original.
The Element of Surprise
Don’t give away everything before the event, keep some details to yourself. The element of surprise will have guests talking about it for long after the event.
- Forget traditions and ceremony and mix everything up. Change the program, timings, way that food and drink are served.
- Use the human element and have specific surprises for guests, to instance to reward and recognize their achievements or hard work.
- Rehearse surprises from the stage with the tech team, host and all key staff to ensure timing is impeccable.
We’ve pulled together some of our favourite ideas for bringing glamour, excitement and a touch of class to special events. Never run out of ideas again; add these tips to your special events arsenal now.
Go out with a bang and have confetti cannons over the audience attached to the stage for a finale or to signal the end of the night at a New Year Event. You could exchange these for handheld options and have roaming entertainment let them off at intervals during a special event.
It’s important to get gifts that attendees will remember and cherish, particularly for special or memorialized events and the perfect way to do this is with personalization. This could be an engraving of an employee’s name or nickname as well as something that suits their personality and represents them. They are much more likely to keep and look after it if it is meaningful.
Waiting for something big to happen? Whether it’s the New Year, a new contract or simply the end of tax season for some, incorporate a countdown clock to build suspense! For larger events, you could upscale this to a digital wall projection of the countdown for all to see.
Invite Past and Present
Long-standing employees or figures as part of a company’s history should be invited to celebrate milestones and this would make them realize they are not forgotten about. For corporate events invite retired employees who served longer than 10 years at the company to celebrate their contributions as well as those who are working now. It’s also excellent networking practice for employees of all ages to mingle.
For smaller corporate events have seated service with a gourmet chef who is able to make a menu catered to your company as well as your guest’s preferences. Everyone wants their favorite food so give it to them with a gourmet twist!
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Balloon Drop Décor VIP Chauffeur Service Transportation Company Achievement Awards Event business Murals Décor Signage Table Confetti Décor Videography Entertainment Iconic Guests Speakers Open Bar Catering Look To The Future Themes Create An Event Time Capsule Entertainment Temporary Rebranding Marketing Custom Seating Meeting Design Paper Invites Technology Reward Loyalty Event business Grand Venues Venues
Making a corporate environment fun and engaging can be difficult when you also have to consider keeping a professional image at all times. The pressure is on to raise intrigue among attendees, whilst staying totally on brand.
If corporate events are your game, we have some essential reading for you in this post: Advanced Corporate Event Planning Guide: 100 Ideas, Checklists and Tips to Plan Successful Events.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, we’re here to help with some of the most effective corporate event ideas we’ve seen to date. You never know, one of these ideas might just be the one that turns your corporate event into the event of the year!
Here are 20 corporate event ideas for you to steal.
Capture the ambiance and atmosphere of the event using the increasingly popular 360 video and photography which can be used during a live stream to make virtual attendees wish they were there and feel like they are! Integrating 360 video seamlessly can be difficult but also paves the way for augmented reality at your event too.
A funky guerrilla marketing tactic for corporate events is to create pop-up ideas that spark intrigue and excitement. Build on this by making them roam and moveable. You could do this across the country or even in the office with different elements popping up in different departments each day. They create surprise and buzz about where it could be found next and helps with immediate brand recognition.
The #loveplano ❤️ has made its way to Plano Event Center! Be sure to stop for a 📷 at @jlccntw #neaththewreath this week and tag your photos #loveplano for a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card to give to someone in need or to your favorite charity. ‘Tis the season for giving, y’all! . . #visitplano #planotexas #plano #planoeventcenter #venue #corporateevents #eventprofs
Unique Staff Uniforms
Staff are just as important to the aesthetic so ensuring they are incorporated into themes and color schemes is important. Mix it up by having intricate uniforms, such as these pajamas at the annual meta mixer in line with their sweet dreams theme.
Credit: Destinations by Design, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas (catering)
Bespoke Mini Boards
Create a quirky set menu with this lavish presentation so guests have their own boards. These include ham hock terrine, beetroot crisps and pickles in a beautiful display served with silverware.
Credit: Bespoke Awb
Corporate events need excellent styling and while this theme is a Gatsby one, it remains classy and sophisticated. Drawing on the black and cold, a trailing balloon ceiling that spread outwards added a level of intimacy to the event. Balloons are an important décor trend for 2018 and are multi-functional too, so don’t count them out.
Flashback to Saturday’s big event which was absolutely stunning! And…What a day it was! It took a lot of planning but we pulled off this fabulous black and gold Gatsby inspired event! Check out the bar with this impressive balloon installation! Thanks again to @balloons.com.au and designed by @clairelenam @loutir #checkitout #gatsbytheme #blackandgold #eventstyling #eventdesign #balloons #gatsby #sydneybar #sydneyprops #sydneylife #theme #themedevent #theming #trending #chic #artnouveau #artdeco #balloonart
Want more? Here they are!
Idea Category Dessert Signage Sponsorship Digital Mapping Technology Canape Spoons Catering Branded Balloons Décor Big Scalextric Entertainment Corporate Penthouse Event business Swag Giveaway/Gifts Branded Segways Transportation Dinner Boxes Catering Branded Furniture Branding Gesture Control Presentations Speakers Private Chef Catering Simple GOBO’s AV/Staging Overnight Stay/Accommodation Paid Giveaway/Gifts Segmented Escape Rooms Entertainment
Whatever type of event project you are working on, we hope you have found inspiration with these 200 ideas, covering 10 different types of events.
Now onto you:
- Do you have a tip to make this page better? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do you have more tips and advice to add? Comment below.
- Do you have a colleague who may benefit from reading this page? Share it with them.
Plan awesome events & boost your career
Join over 60,000 subscribers that use EventMB to stay on top of How to's, Trends & Event Technology.