At Convening Leaders earlier this month, meeting planners were inspired to “make no little plans” for themselves or their projects. The underlying theme throughout the sessions was that events are moving beyond “attendance” to “participation.” Attendees want to feel like they are part of something. Lucky for us, we felt like we walked away with some new plans after attending.
Here are our top 5 takeaways:
1. Throw your old event surveys out and start fresh! While it may be tempting to pull up last year’s and just change a few items (such as the date!), it is worth taking the time to start fresh and make sure that the survey is built to capture the view that you and your stakeholders need most.
2. You can have a compelling marketplace experience without an expo hall. Product theatres, demonstration areas, and kiosks that are well staffed can lead to a dynamic marketplace environment without the standard 10×10. Pulling this off requires a shifting of both mindsets and expenses from both the host organization and the vendor community.
3. It’s time to get innovative without the additional expense – frugal approaches work. How can you repurpose the resources you already have to create an even better experience for your attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and other stakeholders?
4. Events no longer appear in a single time and space. The moment someone tweets, your event has become hybrid whether you like it or not! Be prepared for this by having someone on your team ready to monitor and respond as needed.
5. Every session, room configuration, and sequence of events orchestrated by the host organization can (and should) feed into the theme of the event to make it memorable.