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4 MORE Tips to Supercharge your Annual Event


Whether it’s an annual fundraiser, gala dinner, awards night, monthly team meeting or networking function – making sure people keep coming back to a recurring event can be tricky. A couple of months ago, we shared a blog about how to make annual events stand out.

We talked about the importance of having a clear purpose and theme to tie everything together and compel people to attend. We also touched on the exciting opportunities a new location or venue can deliver, how listening to attendee feedback can provide great ideas and using VIP guests and celebrities as a bonus drawcard.

Well, we’ve got lots more tips and tricks up our sleeves. So, this month we’re sharing 4 MORE ways to make your next annual event the best one yet:

1. Event technology

Australian’s have embraced technology, spending an average of 3 hours a day on their smartphones. So, it’s time to tap into this trend and incorporate technology into your next event! From helping attendees navigate the venue to planning out their activities and sessions, using the latest technology provides many benefits for attendees, event producers and clients alike.

For example, opting for digital programs, worksheets and other collateral via emails or QR codes provides convenient access to everything in one place. You will also save on paper and printing costs, while producing a more environmentally friendly event too.

Event apps are a great way to improve the attendee engagement and experience. Our Future Events Lab event app includes features such as the ability to browse, connect and chat with the other attendees. You can also run live digital polls and send reminders about upcoming sessions or activities. The app is fully customisable with your branding and any combination of features the event may need.

Our Future Events Lab interactive map technology also allows guests to view, search, zoom-in and click on different parts of the event map. Using an interactive online map makes finding toilets, first aid rooms and coffee or water stations much easier and can reduce the need for some venue signage and staff.

2. Personalisation

No one wants to be a number in a crowd. Make each event attendee feel valued and seen and they will be more likely to remember the experience favourably and for a long time. Understanding your event demographics and their interests begins in the research and planning phase and should be reflected in every choice and element of the event.

You want to reduce the amount of time guests are sitting around idle, unsure where to go next or feeling bored or disconnected. But every human is unique and will have different interests and needs. Developing a flexible program with plenty of options will allow each attendee to curate and customise their own experience and feel a sense of ownership and autonomy.

Offer a rich, varied and flexible agenda with plenty of breakout sessions and workshops which cater to specialist interests and groups. Have time-out areas for the introverts and more social areas or activities for the extroverts, to bring some quiet relief or playfulness as needed.

Custom lanyards, name tags and other merchandise are also great ways to impress your guests and make them feel special from the start.

3. Interaction and engagement

Keeping event attendees alert and interested, especially at longer events, is a challenge. You can provide good coffee and delicious food to wake up and fuel their brains, but if they’re not mentally stimulated and emotionally moved, they will not have a great time. This is why social activities are as important as the official program!

Provide a variety of networking opportunities so attendees can connect with each other including welcome drinks, happy hour or meet and greet sessions. Interactive icebreakers, quick polls throughout the day, active stretch or dance breaks, games, competitions and giveaways are all ways to keep attendees on their toes and having fun.

Live activations are another good way to engage and bring event attendees together. Whether they’re contributing to an art-wall, adding a message to a wishing tree, dressing up with the team for the retro photo booth or pouting for the 360 video-booth – the more personal and meaningful connections attendees can have, the more likely they will enjoy the event and want to come back.

4. Include an element of surprise

Who doesn’t love an unexpected gift!

While sharing the full event program, speakers, themes, menus and other details ahead of time can be important and essential for parts of the event and some guests, choosing to keep certain details top secret can be a great way to create anticipation as well as reward and thank those who do attend.

A special guest appearance or performance from a popular musician or band, rare money-can’t-buy experience or big announcement will certainly delight your guests and create some buzz and excitement.

You can even announce that there will be a big surprise and keep everyone guessing. Make it part of your strategy and use each year’s surprise to help promote future events. What will be this year’s big reveal? Book your ticket to find out…

Looking for more event inspiration or tips? Check our other blogs HERE or book an Event Design Session with the JTPM team today!