Just got back yesterday from speaking at the Social Business Bootcamp in Dallas. See me smiling in the picture? It was a great event, and it got me thinking about what makes an event truly memorable. Event planners and conference hosts, take note.
1) Don’t overlook a great MC. A Master of Ceremonies is often an afterthought for many events, but the MC sets the mood. And, a good one makes the whole event better. Couch surfing Ori was the MC yesterday and his humor really helped the audience relax. A good MC will make the speaker’s job easier.
2) Loan out video (point and shoot) and digital cameras to the participants. At the end, collect them back and put the content online. It is a great way to engage the crowd and see the event from many perspectives.
3) Choose a Twitter hashtag beforehand. Make sure all the participants know what it is and encourage them to use it before and after the event – not just during. This is a great way to see what someone remembers a week -or even a month -from the event.
4) Give all participants a copy of the agenda. On the back of the agenda,
list the Twitter handles of all the attendees. Don’t assume people will remember the agenda. Have copies on hand so they can know what to expect.
5) Lookout for your Speakers. An event can be made or unmade by the quality of speakers. I am always impressed by how well Blog World Expo takes care of their speakers. And, I don’t meant chair massages and caviar. I simply mean a space where they can relax, meet each other, and some food/bottled water.
6) Add a Social Mixer. Allowing participants to connect with each other casually is always a great way to facilitate connections. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Chips, dip, coca-cola, and you have an instant mixer!
7) Give participants something to remember the event by. A t-shirt, a USB drive, a key chain. An event is an experience. Solidify it with something tangible.
Which events do you remember? What made them so memorable to you?