An event needs two things to succeed: an engaging education program with quality relevant content, and a venue space that is equally inspiring and collaborative.
The audience needs to leave your event with a head full of anecdotes and sound bites, but, just as important, a good impression of your venue so that they will return. I’ll follow a good speaker or conference series wherever it travels, but show me a shoddy or ill equipped venue and I’ll definitely remember it.
For a venue to stand out it needs to have quality tech and to do the simple things well. A standard digital product is key, however the option to upscale an event with branding, social media awareness and sponsorship will make a huge difference.
Clever application of technology is becoming a bigger requirement at events; being able to link auditoria and stream panel sessions between theatres can turn a conference into a mega lecture. Having this kind of technology available at the touch of a button means there’s no additional cost or set-up time needed, while streaming to outside global audiences means more delegates can attend.
The growth of in-house venue production, our very own IET.tv for instance, allows organisers and presenters to live stream and connect online to national and global viewers. Having the ability to immediately share content throughout a building, streaming through a central TriCaster or hosting online through a secure intranet exponentially grows the exposure of an event.
Little touches go a long way; as well as fabric banners, on screen branding and production lighting, exhibitors also appreciate something slightly out of the ordinary. Whether it’s branded Wi-Fi, window peels to dress the in/exterior of a venue, or custom-made catering – anything that will make your event personal to visitors or makes your keynotes feel more comfortable and at home will be remembered long after the event has finished.
It’s not just delegates that want a personal touch, your speakers need more than just a screen and projector. Having the tech ability to live link guest speakers, stream Q&A’s and incorporate online feedback during a session creates engaging content between the audience and speaker that extends a discussion.
The image of a lively 21st century event will have half an audience engaged face-to-face with the panelists, the remaining will be on their phone’s sharing content, posting real time questions via Sli.do or a Twitter hashtag, either taking photos or recording video. Content that can be sold also introduces another revenue stream.
Emphasis should be put on allowing clients to personalise all aspects of their event and placing content online for easy consumption. Delegates, organisers and press that have easy access to everything they need, with just the touch of a button, will keep coming back for more.