Face it: in this era of TED Talks and South by Southwest, one amazing keynote speaker is not the draw it once was. Attendees today don’t just want speeches; they want experiences. They want to feel involved in their own education, empowered to network, and encouraged to contribute to the larger conversation taking place.
Is your event brand living up to that level of expectation?
If not, here are a few questions that will help you revitalize your event’s image:
What’s in a name? Your event name, that is. Think about what you are calling your event. Is it a conference? Summit? Expo? Convention? Sales meeting? Trade show? What you call your event will, in some sense, set the expectations people have for it and consequently determine who attends, so make sure you’ve thought through the overt and covert implications of the event name you choose.
What content are you delivering . . . and how? Times change, and so do people’s interests. Are you giving your attendees what they want? Do you regularly surprise them with topics they hadn’t even considered? And just as importantly, how are you delivering that content? If you’re just lining speakers up and having them talk, one at a time, from a podium in front of a roomful of attendees, you’ll soon have a room full of heads bowed over smartphones. Keep the audience on their toes with regular participation and interaction.
Are your perks . . . perky? Think about what “unique features” your event offers. Do you have roundtables? Tours? Volunteer opportunities? Concerts? What food are you serving? What music or other sounds are playing in the background? Have you considered lighting? All of these details can either be boxes you simply check off, or they can be chances for you to build your event’s reputation as unique, innovative, and—of course—worth attending.