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How to create a memorable event for your guests

A memorable event can result in so many positive outcomes for your brand and you. For your brand you may generate more business, happier customers or have increased brand awareness. For you, that may mean a bonus, a future payrise or a solid case for a promotion.

But what happens when the event is memorable for all the wrong reasons? What would that mean for you?
happy memories from previous events

Planning for a memorable event

Creating a truly unforgettable event all comes down to preparation. Focusing on personalisation and crafting lasting impact. You have the ability to do this without having to open up the wallet.

Event Personalisation

In event marketing we hear this all the time - the more personalisation you have the better the results. We aren't talking simply about emailing your prospects with a 'hi [first name]'. We are talking about building the event around your audience.

Client's interests, preferences and needs are all individual, and you may not be able to cater for everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't try. Consider factors such as their industry, location, social cultures and influences.

Below are a few ways you can personalise your event based off your audience.

Time of Day

Is there a time of day that you are more likely to see uptake at the event? Not everyone enjoys going to an event after work hours, but some might. Look at your data, who you are going to invite and make sure your event is for them, not to tick off an item in your plan.

If you are targeting trades people for a sales conference, are they likely to be wanting to go to an event at 9am? 

Consider who your audience is and what their lifestyle is before you select your time. 

Location

Finding a venue that has parking is great, if your visitors are likely to drive.

Consider your audience first when deciding your event location. If they are likely to be driving in, parking is key. If you can't offer free parking, find the nearest parking centre and reach out for a discount - the worst answer you get is a No. 

If you aren't able to get parking sorted, consider public transport. Not everyone has a car and not everyone wants to pay $2.20 per Litre of petrol to get to your event. 

Nearby transport or ease of parking are two major considerations for your venue, and that is before you event consider things like projectors, entertainment and catering.

Content

If you are going to be presenting anything, again, consider your audience. Your company may be skewed to certain demographics, but that doesn't mean your customers are. 

Working backwards from your customers and their preferences means you may be tailoring your presentation with different images, different language or even more video content. 

While I don't like to say it, my attention span after TikTok is 15 seconds or less. Consider how long your presentation is and note that it might be interesting to you, but you are biased.

Ensuring you consider the language, timing and presentation of your content are all basic elements of personalising your event for your audience. 

The more relevant your content, the more likely it will be a memorable event for the right reasons.

Personalisation doesn't have to mean 1 event per attendee. It means considering what your attendees might need or want and, where possible, making those changes.

Create Lasting Impact

Personalisation is one thing, but what about the event itself. Consider incorporating activities and experience that engage or inspire your clients. 

Consider the rise of experience gift card sites like Red Balloon. Think back to some of the best experiences you have had that you consider memorable. Was it that time you went out for brunch again, or was it the walk in the Botanic Gardens where you fed the fish? Consumer Reports found that 66% of people aged between 25-34 prefer experience gifts over tangible items. While we aren't talking about giving away hot air balloon experiences, we are talking about making their experience at your event something they crave to share with their network.

On the day lasting impression

There is a fine line here with your on-day experience. If you haven't considered what works, and tested it thoroughly you will end up with an audience who are bored or worse, see the experience as a failure. 

Avoid things like downloading an app on the day, or additional signups. Instead, consider things like simple networking games, team building activities, interactive workshops or motivational speakers who might hang around after speaking. These are all tried as tested things that tend to mean at least a few individuals remember your event fondly.

At a networking event for LinkedIn many years ago, they offered free headshots to every guest. Not only was this on brand for them, but it was a practical gift I could and would use for years for my LinkedIn profile and anywhere else that needed an image. 

Post event lasting impressions

Your work doesn't stop after pack down. You still have the opportunity to engage each attendee to find out what they liked and what they thought could be improved. This will not only help you for future events, but a happy attendee might be willing to provide a testimonial.

Depending on your event, calling each person may not be feasible. If you have built your event around your attendees it may be that they don't like answering the phone, so an email or SMS might be better. 

Personalised thank you cards are a cheap way to provide that little bit of surprise and delight to your guests.

Picking the right venue

Perhaps this article could focus more on the reverse - do not pick the wrong venue... or else!

I don't know who your guests are going to be, but not many guests are expecting a castle for the event. The flip of that is that not many people are expecting to turn up to a venue that has bugs or toilets where the toilet seats are broken. 

Picking the right venue is so important. 

Using the event venue to impress

You can get this right, and the benefits are there. Having a venue in a fantastic location and having your guests jaws drop open is something every event planner wants to see. It is possible, but you need to consider what your guests are used to, and what might impress them.

Bizzievents has helped connect businesses looking to book venues with locations that aren't as common as your competitors.

Consider non-traditional venues. If you are in a major city and you are running a morning event, have you considered hiring out a trendy restaurant? Consider the theatre at Hubert, a super trendy restaurant that serves some of the best food in Sydney. If you have the budget, consider reaching out to them - they might not be in service hours, but you can bet there is a chef or two starting their meal prep. Perhaps you can negotiate a few hours there to run a quick seminar?

Avoid untrustworthy venues

It doesn't take too much for a venue to end up being a poor choice for your guests.

While poor communication from the Venue to your team might mean you won't want to work together again, that doesn't impact your Guests. What does is an unclean venue, that is hard to find and provides no real substance.

Make sure the venue you select has the amenities you need to run your event properly and be there early enough that were there a surprise, you can fix it.

At the end of the day, if you keep finding venues that are inappropriate for your event, try reaching out to the concierge team and get them to help you on your search.

Planning for a memorable event

These are just three ways you can consider how to craft your event to increase the likelihood of it being remembered fondly. One of the tricks I like to do is to plan out the event based on the intended guests, list out the major things that can go wrong and also the things that could go right. Try to avoid the first and expand on the second.

Creating an event that creates a legacy takes planning, but using the learnings from others who have been there means your event is more likely to leave that positive mark.

Matthew Jackson Profile Picture

About The Author

Founder of BizziEvents, Matt is passionate about all thing corporate events from an business and attendee perspective. Matt is on a mission to help event planners create exceptional events by unlocking more time for higher value work.

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