1) Utilizing interactive mobile meeting apps and 2) Infusing meetings with social media
It likely comes as no surprise to anyone that mobile technology and social media are two big components of forward-thinking events. Apps now exist to help meeting planners register guests, share itineraries, follow social media discussions, and provide a wealth of information. The WISE Symposium utilized an app called EventBoard. It was inexpensive and easy to set up (though we weren’t the ones who input the info into the app).
The app included the full itinerary of all the speakers and breakout sessions and if you clicked into each entry, you could access the bio(s) of whoever was leading each discussion. There were different ways to filter the sessions so attendees could easily find what they were looking for. A News tab included articles of interest to our entrepreneurially-minded crowd and a Sponsors tab allowed the conference sponsors to be recognized along with links to their websites. A Resources tab included an overview of the conference, floor plans to the Oncenter where the event was held, and links to the website and Facebook page of the conference.
This is our bread and butter and where we love to shine. We want to help you inspire and motivate your attendees and WOW them. But what is WOW? We define it as an experience of sight and sound. Each year we help a local real estate company produce their annual sales meeting and awards event. Developing a concept — Knocking Out the Competition — based on the meeting’s message, our team created a boxing-themed event complete with a ring (borrowed from a local boxing club) that both Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield had fought on. Employees suited up and had a great time. The focus was on being totally committed and fully engaged in the company’s goals. To drive that home, we thought about what seems nearly impossible: a truly physical, emotional, and mental challenge. We brought in a man who completed the Iditarod dog sled race. He gave a motivational speech on a stage that was enhanced by wooden models of Siberian Huskies and a dog sled, and our team built a finish line structure and designed a backdrop depicting snowy terrain.
We think that any offsite venue can be made extraordinary with a little ingenuity, creativity, décor and lighting. For one local company’s leadership retreat, which was all about communication, we held the event in a local TV station and set up right on the studio floor where broadcasts are filmed. A camera panned around the event on a jib and the footage appeared on screens so attendees could view the band from other parts of the room. Here’s what the space looks like usually and a shot from the retreat.
I love the high end examples of gifts in this article: chic bespoke suits, a spa retreat, or finely crafted Italian footwear. If any companies have the budget for gifts like that, give us a call now for your next event! While I’m sure no one would turn down appreciation gifts like those, you don’t have to go quite that big to make your employees or team feel valued. For the aforementioned company retreat, attendees received bowling bag-style lunch totes. Speakers at the WISE conference received Jolt chargers to keep their mobile devices charged on the go. And, at a bridal shower we helped design and plan at a winery, the guests were given a wine glass and customized tumbled marble coaster. A gift like that could easily translate into a corporate gift. Gifting your employees or attendees something creative with a little thought behind it is a great way to WOW them.