As event professionals, our mission is to ensure that conference content is engaging and impactful. We want attendees to not only gain profound knowledge during the event, but also feel inspiring once the event concludes.
While engaging content is imperative to the success of any event, more often than not, it is the “wow” moments that attendees remember for a lifetime.
We often associate “wow” moments with headline entertainment or high-end experiences; however, these moments can be woven into many different elements of an event. As you brainstorm “wow” moments for your events, try to think about ways to impress your guests – not just during the extraordinary moments, but in the ordinary ones, too.
- Get leadership involved. Talk to the conference leadership team about what they envision and would like to see come to life at the event. Their investment in making a moment come to life will enhance the experience for attendees.
- Go beyond offering tangible experiences. Try to create experiences attendees cannot purchase on their own. Consider what makes an experience exceptional, memorable, and one-of-a-kind. The most impactful experiences are often the intangible ones.
- Know your attendees. Make sure the experiences fit your audience. Really get to know your attendees – consider their age and demographics as you develop what your “wow” moments look like. Surveys can be very helpful to get a pulse on what your attendees want to experience during your event.
- Engage the senses. As you ideate event “wow” moments, think about engaging all the senses. Don’t you just love the custom scents in some of our hotels or the chef action stations that fill a room with the scent of delicious food?! Consider how scents can be incorporated into your “wow” moments. Memories are very closely connected to the sense of taste and smell, so think of ways to incorporate those senses into the experiences you offer! As COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, it is also important to think about ways you can engage sense of touch into your experience.
- Make it personal. Being able to customize an experience or a gift goes a long way with attendees. Personalized experiences can be as simple as leaving a personalized card in an attendee’s room, or as brilliant as a personal engagement technology that welcomes attendees by name or plays their favorite music as they walk through the conference entrance.
- Shoot for the unexpected. Work with your creative partners to engage “wow” moments where your guests least expect it. Perhaps your agenda is filled with a long day of general sessions and heavy content and you’d like to add a surprise musical or comedic act to keep attendees engaged. Alternatively, you could surprise guests with an exclusive off-site event!
As you plan “wow” moments for your conference or event, it is always important to remember that attendees want to have fun and experience new things – so, think outside the box and give them a “wow” moment worth writing home about.