My little secret to throw business events that people want to attend

March 9, 2015

There is only a small number of business events that people don’t want to miss. Apple events fall into that category. But for most of us, we have to work hard to get the word out. I’ll share with you where I feel that most business events fall short of expectations.

The answer came to me while my husband and I talked about the party we hosted yesterday for the fourth birthday of our son. He told me something that made me proud. He pointed out that there were no slack periods; that the kids always had something to do. My initial reaction was to respond that seven years of writing a lifestyle and entertaining blog paid off. If there is something that I learned is that you need more than a great design and good food to create an event that people fully enjoy. People need something to do for having fun. Then, I noticed a pattern. I noticed that there was a method, a process I use to make sure my son’s birthday party didn’t have any dull periods.

It started with the invitation. I included the agenda for the main attractions with my invites. I told the guests when the party starts, when to expect the party to end, and which were the main attractions. The agenda of my son’s birthday read like that:

  • Arrive at 1:30 PM
  • The cake will be served at 2:15 PM
  • The interactive science show will start at 3 PM
  • The party will end between 4:30 and 5 PM.

Why should you share your agenda? It’s basic human psychology. It eliminates people’s fears and questions about what will happen at the event. My guest knew that they should eat lunch but leave room for dessert. Since the parents were attended the party with their kids, I gave them enough information for them to plan supper. They also know that I prepare something fun for their kids. And I gave them a reason to be on time. Business people and members of the media feel the same need to manage their time. Don’t leave them in the dark. Tell them why they should attend, what is their takeaway.

I planned a few small activities that I kept secret. By serving freshly made cotton candy, having a moustache photo shoot, distributing balloons, and allowing time for free play I provided a fun variety of small activities. I didn’t know when the small activities will occur. Instead, I read the mood of the guests and decide when to act. You’ll need someone in charge of your event to handle that part. In business events, you want to set time to mingle but you also need activities to break the ice and to show people that you value their time.

In my experience, the best parties aren’t restrict to a single room. The change of sceneries makes the party feels more alive. The fact that people move around leaves the feeling that they did more. It’s not always possible but whenever it’s possible, try to do the activities in alternate rooms. For that strategy to work, you must give them a great reason to move. Find ways for them to participate, to be involved in your event.

Food for thought

As a blogger, attending media events became my pet peeve. The reason is that most of them were a waste of time. I have been vocal about that fact since 2010 on my social media blog. It’s a sad, sad situation since the companies that hosted these parties probably paid good money to host a boring event. I want, one more time, help you avoid their mistakes. If you provide them with a mix of fun and meaningful activities, people will talk about it, they will spread the word. This is the first step to host more sought-after business events.

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