Looking to bring more excitement to your annual events, conferences, and conventions? We have a few tips that won’t break the bank.
If you’ve been hosting the same type of event year after year, you may find that things are starting to get a little predictable. Sure, your annual events pack a lot of punch in terms of value, entertainment, and community building. But with members expecting the same thing over and over again, you may end up losing attendees due to lack of excitement.
But your association can’t go over the top. Most likely, you have a strict budget to stick to. You want to create new and exciting things for members at your events, but you’re limited to staying within this budget in order to make everything work. So, where do you go from here?
Though it may seem like your association is stuck between a rock and a hard place, there is room for change and creativity no matter what your budget is.
Let’s talk a little bit about making dynamic event changes that are within your budget. With a few tweaks here and there, you’ll find 3 budget-friendly ideas that you’ll want to try on for size at your next event.
1. Change up the menu
Hosting an event like a luncheon or a dinner gala? Then you’ll want to provide a change in the menu and possibly in catering.
Refreshing your dinner options and layout can provide a fun twist in your event without putting in much effort or extra money in the process. You can collaborate with the catering company of your choice and see what kind of package options they can provide you that differ from the following years to add some variety to your event.
Or, you could even reach out to local restaurants and and see if you can get multiple vendors to serve food. Having a wide selection at your event could spark some excitement with attendees. Think of this approach as a sample style dining experience- while still supporting local businesses!
You can also switch up simple thing such as table layouts, dining area decorations, and style of dining (buffet or plate) to bring something new to your event while also finding a cost-effective option for your organization.
2. Introduce event tech
Technology is always changing and developing, making it one of the most exciting things on the market. So, how do you bring some of that excitement into your current events?
Incorporating technology into your event is a great way to show you’re an association that keeps up with trends and cares about modernity. Event tech can come in many forms, from helping you event plan and schedule marketing campaigns to helping the event run smoothly day of and even some fun options for members to experience new tech when attending. Think about things like chatbots, event registration software, even mobile apps, and more.
But the technology you incorporate into your event should always have a purpose. If you have a tight budget, new technology may be far out of reach for your association. But if you invest in a software or tool that doubles as a really efficient time and effort saver, you may find it works into your budget just fine!
Incorporating more technology into your event can not only make things run more smoothly, but it will keep attendees on their toes as well.
3. Think social-media friendly design
If you want the word to get out about how fun your events are and bring in brand new attendees next year, you’ll want to take advantage of word of mouth marketing.
Getting event attendees to spread the word about your event is the ultimate goal. It can show other members and non-members alike how great it is to attend one of your events and conferences, hopefully convincing them to do so in the future. It also gives you a plethora of attendee-made content to sift through and highlight- talk about free marketing!
So, you’ll want to be sure your event setup is Instagram and Facebook friendly.
Consider setting up areas around your event for attendees to stop and take photos. You’ll want something that’s well branded with your association logo and event name, but that’s also aesthetically pleasing and photogenic. Setting up props can help too- it gives attendees something to work with to turn out interesting and unique photos.
You can then encourage attendees to share these photos on their social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Ask them to tag your association in anything they share, and even come up with a hashtag for your event. This way, when you search the hashtag up, you’ll see a huge list of content that attendees have put out that you can use and interact with later.
Thinking about social media presence when spicing up your event can increase attendance without much extra work at all.
With 3 new ways to change up your annual events and conferences, you’re on your way to getting attendees excited year after year.