In a previous blog we discussed five event must-haves that we believe act as the cornerstone of any successful event … but we also believe that for something to be called an ‘event’ in the traditional sense, it also has to have purpose, location, attendees, and a unique experiential element. Event ‘must-haves’ are so key that we take them for granted, and it’s easy for an event to become a little boring and mundane if you’ve simply ticked off the must-haves checklist without any thought on how you’re implementing them. To avoid falling into this trap, we like to bring what we call ‘event nice-to-haves’ into the picture, to give your event a unique twist and take it from average to extraordinary.
Exploring Event Nice-To-Haves
Event nice-to-haves go beyond décor and goodie bags. Although these are the most appealing to guests, there are many other ways to create an experience that rewards guests for choosing to attend your event. Think about getting creative with the following nice-to-haves:
- Content: Adding value through content is a great nice-to-have because, with the help of technology, guests can benefit from the content shared at the event long after it’s done. Repurposing the content in different formats and through different communication channels allows guests to revisit or experience the content shared in a different way in their own personal space, in a more consumable way.
- Photography: Giving guests a piece of their event experience to take home is a great way for them to look back and relive the nostalgic moment later on. Instead of going for the obvious choice of hiring a photographer, consider using a selfie booth or providing polaroid cameras. Alternatively, create a link where attendees can easily access their photos digitally afterwards.
- Prizes: People love winning, and a fun way to engage with your audience is through spot prizes and giveaways. This gives guests an opportunity to be active participants in the event, increasing the chances of a memorable event. Whether you decide to draw business cards from a bowl, or run a competition through various social media platforms, this nice-to-have can serve a bigger purpose, as it can be an opportunity to receive feedback from attendees and even add new names to your database.
- Catering: It’s time to throw out the boring business buffet! You can really get creative with catering choices and go all out with food presentation to make a really lasting impression for your guests. If you’re worried that your budget won’t accommodate three-course meals, why not think about hiring food trucks or theming snacks, other interesting ideas to create delightful (and delicious) experiences for guests.
Quality of Nice-To-Haves
It can be tempting to compromise the quality of your event nice-to-haves because they do not take priority and events can continue without them. But just as we recommend that Project Managers explore the best ways to offset their event-must-haves , it’s equally important to look at the budget set aside for nice-to-haves and make an informed budget estimate so that you can, in turn, offset your most expensive nice-to-haves, too.
Nice-to-haves are what sets some events apart from others. They create a unique experience for guests, and that’s a reward that they will appreciate and remember you for. The nice-to-haves cannot create real value on their own, and have to work within the overall event strategy, so ensure you don’t rely on them as the foundation for creating value, but simply treat them as an element to enhance it and give an edge to any event you organise.