10 Novel Event Concepts to Stand Out From the Crowd

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For your event to be a lasting success, you need to forge a real connection with the guests. Your events should provide attendees with experiences that will attract, enchant, and sweep them off their feet. We compiled a list of novel concepts that will help you deliver memorable and unique event experiences. 

1. Silent Conferences

Silent conferences, as in the image up above, have never been more popular, and this is a trend you would not want to miss. The way it works is that instead of guests walking into a certain breakout room to attend a session, everyone dons wireless headphones and tunes into a specific session. Not only can this help save on room hire or be an option when venues do not have enough space, but this is also an effective way to save time. Silent conference techniques are also very useful at trade shows and exhibition halls where distracting, loud, and bustling activity would otherwise not be conducive to a breakout session. This kind of conference can also simplify your badges, and the associated costs. 

2. Unconferences

Another new conference concept is the "unconference". Essentially, this is a conference which has no structure or assigned topics but is more constructive conversations facilitated by industry professionals. Typically, guests are asked what they would like to discuss and are grouped by topics of mutual interest. Unconferences are often utilized in the medical and technological field in which productive conversation is encouraged. Great examples of unconferences include The Diabetes Unconference. Every participant is an expert and every attendee can ask and answer questions in a safe setting with no judgement: in theory, there is no wrong answer. 

3. Lunch Club

Lunch Club bases its origins on the 1999 movie Fight Club and has been pioneered by the company LunchBeat. However, instead of attendees turning up for a fight during their lunch to vent any frustrations, this concept focuses on the less violent activity of dancing. In place of a typical office lunch, guests must follow 10 rules of the manifesto which focus on having a groovy hour.

4. Speedy Presentations

Want to speed up our corporate meetings? In the age where speed and time is of the essence, an emerging trend is Pecha Kucha presentations. Basically, each presenter is allowed to show up to 20 images, with 20-seconds of speaking time for each image. Once all images are shown, their time is up, and they must clear the stage for the next presenter. 

5. Secret Events 

This concept is rather a classic but is still very popular and effective. A combination of quiet instructions and unique, undisclosed venues are used to provide the guests with a better experience. It also increases hype and generates buzz about your event. Everybody loves mystery and your guests are no different. Drip-feeding attendees venue clues ensures your guests maintain excitement about the event at hand. An example of this technique is to have a concert or party at the end of a large corporate conference at a secret venue. The key to get this concept to be as effective as possible is to not reveal the secret location of your event until a few hours before the start time. Start with some sketchy clues regarding the location of the event and as the day approaches, you can start releasing more logical information for the guests to connect the dots.

6. Project-Based Events

Project-based events are heavily utilized within the technological industries. A fantastic example of this is Start-Up Weekend. These events are generally used to round up developers, designers, marketers, and project managers to come together to share ideas, form teams, build prototypes, and ultimately launch start-ups.  

7. Hackathons 


Hackathons are a step up from project-based events. These events are based on combing and collaborating to work on a specific project. These projects can very in length from a day to a whole week. Objectives of these events can range from creating innovative events to producing usable software. 

8. Speed Networking

At your next user conference, you could hold speed dating to facilitate networking among your channel partners. Speed dating is a popular concept in social circles, however, this is now being transferred into the corporate world as a way to meet viable business partners. The way speed networking works is quire similar to speed dating. Speed networking is what you should be opting for to encourage attendees to engage with each other, find similar grounds to share new ideas, and debate over their experiences. Nothing brings forth better results than an idea emerged from putting together two different experiences. 

9. Campfire Sessions 

Corporate events and conferences are increasingly emphasizing peer learning. This concept doesn't actually require a camp fire to be set up in your venue! This is an approach to peer learning and promoting conversation. Campfire sessions bring a laid-back atmosphere of campfire storytelling to conferences. This originated from MPI, who regularly holds such sessions at its annual congresses - EMEC and WEC. A campfire session can be carefully implemented into a corporate event by limiting the number of attendees. The fewer the participants, the copier it gets, and that's exactly the kind of intimate feeling that people get while sitting around a campfire - this comfort and informality can also encourage your attendees to interact and collaborate. 

10. Virtual Tradeshows

The Virtual Tradeshow is great for online engagement. This is basically a traditional roadshow but instead of exhibitors having to meet up at a geographic location to exchange information, they are connected with one another via the internet. Virtual Tradeshows provide a couple of advantages like saving money on traveling and lodging. This also easily brings in more attendees and more exposure. 

In Conclusion

Events are not just a mere gathering of people, they are a community of like-minded people who have a similar professional interest. The idea here is to think out of the box for your event planning to create new experiences that engage, entice and sway the attendees off their feet. The opportunities to collect data and uncover meaningful insights mean that events can and are an incredibly important piece of your marketing mix. Make them count!

About the Author

Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd - one of the leading event companies in London, giving corporate event management, incentive travel, conference venue finding services across the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago; as time progressed, becoming an avid event blogger, and she has been sharing her insight on corporate event planning for several years. In her role, her best dive is corporate event ideas and event management tips. 

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