This past week, in Neocon’s Architectural Principals talk, I was told that pictures look more interesting when they are grouped in odd numbers. The more pictures you hang, the more this is true.
Considering groups of pictures indivisible by two, “more interesting”, seems like an error in rational thinking. But, I can see how larger groups of pictures can work together in drawing our attention. Every picture contains an idea, which can be rearranged and combined with the ideas from the other pictures, making the total experience more stimulating. So, we decided to apply the many picture concept to our blog in an effort ideas and your events stay novel. Please enjoy 13 entirely random yet memorable ways you can improve your next event.
1. Find New “Needles”
It’s tough to find a needle in a haystack. You can’t program event content by simply pulling at a few straws and hoping for the best. One of the virtues of Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning (DEEP) is data mining—which allows you to comb your previous data for patterns that are unique—and keep your content pin-sharp.
2. Bring the Show to Them. Virtually.
Not everyone can attend your event, even if they want to. It is now possible, however, to access events virtually. On the extreme cutting edge of this trend are actual VR oriented films that “bring the show to you,” while at the more conventional level you can simply provide a gated library of content that includes podcasts and videos from the event.
3. Dabble In AI
There is a huge push among the major tech companies today toward Artificial Intelligence (AI). A good example is Siri, helping people stay organized with their iPhones. While we can’t predict the future, it’s possible you’ll soon see additional “Personal Assistants” available that you can customize for your own events. However, using this technology effectively requires a trove of data, another reason to think seriously about Data Driven Enterprise Event Planning.
4. Avoid Legacy Software
Planning a complex, proprietary event requires flexibility when it comes to certain variables. Say for instance, sharing an event agenda requires attendees to install a plug-in. Rest assured less people will use the agenda, then if they could access it without an extra step. These annoying headaches are usually due what is called “legacy” software that is designed to work only one way. Avoid it all costs.
Speaking of software, the good event planning platforms today have some fun features. We love using them to build “point pyramids” that can incentivize attendee behavior. If you’ve used Foursquare or similar Lo-So (location social) programs you know how powerful this kind of gamification can be.
6. Augmented Reality
Try using the photo app in Facebook Stories at your next show and explore all the “augmentations” you can add to user photos. If you’ve ever wanted to prank your boss, this can be a hilarious way to get some attention without getting into trouble. People will engage.
7. Upgrade Your Registration System
Registration lays the framework for data collection and control of your event. Good software platforms generate badges to guide and track an attendee activity with RFID and NFC technology. This includes ‘gating’ attendance, time spent per event, event attendance, types of attendees and more.
8. Focus on Engagement
There is a difference between tracking event activity and actual engagement. Use CRM data to help attendees use their “show time” more productively and profitably. Sales teams, for example, can apply lead data to specific events and plan their show activity around them.
9. Use Surveys and Polls
Software platforms allow you to run pop-surveys and polls that can generate highly relevant data. Polls can also be generated during speaker presentations to help them deepen engagement with their audience and fine tune their delivery for future shows.
10. Tune up your website with a funnel
The role of an event website is to get people to attend your event and keep in touch after the event. It was once sufficient to have a site that was designed around a proper “Taxonomy” that organized content in a logical and efficient way. While organization remains important, the best sites today are designed as a “funnel” site that moves users efficiently towards a goal. Avoid extraneous content!
11. Brush Up on Google Analytics
Remember what we said about pranking your boss with a photo augmentation on Facebook? (see point 6). In case it backfires, you can win back some trust with a dazzling knowledge of Google Analytics.
GA just released their newest Data Studio and the training videos are super easy to follow. This is important because the more upper management uses online data to guide their decisions, the more you will be required to use existing “common toolsets” to show activity on Google and other sources.
12. Avoid the Usual
… Like expecting us to end this list on a nice even number.
13. Don’t Rely on Luck
We’re not saying that you do, but just in case we strongly encourage you to remove all lucky charms and crystal balls from your planning HQ and replace them with a strong Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning Tool like EventMAX from G2Planet.