Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don’t Call It an Event – Give Them an Experience

Finding creative ways to reward loyalty – customer or employee – brings on a certain paralyzing, “don’t call on me” first-day-of-school fear of not living up to the hype for many managers and owners. Perhaps rightfully so, because let’s face it, in today’s insta-social media-driven world of posting, tweeting and pinning, winning favor takes some chops. But no worries, a look at some of the hottest trends in event planning can spark something great – here are five of our faves trending now:

Give local some love

There's a huge movement toward local sourcing; that’s undeniable. Now how do you weave that into an event? How about a Friday Food Truck Smorgasbord? Looking to step it up a notch? Hit up your favorite local gourmet eatery for a farm-to-table culinary event to knock their taste buds off.

Hit holograms (no, not Jem & The…)

Holograms are hot right now, and with them, the possibilities for entertainment expand infinitely. No worries about booking a no-show band. Book a hologram band that records video ahead of time, and a crack lighting and A/V team brings it to your event. Bam. Side note: Great for karaoke too.

Get out of your box (no really)

Hotels and banquet halls are great – and let’s face it, easy – options for events, but… yawn. You want to get people excited about what you do, and make an impression. Take them for a ride – motor speedways, stadiums, retired military bases, warehouses, even streets for mini block parties. Take a blank canvas, then make something memorable out of it.

Spark something social 

Put some pop into your events by incorporating social media – pop culture at its finest. At its most basic, that could mean getting your own hashtag trending or having a selfie contest before, during and after the event. But why not take it to the next level with an Instagram photo booth, a flash mob to start the party or iPads as table d├ęcor that lets you post messages?

Give a different kind of social back

Giving a little back can have big impacts, as companies large and small are finding out when they expand their social responsibility platform. Weaving some good into an event can engage and energize, both individuals and relationships. Could be a Habitat for Humanity workday and lunch, could be a carnival for at-risk kids, could be throwing a build-your-own banana split party that benefits your favorite charity.

Not sure whether to pin the banana split or take the food truck to the raceway? McDaniels Marketing offers event planning and management. Our ideas are endless – let us give you a taste (for real, not in hologram). Contact Cheryl Neumann, [email protected] or 309-346-2512.