published on Sep 30, '16
Planning an event is never easy. There are caterers to hire, menus to plan, event promotion ideas to dream up and schedules to cobble together. However, one of the biggest challenges that event planners face is executing an event that is actually remarkable. After all, how many parties with punch bowls and hors d'oeuvre trays can you really go to before each one begins to blend into the next?
If you're an event planner who's trying to plan a function to be remembered, you're in luck. The following ideas can help ensure that you throw an event that will stick in peoples' memories -- and one they'll be talking about for years to come.
For many events, a simple emailed invitation or social media event invite will do. However, if you want to plan an event that is truly unique, you should start making an impression before people even get there -- with the invitation you send.
Choose a creative invitation idea that fits the theme of the night. For example, if it's a travel-themed party, you might want to mail all attendees a fake airline ticket with event information on it. Alternatively, if you're in art marketing and planning an event for a gallery, you might cut invitations in the shape of painters' palettes and attach a small paintbrush.
For some actionable examples, check out this great slideshow from Style Me Pretty, which features awesome invitation ideas -- from Viewfinders to treasure boxes to customized balloons.
When you start to come up with your next event marketing plan, be sure to choose a social media hashtag for your event. Creating an event hashtag is one of the smartest event marketing ideas, since you can share photos with that hashtag on your social media profiles before the event -- and start to build hype for it. Adweek has some simple rules for dreaming up an effective event hashtag here.
Once your event begins, attendees can also share pictures of themselves with the hashtag on their own channels -- which not only helps them preserve their memories, but also builds hype among their followers and the community at large.
If you want to facilitate and encourage people to use social media, set up a photo booth at the party. Provide costumes, props and a backdrop for people to take silly photos of themselves. You can collect peoples' email addresses and mail them the photos after the party -- or use a solution such as MashBooth. MashBooth works with nearly all popular photo booth software, and it allows guests to take photos of themselves -- then do things like turn them into GIFs, email them or share them directly to social media in real time.
Creating a photo booth at your event will help your organization gain exposure -- and it will also be tons of fun for participants.
Incorporate a social wall at your event to boost buzz and encourage engagement. A social wall is a display at an event that shows user-generated content in real time. Essentially, it is a screen that can show Instagram photos, Tweets, Facebook posts and more. In addition to encouraging people to share photos from the event on their own profiles, you can also encourage them to take and share by projecting what people are posting for everyone to see. Social walls help event attendees get a better gauge of who is at a party and also keep them abreast of other activities that might be missing out on.
If you want to use a social wall at your event and aren't sure where to get started, companies like Meeting Tomorrow offer social wall rentals that you can use for your event; the company will even help you set them up and take them down.
Lots of parties have DJs who play popular tunes or average local bands that play covers. However, if you really want to impress, you should hire musical or entertainment talent that is truly impressive -- someone who is guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable show.
High-quality or well-known talent can be expensive, but consider allocating more of your budget toward entertainment to up the chances that your guests will have a great time. Alternatively, if you work in event planning or event marketing for a nonprofit or charitable organization, consider contacting an entertainer who would consider donating his or her services to the event.
Not sure where to find standout talent? Check out GigSalad. The site has more than 80,000 bands and entertainers that can be booked for your party -- including comedians, singers, face painters, and more. You can also use GigSalad to check out reviews of performers before you book them, to make sure you're hiring someone great.
It's important to make a first impression -- but making a last impression is crucial too. To ensure that people leave your party happy -- and with good memories -- send guests home with awesome swag bags.
Your swag bag party favors should go beyond the candy you'd hand out at a kid's birthday party. Instead, choose items that will be useful to guests or that will impress them. Consider loading up a swag bag with things that have your organization's logo on them and that guests will use in daily life -- like a cellphone charger, baseball cap or phone case. You can also give them items that promote further engagement with your company or brand, such as a ticket to a future event, a gift certificate to your store or museum, or printed arts calendars.
If you want to create personalized swag for your event, companies like Vista Print can add your logo to a huge range of products you might want to give away.
When you work in art marketing or event planning, you want to throw functions that make a splash. By allocating your budget dollars to the right areas and doing things a little differently than normal parties, you can create an event that creates a positive impression of your organization with everyone that attended.