Socialize, network, repeat. Socialize, network, repeat. The classic cycle of attending an event! These are all great things, but can become tiring after a few hours of standing on your feet and creating small talk with a handful of new people.
So...what if we took the traditional style of networking and gave it a little creative boost for your attendees? Help them bond over DIY activities, engage your attendees with “business decisions”, and leave them with memorabilia to remind them of your event. Here’s a few ideas to consider incorporating into your next event:
Donut Decorating Station
Raise your hand if you love sweets. OK….that’s most of us. Now, what if you created a station for attendees to come and participate in such as a donut decorating station? Most likely, they’ll meet someone next to them, find a connection with them over their mistakes at decorating, and eventually lead to more meaningful conversations after they leave your station. An instant connection over something as simple as decorating donuts!
Have a section of tables dedicated to getting messy. Set up mini bowls with small decorating treats inside each one, place an undecorated donut at each seat, and lastly, have someone working the station and continually have them replenishing the donuts for each new attendee! Sweets always bring out the fun, so why not have a station dedicated to just that?
“Company Vote” Station
If the event is being put on by your organization, there’s a great opportunity for making attendees feel connected and engaged with your company. How? By creating a place for people to vote on the next big company events, decisions, or designs! Allowing attendees to participate in something bigger than themselves at the event will make them feel like they belong to your organization. You get free opinions, they get to be a part. It’s a win-win!
Maybe you’re in the market for a new company logo. Present them with the draft designs and get them to write down their vote on paper. Maybe you’re deciding on an event space to host your next big event. Have them submit their vote at the registration table! You’re bound to have a company decision that could use the opinions of the industry.
Note To Self in 2030 Station
I once attended an event where the bourbon company, Maker’s Mark, had a “Note to Self” station. They were having attendees write themselves a note to open in 2030, and then rolling up the note and putting it in one of their Maker’s Mark bottles. They then sealed it with their hot red wax right on the spot. How neat and interactive!
We can’t all afford Maker’s Mark to attend our events….however, you can take this idea and make it your own! Create a station where attendees write themselves notes to their future selves. Then have them put it in a glass bottle with a cork to seal it up. This activity allows your attendees to stay creative, connect with their inner-selves, and stir conversations with other attendees as they network.
Attendees in 2020 are looking for experiences. It creates an environment for connection and creativity! Some of these may be too over the top for your event, but we hope this sparks some creativity in you as you begin to plan the networking portion!
Once your event is planned, you’ll need to amplify attendance! High attendance is the goal, after all! Check out our guide: Promotional Tactics to Amplify Attendance.