One of the first things we ask every client as we kick off planning for an event is: “What are the biggest things you are trying to accomplish?” Many answers vary, but there is one that comes back almost every time: “We want this year to be even better than last year.”
And who doesn’t? Who wants Stranger Things 3 to be less amazing than the first two? Who wants the screensavers on the next Apple TV to be less beautiful and mesmerizing than the last ones? No one.
The only challenge is -- this gets harder, year after year. Raising the bar means raising it again, and again, and again.
So what do we say, when clients ask how they can out-do themselves?
We asked our team. Here are some excerpts of conversations from a few of our experts.
From Lindsey Sikula, Producer (and former sports event producer)
“When clients want to know how to top last year, I think the first step is switching it up—no matter how great the stage layout was, or how big the screens were, we can always do something new. Maybe it’s configuring the number or format of multiple screens in a new way, or changing up the seating to be more interactive, … we can always give attendees something completely different than the year before, in a way that will wow them.”
From Evan Thompson, Director of Live Events (and former nightclub lighting designer)
“You want to connect with people? Take a 20 minute scripted speech, and summarize it in 3-4 minutes alongside compelling visuals, music, and sound bites from other stakeholders. Get other people to tell your story for you. Shorten the time you spend talking at someone, and draw them in with visually stunning messaging and storytelling.”
We… see you feel strongly about this. What else.?
“And to add to that, make sure you're doing the content justice by putting it on an amazing display surface. Like an LED wall, or custom screen sizes, or virtual reality -- something that immerses the viewer in the experience.”
From Jae Thiele, General Manager - Las Vegas, Senior Producer (and former NYC DJ and radio host)
“Embrace new technology. Been doing projection for years? Look at LED instead. You can create dynamic and exciting stage sets with using it in columns, a curved set, etc. Plus you can create more dynamic content with the different shapes and destinations.”
Okay. What else?
“Walk-in energy. Amp it up. Create an exciting walk-in environment with a live band or DJ, coupled with dynamic visuals that embrace your company’s culture and meeting theme.”
Got it. And?
“Humor! Create funny and entertaining videos that feature leadership. Works every time!”
From Anson Mulville, Producer (and former ESPN segment producer)
“When clients want to do something they’ve never done before -- I start with a blank sheet of paper. I write down some of the most insane, mind-bending ideas I can come up with. Then put a budget hat on and try to accommodate not so much the exact idea -- but the spirit of the idea. Sometimes starting with an insane idea paves the way for a real-world idea that actually happens. And that’s when you can do something you’ve never done before.”
You heard it here first: get insane. A great attendee experience will follow.