The attendee experience is the reason I do what I do.
I love to create an unforgettable event and see smiles form on their faces.
It brings me joy.
What I don’t like to see is attendees who are disengaged and feeling ho-hum about what’s going on.
That brings me anxiety because I want to fix it. Like now.
How can we escape the ho-hum and keep attendees plugged in and excited about what’s going on?
We get attendees in on the noise and make them a part of the bigger picture.
An Aha! Moment
Networking events are a fantastic way to learn and grow so when I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon that featured a panel on utilizing social media, of course, I said yes.
The Toledo Mudhens – my hometown minor league baseball team – were guests on that panel and were discussing an interesting way to use social media to get fans in on the action.
In a nutshell, this is what they do…
When a person gives the Mudhens a shout out during a game their social media team is able to quickly verify that person’s location in the audience so they can send out a camera crewman to shoot some video of the excited fan. The fan is then given the footage to share on social media along with a gif of himself enjoying some #mudhens action.
Wouldn’t we all love to have resources available to do that?
Can we recreate a similar experience during a trade show?
More Than Words
Video was dominant in marketing in 2018 and 2019 is no different. It has revolutionized how we see brands and how we see ourselves.
It’s true what they say, an image is worth a thousand unspoken words. It’s powerful.
Moments should be captured from the time an event is realized until after it’s over. People love to see the process play out and it brings added anticipation.
Attendees want to share their experience with their followers online so be prepared to offer lots of photo-worthy opportunities for them.
Here are some of my fav ways to get attendees making some noise and having fun in the process…
Sometimes language can feel like a barrier and according to a poll in 2017 conducted by Harris, Millenials say that emojis and GIFS are better than words when it comes to expressing how they feel.
I love words but sometimes a GIF is just necessary.
Get in touch with your artsy side and bring your social media posts to life. Get creative with anything that has motion and embrace all things emoji and GIF.
Video also falls under this category. Film short clips of your attendees and make them sharable so they can post what a great time they are having at your event.
Green screens aren’t just for movie stars and the weatherman – you can put one up in a high traffic area and have attendees pose in front of different backgrounds with various props. Don’t forget to have a strong #hashtag game going for increased online visibility,
I think we sometimes forget that adults love to tap into their inner child when given the chance which is why I like to give them plenty of reasons to do just that.
Set up areas where grown-ups can get playful…like obstacle courses, trampolines, and ball pits because who doesn’t want to get lost in a sea of rainbow from time to time?
Don’t forget to capture those joyous moments with video and photos to – you guessed it – share on social.
Never miss an opportunity to have a killer social presence.
All Work and All Play
I’ll never say that planning and putting on a trade show isn’t back busting work, it is, but it should never come across to our attendees as so labor-intensive that we forgot how to make it a joyful experience.
Attendees will notice if there is a negative vibe goin’ on and it will affect how they receive your show. Make it a fun environment for all and you’ll soon be hearing the sweet sounds that come from a place that feels safe, playful, and satisfied.
They won’t only want in on the noise and action, but will be more than excited to share it with others.