Posted on January 22, 2014 · Posted in Attendee Experience, Event Planning Advice

unnamed-1Zombies are all the rage in movies and television shows; they are kitschy and weird, and quite terrifying (former friends and family wanting to eat you – eeeek!). It’s all well and good for fun and frightening entertainment, but the last thing you want are a horde of zombified attendees at your meeting.  How do you wake up the walking dead?

1) Carefully consider the information you are sharing.  Is the information:

  • Topical?
  • New and different (not old and tired)?
  • Representative of what your attendees are thirsty for?
  • Thought provoking and inspiring?

2) Consider creating an advisory panel of past attendees to help you find out what they want to learn and know. Ask about their favorite presenters and entertainment.

3) If you are doing same ole, same ole, it is time to get out of your comfort zone! Infuse your event with vibrancy and wow!

4) One of the best ways for attendees to learn is to provide them with experiences, not just lectures and talks where they remain passive.  Check out the ideas here, here and here.

5) Bring in social media! Create a #hashtag for your event and encourage participation with a TweetWall.  Use an event experience app like Bonfyre to engage attendees before, during and after your event!

6) Think more Harlem Shake and less Zombie Shuffle. Between sessions, wake everyone up with street entertainment; music or live statues. Have ambassadors at the event take video of attendees sharing what they’ve experienced or learned so far, snap pictures of attendees engaging and talking, ask attendees to answer some fun questions; what is your favorite breakfast cereal, what was your favorite bed time story when you were a kid, what is your pet’s name – post their answers along with their pictures to your social media pages.

7) Allow for freedom and choice, you don’t want your attendees to feel controlled and policed. Think about this, your attendees have a lot of freedom of movement in this day in age. They carry their offices with them via smartphones and laptops, and are no longer tied to a cubicle and desk.  Don’t tie them to a rigid schedule and place to be or you’ll lose them.

Out with the zombies and in with the fresh faced and bushy tailed attendees.  Your event’s success is an ebb and flow of information and ideas between presenters and attendees. Don’t doom yours to the dead zone!

*Thank you to Sonic Electronix for the image!

Jill Stone

About the Author

Jill Stone has been with HelmsBriscoe for over 10 years, and in the meeting planning industry for over 20 years. Her dedication, powerful negotiating skills and top rate service have earned her an impressive list of devoted clients. She has placed at the top 5% of the HelmsBriscoe family year after year and consistently achieves President Club status.