Typically, a hotel meeting or event is associated with a cold ballroom and a steady flow of bad coffee. Now that we’ve covered the bad and the ugly, let’s talk about the good. When looking to create a memorable event, a Verizon study reported that 89 percent of meeting attendees believe better technology leads to an elevated event experience. Since each meeting or event within a hotel should be an experience for your attendees, it appears the technology is the key to focus on.
So, how do you add that special “wow-factor” to your next hotel event experience? You do so by incorporating great technology to create an exciting environment and encourage guest engagement. Here are three ways to start with:
When audio-visual technology is used effectively to create a seamless, engaging, and exciting experience for attendees, it will leave a memorable impact. Utilizing a video device called a switcher, for instance, is a fantastic way to streamline your meeting’s video presentation. When attendees see blank space on the screen or monitors between speaker transitions or room transitions, that means a switcher was not used. Incorporating a switcher into your video system prevents this lag in a video signal by seamlessly switching between video content sources (camera vs. PowerPoint as an example) or displaying an image or video with sponsor logos, company logos, or speaker profiles as a “Hold” slide. In contrast, video engineers work behind the “screens” so to speak. This creates a better flow and a cleaner, more polished look than blank monitors without a video signal.
Consider using digital signage, projectors, and even gobos to ensure that your brand is clearly displayed for excellent representation and brand recognition. Digital signage is not only great for branding. Still, it gives you entirely more control of your entire event’s messaging as well, allowing your Event Production Partner to make last-minute changes easily!
In addition to being extremely versatile, digital signage can provide a cutting-edge, dynamic element to the event. Digital Signage is often a more cost-effective step in an eco-friendly direction than printed banners and signage.
We all know the details matter in our industry. A little extra attention and care can go a long way to transforming a space. The use of LED lights throughout a room will transform a stale standard ballroom or meeting space into an exciting event venue that has been custom-tailored and unique to the theme or brand of an event. Lighting is also a useful tool that will add an extra element of enhancement to the room and help set the desired mood or evoke an intended feeling.
When event planners focus intently on their attendees’ engagement experience, excitement tends to be a byproduct of success. Modern event trends incorporate the use of virtual reality experiences, social media, and paperless agendas to experiment and provide attendees with new and cutting-edge ways to stay involved with the event. Using a conference app or event platform can really complement events that want to stay ahead of the curve, allowing for increased attendee interaction, immediate awareness via push notifications, and access to location maps, event agenda, and event social media pages for easy interaction and engagement.
Another cool and trendsetting solution for enhancing the attendee experience is to include a photo booth. A digital photo booth allows attendees to share their event photos directly to their social media feeds, which 100% of the time (we’ve done studies) leads to FOMO (fear of missing out) their friends.
“Catch” boxes (plush throwable & wireless microphones) are also a fun and extremely engaging way to get guests out of their comfort zones to interact with one another. Plus, who doesn’t love throwing things that can’t be broken?
Most of your attendees and staff come from different areas of the country and have traveled to the event city (hopefully Orlando, Florida) for learning, connections, and engagement. Why not take advantage of what the local area offers for entertainment and engagement solutions. An Experience Institute report concluded that nearly 80% of attendees include the destination when weighing the pros and cons of attending an event. “Bleisure” (business-leisure travel) is increasing in popularity. Most event attendees are looking at the event experience as a mini-vacation and may hope to return as tourists. While that is in mind, try providing guests with a feel of what the local area offers. Coffee from a local coffee shop is always a huge hit. Or, you can have the event catered by the area’s top restaurant or chef. Food trucks are gaining popularity and can provide your attendees with much-wanted options for their meals instead of the generic hotel chicken or steak.
While the hotel can be a perfect environment for the meetings, get out of the venue and take your attendees out to party around the town. Ending the experience with an off-site team builder or activity builds friendships, camaraderie, and morale like nothing else. Maybe there is a rock-climbing gym in the area or an inviting golf course that is great for beginners and amateurs? Perhaps there is a sporting event with the home team happening that everyone would be eager to attend? Finish off the evening with dinner or drinks at the city’s best hotspot or microbrewery, and you will be an event planning champion in the eyes of your attendees.