6 Creative Ways to Make Your Event Stand Out and Leave a Lasting Impression

April 24, 2024 Jessica Stewart

As an event planner, you know that while every event you curate is unique, the overall process is the same. You book the same types of vendors and follow a similar strategy to make every detail sparkle. But in the end, aren’t we all just repurposing every engagement over and over again? And more importantly, are the event guests noticing this wash-rinse-repeat vibe as attendees?

What makes a New York event planner successful is the ability to create something new and make a lasting impression on attendees, event clients, and partners. So, if you’re looking for creative inspiration, keep reading. Today, we’ll highlight some new spins you can put on old processes to breathe new life into your events. And trust us - it’s these touches that make the event memorable and leave lasting impressions.

How to Make Your Event Stand Out While Maintaining Event Goals

Before you dive into all the steps that go into event planning, it’s important to establish goals for the event. Make sure the individual aspects you choose to stand out coincide with what the overall goal for the event is. Identify what sets your event apart from others and the ways you can give your guests a unique experience through different activities, networking opportunities, catering options, and more. This will serve as the foundation of your event planning and give insight on how to proceed.

For example:

  • Is your event a fundraiser with a specific charity in mind or a monetary donation goal?
  • Is your event an industry conference with brands focused on sustainability and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional event elements?
  • Is your event a social celebration of a teen milestone who embraces new technology and innovation as entertainment and event designs?

Use the NYC event objective to guide your efforts in knowing which event details will matter most and create the most memorable and lasting impressions.

1. Use Social Media to Create Buzz in New Ways

Social media can be used before, during, and after an event to create unique excitement. Create engaging content before the event for promotional purposes, tap into user-generated content during the event, and share highlights on those platforms once the event has concluded. It’s a great way to increase visibility and engage your audience every step of the way. The more engaged your attendees are, the more likely they are to remember the event experience fondly.

2. Gamification and Interactive Elements Bring the Fun

Anytime you can get your guests interacting and having fun at an event, it’s going to be memorable for them. Event guests want more interactive elements to explore during an event. Gamification is the perfect addition to any type of event you’re planning. Integrate games, challenges, and contests and maximize guest participation. Consider scavenger hunts, team trivia, photo contests, mini-games, VR experiences, booth games, and more!

3. Breakout Sessions for Corporate Events and Conferences

Not every event will call for breakout sessions, but larger corporate events will be a welcome place for attendees to break off into smaller groups. Offer a break from passive listening and facilitate more in-depth conversations that encourage more participation. Breakout sessions can have any number of goals, whether it’s to learn a new skill, network, problem-solve, or even just take a pause from the larger event. To keep them interesting, consider what the outcome is and plan from there. You can incorporate games, host a roundtable, have fun with an “ask me anything” session, coordinate speed networking, facilitate a debate, and more! There isn’t a one-shoe-fits-all plan when it comes to breakout sessions. 

4. Networking Lounges Make Interactions Easy

The importance of networking at a corporate event cannot be overstated. Networking allows your guests to connect with potential collaborators on future projects while building relationships that could further their business opportunities. It can lead to mutually beneficial connections that go beyond the life of the event. When event planners incorporate networking lounges into the venue spaces, you signal to the guests that you know these moments are an important part of the success of the event. The lounge options are endless, but consider providing lounge charging areas where connections may be more organic, rooftop lounges with sweeping city views, or a piano lounge where guests can relax while chatting and listening to music. Create spaces that allow for those pauses in the larger event. 

5. Create a Culinary Experience

Variety is the name of the game when it comes to event catering and the menu options you choose. When you provide a wide variety of options to your guests, they will feel like you have them personally in mind. Imagine sitting in a long, all-day conference or running from one meeting to the next. The last thing guests are going to want to worry about is whether the food at an event will satisfy their hunger or abide by any dietary or allergy considerations they might have. Consider a variety of food trucks for a more hands-off approach, gluten-free & vegan options, different types of interactive food bars, collaboration with local restaurants, on-the-go options, global treats, and more! 

6. Event Activations Are Always Memorable

Reinforce your client’s brand message by incorporating event activations. These strategies are used to create a lasting impression on your guests by providing more interactive and engaging elements to an event. These aspects can include interactive booths, product demonstrations, various branded experiences, and live performances. This can be done through social media, QR codes, live streaming, giveaways, and workshops.

Get all the Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your NYC Event Stand Out at The Expo!

The pros at EMRG Media produce the three-day Event Planner Expo 2024 coming to NYC this October 15th to 17th, 2024. It’s a coveted opportunity to network with industry professionals and stay up-to-date on all the latest trends in event planning. Chat with peers and tap into some fresh perspectives that will make all your future events that much better! Reserve your booth on the trade show floor today!

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