“Now You See Me” and Amazing Meeting Experiences:
Here are 5 Budget-Conscious (and Completely Legal!) Ideas for Your Next Meeting or Corporate Event

You don't have to taunt the FBI or have a multi-million dollar budget in order to produce a blockbuster meeting!

You don’t have to taunt the FBI or have a multi-million dollar budget in order to produce a blockbuster meeting!

In Now You See Me, Louis Leterrier’s latest film, a team of four young illusionists use their talents to pull off a series of glamorous, incredible robberies—often in front of a large audience. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’re probably familiar with the scene in the trailer in which the team showers their audience with money. Can you imagine doing something like that at your next conference? You’d be talked about for weeks, and you’d undoubtedly be filled to capacity at your next event!

Realistically, most event planners don’t have the budget for dollar-bill confetti. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your next meeting an amazing experience for your attendees. Instead of showering your audience with cash, why not consider showering them with a few unique experiences instead?

 

Five Easy “Wow!” Moments for Meetings

     

  1. Inside Information
    People are curious by nature, and even the most disengaged audience member may feel special if she’s given the inside scoop. Offer your audience a behind-the-scenes look at how the convention was planned or how the business is run. Provide a brief case study detailing how a recent decision was made, or have key members of the team speak about their daily activities. Honest, personal stories and a little vulnerability here can go a long way.

  2. Unexpected Fun
    Maintaining audience engagement can be difficult, especially after lunch or on the second or third day of a conference. A surprise addition of some type of activity, entertainment or celebrity can liven up an otherwise dull afternoon. Just make sure you know your audience and choose something that will appeal to them. It’s even better if you can find a speaker or entertainer who can create a wow-experience that is both entertaining AND relevant!
     
    (By the way, if you are really into the idea of magic and wow, I just happen to know someone who can help you with that immediately.)

  3. Found Time
    If you announced to your coffee-chugging attendees that activities would be starting one hour later tomorrow morning, do you think they would be pleased? What if you told them that this afternoon’s activity was designed so they could complete it at their own pace, then take the rest of the afternoon to explore the venue? Do you think they’d return the next day with renewed energy? Time is our most valuable resource, and people especially love found time. Just remember to plan your found time within the daily schedule, not on the outer edges of the schedule where it affects travel plans.

  4. Comfort Food
    As much as people love found time, they often love free food even more. So spring for an ice cream break! There are very few meetings that cannot be improved with an ice-cream sandwich one afternoon.

  5. Hidden Goodies

    By now, everyone’s familiar with the “hidden envelope under a seat” type of surprise give-away. This is great for the person who wins the $50 prize, but what about everyone else? Instead of – or in addition to – giving a big prize to a single person, consider other giveaways that include everyone. What if a QR code on the back of everyone’s badge led to a web page with giveaways or coupons for local eateries or coffee shops? You could also hide a link, QR code, or special communication somewhere in your registration materials. This hidden communication can lead to a scavenger hunt, a secret activity, or some other bonus reward for the curious and proactive. Don’t spoil the surprise by pointing out the giveaway, either — let the curious people find it and build excitement for you.

When you’re planning an event, don’t just give your audience what they expect. Instead, give them something they secretly think they deserve, but never thought they could have. In so doing, you’ll be giving your audience an amazing meeting experience that truly goes above and beyond.