1. Play time
We're not talking champagne, cocktails and a crimson carpet. But real play time, where adults channel their inner six-year-old and jump into ball pits, watch circus acts, write on walls — even climb them. Most conference-goers spend eight hours minimum sitting at their desk — change it up.
2. Have participants, not bystanders
Don't put content in front of people. Put them in the middle of it. Otherwise they’re not doing anything — learning, engaging or even listening. Have staged talks, panel debates but mix with workshops, labs and collaborative sessions.
3. Re-write everything
Last year went well? Doesn't mean repeat it. Top it. Reinvent each time, keep people guessing. Is reinvention the key to engaging people? It can’t be same again…
4. Give the audience something they didn't have before
Not an ice cream — although that might be nice, too. But tangible takeaways, a practical learning or inspiring notion. Get the right speakers who will actually add something to the theme and serve the audience’s purpose, not yours.
5. The little details
Details make meaningful connections. Live pop-up bands make queues quicker, vibrant plants add colour and space dedicated to post-it notes encourages new ideas and collaboration.
6. FOMO is important, but so is substance
If you’re lucky (and have a smart marketing plan and proposition lined up several months before) people will be at your event. But make sure their fear of missing out, pays off. Taking time out of work is difficult in our fast paced world of business. Give them value. Or they won’t be back. And you might get an angry tweet or several.
C2 Montreal, an immersive, circus-inspired conference that gives participants experience like no other, inspired these tips. Find highlights from the conference — including how to become an entrepreneur by Grindr's inventor, why Google thinks the audience is dead and serious questions in silly places — all on Campaign's dedicated hub: www.campaignlive.co.uk/c2