Creative ideas for engaging and entertaining attendees at your event

As a long time event planner, one of the greatest gems of knowledge I’ve carried with me is that people want to feel apart of something. They want to be engaged and entertained. If you can properly tap into this untangible feeling using tangible measures, you will be set!

First, really think about your target audience (attendees). Are they hip early 20 somethings or radiant boomers? Or how about all ages? Once your target demographic is set, you can begin to put plans into action with the following key ambiance elements: Music, food, community creation.

Think about how you can engage and entertain your guests by choosing the right venue. Choosing a venue either too small or with a bad location/ambiance can ruin the vibe of your event. It can be tempting to choose the cheapest venue. And sometimes worth it…but do consider the lighting, accessibility and amenities offered such as tables, equipment, use of a kitchen and clean up/set up staff. These elements all play into the engagement and entertainment of your guests.

Theme: Once you have your target demographic in mind, do some research as to what themes may appeal to this audience. For example, 90’s night may appeal more to the young adults while a 70’s yacht rock theme may appeal more to boomers or all ages. Make sure that the theme you are choosing is clear to explain in your marketing materials. If you are encouraging ticket buyers to dress a certain way, use your social media platform to provide ideas!

Selfie station: A selfie station can be as easy as a balloon garland that matches the theme (I recently attended a local beer festival that achieved just this!). Have an attractive area that will make your guests want to take a photo. Think about advertising a hashtag or instagram page they can tag in their photo for extra exposure!

Places to gather: There is nothing worse than attending an event and having nowhere to stand or lean with your drink! If this is a standing event, make sure there are plenty of bistro tables available for guests to commune around and feel comfortable!

Making stations: Depending on the audience and the nature of the event, think about if there is something your guests could make or learn to be engaged? You can run wild with this idea but it can include: palm readers, learning a new skill such as beading, furniture refurbishment-the list is endless. Just really dig into the nature and theme of your event and the demographic you wish to attract. What would engage them? Perhaps a DJ spinning vinyl? Give a few things a try and look at what similar events in large centres are doing for inspiration!

To summarize, a great location oozing in ambiance, with a fun theme is going to entertain and impress! Dig deep into what other elements your demographic will appreciate and enjoy!

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