Event CPR: 17 Ideas to Refresh Your Event

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Is your event stagnating, both in terms of attendance and revenue growth?  It might be time to mix things up and inject a breath of fresh air into your event.

Changing your event format or adding a different experience to your event – whether it’s injecting a consumer experience into a business event, or vice versa – doing something different will set you apart from the competition and keep attendees coming back to see what’s new.

Here are 17 ways you can do something different at your next event:

1. Auction or benefit charity. Perfect for non-profits, a live or silent auction can generate lots of goodwill – and revenue – especially when the “prizes” are donated!

2. If you’ve got a tech event, consider a hackathon. Get a room full of programmers, designers and other digital professionals and ask them to build a prototype within a set period of time. Fun!

3. Virtual or Augmented Reality – Adding VR or AR to your event is on the cutting edge of technology. Think Pokemon Go. Whether it’s a virtual tour, experience, or something else, a virtual reality component could add to your event in a way no other does.

4. Fireside Chats – If your keynoters don’t have time to put together a formal presentation, ask them to do a “fireside chat” with a moderator. A more informal conversation that includes questions from the audience.

5. Role Play/Re-enactment – These “put yourself in their shoes” exercises can be entertaining and illuminating. Consider video-taping these sessions!

6. Open Mic – Give your attendees the chance to have the spotlight on them! Open up the mic for discussion on certain topics in which your attendees are interested.

7. Pop-Up – Also known as co-locating, share your space with another event in your industry to create more ‘draw’ and to provide more value to attendees.

8. Puzzle/Escape Room – Getting a group together to solve a puzzle in a defined period of time is exciting – and a little stressful! Sure to be a cathartic experience your attendees will notice.

9. Race- 5k or other competitive event – Whether it’s a 5k or sack race, competition draws people together like no other.

10. Themed Party – Think 80’s 90’s or other theme idea – just let your attendees know about it ahead of time so they can dress for the occasion.

11. Signing – Attendees can meet an author and have their book (provided by the event) signed!

12. Stand up Comedy – We all love to laugh, and the right comedian could inject the right does of fun to your attendees’ funny bones.

13. Walking Tour – A nature or city tour gets your attendees out and about – or gives them a fun way to toggle between event venues.

14. Workshop – These interactive and consultative sessions offer an alternative to the “sit, listen, and learn” model.

15. Ignite Talks – Adding a session like aIgnite Talk can bring excitement and energy to your session. Ignite Talks are typicall 5 minute talks and 20 slides per presenter. Presenters talk about their passions, brave new ideas or news ways of problem-solving.

16. Product Launch – Offer a launch party or area where multiple exhibiting companies can showcase new products or services

17. Paint Jam – Hire performance or street artists to create large scale art for your event. Consider donating the finished product to a charity or raffle winner.

The sky’s the  limit when brainstorming new ideas for your event.  Make sure to check with your venue, insurance provider, and local ordinances when putting in place any new idea.


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