There are countless reasons to host an event. Whether you are running a small or large-scale business, hosting an event can have lots of perks and benefits. It is a great marketing strategy and it is a perfect excuse to get to know your customers and even employees. By simply hosting and inviting them to your social event, you would not be only reinforcing your market position but you would also maintain a great relationship with them.
That being said, we have created this guide and listed a few ideas to help you prepare for your next event.
Choosing the Event Theme
The initial thing you should do is to come up with a unique event idea and choose a perfect event theme. This stage is crucial in the planning process because it would be the whole foundation of your event.
With that in mind, we highly suggest you to do thorough research on what would be best applicable for your market and your overall brand. It is worth noting that even though you managed to think of the best event theme, you still have to consider if it applies to your brand and it transcends to what your customers expect from you.
To help you come up with a theme, we have listed a few creative event ideas that we thought are fun, clever, and would keep your audience engaged throughout the event.
Blind Tasting Event
When we think of blind tasting, our mind would immediately think of wine. But if you have a tight budget to work with, we all know how expensive wine can get. So taking that idea from wine tasting, why not blind taste test other food or beverages instead.
If you are in the food industry, then this kind of event would work perfectly for you. You can do a blind taste test for your food or products. This would not only make your event more interesting, but you would also get immediate feedback from your customers about the food you are selling.
But regardless of your current industry, blind tasting events can still work for you as well. You can blind taste test other foods and beverages such as different types of coffee, tea, beer, foreign snacks, and many more. This would surely entice more participant and would certainly get people talking about your event for the next couple of days after it is finished.
To give some other food options, we have listed a few catering food ideas that you can choose from.
Host a Roast Event
Inspired by Comedy Central’s show The Roast, hosting a roast would surely keep your attendees engage throughout the duration of the event. However, keep in mind that this may not be appealing to all people.
Nevertheless, we think this event is perfect for large-scale businesses who want to host a team building or an event exclusively for their employees. If you are a multinational firm or company, then this type of event would surely make corporate events like conferences, assemblies, or regional gatherings more fun and interesting.
Rather than gathering all your employees and having them listen to a two-hour boring speech, why not make it more fun and exciting instead!
The “Roasting” part does not necessarily have to only be about a single person like the Comedy Central Show, you can improvise and even include stand-up comedy session as part of your live event as well.
If you are planning to host a closed event, then Murder Mystery might just be the perfect event idea you are looking for. Even though this type of event is usually played by friends and family, it can also be a great party theme for businesses.
For example, if you are planning to host a small gathering with some of your most loyal customers, a murder mystery party theme can bring you closer to them. Since loyal customers are repeat customers, you no longer have to worry about the customer conversion rate during your social event. For an event like this, your top priority is to make sure that you remain consistent with your brand and maintain a close relationship with your customers.
And what better way to do that than solving puzzles and stitching clues together!
Another theme that would make your event more exciting is cooking class or competition. This type of event is not just perfect for marketing purposes but can also be used as a team-building event for your employees.
For one, it is a perfect event for businesses that are in the food and beverage industry and it is a great addition to events like in-store demos as well. You can simply use and incorporate your products in some of the ingredients, allowing you to promote and even let potential customers try your products for free. Through cooking class and cooking competitions, customers would have a better understanding of how your product works with other ingredients.
As for team building, cooking classes and competition would surely make your next employee gathering more lively and exciting. By hosting events like this with your employees, you can bond and get to know them a little bit better.
Oscars Night is the perfect excuse to get all dressed up and look fancy for an event. Apart from the extravagantness of the Oscars, the attendees can also catch on some of the best and highly-rated movies today.
If you are planning to host a big event for a large number of people, then we highly suggest you pattern the event based on the real Oscars. For instance, you can include a red carpet segment, awards ceremony, silent auction, paparazzi corner, and even fancy after parties. These would certainly have the people buzzing and talking about your event for the next couple of days.
As for small businesses that do not necessarily have a big budget for events, you can improvise and host a different version of Oscars Night. For example, rather than having a paparazzi corner, you can have a photo booth instead. You can also have a trivia night about movies and let your audience watch some of the films that won the Oscars. This program would work perfectly well if you are hosting an event for your loyal customers or an exclusive number of people. It would be like a block screening for a movie and on top of that, you would be able to spend more time and get to know some of your loyal customers.
Another fancy and Instagrammable theme is a speakeasy. If you watched The Great Gatsby movie, then it is sort of like that except you have other agendas and goals for your party (which is to convert leads into paying customers).
The concept behind party themes like this is the feeling of being in an elusive party where only selected people are allowed to attend. This helps make your event look classier and exclusive. That said, customers would be more intrigued to attend your event and find out more about your products.
Speakeasy would work well for both events with a large and small number of attendees. Given that people who usually attend speakeasy are looking for unique and strong alcohol, we highly suggest you do thorough research on your beverage choice for your happy hour.
Flower Themed Event
If you are tired of DIY and crafting events, then you should try hosting a flower-themed event. Not only it is beautiful and would make your event unique, but it would also encourage participation from your potential customers.
Since it is a flower-themed event, the main appeal of it is the beautiful flower and arrangement you would be using. Other than that, you can also hold a flower arranging contest during the event in order to make it more fun and interesting.
Another reason that would make this event successful is the overall aesthetics of the program. An event like this would surely attract a lot of young and hip customers because it looks fun and instagrammable. So this would not only increase your event’s foot traffic, but it would also help promote your products on social media (especially on Instagram)
Planning the event
Now that you establish the main theme of your event, it is time to start planning for the actual event.
Given that you probably already know how to plan for a social event such as doing things and activities like
- creating a budget;
- securing quotations from suppliers;
- preparing the marketing collaterals;
- booking the venue;
- promoting the event;
- inviting several people to attend;
- and so on.
For this article, we would just simply provide a few clever ideas and elements that you can include in your next event.
If it is your first time to host an event, then we highly suggest you get help from an event planner or event organizers. This way, you would have someone who can guide you and would make the planning stage s a lot less stressful.
Nowadays, you might have seen a few themed cafes where you can pet or play with cats and dogs. It has been an ongoing trend for quite some time now and a few popup cafés like this have garnered a lot of attention since then.
With that in mind, you can incorporate this concept into your event as well. The main appeal of this concept is the cute cats and dogs. When you put a puppy/cat playpen in your event, it would surely make your event stand out. On top of that, it would encourage attendees to stay and finish the whole program or event.
Having a playpen would work perfectly for your event, especially if the event you are hosting is more rigid and formal. The cute cats and dogs can help balance out the serious tone of your event, making it more fun and engaging.
Adding a ball pit to your next event might just be the prop that would help you gain a younger and more hip audience. No matter what your brand is, adding a ball pit element to your event would certainly make it more fun.
Apart from the great photo op in the ball pit, the activity itself is also fun and exciting even for adults. Nowadays, you can even find ball pit popping out anywhere, even in conferences and general assemblies.
Like a ball pit, the main appeal of trampolines is their go-to activation element. By simple having a trampoline for your outdoor event, attendees would surely have a great time and they would certainly remember your event for the next couple of weeks.
Cheese or Chocolate Fondue
Another event idea that we can suggest is to add cheese or chocolate fondue to your food table. This would work perfectly well if you are hosting an open event where you have a large number of people coming in and out of the venue.
Even if you are not from the food or beverage industry, we still recommend you consider adding this to your next event. Event attendees would surely take notice and they would be delighted to find one on your event’s food table.
From what we noticed from helping several companies in the past, the photo booth has become a staple for almost all events, especially in trade show booths. Whether the event was organized by small or large businesses, everyone seems to have a collective understanding that a photo booth is an effective branding element for your event.
That being said, we highly encourage you to include a photo booth element for your event as well.
Announcing the event and inviting guests
After you gathered all the marketing materials and elements you needed for the event, it is now time to announce it to everyone. There are several ways to announce your event like by
- Sending physical invites
- Announcing the event on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Sending email blasts
- Inviting them personally
In order to monitor or control the number of your attendees, it would be best to start sending the invites and start posting on social media several weeks before the actual event. This way, you can anticipate the number of attendees and have an ample time to prepare for them.
Given that not all attendees are keen on answering a feedback form after the event, you can try asking thema to answer the form on the actual day of the event.
For example, we all know that people are often lazy when it comes to answering feedback forms via email after the event. So in order to remedy this, you should incentivize your attendees into answering the feedback form on the actual day of the event itself. You can give them a few options like if they answer the feedback form, then they would get freebies, extra raffle entries, and so on. This way, attendees would be more inclined to answer it.
Now that you have a rough overview and a few ideas on how you would host your next event, it is important that you do not lose track of your main objective, which is to introduce your products and services to the market.
It is important that you carefully plan for the following so that you would have a successful event in the future.
- Choosing the Event Theme
- Planning the event
- Announcing the event and inviting guests
- Post-event Activities
After you finalize your event idea you’re going to need great staff to carry out its vision! Push Models has you covered! Click here to learn more!