Creative conference ideas to improve audience experiences
Creative conference ideas to improve audience experiences
Corporate events, conferences and seminars are a necessity. It’s an opportunity for you to speak directly to a target audience, share new information and upskill and inform your staff.
But too many conferences and corporate events are dull and forgettable. They may be seen by staff or attendees as something they have to do rather than something they want to do.
When we organise B2B corporate events for clients across the UK, we continually challenge ourselves to create memorable, exciting and fun events. We understand the importance of having an engaged audience who remembers everything they’ve learnt during your event and puts that learning into practice.
Here are some exciting and creative conference ideas to think about. Think of them as options you can use “off the shelf” to make simple changes, or why not get creative and think about how you can cohesively use more than one suggestion? If your budget (and time) allows, don’t be afraid to throw in a few curveballs – it will make your event far more exciting and memorable and help you truly engage your audience.
Don’t be afraid of expanding on your conference theme
Adding a theme to a B2B conference may feel a bit unadventurous – after all, surely the conference topic is the overarching theme. But how can you maximise the impact of your theme to get guests working together and excited by the day?
Firstly, you can do this through your décor choices, table settings, and menu choices.
But you could also expand on this to bring your learning to life. Don’t be afraid to think beyond your keynote speakers to incorporate fun conference ideas differently.
So, for example, if your conference is based on improving healthy lifestyles, could you set up an area where your delegates could participate in a quick 10-minute HIIT session? Or, if you’re finding new ways to talk about sustainability and eco-friendly, could you incorporate a talk from a local chef to talk about seasonal menus and how to cut down food miles? Who doesn’t love free food samples?!
Allowing delegates to take some learning into their personal lives (as well as their professional lives) may make your event far more memorable.
Is your conference venue fun and imaginative?
One easy way to turn your event into a memorable, fun conference is to think about your choice of venue. Conference venues and hotels are easy options, because they tend to offer affordable conference packages, as well as providing practical assistance such as car parking or good public transport links.
But they can be a bit ‘blah’ and forgettable.
We like to think outside of the box when it comes to meetings and events. Choosing an alternative venue that your guests may not have been to before may be more exciting and be an easy way to drum up interest in your event. For example, rather than a hotel, why not speak to your local Zoo about their event space? Or if you are hosting an event that is focusing on the future of your sector, how about using a meeting space in your local museum to highlight the juxtaposition of the past vs the present vs the future?
Finding an alternative conference venue can create an entirely different energy and can give guests some excitement.
How social are your conferences?
Many people attend B2B conferences for networking opportunities. They want to be able to meet peers and make new contacts in similar industries.
Throughout your planning stages, how effective is it for your guests to mingle and socialise together?
Can you add time for basic networking? If so, can you add some opportunities for ice-breakers or ways to make introductions between people? Your seating arrangements could play a big part in this – choosing cabaret style rather than theatre style will give more opportunities for individuals to talk to one another.
At the end of the event, what opportunities do you include for guests to relax and unwind? Perhaps you could host an informal drinks reception or another casual activity where guests can get to know one another in a more relaxed environment.
Gamification is a great way to encourage audience participation
Adding a little fun to your B2B expo through gamification is easy.
Depending on your budget, you could use a wide range of ready-to-use apps or technology to add small games to enhance learning potential or create your own games for your delegates.
Adding fun scavenger hunts can be a great way to ensure that delegates visit any vendor stands or quick and easy trivia quizzes can enhance teamwork between your guests. Adding a small (affordable) prize for the winners, such as a bottle of champagne or a voucher, is easy – you could even potentially work with an event sponsor to supply the prize.
You could even add fun games to your speaker presentations. For example, why not ask your speakers to start their presentations by re-enacting the BBC quiz, “Would I lie to you?” By asking a presenter or speaker to state either a lie or a fact as part of their opening gambit, you will naturally capture an audience’s attention and get them listening.
How to avoid death by PowerPoint
We’ve all been there. Presentations driven by PowerPoint with an underwhelming speaker are the fastest way to turn a conference from fab to drab.
So many alternative ways of learning don’t involve a PowerPoint deck.
We love to see B2B conferences that incorporate fireside chats. By having a host “interview” a chosen speaker about your conference topic, you can get into the real nitty-gritty of your event. It’s also an opportunity to actively engage your audience in your speaker presentations because they can submit questions in advance and get to know the answers to the information that is important to them.
Alternatively, you could host a debate. Perhaps involving two or more speakers with different viewpoints on a specific topic. Not only does this mean you can share more information and provide a balanced perspective, but it will also be more memorable to the audience.
You can bring your conference to life in hundreds of different ways. So, if you want more inspiration or advice, why not get in touch? As a B2B events company, we’re always happy to share ideas and suggestions to help make the most of your corporate event.
Have you got the right host?
Think carefully about who is hosting your conference. Understandably, you want your boss to be the main presenter, but do they have the right skills to get an audience on your side?
There is a reason why many celebrities, such as TV presenters or comedians, are hired to work as conference hosts. They have the skills to keep your event running on time, keep an audience excited, and remain on-topic with your conference theme.
Booking a celebrity host will depend on your budget. Of course, you can find that household names such as Stephen Fry or even James Cordon will be available to host your conference, but if you only have a small budget, you may have to be realistic about who may be available. Remember, booking a celebrity host needs to be carefully thought through. Is there a logical reason why that particular host is best for your event?
Here at Inspired Occasions, we’ve organised many corporate conferences with a celebrity host. In addition, we have great relationships with many booking agencies, and we can advise you on how to maximise your budget and find the right speaker for your event.
Is your conference professionally accredited?
Nowadays, getting delegates away from their desks for B2B conferences and events is harder and harder. Since the pandemic, we’ve become accustomed to Zoom training and online webinars.
But equally, as budgets become tighter, businesses across the UK are looking for events that offer a dual focus, such as networking or sales plus staff training.
One easy way to get bums on seats is to verify your corporate event with your professional body. Many sectors require ongoing continuing professional development from employees. If you can register your event with your professional regulator, your event could become a legitimate source of CPD designed to educate and upskill your delegates.
Verifying your conference will help you to enhance your reputation and give you a better chance of generating a positive return on your investment. If you need help securing professional accreditation for your corporate event or conference, please get in touch.
Discover more about our B2B event management services
We hope this gives you a few tips and ideas for converting your next B2B event into something which ‘wows’ your audience and creates a long-lasting impression.
At Inspired Occasions, we’ve worked with clients across the country, helping to turn traditional workplace conferences into something audiences have genuinely enjoyed and learnt from. We enjoy finding new ways to transform seminars and workshops into creative environments where delegates flourish.
Our experience allows us to share fun conference ideas with our clients that are proven to work and can be adapted for any sector and budget. We can work with your in-house team to offer additional support and resources, or we can manage the entire event on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on more pressing matters.
B2B Corporate Event Budget Questions Business Conference Business Meeting Christmas Party Christmas Party Ideas Christmas Wedding Conference Conference Entertainment Conference Ideas Conferences Corporate Conferences Corporate Entertainment Corporate Event Corporate Event Budgets Corporate Events On A Budget Corporate Event Venue Corporate Exhibition Corporate Meeting Corporate Party Corporate Seminars Eco-Friendly Party Event Budget Halloween Decorations Halloween Entertainment Halloween Event Halloween Party House Party Meetings and Events Networking Party Planning Planning a Party Venue Hire Venue Hire Questions Wedding Wedding Colours Wedding Decor Wedding Planners Wedding Planning Wedding Questions Wedding Theme Wedding Venue Wedding Venue Hire Wedding Venue Questions Winter Wedding