It's the special touches that make an event stand out. Plan to leave a lasting impression on your attendees.
Event attendees expect something to decent to eat, a comfortable room to meet in, and a respectable speaker to listen to, but unique, unexpected touches like a photo booth on a rainy day, an ice cream sandwich giveaway on a hot afternoon, and free event t-shirts upon arrival - well, they're things that won't soon be forgotten.
Take a moment to look at these ideas and more in greater detail.
Photo booths are a trendy item right now for parties and wedding receptions, but they're also becoming increasingly popular at conferences and other events.
Whether you're creating a DIY-style booth or springing for a professional backdrop, attendees are sure to enjoy the experience. It provides a fun and nonintimidating way to interact and meet people; it gives everyone the opportunity to let their hair down and be silly; plus, it produces a personalized memento that they can keep.
This "Photo Booth Ideas for Parties" Pinterest board has some great ideas.
Who doesn't love a goodie bag? Give out a welcome bag at check-in or place a spa bag on each attendee's bed. Even if your budget is small, you can still make a great impression.
Here's a simple idea. Buy paper gift bags in bulk and fill them with useful but inexpensive items such as bottles of water, maps of the venue, agendas for your event, some candy (e.g. HERSHEY'S Miniatures Chocolates or peppermints), pens, and mini notebooks. Or be extravagant by including more expensive items in each bag like branded souvenirs, reusable water bottles or travel mugs, and prepackaged snacks such as popcorn, Chex mix, or pretzels.
With your imagination, the possibilities are endless.
Pop-Up Ice Cream Social
You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream! Who doesn't love a surprise ice cream treat, especially on a hot day?
In between sessions or during free time, look for opportunities to hand out ice cream sandwiches to unsuspecting attendees or, if your budget allows, host a pop-up ice cream social with the option to build-your-own sundae.
Looking for cool weather treats, explore these creative snacks that Sandy Cove can provide, including the Chesapeake Delight and Campfire on the Breakers.
Custom event t-shirts - when well designed and comfortable to wear - are a surefire way to please attendees. They not only wear them with pride, are reminded of the event every time they wear it, but it also serves as an advertisement for your event - a free walking billboard if you will.
Take your t-shirt fun to a whole new level by inviting attendees to vote for their favorite design. For this, you'll have to have several designs already picked out. Or take it a step further by challenging attendees to submit their own t-shirt designs for popular vote. The artists in the group may be thrilled at such an opportunity!
Here's a fun idea. Hide pre-made gift vouchers throughout your meeting room (including under chairs). Note how many you've hidden and where they're located. Be sure to let everyone know that the vouchers exist, and that finders are entitled to a door prize. Prizes should be purchased beforehand and could include candles, $5 certificates to the event venue's cafe or gift shop, hand lotion, key chains, etc.
If you know a traveling massage therapist, how great would it be to have him/her set up camp before and after sessions for free (or low cost) 15-minute massage sessions?
Or provide sugar cookies, frosting, and toppings for a cookie decorating station.
Candy counting stations are always a hit, too. Simply fill 4-5 jars with candy or nuts. Count the pieces as you put them in. Then let everyone guess how many are in each jar. Whoever guesses closest wins the jar.
From choosing an event venue and booking a speaker to creating a marketing strategy and getting a final head count, event planning is hard work. However, as you're planning, remember to add "brainstorm perks" to your checklist. While events can be successful without them, perks have a way of making an experience stand out, leaving a long-lasting impression on attendees.
Learn More About Sandy Cove
If you want to talk through the benefits of hosting an event at Sandy Cove, connect with one of our Group Sales Consultants by calling (800) 234-2683 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to ask about scheduling a site visit, so that you can experience the ministry and blessings of Sandy Cove first hand.