Let’s be real, it’s easy to feel a bit bummed about things not being completely back to normal this Fall. We all feel it. Attendees, speakers, organizers, everyone.
But with everything going on, we’ve also been inspired by all the ways organizers are keeping people excited about upcoming events. We’ve seen tons of creativity, and even more hard work to make sure events are still amazing for everyone, no matter what. So to fill you in on all of it, here’s our top-tips for keeping people excited about events right now.
Fortnite and Ariana Grande recently produced an in-game event where millions of people watched Ariana Grande perform in 3D while floating in bubbles, riding rainbows, and watching Grande smash things with a giant glass sledge hammer.
We love the idea of going big in the virtual world right now. After a year of Zoom and working remotely, everyone is looking for more innovation, and more ways to make virtual unique and inspiring.
Now, we also know that creating a virtual experience with Ariana Grande is a tough act to follow, but if there was something you wanted to try a year ago, like maybe getting a big speaker, or a big online concept, but didn’t know if it would work — this is the time to do it.
The same goes for hybrid and in-person events as well. Even though things are uncertain, big ideas and big concepts still get people excited.
Increase health and safety.
For upcoming Live Nation events; all artists, crew members, and attendees must be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test to be part of the show.
“Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows,” Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “As of October 4th we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the U.S.”
We’ll also note here that with the safety requirements above, The Lollapalooza festival was able to bring together over 380,000 people, over multiple days, without a noticeable increase in cases.
When organizers take charge to make sure events will be safe, more in-person events can happen, and more events means more excited attendees, speakers, and everyone involved. And we’re all for that.
Create visually interesting sessions that matter.
ComicCon@Home 2021, along with independent comic book creator Brain Pulido, created a very well produced and useful session about how indie book artists can better brand themselves.
It was shot with a single moving camera, like a TV show, in a visually interesting comic book shop, and gave people plenty of useful information that they can take with them to move their creative careers forward.
Whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in-person, events should be both entertaining and educational to keep people excited. Presenters should feel confident about how they look and are presented on stage, and attendees should go home inspired.
Also, we love the simple steady-cam work on this session, and haven’t seen it done this this well on a virtual event before. Organizers take note.
More speakers means more engagement.
If you find yourself going in the virtual or hybrid direction for your event, consider putting any extra funds towards more speakers, and more opportunities for panels and breakout rooms.
Virtual may not be the same as in-person, but there’s no denying that the ability to get face to face with anyone in a matter of seconds can be useful, to say the least.
Organizers should try to bring as many speakers as possible in the virtual world for more breakout groups, panels, and short sessions. This will help you reach a bigger audience, as well as give attendees more opportunities for engagement.
Like we said, people maybe don’t love Zoom, but they do love unexpected and exciting connections that might have never happened — and virtual and hybrid are definitely great at that.
Keep putting out content!
The Tomorrowland Festival, which was all virtual this year, released an “aftermovie”, as well as a number of free “special gift” DJ sets for their fans and attendees.
Virtual, hybrid, and even live events (if you have a camera recording), give you the ability to create, remix, and re-release content indefinitely, on any platform. Organizers can then use this content as a conversation starter online, or to promote future events or products.
Basically — content keeps the conversation going. It gets people thinking about your event again, and most importantly, excited to be a part of the next one.
Give people more of what they want.
The key to keeping people excited about events is giving them things they actually want. People want events that are more than just another Zoom meeting. They want to feel safe and know that the event safety plan is proven to work. People also want more chances to connect and meet face to face, in any format. It’s all about innovating for you speakers and attendees — no matter how much things change.