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Juraj Holub

9 Creative Event Concepts to Empower Your Attendees

Juraj Holub

WEC18 educational speaker Juraj Holub

Event attendees crave experiences that will sweep them off their feet. Millennials are an especially strong driver of this trend.

A recent Eventbrite report found that three out of four U.S. Millennials prefer to spend on live experiences versus material things. This so-called Experience Economy has powered the event industry over the past decade.

As the demand for live experiences grows, so does the event planner’s need for new, innovative event ideas that will impress clients and create meaningful moments fwor attendees.

In search of inspiration, we scoured the internet and talked to our Slido clients. We collated these creative event concepts that will help you deliver impactful, memorable experiences.

Secret Events

Secrets have always attracted people. That’s what makes these events increasingly popular. The hush-hush instructions and unique, undisclosed locations intensify people’s curiosity.

The venue is usually revealed shortly before the event starts to heighten expectations.

The Lost Lectures

The Lost Lectures is an underground series of enchanting talks delivered in secret locations. The organizers reimagine the concept of the lecture and push its boundaries to create immersive worlds and unforgettable moments with world-class speakers.

These events bring together attendees from ordinary corporate and academic environments and take them to mysterious hideouts to start a journey full of thought-inspiring experiences.

Previous secret locations ranged from the historic “StummfilmKino Delphi” in Berlin to an abandoned theater in London that had been closed to the public for more than 65 years.

Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema has gained rapid success in the world of immersive events. The concept has evolved from secret film screenings in abandoned buildings to major participatory productions in the most extraordinary spaces.

Imagine entering the movie screen and living the story. You can dive into a world where participants co-create the experience by interacting with on-screen characters. The venue always matches the film setting to create a unique atmosphere.

Importantly, everything is kept top secret until the very last moment. Those who sign up receive only vague advance cues about the film, dress code and a meeting point.

Silent Conferences

Have you heard about silent discos where attendees equipped with wireless headphones dance silently to one of the DJs playing?

Motivated by positive audience acceptance, conference organizers have increasingly started incorporating wireless headphone technology into their conferences. The reason is simple, it solves some of the most common problems event organizers face: lack of breakout space, lack of time, lack of attention and lack of engagement.

Lunch Clubbing

Instead of an ordinary lunch at a local bistro, people worldwide gather for a dance rave during their lunch breaks.

The organizer of Lunch Beat Stockholm, Daniel Odelstad, explains that this one-hour event is all about getting in as much dancing as possible.

Adopting the Fight Club narrative, the Lunch Beat organizers stress the importance of participation: If it’s your first time at Lunch Beat, you have to dance..

This concept creates a great bonding experience for the attendees, as the shared activity of dancing brings people together. There is no alcohol involved, but the entrance fee will get you a sandwich.

Dedicated Q&A Tracks

Who wouldn’t want to hear their question addressed by a successful CEO or an influential thought leader? But packed conference agendas rarely leave enough time for Q&A.

To boost the delegates’ learning at a recent event, Startup Grind set up a separate stage focused mainly on Q&A.

Following speaker presentations, the delegates submitted their questions through Slido. The speakers then answered the questions during 30-minute interactive “Ask Me Anything” sessions.

Participant-Driven Open Space

What better way to make your event impactful than by giving attendees the full power to co-create the agenda at the start?

As BarCamp co-founder Ryan King put it, usually “there is much more expertise in the audience than there possibly could be on stage.”

Thomas Heiser from Focal Point wanted Open 2017 delegates to help set the program and co-create a third of the event. The organizers enabled the delegates to propose sessions they wanted to run through Slido’s live Q&A feature. The attendees then selected the sessions they wanted to see the most.

The fired-up audience submitted twice as many pitches as there were available spaces. The outcome was a much more diverse and engaging event with impactful, participant-driven content.

Light-Speed Presentations

Devised in Tokyo in 2003 by local creatives, PechaKucha is a simple presentation format where speakers talk along to the automatically advancing images. Twenty images are presented, each for 20 seconds.

PechaKucha events involve a series of usually eight to 15 short standup talks. It’s an opportunity to see “elevator pitches” by the creatives, students, researchers or startups that want to spread their ideas.

PechaKucha nights are now held in more than 700 cities around the world.

Based on a similar concept, Ignite Talks give speakers five minutes to talk on a subject accompanied by 20 slides, spending 15 seconds on each.

Similarly, Lightning Talks are informal, five-minute presentations typically scheduled in a single track.

Hackathon/Thinkathon/Editathon

Project-oriented software engineers usually like to get things done, and they inject this mantra into their events, too.

These coding, brainstorming and editing marathons usually bring people from the same field or internal teams together to collaborate on a specific project. They can last from one day to a whole week.

Such events always have a tangible goal that they strive to achieve. This can range from developing usable software to brainstorming a list of innovative ideas to editing a specific type of content.

Hackathons are gradually penetrating the event industry too. The FRESH conference in Barcelona concluded with the first hackathon on the sea, where participants brainstormed how to implement innovative, creative and artistic solutions to pharma meetings on a boat.

In Conclusion

Events are increasingly about delivering impactful experiences. Enliven your next event with an innovative event format like one of the above. Empowering your attendees to co-create and immerse themselves in the event will help you exceed their expectations.

This article originally appeared on the Slido Audience Interaction Blog (https://blog.sli.do) as “10 Awesome Event Concepts that You Will Want to Duplicate.”

The Rise of Conversational Presenting

Juraj Holub, marketing director and chief meeting designer for Slido, and Peter Komornik, co-founder and CEO of Slido, will be presenting “The Rise of Conversational Presenting” at MPI’s 2018 World Education Congress (WEC), June 2-5 in Indianapolis.

For decades, meeting rooms and conference halls have been dominated by one-way presentations. But in today’s world of smartphones and unprecedented access to information, passive content broadcasts will most likely fall flat. The ability to effectively facilitate presentations and meetings will be a critical skill for any business leader in the future. By ditching traditional linear slides, conversational presenting allows speakers to focus on the most burning areas and provide the answers much more quickly. This way, all stakeholders can maximize the time spent in the meeting.

During this session in the Experiential Design Village, you’ll learn the techniques and best practices that Slido leaders developed from working with conferences such as SXSW, the Adobe Summit, IMEX and Startup Grind that push the boundaries of meeting design. The session will be both highly interactive and practical, so participants will have the chance to experience “conversational presenting” first hand.

Register today at www.mpiweb.org/wec18.