Nowadays, people want (and value) experiences more than anything else. That’s why interactive exhibits and pop-up events have become so popular.
Take the Museum of Ice Cream, for example. (Yes, that’s a thing.) It’s an experiential art exhibit inspired by ice cream. There, you’ll find funky set-ups, like a pool filled with giant, faux sprinkles and swings shaped like fruit. (Imagine the part you sit on being shaped like a cherry or a banana.) And as you can imagine, it’s an Instagram GOLD MINE - because people want to share those experiences.
So how can you take that concept and apply it to your organization’s next conference? Below are a few interactive event experiences to consider incorporating:
1. A s’mores party, campfire-style
Rather than a traditional happy hour or evening reception, why not try something new, like a s’mores party, campfire-style? Now there are a few ways you could go about doing this:
- You could opt to have a bonfire, though you’d need to find an approved location and secure the right permit(s)
- You could utilize fire pits (Bonus if they’re onsite at the hotel in which you’re hosting your conference)
- You could utilize grills and have more of a “s’mores bar” (Attendees could prepare their plates and a few grillers could actually warm them above a grill)
Regardless of what route you take, though, the point is it’s a unique experience for your members. A much more fun (and far less intimidating) way to network.
2. A succulent building workshop
Do you offer any add-on events at your conference? For example, a morning yoga class or a 5k? While there’s certainly nothing wrong with those activities, if you’re looking for something different - or even just another activity to add - consider a succulent building workshop. You could have someone come in and teach a small group how to build their own succulent.
The perks of this?
- It’s a fun activity for those looking for something a little less physical
- It gives your attendees something they can actually take home (to remember your conference long after it’s gone!)
And psst...if you do go this route, have fun with the marketing messaging! For example: “Flourish further with [Organization’s Name] in our first-ever succulent building workshop!”
Make it sound fun...because it will be!
3. Tea for two
Let’s go back to one of the primary benefits of your conference in the first place: for attendees to be able to network with others in the industry. Well here’s an interactive event idea that helps accomplish just that: tea for two.
Perhaps this is a smaller event that people have to pre-register for, but think of it like an actual tea party, complete with scones and finger sandwiches. As far as the conversation goes, you could set this up one of two ways: You could pair attendees based on a common job role, pain point, or special interest, or could you have attendees speed-network, switching chairs every few minutes.
The point is, it’s a unique experience (and a valuable one) that they likely won’t forget!
Want more tips for engaging attendees at your next conference? (Remember, the more engaged they are, the more likely they are to re-attend in the future!) Check out our free guide below for ideas and best practices!