Event planning takes a whole lot of creativity, but those new ideas don’t always strike when we want them to. You, your client and your team already know that an event can really boost your audience engagement and work wonders for the buzz around your brand but you might not know exactly what your event should look like. Where do you begin? How do you find event inspiration? Here are our 7 tips to help spark your imagination.
Use your larger goals as an idea generator
We say it a lot on the MeetingPlay blog because it’s true: Every event should begin by setting goals. For inspiration, asking questions about your goals and objectives are always a good place to refer back to. Why are you inviting attendees to your event? Why will they want to attend? What do you hope they will gain by attending? How will their attendance support your brand mission and how will you record and measure your success? If, for example, you want to spread awareness about decreasing one’s carbon footprint, you could brainstorm tangible ways to do so. Hosting a tree-planting event speaks to your larger goal — and it’s measurable.
Review data and survey results from your attendees
Have you held events in the past? Or taken audience polls? Now is the perfect time to revisit any data and feedback that you may have. What worked for attendees? What didn’t? Are there elements that you’re sure you want to include again? Search for even deeper clues or understanding of what you’re audience wants. You can even conduct a pre-planning survey and ask your prospects directly! Read about some of our other pre-event survey suggestions here.
You’re probably already following your favorite colleagues and peers on social channels. Venues, caterers, entertainment, planners — they’re all posting their creations and ideas all the time. Dream boards and visualization boards are super useful, and Pinterest is the modern day version, with no shortage of images to get the gears turning. Use the platform’s search feature for anything that pops into your head. Of course, it might be best to set specific blocks of time for social media exploration, as it’s easy to go down one rabbit hole after another.
Browse event-specific websites
Sites like Eventbrite.com, Eventmanagerblog.com and Bizbash.com publish blogs about industry trends and styles, how-to articles, where to find resources and do so in a way that is easy to digest for beginning and experienced planners alike. These sites are the perfect starting point and will likely serve you throughout your timeline as questions and new ideas surface.
Use associative brainstorming techniques
Often, our creative ideas are already sitting in our subconscious, waiting to come out. We just have to help them find their way. Word exercises that use association or associative brainstorming are an effective and fun way to tap into our subconscious ideas. Word storms, mind mapping, word banks, word clouds and visual association exercises can all help you work through the possibilities. Read more about each technique here.
Carry a notebook and/or tablet
This is more about capturing ideas when the arrive, but often that is equally as important as the idea itself. Carry the right tools with you during your brainstorming days. Whether it’s a classic paper notebook or sketchbook and pen or an iPad or smartphone — you’ll want to be able to write, sketch, clip, copy and paste as relevant thoughts come your way. Suggest that your team members do the same.
Take a walk and decompress
In the time we’re living in, and especially as a planner, your thoughts are probably moving at a rapid pace most of the time. Changing your environment and moving your body is an easy and pleasant way to let new energy flow to your brain. However, we also suggest that you give yourself a break from all of your to-dos and should-haves and instead take in the world around you. Take fifteen minutes to stroll at a comfortable pace and notice the people, your own body, the colors, the smells, the sensations, textures, plants, animals, architecture — you never know how your surroundings might trigger just the thought you were searching for.
How can MeetingPlay help?
Use these tips to help encourage those bolts of inspiration. Don’t forget that well rested, healthy bodies and minds are much more of a breeding ground for new ideas than overworked, underslept and stressed ones. Give yourself breaks and space to allow new thoughts to flow freely. And remember, event planning is a highly collaborative effort. Work with your team to brainstorm and don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you want to know ways in which we can help.
MeetingPlay is a mobile event app provider who develops intuitive, engaging and information-rich solutions infused with innovative technology, providing experiences that everyone will be talking about.
Contact us today to find out how you can tap into the power of meaningful connections.