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7 Tips for Delivering an Unforgettable Attendee Experience

Break Free from Event Planning Ruts. Discover the key to crafting unforgettable events with Brushfire’s expert tips.

Do you feel like you are in a rut when it comes to event planning? After a while, it can be hard to think outside the box, and events can even start to blend together. This blog explores how you can do more than host a gathering or presentation–learn how to plan an unforgettable experience for your attendees.

How Do You Create a Memorable Event Experience?

What sets one event apart from another? A memorable experience is emotionally grabbing while helping people learn something or connect with others in a meaningful way. Before you can deliver an unforgettable event, you need to know your audience and understand their key objectives. While your event will ultimately attempt to support your organization’s goals, you must keep the needs and interests of your audience as a central point in your plan.

Think back to an event that really stuck with you in a good way. Perhaps you were surprised by how fun something was when you expected a boring lecture. Or maybe, you felt really relaxed and encouraged by the event. It’s also possible you made important connections or enjoyed the way information was shared.

Not all guests are going to react to an event the same way you did—everyone has different expectations and experiences that color how they feel about each occasion. However, you can use your past experiences to help you understand what fosters memorable (or lackluster) events; before starting your planning process, consider how your guests could be pleasantly surprised or moved by your event.

7 Tips To Deliver Unforgettable Events

Are you trying to plan an event that makes a lasting impression? Here are seven tips to help you create events that leave their mark and make the most of each opportunity.

1. Know Your Audience

It really can’t be overstated: you need to know your audience and what matters to them if you want to plan an unforgettable event. Don’t assume you understand your audience—ask questions and take steps to really get to know what they want to get out of an event. When possible, personalize the event to show you really understand your attendees.

2. Establish Clear Objectives

What do you plan to help your attendees accomplish during your event? Set objectives that align with your organization’s goals—but also take your attendees’ needs into consideration. Use SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely:

  • Specific: What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Define your objectives to create clarity for your planning process.
  • Measurable: How do you define success? Establish a way to measure your outcomes and see if your event objective was achieved.
  • Attainable: Are you in control of the outcome? Choose something that is attainable for your objectives—this could include learning objectives or engagement levels.
  • Realistic: Are your goals too lofty? Base your objectives on prior events and try to improve on your outcomes within your event planning budget—don’t aim for the impossible and hope for a unicorn event.
  • Timely: When will you assess your progress? Set checkpoints before your deadline to make sure you are on track to deliver an unforgettable event.

3. Create a Wow Factor

At some point in your event, you should have a focal point or wow factor that really catches your attendees’ attention. For some events, the wow factor could be a live music performance, fireworks, an exciting game, an unexpected door prize, or a big-name speaker. Other events may use decor, promo swag, or delicious catering as their wow factor. A memorable event needs a stand-out factor that gets people talking. 

4. Offer Thoughtful Refreshments

Offering delicious food or drink that aligns with your event is a great way to support your overarching theme and make guests feel appreciated. Consider how you can use food or drink to help your event stand out. You don’t have to host a dinner; appetizer platters or dessert bars can be very delicious and more cost-effective. Be mindful of your guests and include an option that is allergen-free and vegan in case any attendees have dietary restrictions.

Thoughtful refreshments aren’t limited to in-person events. Even online events can host a coffee-fueled session or happy hour networking event where you bring your own drink of choice. If you really want to get attendees excited about an online event, you could send them a swag package with a drink or snack included for the event.

5. Provide Real Value

In line with your outcomes, identify exactly what kind of value you are giving your audience. Will the event provide information they care about (or is the information required and not necessarily fulfilling in and of itself)? Does your event provide them with a delicious meal? Will guests get an opportunity to watch an exciting performance?

To increase the value and impact of your event, consider giving away swag bags or event favors to your attendees. You could fill thank-you gift bags with snacks, promo items, coupons for local businesses, gifts from your event sponsors, and more. You can also follow up with supportive resources to reinforce your event’s value well after the occasion itself is over.

6. Provoke an Emotional Response

What kind of emotions are you trying to trigger with your event? Your event could make people feel excited, empowered, nostalgic, empathetic, fired up, relaxed, supported, confident, inspired, or motivated. Consider how you will trigger the right emotions.

Also, consider the emotions you don’t want your guests to feel, like frustration, irritation, confusion, boredom, or annoyance.

7. Curate a Journey

Remember, you are planning an experience—not just an occasion. Setting up the time, choosing the location, inviting guests, and selecting the activities are just small pieces of the puzzle that make up unique event experiences. From the registration process to the event reminders and check-in process, your attendees are on a journey that is curated by you. 

For a truly memorable experience, make sure you’ve considered all the details and how you can leave a positive impression with each little touch:

  • Send reminders about timing and event details a week and two weeks prior to the event.
  • Use signage to help direct your visitors to the right areas when they arrive.
  • Use additional team members to help keep lines short and traffic flowing.
  • Provide event alerts and updates with your event app.
  • Choose decor and catering that align with your event theme.
  • From food to event shirts or swag bags, always have more than enough for your guests.

How Can I Improve My Attendee Experience?

Are you looking for ways to make sure the experience is smooth and enjoyable for your attendees? Here are four quick tips on how you can make your event more engaging and enjoyable for your guests.

  • Deliver an Engaging Presentation: Include your guests in your presentation to help them stay engaged. For example, virtual presenters can answer questions asked by attendees in the chat section for a live Q&A session. Another option is to have in-person speakers ask guests to raise their hands in response to a question or fill out a quick poll on your app. Look for ways to make your guests part of the experience.
  • Communicate Early (And Often): Don’t waste your team’s time by making them answer a million questions that could be solved with early communication. Provide guests with answers to childcare, food, ticketing, seating, location, parking, and more. Don’t have the answer to a pressing question? Reassure your guests that you are on top of figuring out a solution, and let them know when they can expect an answer from your team. Consider using Brushfire’s Customer Support Call Center if you need more support for your biggest events of the year.
  • Create Special Packages: Use custom ticketing to offer larger packages and increase sales while giving attendees exactly the kind of experience they want. For example, you can offer premium seating or meal ticket add-ons for a higher price than your general entry ticket.
  • Gather (And Listen To) Feedback: Are you taking the opportunity to poll your guests and get their perspectives on the event? Criticism isn’t always easy to hear, but it makes it possible to improve for your next event. Keep your exit polls short and sweet so guests are more likely to fill them out.

5 Benefits of Custom Mobile App Development

A custom app is a great way to make your event more memorable. Many event planners don’t consider creating a customized app for their event, but there are several benefits when you develop your own mobile app.

  1. Simplifies Check-In: Brushfire’s Event App integrates with ticketing and registration to provide an easily accessible QR code for entry. Guests no longer have to search for their information.
  2. Streamlines Communication: A custom app makes it possible for your team to make announcements or send alerts to your attendees for easy communication with push notifications—regardless of whether you are hosting a hybrid event or have guests scattered throughout a building.
  3. Provides Additional Resources: Use your app to connect to sponsor pages, provide speaker bios, offer additional information, and more!
  4. Gather Feedback: Use your app to request a quick survey or poll from each attendee. Feedback from your guests can help you improve with each event.
  5. Increases Sales: Want to sell merch or tickets for your next event? You can use the app to help advertise to your audience and increase sales.

Plan Unforgettable Events and Create Memorable Moments With Brushfire

Brushfire’s industry-leading platform gives you the tools you need to plan and host incredible events. Use our services to create custom ticketing solutions, increase engagement, build a custom app, host online experiences, and increase your customer support. Our knowledgeable and innovative team is the best—ready to help you accomplish more and get the most out of our tools. Learn more about our solutions with a free consultation from our team!