Planning a successful event can be overwhelming! In the days of social media, your event must be up to par to handle the endless Instagram pictures & Facebook posts people will certainly be sharing from your event.

Providing sponsors with more creative opportunities to showcase their company, beyond signage and banners, is something to consider when planning your strategy, encouraging more sponsors to become involved. The value of signage, grab-bags, and other more traditional marketing pieces are important and certainly a vital aspect of promotions. However, there are alternative ways to grab attention. It’s very important to think outside of the box. As people are inundated with advertisements, a more interactive and hands-on experience is becoming more popular.

To increase attendee engagement and participation, I have two words. Virtual Reality. You may be wondering where I’m going with this. But VR gaming is becoming more main stream as the technology gets better and more cost effective for consumers. This relationship isn’t exclusive to gamers either. Creating a virtual environment allows your attendees to really feel the message you are trying to convey.

Get in the game

  • Mobile VR: give each guest their own VR headset to keep and use with their mobile devices. Custom printed headsets and boxes are available to ensure branding is present and remembered by each person receiving this gift!
  • On-site VR: there are VR & AR agencies who can help you create a virtual world, where your sponsors have the opportunity to allow the audience to explore their location or see their products in action – instead of towing a vehicle into a room to showcase a new car from a car company, they can show a 360 view inside and outside of the vehicle… and maybe even test drive it! This is all done through virtual reality. Consider hooking up the VR headset with a big screen to allow others at the event to watch each person as they take part in the experience.

I understand that virtual reality may not be suitable for your sponsors, so feel free to encourage other on-site services such as live-action participation. Provide an area for sponsors to setup and provide free demonstrations of their product or services for attendees to participate in. You can also provide live-streaming for the event (this can also be used in conjunction with virtual reality so that guests streaming the event can watch all the fun!). If you archive your live-stream on your website or upload it to YouTube, your event can be re-watched and shared repeatedly by far more people than just those who attended. Edit shorter segments from the event to repost and reference on your social media, or to send to clients when discussing certain topics! Also, those who were not able to attend your event can watch the live stream and take part from remote locations.

A simple, yet important tip is to utilize dedicated hashtags and encourage your sponsors to use them on their printed materials. Dedicated hashtags provide an immediate platform for guests to engage and showcase pictures and posts in a central location, free of charge!

Have fun with it! New technologies are allowing people to interact in whole new ways, which will certainly set you and your sponsors apart, creating an event to remember.

About the Author

Catherine Shaffer

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