Events are expressions of what your organization, company, family and you care about the most. So you must give them a voice.
Before you pick your venue, the caterer, the invitations or have to answer to a boss or spouse about planning, make sure you spend time figuring what it is you want your event to say! Events should express what you cannot say in a company brochure or a website.
Sure, productions should be entertaining, panels informative and launches exciting but something meaningful and powerful needs to be communicated otherwise its just another thing on the calendar that someone went to one night. The venue you pick can communicate how your organization sees the world, even the values your company holds dear. The caterer you choose can tell guests how open you are to new ideas and new members. Even the invitations you send out can communicate something about your brand, company culture, and style. Is your organization fun, helpful, exclusive, inclusive, strong, needy?
I once attended a women’s empowerment luncheon where the organization’s mission of service to the community was woven into every aspect of the event. The producers assisted the guest speakers in their remarks by sprinkling in metaphors about service, they had countless greeters positioned throughout the venue asking, “how may I be of service to you today?” and they had rotating projected images on the walls of the venue highlighting famous people known for their service. The producers of the event even had the catering staff dress up in UPS driver uniforms when they “delivered” and “served” the plated meals to each table and attendee. It was so powerful an image and message that people couldn’t stop talking about how much they felt the organization was committed to service. When I asked one of the waitstaff how they got the uniforms, she told me that UPS had donated them because the delivery company was happy to get the exposure.
As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the power of events to express what often I am unable to put into words. Don’t squander your opportunity to really make a statement without saying a word.
What are you saying with your event? What is it saying about your organization? Say it. Express it. Make sure it can be felt because there’s always one thing for sure: after the event is over, your attendees will have something to say.