Time for another installment in our mailbag series, “Ask an Event Planner!” Got a question for one of our planners? Submit it here and we’ll answer it next time!
How do I make my event unique, memorable, and Instagram-worthy? — Isabel in New York
If an event is not on social media, did it really even happen?
I think there is something to be said about being in a space where you’re proud to be photographed—the design and aesthetics of your venue matter. It’s not just like a room where you’re having a meeting, but rather, it’s an experience, something to be showcased.
What separates a great Instagrammable event from a lackluster effort is authenticity. People don’t want to interact with a brand point blank, but rather they want to interact with concepts. Instead of just announcing at your event, “Hey, here’s a hashtag with our brand name,” make it a call to action. “Tell us about [blank].” Challenges are really popular right now, something with a clear subject to post, like #TwinningTuesday. That’s much more fun than, “Oh, I’m at this event, let me use their hashtag.”
Of course, a visually striking setting is vital for a platform like Instagram. We recently hosted an event with PwC (Deals Exchange, an exclusive Senior Dealmaker event held on April 26) that featured a marble quote wall that just begged to be photographed:
Also, check out the recent pop-up Nat Geo Channel put together for their new show, Genius: Picasso. Lots of bright colors and frames that people could literally step into for the perfect shot.
What are some good ideas for trendy mocktails? — Lori in Massachusetts
What’s really trendy right now is drinks with less sugar. A lot of people think mocktails and just think of sugary drinks like virgin piña coladas or daquiris. But with so many people being more conscious of the amount of sugar they consume, I’ve seen more low sweetener items—lots of herbaceous drinks with things like rosemary, especially in the summer.
As we approach summer, that’s something I would really recommend—herbal drinks. Think along the lines of spa water or spritzers. Lots of people are developing their palettes away from overly sweet drinks as we learn about how harmful sugar can be.
What are the first steps to hosting a successful event and how early do I have to start? — Isabel in New York
The first step to having a successful event is establishing an event goal. What is the purpose of this event, who’s attending, and why? Once you have established that base, everything else can grow from there.
Your event goal can help you pick a venue—its location, style, room sizing, technology capabilities, all those things should be considered. But don’t forget your goal. Let’s say you have some sort of training where people have to focus and not be distracted, then maybe one venue might not be as appropriate as another, even if they’re the same size.
Establish your event goals. A really good formula to remember is:
WHO + WHY = WHERE, WHEN, and HOW
Keisha George, CMP, has been in events for seven years. She fell in love with event planning in college when she accidentally became the event planner for her student group. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading lyrics, and getting caught up in conscious rap and poetry.
Have a question you want answered? Submit it here, and we’ll answer it in a future installment!