Hosting an event is a fun and exciting way to connect with family, raise money, or launch a new business. The actual planning process can be tedious, but clearly defining your goals from the beginning can be the difference between being stressed over a mediocre affair or lavishing in seeing your hard work transform into a successful and purposeful event. An easy way to reach your event planning goals is to think of ways to make your event more exciting. Excitement makes guests want to be present and participate, which then offers you the opportunity to get your core message across. Even if you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party at your home for your friends and family, you probably desire to show your love and appreciation for your guests, and having elements to make your event exciting will undoubtedly get that message across. We want you to have success with your event, big or small, so here are our top 5 ways to make your event more exciting:
Make Your Event Buzzworthy
Think about the commercials that promote the Grammy’s or Super Bowl – the music is refreshing, there are flashing lights in the background, and the announcer hints at surprise celebrity guests and performances. After watching the ad, you feed into the buzz surrounding the event and are likely excited to tune in and watch. While you may not have the means to spend 1 million dollars on a promo ad to promote your event, you can generate buzz around your event using some of the same elements. Start by identifying goals and objectives and deciding how you want your guests to feel during the event and after they leave. After you are clear on your goals and objectives, create a theme around your event.
Create a Fun Theme
Your theme should transcend throughout your invitations and marketing materials. The color scheme, the fonts, the phrasing – should all align with your proposed theme. You can also use social media to build up excitement and to engage your audience beforehand. Post videos of your planning process and share photos of ideas of what you want your guests to wear.
A good old-fashioned phone call to some of your guests can also create buzz. They will appreciate the personalized outreach. You can use this as an opportunity to involve them in small parts of the planning process or ask them for recommendations on smaller details like wine lists or games. When individual guests feel involved in the process, they are more likely to attend and encourage others to follow, which is all the buzz you need.
Hire a Guest Speaker for Your Event
Another way to generate buzz surrounding your event is to hire a guest speaker. If you can afford to hire a celebrity or well-known figure to attend or speak at your event, this would be ideal. People will be overly enthusiastic about experiencing something or someone they wouldn’t usually have access to on a day-to-day basis. You can choose an industry expert to discuss one of the key topics at your event. You can hire a comedian to serve as the highlight of the night. And although they don’t typically give speeches, hiring a popular musical or entertainment group can create the same excitement as a celebrity guest speaker as well.
If you do not have the budget to hire a guest speaker, you can empower one of your more popular employees or guests to give a speech or to do something interesting at the event. For example, if you’re hosting a small house party, you can ask your more popular or outgoing guest to lead the charge on starting a fun game or challenging them to do something crazy outside of their everyday routine. If the company’s CEO is a little more on the stuffy side, maybe he would be willing to lead a fun dance contest at the office party, which will generate a ton of buzz from your colleagues. You can also ask one of your guests to speak on their area of expertise. If one of your guests is in finance or physical fitness, during a New Year’s Eve house party, they can offer up tips for everyone to adhere to start the new year off on the right track.
Get creative with your guest speaker, but make sure the person and their contribution aligns with your event goals and will likely be received well by attendees.
Consider Using an Event Host
Just because you’re hosting an event doesn’t mean you have to host your event. If you know you’re more of a task-oriented person or engaging with tons of people all night long seems like a daunting task, it may be best to designate an event host or emcee. An event host will free you up to be behind the scenes, ensuring that everything else is running smoothly. A good host or moderator is usually someone who has a big and bright personality and is not shy about being put on front street. They’re also good with performing on the fly, keeping the energy up in a room, and keeping guests on task.
You can hire an emcee, or you can use someone in-house. Think about your group of friends (if you’re hosting a small group) or think about an employee who is unafraid to get on a microphone and talk to people. Reach out to them ahead of time to ask them if they’re comfortable taking over such an enormous task and keep them abreast (throughout the process) on your expectations and the flow of the event.
Make Your Event Interactive
We mentioned involving specific guests in the early planning stages to make your event exciting. You can incorporate interactive games throughout the night to continue the excitement for the rest of your attendees. There are tons of interactive icebreaker game ideas that you can personalize to make your own. Even in a more virtual setting, you can incorporate interactive games, contests, and elements into your event. We’ve seen a new COVID-friendly trend of virtual happy hours, where employers are hosting Zoom calls after 5 pm so employees can chat with each other on a more personal level with their favorite cocktail. If your guests don’t know each other well, games that challenge attendees to talk to each other or learn fun facts about one another are another great way to energize and enthuse guests.
There are so many ways to make your event exciting for yourself and your guests. If you start with these five, it will likely spark other ideas with lighting, food, and music – and you know who to call when it comes to the music (shameless plug)! Offer your guests an experience they deserve, and always make sure you make your guests feel appreciated and welcome. Best of luck!