How do you create a truly amazing event from beginning to end, and beyond? Lauren Arena attended Vivid Ideas to find out.

In a half-day seminar as part of Vivid Ideas 2014, event experts Yvonne Lee, creative producer at Wildwon, and Eventbrite’s Kelly Burge, spoke to an enthusiastic group of meeting and event planners about what it takes to create a great event – from the concept, to design and production, to promotion, right through to post event activities.

To kick-off, Lee spoke about user experience design (UX design) and how this unique approach, which is centered on each user’s – or delegate’s – individual experience, can be used to create a truly memorable event with a lasting legacy.

According to Lee, the five ‘secret herbs and spices’ to creating a killer event are:

  1. Create energy and atmosphere – the way you make delegates feel at an event is critical when evaluating an event’s success. People undergo positive change when they have a positive social experience so ensure the atmosphere is right (and appropriate) in order to keep delegates engaged.
  2. Stretch the horizon of the event – use content marketing and social media to expand the impact of your event. Content is your legacy so share news and updates in the lead-up to create excitement. Following this, use photos/videos/quotes from the event to keep people talking and audiences engaged long after the physical event has ended.
  3. Find your A-Team – real wealth is in relationships so invest in partnerships and combine forces to make the most of partner power!
  4. Design for people – design experiences for deep positive impact by walking a mile in your delegates’ shoes. This way, you’ll understand what makes them tick.
  5. Follow your North Star – stay true to your company guidelines and design principles, don’t renege on previous assertions or promises when questioned by clients or when under pressure.

Following this, Burge examined how to use technology to make an event go viral and stressed that email blasts, with a “spray and pray” marketing model, no longer work. Instead, she advised marketing content must be made relevant to the target audience and is best shared via social media.

According to data recently released by Eventbrite, a single share on social media generates nine visits to an event page and $4.80 in additional revenue back to the organiser. Additionally, Twitter shares offer significantly more value, generating 2-4 times more revenue and page views than other social channels.

As well as having a branded website with top-notch search engine optimisation (SEO), Burge recommends event organisers partner with event-listing sites and ensure all online channels (event website, ticketing platform) are mobile optimised to enable as many potential delegates as possible to access information and buy tickets to attend the event.