The Thoughtful Disruptor’s Guide To Innovative Events

Disruptive! It’s the buzzword of choice for those who want to tear-up the old and bring in the new. But while disruptive signals big, bold changes that upend tradition, you don’t need to be radical to be different. Thinking of fresh ways to help people learn, engage and communicate can bring about innovative ideas that gently usher your events planning into a new era.

Here are a few ideas for thoughtful consideration:

No Paper

The no paper revolution has been gathering pace for some time, but with event tech becoming more and more comprehensive, the need for paper at events really is at an end.

Event apps can be the one-stop information shop for event attendees – especially if you ditch the paper. Agenda, speaker sessions, networking and documentation access can all be facilitated and supported by your event app.

Real-time updates mean everyone gets immediate notification of important changes. Plus there’s the not so inconsiderable benefit of not having to lug reams of paper around.

Disruptive Rating: 7 – switching to 100% online information means taking that last step to a total digital platform that will save time, money and the environment.

Session Layout

Banquet tables and chairs have been the go-to furniture set-up of choice for organisers for a while now. But while the uniformity has an obvious appeal, it doesn’t reflect the various ways attendees engage and learn during speaker sessions.

A variety of seating gives the room a more unique appeal that that caters to a range of learning needs. Relaxed types who prefer to listen in a comfortable space will enjoy sofas and soft cushions. Bar tables and tall chairs will suit those who like more formal, upright seating with maximum stage viewing angles.

Attendees can roam the room can select the right listening space for their learning style.

Disruptive Rating: 8 – It may seem like a small change but catering to different learning styles is a great way to maximise audience engagement with session content.

Breakout Session

It’s not uncommon to see a number of people leave a breakout session after the first 5 minutes because the session description didn’t meet their expectations.

To avoid audience attrition, give the breakout session speakers ten minutes at the start of the event to give an introduction to their topic. A brief topic intro not only allows attendees to make fully informed session choices. Speakers also get to ‘pitch’ their session, which will lead to well-supported sessions and strong learning outcomes.

Disruptive Rating: 7 – attracting attendees to speaker sessions (and keeping them there after they arrive) can be a huge challenge for event planners. A simple ‘pitch’ by the speakers can make a big difference to attendance and learning.

Master of Ceremonies

Your MC is critical to keeping the event schedule on track and on time, but they can also add even more value through deep engagement with the event and its attendees.

Holding thoughtful Q&A sessions with key speakers, promoting sponsors and roving the floor to talk to attendees and exhibitors alike will create a more intimate and personalised experience for everyone connected to the event.

Disruptive Rating: 8 – elevating your MC’s role to event guru is a powerful means of connecting each element of the event and generating a feeling of careful curation

Food

So often an afterthought, food is literally the fuel that will sustain your attendees right to the end of the event.

Overload the canteen with sugary treats and your attendees are likely to experience a post lunch crash. Don’t provide enough carbohydrates or meals of substance and you may have a hangry audience on your hands!

Plan the meals with as much though as you plan the speaker sessions. Healthy options that keep people motoring throughout the day will yield a great result in terms of engagement, mood and brain power!

Disruptive Rating: 7.5 –providing your attendees with food is a no-brainer, providing your attendees with food with that maximises a positive event experience is a game changer!