6 Ways to Improve Your Proprietary Events


Proprietary events are becoming big business, which means if you’ve been running an event for a while, it’s probably time to think about kicking it up a notch. Here are some ways to help take your event to the next level.

1. Add a Digital Element

Proprietary events are the beginning of a conversation, not the end of it. Using technology to take the live event and translate it to the digital space can broaden your reach and your appeal. “You should be capturing the key messages and presentations so that you can make them available digitally after the event,” says Mike Ellery, SVP of Creative at Sparks. Live streaming of the event will also open you up to a whole new kind of attendee—the virtual attendee. “Brands are getting better at creating lasting assets from these events,” says Ellery. “Going virtual is a big part of that. It really solidifies the proprietary event as a business tool to create content and ongoing conversations for the future.”

2. Enhance the Conversation with Social Media

Social media provides an opportunity to communicate with attendees before, during and after an event. Managing a social presence and being responsive to the conversation around your event will leverage a real-world behavior: People engaging in ongoing conversations that move seamlessly between online and offline environments.

Social media listening tools can also provide insight into attendee needs, interests and behaviors, helping event marketers make more informed decisions. Use insights uncovered through social media to build content based on attendee interests and to implement strategies that will amplify your reach, increase your attendee touch points and extend the dialog well after the event.

3. Incorporate Unique Venues

Whether it’s the full event or evening galas and ancillary events, holding proprietary events in unconventional spaces can add a wow factor. Consider allowing your host city to chip in. Hold an outdoor block party in a trendy section of town. Have your opening gala in a newly erected sports arena. These venues not only add cache; they can tie into the event’s overall themes and goals, allowing you to successfully extend a metaphor and drive home your overall message.

4. Enhance Your Executive Engagement Plans

At SAPPHIRE NOW, Sparks bumped up the design and usability of the event’s executive meeting area. This was an exclusive place where high-level executives could meet privately with SAP representatives and customers. The only way to get into this area was through a check-in process. The exclusive feel of this section created a VIP atmosphere, where high-value attendees could get the one-on-one attention they needed and hammer home the C-level status of the event.

5. Use Technology to Great Effect

There are several technologies that really add to the quality of the attendee experience. Digital signage allows you to make changes to signage with a simple keystroke. Room number and time changes that used to create chaos, are handled with ease. Immersive projection is another way to wow the crowd: You can change a standard ballroom into anything you want, and it’s all done with projectors and lighting that creates a 3D environment. Make your ballroom look like a city street, create a simulated explosion or have your keynote speaker arrive on a virtual helicopter. And since it’s all done using projections, there’s nothing to build and throw away afterward. And don’t underestimate the power of interactive surfaces. From kiosks to touchscreen walls to interactive tables, these surfaces help you immerse your attendees in your message.

6. Upgrade Your Mobile App

Mobile apps allow for real time changes, interactive agenda building, video clips of key show highlights and so much more. A truly comprehensive mobile app will enhance the overall experience of attendees exponentially.

As you can see, adding or upgrading your technology is a great way to improve your proprietary event. Discover the top five technologies to watch this year in our 2015 event tech report.

Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Northeast powder hound. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. VP Marketing, Doodle owner and cocreator of my daughter.