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5 Event Planning Trends That Need A Rethink (And Their Smarter Alternatives)

5 Event Planning Trends That Need A Rethink (And Their Smarter Alternatives)

Despite many innovative ideas and accessible technologies we have at our disposal, there are still certain event planning trends that are yet to exit the twentieth century.

Here are five trends we think could do with a facelift.

1. Handing Out Business Cards

Seriously, does anyone still use these things? No offence intended for those still championing the paper option, but in the age of the internet there are better ways to go about it. How many times do you come away from an event with a pile of business cards floating in the bottom of your bag and never quite getting around to entering them in your contacts?

Smart Alternative: Encourage attendees to save trees by switching to digital business cards. There are countless options for going paperless! Alternatively, promote LinkedIn and smart phone address books as a great way for delegates to swap details.

2. A Binder Full of Event Documents

Running around with a paper-based folder of planning documents is clunky, ineffective, and again bad for the environment. It’s also easy to misplace and hard to sift through to find the information you need at any given point.

Smart Alternative:

There are countless online alternatives for effective event planning. Use an online document sharing platform such as Google Docs or Dropbox, or invest in an online planning programme. All information can be updated instantly in real time, it’s impossible to lose and easy to find specific information. You’ll also look far more professional with a tablet or laptop in your hand.

3. Too much formality

Conferences can be daunting affairs for participants with the pressure of networking, watching serious presentations by important experts, and navigating their way around a foreign city or neighbourhood outside hours. Shaking up the overly serious vibe can turn the event around into a much more rewarding experience for all involved.

Smart Alternative: Create a more relaxed and engaging atmosphere for attendees by taking a more intimate approach to the standard event format.

4. Dull Guest Speakers

For some events, it may not be desirable to forgo the speaker, particularly if it’s the pivotal feature of the programme. However it’s worth highlighting that it’s possible to run a great event without one.

You might have a great speaker who enthrals the room with their expertise and engaging delivery. But you could also have a speaker that drones on and on, oblivious to their exceeded time limit and audiences’ obvious boredom.  Speakers can make or break your event.

Smart Alternative: Get creative and put together an engaging speaker-free event programme with a mix of workshops, interviews, videos and group activities.  Encourage audience participation. Make it fun and break the rules. Your attendees will get so much more out of it.

5. (Ghastly) PowerPoint Presentations

It’s been great to us for years and we’re sincerely grateful for all the memories, but it’s time for us to move away from questionable slide transitions and animations PowerPoint has been brought us for too long.

How often do PowerPoint presentations distract from the points being made, rather than assist in clarifying it? No study is at hand, but more often than not is the suspected answer. Sadly, many of us are not skilled in the design department, and correspondingly most PowerPoint presentations are creative in all the wrong places.

Smart Alternative: Rejoice, because we live in the age of free and easy digital media in copious formats. Think YouTube clips, infographics, Canva, music, podcast clips, images – the list is endless. Confident speakers might be able to do away with slides altogether (how many TED X speakers do you see using slides?)

Are there other event planning practices you’re still following out of muscle memory that could be updated?

Explore Cliftons comprehensive event management services to simplify your planning process. 

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