There is nothing quite like the coordinated chaos that comes from planning, troubleshooting, and experiencing a live event. There are almost always last-minute challenges, unexpected twists, and immense feelings of pride when it all finally comes together.



Here are six secrets about how to produce an event that generates buzz, attracts media attention, and leaves a lasting impression from Event Design: Untold Stories from Behind the Curtain:

Human connection is key 

“It’s really about human connection,” Liz Brooks from Zywave says. An event is a way to connect with customers and a target audience in a way that feels authentic and engaging. And while it can be difficult to measure things like human connection, it’s imperative to focus on creating it. 

Facebook isn’t enough anymore – it’s about community 

Corinn Ploessl from AMPED Association Management says that social media buzz doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to advertising your event. “We all used to use Facebook as our event calendar…[But now] the way we creatively market events is around the feeling one has for their community,” she adds. Social media is a tool, but recent changes means that community-building is the most important aspect of event design.  

Be smart about word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to get eyes on your event, and this can be done through a Community Engagement Manager, as Megan Otto from NEWaukee pointed out, or by leveraging influencers in a smart way. The event and the influencer must align – they must be passionate about the topic, and it has to make sense for their brand to be partnered with yours. (Bonus tip: Try looking for micro-influencers whose interests and personality fit your event.)

Stay in touch with your attendees

Even a personalized thank you note from either Eventbrite or your CRM of choice can keep the conversation going with people who attended your event. Additionally, connecting with people who registered to attend but didn’t go can also open a helpful line of communication. Adding a Call To Action at the end of your event can create momentum as well. 

Unexpected situations WILL happen – learn to pivot 

Whether it’s bad weather, an unruly attendee, or being double-booked at a venue, unanticipated issues will arise during live events. Learning how to pivot, think on your feet, and quickly solve or mitigate any problems will keep your event running smoothly. Being prepared, double-checking everything, and having a Plan B (and maybe C) will help. 

Do things differently – and intentionally 

Finding “the hook of the event,” as Wyatt Tinder from NEWaukee calls it, can be helpful in making your event stand out from the crowd. How can you describe your event in one sentence that would grab someone’s attention? Other tips include:

  • Do something unexpected and sensory, like Corinn’s alcohol-free fall sandwich making event
  • Make the event exclusive, or have a VIP component
  • Use a catchy (and truthful) title about what attendees will experience 
  • Create enough variety in both types of events and the time commitment needed to attend them

NEWaukee team members Megan Otto and Wyatt Tinder were joined by Liz Brooks (VP, Human Resources at Zywave) and Corinn Ploessl (Program and Communication Manager at AMPED Association Management) in our latest webinar, Event Design: Untold Stories from Behind the Curtain

Watch the full discussion HERE

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