Making Your Event An Experience: 3 Tips from XDP

A robot doing tai-chi.

A 6:30 a.m. POUND© workout with lime green drumsticks.

Joan Jett.

What do these things have in common? They were all part of the experiences offered at last week’s XDP powered by ASAE. (A conference for conference planners, put on by the association for association professionals!)

Creating unique experiences at an event is an ever-evolving art and science. XDP is designed to offer experiences that inspire, entertain and generate ideas we can implement for our own organizations. These experiences guided us as we delved into event marketing, operations and gamification.

As association professionals, we are lifelong learners – and always seek to bring those learnings into our organizations.

So what can we do to ensure our events become memorable experiences for our attendees? My top three takeaways from XDP were:

  1. We are all designers. And great designs start by deeply understanding and appreciating those we serve. Knowing your members is key to successfully implementing your organization’s events and experiences.
  2. It’s okay to fail. We celebrate the successes of what we accomplish, however, how often do we celebrate NOT doing something well? Take a risk, learn from it, and improve upon it. This will lead to success.
  3. Get over it. Don’t wait to start marketing your next event. You don’t need every single detail lined up before you tell people about it. Start thinking of marketing your event as pre-suasion instead of persuasion. Use your brand to sell the experience–your members trust your organization. Start engaging them in the experience NOW.

As you think about your next event, don’t just think about the meetings and learning objectives. Think about how to immerse your attendees in a unique experience that will stick with them –and bring them back—for years to come.