What's on Your Event Bucket List?

What's on Your Event Bucket List


Do you present the same booth or exhibit every year? Maybe it’s due to budgetary constraints or lack of buy-in from internal stakeholders. Perhaps you aren’t sure how to make what you truly envision come to life. Are there products or services or attributes that you would love to incorporate but have no idea how to get there? If any of these questions resonate with you, then you’ve come to the right place.


Let’s talk about your bucket list for your event experience. If money wasn’t an issue and you could pull out all the stops, what extraordinary things would you do for your event? To see the big picture, you have to think free from constraints. 


First, think about what you are going for. It helps to determine the theme or direction of your bucket list event. Is it:

Think about what you are going for

Aspirational– Have you had strong desire for something to add to your event design for a long time? Is it the cost that’s prohibitive? Then consider partnering with a sponsor in your field. How about a new design? Did you know you can do so much with audiovisual to make a big impact on your event experience without a huge hit to your bottom line? Find out more in our Essential Guide to AV.


Inspirational– Add an element of inspiration to your event, either with a speaker that can energize and motivate the crowd, or with a charity tie-in, where your brand is partnering with a worthy cause. This adds value because it makes your attendees feel an emotional reaction, which creates a stronger connection to your brand.


Informational– Adding an exit survey into your mobile app or some type of activation helps get an authentic response from your event attendees. As a bonus, it not only gives you data that you can take back to your stakeholders but can also help improve your event for next time. Are you capturing and documenting the interactions with event attendees? What feedback do they provide you on products, services or the overall event experience?   


Competitive Edge–– Are you wondering how to attain an advantage over your competitors? Have you looked at what happened at your last event and how you performed against other brands in your space? Are you incorporating education, motivation and recognition into your event? If you need help to audit an event experience, check here.


Now that you have a theme/direction nailed down, how do you make it happen? What can you do to get started on your bucket list? Try these:


Think Big - There’s no bad idea in a brainstorm, right?

Go all the way there, spend the money, reach for the stars because why not? You don’t have to figure out how to make it happen, how to pay for it or who won’t like it. 


Keep It Real - Make sure you take ideas that are most realistic and work towards those first.

Start Small–What’s most accessible or has the simplest route to completion?

Is it finding a new vendor or deciding on a design? Break out your list into big things and small things. It makes it easier to feel like you are getting things accomplished when you can cross something off and it inspires you to do more.

Small List > Big List - As you knock those tasks off, your list will get smaller, not bigger.

This is a good thing. That means you are that much closer to your event goal, so aim for a smaller list.


Go with the Flow - Know that things change, and your list can change, too.

Trends and fads pass, so keep it current and stay on top of what’s happening in your industry.


It’s Okay to Have Been There, Done That-If you have done something before and it worked, it’s okay to include it.

A good idea is still a good idea. Especially when it’s one you know that resonates with guests. If it still works, don’t change it, just enhance it to create newness for repeat attendees.


So what’s next? Break it down – process is good! Here’s some help to get started:


Knock It Out -Now that you have the ideas, map out the plan. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this something that makes sense for the brand, the team, the event?
  • What kind of buy-in, money, time, resources will this take?
  • What’s the payoff? Is this something that will make a difference in revenue, lead generation, brand awareness, attendee satisfaction ?


Do the Things How do you stay on track and make things happen? Start with a checklist and then bring in your team. Delegate, ask for volunteers, create assignments. All of you can help with accountability and really move the needle.


Edit. And Edit AgainWhatever seems impossible, delete it. Then you can focus on the things you can really get done and achieve some success. 


Put It Out TherePost that list, email it out, put it on a share drive, whatever you need to do so that everyone can see it and have access to update it. Because teamwork makes the dream work!


Get Going -Why wait? What’s the first thing you can do to get started? Do that, and then keep going. Every finished task will keep the momentum and inspire the team. Make it happen!


Your event bucket list is not a dream. It’s a real, actionable process-driven way to take your event to the next level and check off some big ideas/dreams in the process.

What are you waiting for?


About the Author

Amy Kelley

Amy is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media, and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. She is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.

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