Even a serious event can be fun. It has a bigger impact and it’s more memorable.
Some suggestions to have fun at a serious event. Because why not?
An interesting article on Event Manager Blog has recently given us some ideas on how to make even the toughest of events lighter and funnier. They are simple and practical ideas that can make a business experience more tolerable by using the venues’ spaces during break times or for post-meetings.
Unfortunately, there is still the widespread misconception that making business events more interesting and enjoyable damages their force, or that it’s a trick to appeal to the younger generations alone. Actually, using some of these ideas not only allows a wide and different audience to be more engaged, but also gives the event a touch of freshness. And the meeting will have more impact and will be remembered much longer.
Here are 12 ideas to have a little bit of fun even at the most serious events.
1. Cocktail show
If the chosen venue has a bar, you can hire professional bartenders who can perform striking stunts while mixing and creating great drinks. It’s a way to entertain those queueing at the bar and reduce boredom.
2. Mix your own drink
You can organize a stand where participants can propose or prepare their own drinks. Bartenders can supervise and offer tips and tricks.
3. Choose a theme
To create a fun atmosphere and get the users even more involved, you can suggest an event theme, which doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the business event. Themes require participation and a small creative effort, and facilitate the conversation. They can be as simple as the invitation to wear a certain color or article of clothing, or the attendees’ favorite team’s kit, or an item or symbol of their business.
4. Undercover entertainers
A visible stage isn’t the only place to offer entertainment; you can provide a more engaging experience by hiring performers who can blend in with the crowd and interact with it. The performances can be connected to the event theme and contribute to its storytelling, and you can use acrobats, clowns, or actors playing the part of historical characters or the event’s mascot.
Other ideas: call a comedian to make fun of the event, or organize a flash mob, either by secretly involving a group of participants beforehand, or by using professional undercover dancers.
5. Weird Staff
You can add another funny element to the meeting with singing waiters, historical characters welcoming the attendees, or bartenders pronouncing apparently unintelligible words that actually reveal clues to win a prize. Surprising and intriguing the audience always works, and it’s also cheap.
6. Contests on social media
Before, during and after the event you can engage participants (with minimal costs) in social media contests. You can create a specific hashtag for the event and ask to post funny tweets to describe it. Not only it adds a bit of lightness, but it’s also a great marketing operation and a virtual brainstorming session. Moreover, you can establish photo contests on social media to select the funniest and most creative images, and award the winners.
You could also ask the participants to vote through a website or app on issues related to the event, like the most beautiful stand or the best marketing initiative. Other than the participants’ involvement and entertainment, these operations offer an amazing feedback to the organizers as well.
7. Wellbeing always works
If products or brands relevant to wellbeing are the event’s sponsors, you could organize live demonstrations and free trials for every participant. Moreover, you can create a basic yoga lesson, a dance class or an aerobic demo, health concious catering, massages or chiropractic sessions, booths offering health products and advice, and so on.
A little bit of competition is entertaining, builds team spirit, facilitates networking and helps breaking the ice. You can set up mental, physical or digital competitions, depending on the theme and the audience of the event.
Ths can be a fun way to introduce new technologies and even virtual realities, such as golf virtual tournaments or driving simulations, into your events.
9. A touch of nostalgia
Offering elements that recall past eras is attractive and exciting, and also gives modernity to the meeting (odd but true). You can create a little bit of nostalgia with retro computer games (remember Super Mario Bros?), pinball and table football, board games such as Tombola or Monopoly, and a DJ playing rock’n roll and twist music. These ideas are not only fun, but they also bring back pleasant and fond memories.
10. Photo booths
Photo booths create a lot of fun for the attendees. You can add posters, objects, brands, logos, hashtags of the event, and offer free souvenirs, as well as give the users the opportunity of choosing a background to add to their pictures by using a green or blue screen.
Another successful idea is to create a studio with a professional photographer who can take high quality portraits of the participants. Queues are guaranteed!
Caricaturists are able to diabolically grasp expressions and features; we’ve seen them thousands of times, but we’ve probably never had the chance to ask for a portrait ourselves. At the event, a camera connected to a maxi screen will do the rest, giving participants a fleeting moment of popularity.
12. Play Areas
The possibility of going back in time to our childhood is irresistible! A play area for adults will definitely be a big success. It could have vintage games (hula hoops and Rubik’s cubes!), pool balls, trampolines, and giant inflatable games. Or you could create a craft corner with clay, papier-mâché and recycled materials. Tell participants to wear appropriate clothes, or provide them there.
Ultimately, however formal and serious the event, participants will appreciate a lighter atmosphere and a bit of fun.
These 12 suggestions give the planner a good starting point, and they can be adapted to the event’s theme and the attendees’ age groups.
Happy working, and have fun!