Hosting an event no longer means you have to be limited to one location. You can take advantage of technology to increase attendance and create a more inclusive event. And you can do it without sacrificing the sense of “being there” that sparks attendee engagement. Here are some event planning tips that will open new doors for those looking to produce meaningful, memorable programs.
1. Consider the benefits of going multi-city
Anyone who puts on events, such as conferences, knows it's getting hard to entice attendees. People who have “been there, done that” need a compelling reason to do it again. Travel time and expenses can be serious constraints, whether you’re attending for the first time or the ninth.
By offering your program simultaneously in multiple locations, you make it easier and cheaper for people to attend. Does your organization typically hold essentially the same event in numerous locales, like a roadshow? Why not do it just once, in a way that includes everyone? Think of the savings in staff, travel time, and money! Hosting multi-city events also enables your company or association to reach out to new audiences.
Of course, it takes technology to make this work. Exactly what you’ll need depends on the specifics of your event and content. But generally, for simultaneous multi-city participation, your two key equipment needs will be cameras and microphones.
2. Have at least two cameras per location
One should be focused on the speaker, the other focused on the audience. An AV crew member will operate the cameras remotely to zoom in on speakers or questioners, capture audience reactions, etc. (The reaction part helps attendees get the “feel” of the whole event – they can see and talk to folks in other locations as well as those around them in person.)
3. Use push-to-talk microphones
Seat attendees at small tables with a push-to-talk mic on each table. Mute by default, these mics help prevent distracting background noise, but attendees can quickly and easily join in Q&A as well as deeper discussions or debates on hot topics.
4. Opt for separate-but-equal sites
A popular way to organize multi-city events is to have one primary location with smaller “satellites” located elsewhere. But event planning tips from the most experienced professionals recommend you establish each locale as an equal partner in the proceedings. That gives everyone an equally high-quality experience, with the same ability to fully participate in networking activities as well as the formal content.
5. Assign a site manager/host to coordinate each location
If your program includes panel discussions, choose a panelist from each site. If you normally do “round robin” sessions where folks move from one table to the next, you can easily do that. Then, tables at different locations can share their thoughts with the entire audience.
Ready for your next event?
The multi-city event option is rapidly growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. By incorporating these innovative event planning tips, prospective attendees can get all the benefits of participation without the expense and hassle of traveling. Now that’s a compelling reason to attend. If you have questions regarding your upcoming event, give us a call. Our production experts can help make your multi-city event not only compelling, but flawless.