Regardless of whether you’re running a expo, workshop or seminar, there are limited reasons for throwing such an event. They range from informing customers to selling services and from training employees to revealing a new product.
While the reason for the event is, in itself, irrelevant, you MUST know why you’re inviting tens, hundreds or thousands of people to partake in schedule presentations. Here’s the second part of our two-part Event Definitions Revealed! blog series.
Expos, huge swap meets, traveling specialty retailers and high-end auto shows sell stuff and they sell it well. These type of events are usually in large, covered venues like stadiums, conference centers or tents. Seating is minimal, parking is abundant and booth space is usually taken by large companies looking to sell their wares on site.
Most attendees regard these as amusement parks, as you seldom see passive onlookers at something like a gun show. The people that show up are either there to buy or be seriously entertained by what the companies have to sell. Security is a huge concern here, as many vendors bring their inventory with them and need round-the-clock monitoring.
Macworld, SXSW and anything held by a video game company ever have this type of an event down to a science. The purpose is to surprise, wow and whip their audience into a frenzy, ensuring they hit the streets with plans to purchase, as well as promote, whatever they saw.
A/V concerns are huge here, as most companies are going to have more than a speaker onstage with a copy of their product in hand. This means movie screens, sound systems that register on the Richter scale and enough lighting to illuminate a city. If Las Vegas could be made portable, this is what it would look like.
Graduation ceremonies are a common large, celebratory event, but certainly aren’t limited to college or high schools. These type of events present unique problems, as many of the attendees are actually part of the event itself, with the rest relegated to fighting for position to get that one great photo of their pride and joy walking across the stage.
These events are often dual purpose, with the ceremony and then reception held in the same general area, but never the same area. Cocktail tables and rows of seats don’t mix all that well.
Any type of government meeting falls under this category. These events are held in order to maximize the number of people that can attend, but unfortunately are usually very tough to plan for, as many of those in attendance won’t RSVP for myriad reasons.
Be sure to be flexible, have extra crowd management and security staff on hand and know the Fire Marshall’s room limit. Standing-room only is the norm here, and having an overflow area with video/audio available goes a long way in helping stem the crowd flow.
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