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Concept Event Design: How to Design an Unforgettable Event Concept

Excellent planning is essential when designing engaging and memorable events.. The first step to an event your attendees will love is to find a creative event concept. This isn’t an easy step, but we can help!. 

Event Theme or Event Concept: What’s the difference

The event theme is the big idea behind the entire meeting and usually includes an overall tone, structure, and goal. The event concept is similar to the theme, but it is distinct. The concept is the event details and elements that go together to make up the event’s practical pieces. For instance, if the theme of the incentive trip is Hawaiian, the concept will be the activities, entertainment, decor, and food to go with the theme. The event concept brings the event theme to life.

Now that you know the difference between an event theme and an event concept, you can move onto best practices of event concept creation. 

Create an attendee journey map

Put yourself in the attendees’ place and create a journey map – or goal planning as some call it.  Do you want your attendees coming away from the National Sales Meeting understanding a new product, cultivating comradery for an entirely new sales force, or reviving the passion over your current market product?  An exciting event concept can be just the thing to ignite your sales force. 

How about on your incentive trip? Does your planning agency understand how to integrate the culture of the destination into meaningful pre-trip packages, nightly gifts, entertainment, and even – yes – the wow factor of your employee incentive trip?  Understanding how to weave together the destination into tactful assets to your event will make every moment memorable.   .  

Choose a focal point

Having a main theme will focus the event’s ideas and strategies. This is a considerable portion of the work of developing a concept.

Clients, Partners & Sponsors

See your event or meeting through the eyes of your clients, partners and sponsors, to see what’s most important to them. For instance, a conference sponsor will be more interested in signage and banners than the music you’ve chosen. So in your communications to them, only mention the relevant information to each party. 

The best way to include the three decision making parties (clients, designers, and stakeholders) is to create a concept that:

  • Allows the brands to mingle
  • Lets all parties achieve their goals
  • Is visually captivating 
  • Meets the expectations of all stakeholders

You can design an unforgettable event concept by answering these five questions:

1. Who’s coming to your event?

Your concept has to resonate with your attendees, so you need to know who you are targeting. While one concept can work with one group, it won’t work at all with another group. 

One way to get around this is to create a survey or use surveys from previous events. You can also gather data from social media shares. These can tell you what your attendees  like and what they don’t like. You can note any patterns in the data and make a list of items to include.  

If you don’t have your own data, consider the following ideas:

  • Competitor data – analyze their key demographics
  • Look for ideas at other similar events
  • Send out surveys to the newsletter and social media followers

Once you’ve gone over all of the information, you should know who your target attendees are, what they would like about your event, and why they go to these events

Who are the stakeholders?

You also need to identify the major stakeholders. Learn what their objectives are and understand their expectations. Is your CEO excited about your National Sales Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona? Is he onboard about with the Wild, Wild, West theme – or has this been a award winning year therefore the theme may need to switch tones? This step will give you an understanding of the event environment you want to create – from branding of the invitations, registration site, powerpoint templates – all the way to stage design.

People at evening beach event

2. Why are you organizing this event?

Identify why this event is taking place and the main objectives – incentives, team building, lead generation, brand awareness, a product launch, to share knowledge around a common industry concern, or is it an internal event for staff engagement and empowerment? 

3. When will the event take place?

Consider the time of day and year when developing the concept. Plan for a date that’s convenient for your prospective attendees. Will the meeting or incentive take place during work hours or on the weekend? Will it be indoors or outdoors? Will there be other similar events also taking place on that date? What Holidays are around your potential dates?

Event organizing takes time, don’t cut yourself short. Remember to plan for the unexpected

4 Where will the event happen?

The venue is the best compromise between the stakeholders’ needs, the attendees’ comfort, accessibility, and the budget. 

There are many things to consider when choosing a venue for the meeting or incentive. A small event can be held at the workplace, or you may need a conference center or summit. Sourcing the event space at  a hotel or convention center works best when you partner with an event planning company that has existing relationships in the industry. Not only can they help secure the best price and concessions for your meeting space and sleeping rooms, but they can also manage the hotel or convention staff so that you can focus on the content! 

We combine years of event and meeting planning experience with state-of-the-art technology to make your event  unique, engaging, and a memorable experience! Contact the Dunaj Agency today. 

5. What is the theme?

The theme will determine your concept. What kind of meeting will it be –  a workshop, a networking event, a conference, a national sales meeting (NSM) or an incentive program? The concept can extend from the check-in lines, making the event fun, and engaging from the very beginning. Interactive games and activities will engage your attendees and make for mini-experiences within the main event. 

Now that you’ve answered the questions to create your concept, here are a few trendy ideas to amaze your attendees.  

People enjoying roaring ‘20’s theme gambling

Intellect Marathons

Anything can be turned into a marathon if you do it long enough. Some tech events hold hackathons, editathons, etc. Use your imagination.  

Speakeasy Venues

It’s the roaring 20’s again and loads of fun for your attendees. This will create a celebratory atmosphere as long as you’ve got a bold and brave audience. You can give your attendees an address and secret code-word just hours before the event. One of our favorite little details is adding a snapchat filter for those social media posts at the photo booth!

Team Building

Did someone say team building? This is probably our number one request at all National Sales Meetings. Leadership wants to make sure everyone is engaged in both the learning AND the social to ensure the sales teams stick around for years to come! From TopGolf locations to stadiums like AT&T Stadium where we transform the field into dinner & yard games, we don’t make team building boring! A wow factor is a must otherwise you may have just wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars and time. This is why partnering with an event agency is essential – you have so many other details to focus on!

People at Hawaiian themed event

Final thoughts

So now you’re ready to design an unforgettable event concept. A creative and well-organized event  can make all the difference for your attendees. And a well-designed concept is at the basis of every extraordinary event. 

Are you ready to make your meeting extraordinary? Do you need help planning a memorable incentive trip? Contact the Dunaj Agency to help you put every little detail together for your next corporate gathering! 

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