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Your Guide To

Event Ideas

Here we discuss the challenge presented by generating event ideas. One of the most important but also most difficult tasks of an event planner.

The events industry is very fast moving, full of trends and innovation and you have to develop ideas that combine all those things with the intent of the event. Of all the challenges you will face as an event planner, generating ideas that will make your event unique, stand out from the crowd, attract the right audience and give them a great time is probably the most difficult.

Here are some event ideas to get you thinking. We have ordered them in loose categories to make reading easier but feel free to use any idea for any kind of event you think suitable.

Fundraising event ideas

Charity or fundraising events are primarily used to raise money for a good cause. They will vary hugely depending on the charity, the sector and the target market.

Some useful ideas can include:

Dinner with guest speaker

The charity dinner with guest speaker is a classic for fundraisers. Attendees get a good meal and to sit down with a drink while being entertained. It is more used for older demographics than younger ones but could work with either when tuned right.

Charity auction

The charity auction is another classic because it can be as highbrow or as fun as the stakeholder requires. They are also very effective at raising funds as the prizes are usually donated.

Charity gala

Charity galas are great for fundraising events because they combine giving to charity with having a great time. They provide an excuse to dress up, eat, drink, dance and have a blast with the conscience-clearing effect of giving to charity. Galas have lots of scope for themes too from Hollywood Heyday to Midsummer ball.

Sports or participation events

Sports or participation events are also great crowd pleasers as they draw the audience in and involve them in the process. From charity bike rides to celebrity versus attendee football matches, fun assault course to celebrity chef cooking classes. Massive scope here for very successful fundraising events.

eSports or eGaming

eSports or eGaming are both new to the scene but are ideal for younger audiences. They can include just watching or team vs team in virtual events. They are relatively simple to set up but fit right into the current live events scene.

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Corporate event ideas

Corporate events are probably the most established source of events and will likely continue that trend for the foreseeable future. Staying current and coming up with imaginative ideas is key!

Breakfast events

Who said events had to be in the evening? The breakfast briefing by an industry leader or celebrity is a great way to offer interest while not being the same as everyone else. It can also work well for busy executives that might otherwise not be able to attend such an event.

Circus night

A circus night a la Cirque De Soleil is an excellent way to entertain. Provide a superb main act and a couple of supporting acts, do it over dinner or add space to sit, drink or snack and you could deliver a corporate event that will be talked about for days afterwards.

Comedy show

Work is stressful and laughter the perfect antidote. Having drinks or dinner while watching a comedian is a great way to unwind and to mix with colleagues you wouldn’t normally see in a typical work environment. Offer a place to drink and mingle before and after and it should go down a storm.

Casino night

Casino nights are a classic for corporate events or fundraisers and that’s good as long as you add a surprise, new innovation or something different. Fun casino games can use fake money or send everything to charity, you could have celebrity dealers or something else to make it stand out from the usual casino night.

Tough mudder

Tough mudder is at the other end of the corporate scale. An organised mud run over a set course or distance with all sponsorship or proceedings going to a charity of choice. It’s hard work but great fun and as long as it suits the demographic, is definitely something different!

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Trade or industry event ideas

Trade or industry events can be dry and recycle the same old tropes. Yours doesn’t have to be like that. Not if you use one of these ideas instead.

Class or demonstration

In an industry with celebrity leaders? Know of famous people who are experts? Use them to teach classes or to demonstrate the latest products or innovations in the industry. Keep it fresh with interactive classes or funny demonstrations and you elevate a boring topic into something fresh and new.

Factory or building tour

Know of a location for the industry that stands out? Use it to your advantage by arranging tours of it by knowledgeable staff. This would work best if your industry is something interesting like brewing or distilling and you could offer tasting afterwards. Otherwise use your imagination!

Street party

While challenging to arrange and weather-dependent, street parties work well in some industries. Food, drink, games, fancy dress, entertainment and other industries would work well here. Arrange to close a street around a venue and arrange a street party with entertainment, industry products and whatever you think appropriate.

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TED talks

TED talks work well in their industry, Technology, Entertainment and Design but can also work in others too. The key is to choose your speakers carefully and select the venue with care. Feature networking opportunities before and after, somewhere to try the products or experience the services and you’re good to go.

Virtual reality experience

Virtual reality has come on in leaps and bounds and is now a viable entertainment idea. It can be cheap to set up, require very little in the way of talent and organisation but can be exceptionally entertaining and informative.

Private event ideas

Private events will depend on the host, the occasion, guests and so much more but could theoretically include any idea you could possibly come up with. Ideas such as:

Zombie run

The zombie run has been around a while now but is still great fun. The key here is in the route and the zombies. Make them as interesting as possible, as exciting or innovative as possible and you could be onto a winner. Better suited to younger attendees and works well.

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Masquerade ball

You would be amazed at the number of people who would love an excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone else for an evening. A masquerade ball could be the answer. Make the subject interesting like steampunk, Victoriana, Roaring Twenties or something else and you turn a tried and tested theme into something fresh and exciting.

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Fandom event

Are your attendees into gaming? Motorcycles? Cooking? Reading? Creating an event based around mutual passions is another winner. You could feature examples of the subject, invite famous guest speakers, give attendees the opportunity to share their knowledge or collections and provide space to eat and drink.

Fashion show

For particular audiences, there is nothing more exciting than seeing the latest in couture or watching a catwalk show. Hire models and allow up and coming designers the opportunity to show their wares and to sell them afterwards.

Outdoor cinema

An outdoor cinema event is relatively straightforward to arrange but can be amazingly effective when done right. As long as the weather cooperates and you have a plan B if it doesn’t, watching movies outdoors on a big screen with popcorn, hot chocolate and other cinema trappings could be a great success.

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Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide