Love it or hate it! I attended a Justin Bieber concert this past weekend. My brother advised me not to tell anyone – anyone! – about the experience. Well, here I am, telling.
While being surrounded by high-pitch screams, I turned into event planner mode. And, in addition to finally being able to name a Justin Bieber song, here is what I took away from the experience.
Bieber does it, and event planners should follow suit!
1. Know your audience!
Make your audience believers [Beliebers???] and give them exactly what they came for. Know your attendees just like Bieber knows his fans. Having two teen bands open the show for him, his wardrobe selection [these low hanging pants!], the dance moves, and the extraordinary video show prove it. Knowing your audience’s expectations is the first step to fulfilling them. Provide a cohesive event experience that matches with your audience’s expectations, and they will stay your fans forever.
2. Incorporate a countdown!
No one likes the unknown. Let your audience know how long it is until the highlight of the event. Countdowns on video walls are being incorporated at seminars and for conferences, why not follow suit for all events? Audiences will wait more patiently knowing when the wait will be over. Bieber’s appearance after the 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – … minute countdown was that more powerful. A countdown not only comforts your audience, but it also keeps your staff on track. They have no choice but sticking to the timeline when hundreds of eyes are watching, now do they?
3. Have a memorable entrance – and exit!
Get people’s attention and make a grand entrance. You don’t have to appear on stage as a huge metal angel, like Bieber did. But, we all know the opening counts. A short video, a sound bit, or a story. Capture the audience from the start, and hold their attention. When the event finally winds down, make sure you give them one last highlight. The fireworks, drum roll, and disappearing act of Bieber were put on for a reason: to leave the audience with an experience they can talk about on their way home.
4. Plan, choreograph, practice!
It takes a lot of planning, a well thought out choreography, and tons of practice to make your event run like a well-oiled machine. Bieber pulled it off: all was timed, intentional, and set to match his message “Believe in yourself!” Every detail from staging, his wording, dance moves, the backdrop, video walls, lighting, audio, and staff support appeared effortless. As an event planner you know: it takes a lot to pull it off, but in the end it’s all worth it!
5. Create social media frenzy!
The wave of tweets originating from the event makes every event planner turn green with envy. With more than 48 million fans on Facebook and 31million Twitter followers, Bieber keeps pulling it off! He is on top of the social media world. His secret: personal interaction with fans. Replicate this scenario on a smaller level for your event: have keynote speakers interact with your target group already before the event, and strive to strike up two-way conversations. There is no one-fits-all recipe, so try different approaches, and stick with the social media strategy that gets your attendees hyped up like a Bieber believ[b]er!
6. Remember your roots!
Never forget what your client is good at, and known for. With new products released constantly, and changing focus for companies, it’s easy to lose sight of where it all started. Bieber had his start playing on an acoustic guitar. While his show was as high-tech as a concert can be, he didn’t forget what his original fans came to love him for: strumming a guitar. Make sure your event does not only focus on the new and current, but also remembers your organization’s roots and core values.
While I can’t say the experience has turned me into a Belie[b]er, there is one thing I know for sure: Whoever is orchestrating all that’s necessary to make a show like this happen is doing a remarkably good job.
Now it ‘s your turn: What have you taken away from being an attendee at a major event?
[Learn more about Corporate Entertainment Production in our recent post Spice Up your Corporate Event! - The How, What, And Why Of Using Corporate Entertainment Production.]