April 01, 2017

It's a planner's daily struggle: use your creativity to find something unique and spectacular, a "wow" experience, for your event. To start, pick a destination that exudes, "glamour," "excitement," "cutting-edge." Then, devise activities that really have that "OMG" factor. Here are some tactics for mining once-in-a-lifetime experiences and getting creative.

Push technology. Hot options now are mobile apps, social media walls and polls in real-time. This especially targets younger attendees who tend to be more tech-oriented. "We know tech integrations have become an important part of the decision-making process," notes Darren K. Green, senior vice president of sales for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. "It ensures you're connecting with all generations of meeting attendees through new and engaging platforms."

Create a visual. Venues of all sizes can be found throughout a diverse destination such as Los Angeles, which means you have a limitless number of visual and thematic options. A well-carried-through theme already creates the mood and spirit even before anyone sits down.

Get creative with the cuisine. Dining gives you another opportunity to really shake things up. Challenge the hotel's culinary team to step up their creativity and enhance menus from the norm. Explore ways that the seating area and the actual presentation of the food can be varied, perhaps with creative décor or theme ideas. 

Make the most of the local color and history. Is there a one-of-a-kind local attraction you can take advantage of? Take the Dolby Theater (pictured above) for example. No other venue in the world can claim to be the site of the annual Academy Awards® ceremony. And its Ray Dolby Ballroom has been the backdrop for an array of Hollywood's elite gatherings and special events. Now won't that make your group feel special?  "As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles offers an unrivaled collection of unique venues," says Darren K. Green, senior vice president of sales for L.A. Tourism. "From real working movie studios to theaters that are home to Hollywood's most prestigious award shows, the choices are endless."

Paramount Studios

Construct a different flow for the agenda. For example:
• Rather than breaking up time into a rigid format of symmetrical time blocks, try more numerous, shorter sessions. 
•  Create interactive break-out sessions, promoting more engaging experiences. This will help attendees express their own creativity rather than asking them to passively sit back and listen.
•  Set part of the agenda off-site. Leaving the scene not only breaks up the overall experience, it provides a welcome change of scenery. One example is the Studios at Paramount, where you can choose from ten event locations. Think of how creative you can be when you can access the same staging, rentals, etc. they use for blockbuster movies. Your attendees will feel like stars.

For more about the authentic meetings options in Los Angeles, visit meetLA.com