September 01, 2019

The goal for every planner for every event: Take a normal meeting to the next level. Make it memorable, make it original, engage attendees…in short, create the "wow" factor. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself (and the local DMO/CVB), and some things to think about to reach that lofty goal.

What can you do here that you can do nowhere else? What makes this different than any other destination? 
  Often it may come from the history of the area or based on famous individuals who lived there. It can be a characteristic of the natural environment such as a lake, waterfall or outstanding garden. How about going down on the field at a stadium and tossing a football or trying a field goal? Your group can do that at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys play. Football fans or not, attendees will never forget an experience like that. 


What experience can you create here that can't be re-created?
Meeting with a well-known person. Attending an infrequent or one of a kind event. A buyout or special access at a famous or interesting venue. An after-hours event at a local craft brewery is a popular option in downtown Arlington.

What can we do with the internal environment to make it memorable? 
  Design a beautiful and inspiring setting. Color, lighting set the stage. Designers say that it's not always the big things that make a difference, sometimes it's the little things, the details, that will impress an attendee.

Who is a dynamic keynote or guest speaker that our group will never forget?
There are some people that most of us have always wanted to meet. That's tailored to your group of course. There are superstars in every field who may or may not be household names, but who are treasured within their industry. Getting to meet the kings and queens of your industry is absolutely memorable. For example, if you're arranging an event for a bowling group, hold it at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, then get a HOF bowler to appear. 


Can we generate a social buzz?
Create a social buzz but don't give away too much. Hint at surprises. When it comes to sharing, give your group a reason to share your posts. Include helpful or little-known facts, anecdotes or statistics. Understanding who's sharing content and what motivates them to share. According to Chad Enloe, Vice President, Sales, for the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, "We put a great emphasis on pre-event marketing. You want people to look forward to your event. Create a buzz, then deliver on it."

Can use teasers?
Speaking of surprises, keep something special under wraps. In your pre-show marketing, hint at what your surprise is…without giving it away. And when you roll out your surprise during the event…wow!

What input can we get from sponsors?
Does your event have sponsors? Tap them for ideas and input. They may be able to supply some magic that you may not have considered.

For more information on how to hold your "wow" meeting or event in Arlington, TX, visit www.arlington.org/meetings-conventions