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Give them a place to hang out

This post by Margaret on Event Marketing points out something that is missing from most events I've been to: A place to hang out. Here's what she did:

    with the help of our general contractor, Freeman, we created a wonderful globe which had places to hang out, view videos of biotech innovations around the world and more. On the first day, attendees had agendas to fill so the area was not busy. Staff was worried that our hang out area was a flop. But not me. It happened. When those convention feet were tired, attendees said "meet me at the globe." It worked. The globe helped us create a hangout spot, more networking and a memorable special event.

And you do need something big and splashy, like the globe, along with some places to actually sit down. Most shows have some sort of lounge area, but it can be pretty diffuse. For big shows, I'd think you'd want a few of them scattered around...hey, what a cool way to carry out your meeting's theme, too.

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