How to Plan a Successful Post-Event Reception

By Angie Bess / 10.04.2016

For many attendees, the best part of a trade show are the after parties. However, there are a few things to take into account when hosting an after party.

This is your chance to say thank you and remind everyone that your company is responsible for the experience they just had. Your goal is to make a big impression! By making sure that even the smallest details are handled well, you’ll be able to do just that.

Keep in mind, details aren’t always just about food, beverages and venue. I was at a conference last year where a World Cup game was being played at the same time as the after-party. The hosts realized that many attendees would leave the event early, so they set up large monitors to view the game. They made sure all their guests could attend the event and not miss the World Cup. They played the hero!

Create A Unique Experience
You can simply move from one end of a conference hall to the other and set up a bar, but that’s boring and doesn’t give your guests a new experience. If you’re doing a dinner, a ballroom might be appropriate, but see what other options are out there. Maybe host a VIP cocktail party in an executive suite on the 35th floor of a Five-star hotel, or a roof deck pool party! Transportation needs to be planned as well, especially if you are serving alcohol – the safety of your guests is paramount. 

Food is Our Common Ground
If your event is at the end of a long conference day, it’s safe to assume guests are hungry. They may not need lavish offerings, but something hearty and easy. If they’ve been well fed and it’s a cocktail party, order some interesting appetizers. You can also increase the reach of your event by obtaining sponsorships from catering companies, local restaurants or breweries that want exposure.

Entertainment: There’s a Method to the Madness
These events are usually at the end of a long day of networking, walking, talking, listening and working. The event is about letting loose and creating the opportunity to have unscripted interactions. Consider unique entertainment options like a dunk tank, live music or a photo booth with costumes. Tailor the entertainment to your guests – older professionals may not be particularly interested in a nightclub scene, while younger attendees might be bored simply standing around a bar.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself
You’ve worked hard to get here, this is your moment to relax and connect with your guests. If you’re going to host a party, you need to enjoy it. A host who isn’t enjoying their own party puts a damper on everyone’s spirits. Pre-plan your details, and create backup plans as you would for any other event. Set yourself up for success and enjoy yourself along with everyone else!

Contact us if you want to talk about more ideas and ways to take your trade show experience off of the show floor!

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