As event planners, we love our clients and our clients love us. One of the things we love the most is when our clients want something new, fresh, different, and best of all – unexpected.
Fast forward 7 years after EOE opened its doors to about a month ago when we were in the thick of planning a grand internal meeting for one of our clients. We know as event planners that when our clients are planning a presentation for their peers and colleagues, there’s a certain level of pressure that comes with making sure attendees are engaged. As the Event Planners, it’s our mission to make sure everything that we can do to capture the audience has been deeply thought about and brilliantly executed. Being on stage doing the talking? Well, we leave that up to presenter. But how can we help that presenter really showcase their style? How can we “set the stage” for their performance in front of their peers and colleagues? The question we ask ourselves is how do we prevent everything the dreaded unexpected event dilemmas to attendee disengagement? The standard, “Oh sorry I was playing Solitaire on my phone because I couldn’t see the presentation. “Oh I was talking to Brenda because I could barely hear the presenter”, or our favorite go to excuse “Oh sorry, but these chairs are just so uncomfortable, I was not really able to focus.”
For us, we take a lot of extra steps in the planning process to prevent this from happening. We plan the most effective room layouts based on the objective and these factors in advance. Not to mention, and by now probably goes without saying, we don’t love the norm. Want eyes on what we’ve done in the past? We’re dishing our 3 favorites:
No, this is not the type of a runway for a fashion show, although Event Manager, Cindy, definitely made it a point to “test it out” during the load in stage of our past event. This layout is ideal for attendee engagement. As an “in their face” type of setup, this is one of East of Ellie’s go-tos for internal meetings when the client is looking to ditch the same old, same old. Not only do attendees have a clear view of the presenter at all times, but the setup also gives the presenters the opportunity to move around and make a connection with the audience, rather than just standing on a singular stage. Just make sure your stage doesn’t squeak. Pass the WD-40 please.
- Fly me to the moon and let me make myself the star
If the purpose of your meeting to truly connect with your audience with an interactive conversation in a casual setting, this option may be best. One client even took the engagement a step further and literally sat on the stage to truly have a back and forth conversation with her audience. This was a great way to boost engagement amongst attendees because they felt like they were out to lunch rather than at a lecture.
This layout requires setting up a series of conference tables in the shape of a U with chairs on the outside. It can be used on large or a small scale, but it works most effectively for a small audience. This setup allows the presenter to move about the open space in the middle and engage with participants. The U-shape layout also gives attendees the opportunity to engage with each other and have a discussion. And who doesn’t love a table in front of them for ample note-taking?
Wondering what clients have utilized these floor plans? See them here: eastofellie.com/clients. Looking for event planners that have the experience setting the stage? Contact us today and let’s get planning! firstname.lastname@example.org.