In three weeks the Olympic Games, the largest event of them all get started. What makes the Olympic Games such a big event is not its duration. There are many events that last longer than the 17 days the Olympic Games take up. What makes the Olympic Games such a massive undertaking is the amount of separate events that are part of it.
You start with 10,500 athletes competing in 39 disciplines in 26 different sports at 34 venues. That is the core of the event and in itself very impressive. But there’s more…
The Olympic Games have mastered the add-on event. They have added on Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as sponsor events, volunteer concerts and an array of different welcoming ceremonies. And let’s not forget the big Torch Relay that carries the Olympic Flame from Greece all the way to the Olympic stadium for the Opening Ceremonies. In 2012, the Torch Relay visits over 1,000 communities in the UK.
Add Value and Engage Event Stakeholders
All these events serve to add value to the Olympic Games and to engage the different stake holders, from participants, volunteers, sponsors, to the everyday citizens, who are also Olympic stakeholders. You can apply these same principles to your own events.
What kind of add-on events can you create to build additional value and engage more stakeholders? Here are some ideas:
This is a great add-on for your attendees to network and get to know each other. Your workshop or seminar will have better energy and participation when your attendees feel comfortable. A welcome reception will go a long way in establishing early relationships.
An awards banquet gives you the chance to recognize some key players in your industry, or even clients that have gotten fabulous results from your teachings. It also gives you another vehicle to let your sponsors shine. You can even add a silent auction to the event and raise money for a cause that you and your attendees resonate with.
A VIP lunch is a great way to add a little extra value for your higher end clients and sponsors. It gives them more access to you and rewards them for the trust they put in you.
Most events depend on volunteers or team members that go beyond the call of duty during your event. Reward them with a special dinner or outing after the event. They have worked hard to make sure your event went off without a hitch and a celebratory dinner and/or spa day is a nice way for them to decompress and for you to thank them.
Add-on events are a fun way to add value to your event and engage your stakeholders. Think about who you are trying to engage and what matters to them. That will not only provide you with the goals for your add-on events, but also with more ideas to make your event a wonderful experience for all your stakeholders.