Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a repeated event comes to an end. Whether it’s due to a lack of attendance, budget cuts or unforeseen circumstances, a company or other sponsor may decide that the next event will be the last. Naturally, as an event planner, you’ll want to make this final curtain call unforgettable. Here’s how.
Create a Customizable Agenda
It’s easy to fall back on agendas past—there’s a welcome, a workshop, a cocktail hour and a banquet. Consider changing the agenda around to give guests a choice. If you have the space, give them options by offering workshops that appeal to different wants and needs. Not enough room? Consider inviting experts in a variety of appropriate fields to attend networking events and banquets. One-on-one conversations can feel even more exciting to attendees.
Invite Strong Keynote Speakers
Whether you’re inviting back one of the most popular keynote speakers or choosing somebody new, it’s important to send attendees off with a strong take-home message. Whether the speaker reflects on great memories from past events or celebrates the end of an era, you want somebody who will leave attendees feeling fulfilled and uplifted (and perhaps even sentimental).
If Appropriate, Choose a Theme
Naturally, certain events will be more corporate than others. But if the event is on the more casual side, or the company has a more outgoing presence, consider incorporating a theme. Whether it’s as simple as a Hawaiian luau or enchanting as a masquerade ball, a theme can make the final event feel all the more memorable. If an event is more business casual, add a fun aspect, even if it’s a dress code of bright colors rather than neutrals. You want this event to stand out rather than feel like a retread of previous years.
If there was ever a time to go all out with entertainment, the final event is it. Hire a band to play during the cocktail hour, invite a comedian to lighten the mood or consider an acrobatic group to leave your attendees in awe. You know what type of entertainment is the best fit for your event, so give your guests a treat.
Hire a Photographer
If you haven’t used a professional photographer in previous years, forego the selfies and DIY smartphone snaps and hire one this time. You and the company can share these photos on social media, in a thank-you newsletter or a photo album on Facebook. It’s a perfect way to memorialize the event, and it certainly won’t hurt to post a #ThrowBackThursday photo every now and then.