else is out there, learn, share, connect. That's the only way you're going to innovate and move forward. Obviously we do it in high-tech because we're always doing it with our products, to get out in front of everything. I think the events have to take the exact same approach, not necessarily to be leading-edge, but you want to keep changing things so that the attendees are going to be interested in coming back not just for what your company is doing next but to experience something that they wouldn't get anywhere else.
WB: Listen and connect with your partners and your customers. I think sometimes, to Liz's point, it's good to get outside of your company and network with your peers and outside of your industry, but I think we always have to remember to listen to our customers. What do our customers want to see? What are they interested in? What solutions? Instead of, this is what we think.
I'd also say just little things. Stick to your goals. There's a reason why you have them, there's a reason why everybody agreed upon them, so stick to those. And also, be innovative. Don't be afraid to take risks and try something new, because it's the only way you'll learn and get ahead.
LL: And internally you have to find the right audience to be able to handle those risks, because we as event planners are probably much more open to trying something big and crazy on a big stage, because we trust our suppliers and our vendors. But we know that our internal stakeholders don't hold that level of trust necessarily. So to have that small test bed, that sandbox to play with something truly innovative, to then take it forward to large events — that's super-vital. .
Once you finish reading this CMP Series article, read the following material:
> “Personalizing Brand Events to Maximize the Attendee Experience,” a CEMA white paper from EWI Worldwide, available at convn.org/cema-brand.
> “How to Put the X in Experience: 5 Tips to Success,” a CEMA white paper from InVision Communications, available at convn.org/cema-x.
To earn one hour of CEU credit, visit pcma.org/convenecmp to answer questions about the information contained in this CMP Series article and the additional material.
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