October 2018 - The Brewery

Gamification – is it right for your event?

If you’re looking for a way to get all your attendees involved and interacting at your upcoming event, you’ve probably come across gamification during your search. Gamification is an initiative that uses game design concepts – such as point scoring, competitions and prizes – in non-game content, to help increase motivation and engagement in attendees.

These game design concepts encourage your attendees to get involved with things at your event in exchange for some kind of reward, whether that’s an actual prize, emotional satisfaction or networking opportunities. This gamification can also then help event planners to reach their event goals.

But how do you know if gamification is right for your event?

Is your event interested in engagement and interaction?

If you’re organising a conference, exhibition, trade show or other event that is going to put its focus on understanding engagement, improving participation of your attendees, and is going to concentrate on using activity to pursue event goals, then gamification could be a suitable way of achieving that.

Since gamification is often carried out through an event app or other mobile technology, an event where the primary intent is to provide information through speakers and presentations wouldn’t necessarily suit gamification. You wouldn’t want people sitting looking down at their phones while your keynote speaker was presenting!

Do you know what will motivate your attendees to play?

Many people focus on the issues of demographics when considering if gamification would work for their event, assuming that only younger attendees would be interested in playing. However, the demographic of your audience matters less than you may think, with gaming statistics from a recent study showing that the average age of a gamer today is 35.

What matters more than demographics is that, instead of asking “Will my attendees play games?” you instead ask, “Will my attendees play my game?”. If you know what will motivate your attendees to play your game – such as a tailored reward based on your attendees, e.g. a physical prize or a networking opportunity – you’ll be more likely to succeed with a gamification approach.

Do you want your attendees’ behaviour to achieve event goals?

At a recent event, the IRF wanted to include a ‘happiness’ theme and learn about their attendees’ experiences. To do this, they used gamification to ask their attendees to identify and highlight positive experiences and rewarded them with points for doing so. When attendees shared pictures of their ‘happy place’ at the venue, or sent positive messages to other participants, they received points which put them on an event leader board.

In order to get the most out of gamification, you have to know what you’d like gamification to help you achieve at your event – what would you like to encourage your attendees to do?

Once you have decided that, you can decide which part of your event app you need to focus on to encourage people to play. Gamify the exhibitor part of the app if you’re looking to increase the amount of interactions that attendees and exhibitors have or focus on the feedback part of the app if you want to emulate the IRF example above.

Gamification can be effective for a number of different event goals, from increasing networking activity to driving more interaction with content, but you just need to work out how creative and flexible your event technology can be.

Do you want to show the value of your event through data?

Due to the nature of gamification, your game will naturally highlight certain aspects of the event you’re running and will encourage your attendees to interact with those aspects.

Using the data gained from your gamification, you can see whether your attendees are behaving in the way you’re hoping for and work out how you can adjust and adapt your event to encourage more of the desired behaviour. You will be able to see if you’re achieving your event goal and can change the game if you need to, to match the flow of the event.

At the end of your event, you’ll be able to collect the data from your gamification – often very valuable since it’s collecting very specific statistics of attendee behaviour – and can use it to tailor your event the following year with realistic, achievable and quantifiable event goals.

Do you have the resources available to spend time creating a game strategy?

While gamification can be a fantastic resource for your event and can help you reach goals and gain analytics to help you improve for future events, you will have to recognise that it’ll take time to create and build game elements into your event.

You will need to create an event app, which will definitely take some time, but you will also need to make sure you spend enough time on creating the game that will help you meet your event goals within the app. Gamification is most efficient when you build your game with the event’s strategy in mind.

If you don’t have time to implement an entire game strategy into your app, it can be equally valuable to use the analytics from the app to help you decide what goals you’d like to use to gamify your event the following year.

When it comes to evaluating whether gamification is right for your specific event, it’s always important to bear in mind that the core goal of gamification is to create and maintain an ongoing relationship between your event and your attendees during the course of the day or few days. If you’re looking for a venue in central London to host your event, and gamification, why not consider The Brewery. Find out more about what we can offer you here.

Creating the perfect breakaway areas for your attendees

Every conference, no matter how engaging and interactive it is, needs breaks. Your attendees need time to process what they’ve been told, take advantage of networking opportunities and have a bite to eat. Breakaway areas can be the perfect way to accommodate these three requirements.

In order to create the perfect breakaway areas for your attendees at a trade show or conference, there are some key details you should take into account.

Space

When choosing a venue for your conference or trade show, make a note of how much space you have beyond your main keynote stage or booths. Depending on the size of that space, you’ll be able to estimate how big a breakaway area could be – or how many breakaway areas you could fit in.

Don’t try and cram a breakaway area into a tiny space but don’t make a breakaway area too big either. With a small area, you’ll find your attendees will feel cramped and unable to enjoy their break; with a large area, networking opportunities may diminish due to noise levels.

Choosing the right venue, that can allow for breakaway areas, is a crucial decision to make. You need to make sure, especially for a conference, that the venue has space for both a keynote stage and also smaller areas for workshops and breakaway areas. For a trade show, you’ll want enough space for booths and stands, but also enough space for your attendees to not feel cramped.

At The Brewery, our six venue rooms provide the space for both larger events and small breakaway rooms away from the action. Find out more here.

Purpose

Setting out the purpose of your breakaway area is a crucial first step. Do you want it to be used for small networking groups, workshop sessions or something more interactive?

Some events choose to simply use their breakaway areas as places for their attendees to relax after talks and network with other attendees, but you can use them for other purposes. One event created a headshot lounge in a breakaway area where attendees could get a professional, up-to-date photo taken of them for use on their social media channels, website or company about page.

If you’re using a breakaway area as a workshop space for a smaller group of people, you’ll want to make sure that you have multiple areas that other attendees can use while the workshop is in progress. Also, make sure to include tables in the workshop area so that your attendees can make notes or use their laptops during the session.

Other events introduce their breakaway areas closer to the end of the day when the networking and social activities tend to come into play more. You could even have live music playing to entertain.

Comfort

Comfort is key for a breakaway area – no one will spend time there if the seats are uncomfortable and there isn’t enough space for people to talk in groups. Ensuring that the furniture you use is comfortable and accommodating is a must, but comfort also extends towards the experience that your attendees have in the breakaway space.

Providing services, such as charging ports and snacks, can increase comfort levels since attendees feel appreciated and valued. Also, as a benefit to the organisers, charging ports located in a breakaway area means that attendees will be more likely to limit their phone usage to that area.

Theming

If you really want to make a lasting impression with your breakaway area, you could think about theming the space to fit around either your event or a concept. If your conference, exhibition or event is based around a theme in itself, such as a wedding fair, then theming the breakaway area to match will truly make a statement.

However, it is key to mention that themed spaces – depending on how they are designed – can take up more space than regular breakaway areas.

Sponsorships

If you have a company that you work with closely, you may want to think about offering them the opportunity to sponsor your breakaway area. That way, they can gain visibility of their brand at your event and will be able to tailor the space to make an impact on the attendees who visit.

Additionally, allowing another company to sponsor your breakaway event can also take the pressure off you to design it. They will want to make a good impression on attendees, so will be looking to create a perfect breakaway area themselves.

 

If you’d like help with planning and organising an upcoming conference, exhibition or other event, we’d be happy to help. Our venue is perfect for both large presentation areas and smaller breakaway groups, and our Event Design team can help you create the perfect representation of your company through the décor and design. Contact us to start your event planning at The Brewery.

10 of the best trade show booth ideas to steal

When attending a trade show as a business, the most important goal for your team is likely to be reaching potential new clients and customers. Your trade show booth is your shop window, so it pays to make it eye-catching and inviting, so people can’t help but stop and find out more about the products or services you offer.

We’ve gathered some of the best ideas we’ve seen at recent trade shows to help your booth stand out from the crowd.

1.      Touchscreens

One of the key things that will bring people to your booth is a level of interactivity. Most people like to get involved with anything interactive and, if it’s linked to demonstrating your business, more success for you.

To capitalise on the draw of interactivity, make sure that whatever touch screens you’re using – whether it’s iPads or TV sized screens – are visible and easily accessible by attendees. This way, they can interact actively with your content, instead of purely receiving information passively.

2.      Gamification

Gamification can be a fantastic way to promote unique brand associations and get people in your booth excited about learning about your products or services. The experience of being involved in a game will leave a lasting impression in their minds beyond the end of the event and will allow you to connect your brand with the game.

Games could include prize wheels, gaming apps, quiz shows, social media content and interactive activities. Making the prize linked to your business – even if it’s just through branding – can also leave a lasting impact.

3.      Video walls

Few things catch the eye more than a video wall, especially since it creates movement in a relatively static environment. Using a video wall is a great way to stand out from the other booths around you, and also showcase your company from a distance.

Video walls are far more visible from further away than text on a board, so even if you’re showing a slideshow of product images or a graphic using the branding colours of your business, you’ll be more noticeable than other companies.

4.      AR and VR

There’s nothing that says trade shows can’t be fun as well as informative, and what better way to bring some entertainment into your booth than by embracing new technologies. AR and VR are developing in leaps and bounds and, if your company is able to use them to your advantage, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

Why not consider a virtual scavenger hunt around the exhibition space or VR experiences including demonstrations of your products – at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year (2018), Siemens gave attendees the opportunity to travel in an autonomous car using a VR headset.

5.      Promotional gifts

Everybody loves freebies. However, giving away freebies that can be easily discarded, have no value, or aren’t things people will use again can actually work against you instead of for your brand.

Instead, work on making sure that the items you’re planning on giving away are both useful and/or something that people will want. For example, capitalise on the idea of staying hydrated at a trade event by giving away reusable water bottles. People will not only be thankful for them on the day but will be more likely to use them in the future too.

Or, give away something that will make a statement, but make sure it connects with your brand. Google Cloud demonstrated this effectively recently by giving away cotton candy at their recent trade event, capitalising on the cloud-like nature of the sweet treat.

6.      Booth design

One core detail to remember when designing your booth is that, while it’s important to make sure your space is eye-catching and original, it should also be tailored to reflect your company and branding.

Sustainability is a trailblazing concept that has started to seep into the trade show world – some companies are branching out to show their commitment to sustainability by building their booths out of cardboard. If there’s a concept or a movement that your company is involved in, embrace it and create something that reflects it.

7.      Work with the space you have

Trade show booths aren’t always the largest of spaces to work with, so it can often feel a little limiting when designing a space. However, don’t let size restrictions limit your creativity – sometimes the most eye-catching booths are the ones that use the space they have most effectively, instead of the ones that fill their space completely.

For example, maximise the space you have by using an open plan concept; doing away with the chairs, tables, dividers and stands at the entrance of your booth that stop attendees exploring further into your space. Instead, keep the front of your booth open, allowing people to explore at their leisure and not to feel blocked or trapped by your décor.

8.      Add some mystery

If your company is announcing something new at a trade show or event, why not consider employing techniques to keep it an intriguing mystery? The best way to do this could be making your booth fully enclosed with a single entrance to allow attendees in.

Secrecy is a great incentive for people to visit your booth since they won’t be able to see what it’s about from the outside. You will have to employ some incentives inside the booth when people visit so that they can spread the word about what’s really inside.

9.      Decrease sign-up time

Trade shows move at a quick pace, with talks and presentations happening throughout the day. Due to that, it can often be quite difficult for attendees to spend long amounts of time at the booths they’re interested in.

If you’d like to ensure more sign-ups for information at your booth, but can’t incentivise people to stay and chat for long, why not employ a different technique? Put a jar at the entrance of your booth, with a sign that tells attendees to put their business cards in the jar if they want to find out more – incentivise this by letting them know that one business card will be selected at the end of the day as the winner of a prize.

This way, people who are interested in your company but don’t have time can easily give you their contact information to find out more and could possibly even win something too!

10.      Photobooths or photo walls

Everybody loves taking photographs to remember a day and, if you create the best place for them to take their photos, then they may be more willing to chat to your team while they’re there. Creating a photo wall on one side of your booth is a great way to maximise visibility and also engage with people in a fun and creative way.

Theming the wall around the event, with some subtle links to your brand as well, will allow for you to appear in social media posts as people share their attendance at the event.

If you’re looking for a venue that can host your trade show, look no further than London’s The Brewery. We have a number of different venue spaces in varying sizes that can be tailored to showcase each of the businesses attending. Find out more information about our venue here, or contact us to talk about your event.

The Brewery and Speakers Corner examine the power of diversity at Knowledge Guild

On Monday evening (22 October), The Brewery and Speakers Corner welcomed more than 200 event professionals, thought leaders and entrepreneurs to the autumn 2018 Knowledge Guild showcase. The latest instalment in the popular conference series looked at diversity as an untapped natural resource we are yet to fully conquer.

Titled “Diversity: Let’s unlock our potential to innovate and achieve the unimaginable”, the event was compered by Konnie Huq, a celebrated TV personality and children’s author, who was joined by an impressive line-up of speakers who shared their compelling stories and discussed how diversity can unlock new ways of thinking.

The inspiring Martine Wright MBE told the audience about how the atrocities of 7/7 transformed her life forever and how she ended up embracing these changes to become an elite athlete, author and motivational speaker. Martine shared her “power of 7” – a strategy for coping with trauma and change that has helped her through her toughest challenges.

Next, Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE took to the stage to encourage more diversity in the technology industry. She explained that a wider variety of people need to be involved in the development of technology, including AI, in order to continue innovating products and services that are going to open up conversations to wider audiences.

Finally, John Amaechi OBE explored the difference between diversity and inclusivity. He shared his personal experiences of people’s pre-conceptions and emphasised that organisations need to reflect their values surrounding inclusivity in the daily experiences of their employees. He stated that to achieve truly valuable leadership you need to have a group of disparate people who bring different ideas to the table.

Nick Gold, Managing Director at Speakers Corner, comments: “Monday’s Knowledge Guild was another triumph for Speakers Corner, The Brewery and all of our wonderful speakers. Diversity is such a prominent topic across the business spectrum so it was great to hear from three people who have three very different experiences and ideas around the issue. Diversity is a key driver of innovation, so it’s crucial that we all consider ways in which we can tap into the power a diverse workforce holds in today’s world”.

Masha Boh, Business Development Manager at The Brewery added, “The Knowledge Guild is always a hugely popular evening with event professionals and we were absolutely delighted with the positive feedback we received. This month’s topic is particularly close to our hearts as we, along with our partners at Speakers Corner, pride ourselves on our diverse team and the individuals that make us who we are. We’d like to thank everyone who joined and shared their stories and look forward to welcoming guests back for our next session very soon!”

At the end of all Knowledge Guild events, guests and speakers share stories during a Q&A session. Before and after the panel session, attendees networked in The Brewery’s Queen Charlotte room. Guests also enjoyed a drinks reception and a bowl food menu, designed by The Brewery’s in-house catering team. Dishes included triple fried chips with charred fillet of beef and béarnaise, Hawaiian tuna poke with siracha mayo and crispy shallots and crab doughnuts with lemon aioli. For dessert, guests were treated to chocolate and cream mille feuille and lemon meringue cornetto’s.

The Knowledge Guild is a partnership between The Brewery and Speakers Corner, offering a mixture of world-class speakers and exceptional individuals discussing pertinent topics in a panel discussion.

Grand opening of The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino this Christmas at The Brewery!

Attend the grand opening of The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino this Christmas and allow yourself to be transported back to the glory days of 1960s Las Vegas. Wander among the palm fronds, sip a cocktail at the bar, enjoy sumptuous food at the buffet, and head into the lounge to listen to the distinctive Rat Pack and all the other charming characters who’ll be joining you.

With the choice of three different packages, offering a variety of options to help tailor your event specifically for you, The Brewery want to make sure that your Christmas party is a night to remember. The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino is only open for a limited period during the month of December, so if you want to visit, you’ll have to book soon!

Depending on the number of guests you have, you can either hire the entire venue, or share the it with another party. Either way, you’ll experience the fantastic entertainers that will be weaving their way through the crowds, all surrounded by the gorgeous Golden Palms venue design.

Keep an eye out for wandering magicians, the stunning chandelier contortionist, the mysterious fortune teller, and our Host – the owner of our casino, ready with a yarn about the last down and out gambler, and always looking for the next rising star.

Choose from a standing buffet or a three-course meal for your guests. Highlights from the menus include lobster mac and cheese, pumpkin panna cotta, the traditional stuffed turkey, sticky fig pudding, pecan pie and much more to tickle your tastebuds, courtesy of The Brewery’s fantastic chefs.

All this can be enjoyed from the best seats in the house, beneath the stunning crystal chandeliers and surrounded by the hubbub of the Las Vegas strip, all the while still in the heart of London.

If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas in style, we still have some limited availability for this year’s Golden Palms Lounge & Casino Christmas party. While we have almost sold out our main Porter Tun space, we do still have some spaces for smaller parties in December – there are no Thursdays or Fridays left though. Simply make an enquiry to find out more.

If you’re not able to book with us this year, since availability is ongoing, make sure to not miss out next year by booking your 2019 Christmas party now. Next year’s theme will be announced this December.

How to create a VIP experience at your event

A VIP Event at The Brewery

Giving your attendees extra special treatment at your events can help them feel valued and engaged, and can add extra wow-factor to your conference, retreat or other corporate event. Attendees will appreciate the extra touches and will be more likely to go away from your event both inspired and impressed.

Read on for some of the best ways to create a VIP experience for your guests.

Choose the right venue

The right venue choice can make all the difference when you’re trying to create a VIP atmosphere. You’ll want to focus on choosing a venue that looks stylish and leaves a lasting memory, as well as one that can host your event to the highest standard.

Think about the atmosphere you want to create. You won’t necessarily want to choose an outside venue, fully ensconced in natural surroundings, if you need high audio-visual components for your event. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to choose a venue that focuses on the technological presentation aspects for an event which is much more interactive.

Your attendees will also shape your choice of venue – take into account their demographics and interests, as well as the purpose of the event and the impact you want to make on them.

If you’re looking for an event venue which marries stylish sophistication, high-tech audio-visual functions, and a historic background, why not consider The Brewery? With a number of different sized rooms and a highly skilled Events Team, we can tailor each space to give that proper VIP experience for your delegates.

Prepare your agenda with care

While your VIPs will be expecting to hear engaging talks and keynote sessions from some fantastic speakers, you’ll need to make sure that your agenda is well tailored so that they can also experience the other special elements your event includes.

Make sure to balance talks with more interactive aspects and activity to keep your attendees fully engaged and focused. Breakout sessions will allow them to interact and network with other VIP attendees – if your event isn’t solely a VIP event, you can also create a special VIP area for your important guests to mingle away from the rest of your attendees.

Make sure to include content in the agenda which will specifically appeal to your VIPs, whether that’s discussing leadership techniques, their industry, or aspects of your own products and services that could directly appeal to them.

Quality not quantity

If you’re creating a gift bag or handout for your VIP guests to take home with them from the event, make sure the items you choose are appropriate to them and also high-quality. There’s nothing more impersonal than receiving low quality gifts with no use that are just going to get thrown away after the event.

You should make sure to consider the backgrounds and industries of your VIPs, while also making sure that the items are also connected to the event you’re holding. For example, a leather diary with a personalised message inside and a high-quality pen may be a better gift for a VIP attendee over a plastic stress ball and a branded paper notepad.

Make it personal

When creating an event purely for VIPs, make sure that you don’t invite too many people. The allure of being a VIP loses its shine quickly when a supposedly exclusive event is both crowded and impersonal.

Make sure to choose your invitees carefully – select the ones that you think will get most use out of the event and will help you achieve your event objectives. This will also enable each VIP to experience more of an opportunity for both input into the activities and talks during the day and engagement with other VIPs and the speakers, should you have any.

If your VIPs are included in part of a larger event with other attendees, creating spaces for the VIPs to use that are separate from the main conference area is a great way to reinforce the personal touches that you’ll be offering them. These spaces can provide vital areas to network and also get involved with other talks that could be exclusive to them.

With regards to providing food, another way to make your event personal for your VIPs is to offer them a bespoke menu. Especially if your event is being attended by other non-VIP guests, having a different menu to the general population of the event will add a level of exclusivity to your VIP treatment. At The Brewery, our world-class chefs can work with you to create a menu that is both personalise and delicious. Find out more here.

 

We pride ourselves on offering a unique venue for your VIP event at The Brewery. With our beautifully elegant spaces, inspired and moulded around the venue’s historical origins, and the attention to detail from our Events Team, your VIPs would certainly have an exclusive and luxurious experience. Contact us to start planning your VIP experience.