Nook blog – How to plan a great event
The secret to a successful event can be measured in a variety of ways. Did lots of people turn up? Did everyone have a good time? Will people come back again? But there’s a forgotten topic which visitors invariably comment on at the end of the day: “I had a great time, but I’m absolutely shattered”, which makes me wonder whether an important question to ask should be “did people have a space to rest?”
Whether it’s an exhibition, trade show, industry-specific festival or simply a large gathering hosted by one company, events are often a key date in the diary that attract thousands of people. Done well, an event can become a global destination, a networking extravaganza where connections are made and partnerships formed, with the capability of unleashing previously unknown brands in to the stratosphere. What’s more, it was confirmed that in 2017 business-to-business events generated more than $1 trillion of direct spending and created 26 million jobs.
But if we scale it back to a human level, how many times have you come back from an event feeling tired, dehydrated and with a throbbing headache? Walking, talking, standing, networking, watching seminars, gathering samples, and somehow remembering to drink water and eat lunch can really take it out of you. Enter an event and immediately your senses are galvanised; flashing lights, large banners and crowds of people in every direction; background music, loudspeakers, vibrant conversations all around; continually rising temperatures and a lack of space to leave your belongings can make it a rather taxing day.
The most noticeable absence from any event is a place to relax. Not just a seat, but a dedicated space with the sole intention of helping you take a breather away from the event. Whilst this may sound counterproductive, it’s far from it. An interesting concept called ‘museum fatigue’ was explored in an article by Gareth Davey who said that “The traditional view of museum fatigue is that visitor interest decreases as visits progress. For example, it has been shown that interest reaches a high plateau for the first 30 minutes of a visit, and decreases thereafter”. Not only are event organisers fighting against waning interest, but they’re up against the body’s tendency to get fatigued more quickly when it’s overwhelmed with stimuli.
What do you do when your phone is running low on battery? You recharge it. Unfortunately when our bodies begin to run low the usual reaction is to mask it some way with energy drinks, pain killers or a heavy dose of denial. A far healthier alternative is to take a break (just like at work, where it’s suggested that peak performance happens if you work for 52 minutes, then take a 17 minute break to recharge your brain).
Imagine this set up within an event. A dedicated space for rejuvenation, accessible to all and available throughout the day for anyone needing a pit stop. Perhaps it’s tucked at the back of the arena or near the front entrance so it’s easy to get fresh air. If you need to check in with work or send an email, you can simply head to one of the acoustically-enhanced, private booths, and set up camp on one of the tables with plugs, USB ports and phone charging stations. A versatile space where an individual can take a breather and quietly eat their food, or catch up with an old acquaintance without passers-by eavesdropping on the conversation.
If an oasis of calm could be found at an event, perhaps people would feel less frazzled by the end of the day. A place to sit and relax, and quieten the senses, could prevent mental health levels from dipping.
Not only will people remember how they felt better at the event, but they’re more likely to return again. If you’ve got visitors returning to a particular space, then there are opportunities for events to maximise corporate partnerships with branding. At the 2019 IMEX event in Frankfurt, Nook Pods were decorated in one of the official sponsor’s branding; each Pod was emblazoned with Essential Costa Rica’s pictures of lush rainforests, luxury hotels, and tourists enjoying paddle boarding across dazzling lakes.
Nook Pods have provided tranquil spaces at events for Disney, Facebook, Hilton, Oculus, Cisco, WorkTech, Mulesoft Summit, and PI Live to name just a few. To ensure you get visitors returning to your event again and again, create a human-focused space with a selection of Nook Pods.
Nook Event Pods are available across Europe and North America.