In my many years in the event industry I've seen and participated in hundreds of event formats, many of them successful, others not quite so.
The only constant in our business is change. Events are - or at least should be - a mirror of how society needs to interact. Hence, events in most cases somehow try to integrate current topics into their event dynamic.
One of the events, that not only managed to seamlessly integrate today's issues but also integrated the crowd in a near perfect way, was the Executive Support Live London event a couple of weeks ago, organized by Executive Support Media. The event's audience were PAs, EAs, and other administrative professionals from around the world.
The event didn't start on the first day of the event. It started much earlier with a constant, yet not invasive, flow of information. It continued with pre-event networking opportunitites, a photo challenge with the official event bag and, why not, a couple of beers at the bar at the end of each event day. The presentations during the event in London were not just one-way-"assisted reading"-powerpoint-supported sales pitches. It was content, that represented the most valuable of all give-aways: knowledge (that is, of course, apart from the delicious Swiss cookies we handed out at our sponsor table ;-).
The audience participated like I have seen few audiences do. And that's because people didn't just show up for an event, but for a community, if not family gathering. Those who were there for the first time were accepted into this community from the get-go.
Some event organizers struggle to keep a speaker line-up at a certain level. When that level is not maintained throughout, audiences tend to get distracted if a not so stellar performance follows one that was. At ES Live London, they all were stellar: Peggy Vasquez, Rhonda Sharf, Patrick Jephson, Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans, to name just a few.
The secret to that? In my opinion, none of them just made a presentation. They transmitted valued knowledge while at the same time entertain.
Conclusion 1: It is the moment attendees leave, not just saying how good the event was at the end of the day, but still talk about months later, when an event becomes memorable and thus generates the greatest, added value for the event organizer.
Conclusion 2: I can only recommend Executive Support to any Personal Assistant, Exec Assistant, or otherwise Admin Professional, be that for training, Live Events or Networking amongst peers.
Kudos to you Lucy Brazier and your entire team for this truly outstanding experience! This is what Events are all about.