But I do believe in creating moments. Small ticks of time that are unexpected and welcome in an otherwise similar event experience. Here are a few that have worked for me or that I hope to use in the future:
- At a Linux conference a company rented a 20x20 booth and filled it with giant beanbag chairs and offered bottled water to any who took a break from trudging up and down the aisles. I still remember the company, 7 years later.
- At a mortgage banking conference a bank set up a “beat the expert” checkers tournament. They hired seven crack checkers players and anyone could walk up and take them on. Towards the end of the conference they had a playoff with anyone that had beat their ringers. To one side they had erected a miniature grandstand so that friends and others could cheer on the amateurs.
- An idea I’d like to try is filling a booth with small desks and chairs and running a proposal editing contest (Would be great for "C" levels and GC's). Attendees would be invited to sit at a desk, given a three page “proposal”, and then given three minutes to find all the errors. In the end a champion could be crowned.
- Another idea would be a takeoff of the beanbag idea. Fill the booth with massage chairs like at the gadget stores.