In this casual world, jeans are the norm. That more casual feeling has snuck into the meeting world, making most conferences look like more every day than a special occurrence. But maybe it’s time to take meetings back. Maybe it’s time to create a special event again. 

Let’s face it: There are a lot of people out there waiting to break out that perfect dress or suit hanging in their closet. They’re just waiting for that perfect event to sparkle. 

And for you, having a more special event for your networking means that you will stand out in a crowd of casual. Plus, your event photos? It will be no contest. Dressed-up photos look much better than casual. 

So get ready to dress up your next event with these few tips:

Put a celebrity spin on your special event

Your attendees are going to feel great. It’s the best part of having a dress-up event. Everyone’s confidence instantly goes up. Take advantage of that and give an extra boost at the same time. 

Have a red carpet and step-and-repeat just outside the entrance of your event. Get some volunteers and have them play the part of the paparazzi. You could even have a professional photographer planted amongst your “paparazzi” and give your attendees the option to upload images to social networks. 

We especially like this idea at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. There is a fantastic open space near the Center’s theater that is perfect to give your attendees the celebrity treatment. Then, when they walk into the theater, you can easily do your program in an inviting atmosphere. And your attendees can come out for a fun party with plenty of room for entertainment and dancing. 

Hilton Netherland Plaza Special EventMake your special event sparkle

Golds and silvers just take an event to another level. And with today’s event decor trends, this is the time to really have a heavy hand with these metallics. The softness of this year’s Pantone colors are almost asking for it. 

Don’t have the budget to go crazy with golds and silvers in your decor? Then select a venue that requires little decor because these colors are represented heavily. One of our favorites is the Hilton Netherland Plaza. Walking into one of the ballrooms at this space instantly takes you into another world where glamour is king. 

Take the time to make all of your attendees feel special

Your long-time attendees who have been established within your industry? It’s easy to find ways to make them special and that is likely already ingrained within your event. But what about the new people and those that are in the middle of their career? That can be a bit harder. 

The particular generation you would be targeting here is not necessarily impressed with the traditional awards ceremony, so doing something at a special networking event is likely going to be more memorable for them. And making it completely personalized will make it unforgettable. 

It can be as simple as taking the time to personally thank them during the event. Just find a way to let these attendees know that you appreciate them and what they are bringing to your conference. 

Or consider creating a special under 30 award, but personalize it to recognize exact achievements every year. An award created around the individual is going to have a much longer-lasting impact and will create long-term relationship with winners.

How are you making your networking event special?