Close your eyes. Think about the last function you attended. Maybe it was a wedding? A bar mitzvah? A corporate luncheon? Or a golf tournament? Was there anything that struck you as memorable? Or did you walk through the motions – I arrived, I sat down, I ate, I listened, I met people, I left. If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all.
Now, think about the best event you’ve ever attended. Was it the music? The speaker? An entertainer? A prop? Or a taste of something really unusual?
Years ago, I worked in the function halls of Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, MA. There was the Alexander Parris Room, the Great Hall and the Rotunda. They held functions that were amazing. The location was key, being in a large tourist attraction across the street from Boston Harbor. The view was spectacular as you saw the harbor at one end and the buzzing marketplace on the other. The events were unique, they did private parties, large corporate functions, weddings and benefits. From all the great functions I remember, the one commonality was the experience. The better the guest experience, the better the memory. My two favorite events included meeting the comedian, Henny Youngman, after he performed for a private 50th birthday party and the Halloween wedding where the guests danced in Halloween masks. Why do these still stick out so clearly in my mind- 30 years later? It was the experience. It was something different that no one else had. Have you ever seen a famous entertainer at a private event or danced in a mask at a wedding? It’s memorable.
(Picture from Occasions Magazine – occasionsonline.com)
When I got married, we decided on an October wedding around Halloween. And you guessed it, I wanted a “mask” dance. We asked all the guests to bring masks to wear at the wedding. I can still remember the song we danced to, “Dancing in the Dark” by Springsteen, and I didn’t even choose it. The band made the choice after hearing what we were doing. It was slow to get people to put on their masks but by the end of the song, everyone was laughing and posing for pictures. Two songs later, people still had their masks on.
Today, when my friends and I start talking about weddings and events, especially since my children are old enough to get married, they will say, “That mask dance was the funniest thing we ever did.” They don’t remember the food or the band, they remember the feeling they has dancing in a mask at a wedding.
As you think about planning events in the future, think experience. What will my guests say when they leave? Did they have fun? Was it memorable? Was it the BEST thing they have ever done? People like to have bragging rights. Give them a reason to brag. We can help you do that!
It’s all about the experience!