A new, exciting trend is on the rise in the events industry – it revolves around infusing events with a sense of fun, allowing adults to embrace their inner child. 

Julius Solaris of Boldpush recently highlighted this trend at the SmartSource activation at PCMA Convening Leaders in San Diego.  Julius emphasized that just because people are attending a B2B event, it doesn’t mean they have to be “switched on” the whole time; they can have fun with colleagues, clients, and partners in a relaxed environment, making great memories while they’re at it.  After all, who said business can’t be fun? 

Memorable Experiences 

Several trend forecasts over the last few years have shown that attendees yearn for “memorable experiences” at events, so why not facilitate that by creating a playful atmosphere?  And let’s not forget about the power of nostalgia. Whether bringing back classic childhood treats like cotton candy and snow cones or playing music from past decades, tapping into fond memories can create a sense of warmth and happiness among attendees and a strong connection with your event.  As adults, we can forget to let loose and have fun as kids do, and as event planners, we need to add these “brain breaks” into our events, giving attendees a chance to recharge, relax, and reconnect.  

The Importance of Infusing Fun into Events 

Why is this trend becoming so popular? Gone are the days when corporate events, trade shows, or B2B events were all about business suits, serious discussions, and formal handshakes. Now, they’re about embracing the inner child and allowing attendees to have a little fun while still networking and learning.  

So, how exactly do we bring this playful atmosphere to our events? Here are five ideas to make your next event more enjoyable and give your attendees’ brains a boost. From the simple to the extravagant, there’s something for everyone: 

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  1. LEGO building: Who didn’t love playing with LEGOs as a kid? Incorporate this nostalgic element into your event with a dedicated Lego building area. You don’t need much space to help facilitate this for event participants, and this activity encourages creativity and teamwork while also being a great icebreaker. 
  1. Carnival rides: For larger events, consider adding carnival rides to the mix. Ferris wheels, bumper cars, or even a mini rollercoaster – these attractions will bring out the inner child in your attendees and add an element of pure fun to your event. 
  1. Location-themed activities: It was at PCMA Convening Leaders Vancouver that they had a hockey net and slapshot competition, among other local activities for attendees to try. Think about incorporating activities that are specific to the location of your event.  This adds an extra layer of fun and allows attendees to experience something unique to the area. For example, Formula 1 simulators if you’re in Monaco, line dancing if you’re in Texas, or surfing lessons if you’re in Hawaii. 
  1. Interactive games space: Break out the classics like giant Jenga or foosball, or you can even add a life-size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos to add a little fun to your event. These games are a great way for attendees to take a break from the formal sessions and interact with each other in a more relaxed environment, enabling their brains to relax and recharge after a heavy day of content and meetings.  
  1. Puzzle rooms: Don’t forget, not everyone likes loud spaces and group activities, so incorporate quiet spaces such as puzzle or doodle rooms, where attendees can take a break from the constant stimulation of the show floor and let their minds unwind while still being engaged.  
  1. Digital games:  If you’re planning on using digital kiosks at your event for agendas, maps, and the like, try using a double-sided digital kiosk.  You can utilize one side for an interactive game component and the other side for important show information.  

The possibilities for bringing a sense of playfulness to events are endless. The key is to consider your audience, the purpose of your event, and how you can incorporate elements that will not only be fun but also add value to the overall experience, boosting attendee satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and embrace your inner kid with your team when planning your next event. Remember, fun = memorable event experiences.