7 Ways To Implement Innovation In Your Meetings & Events


I’ve met with numerous meeting planners through the years and one of the most popular questions asked of me is, “How do I make my meetings more innovative?”  No doubt we are all looking for a way to make a unicorn magically appear and create raving repeat attendees for our meetings year after year.

A simple Google search will yield a number of articles written on the topic of meeting innovation.  One article the Macro Productions team has recently enjoyed is 7 Things You Need to Know about Event Production, which motivated us to share our own practical ideas here on how to implement innovation in your meetings.  Voila: inspiration!


There are many ways to make your event memorable and stand out. Perhaps the toughest part of innovation is knowing where to find inspiration.  Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Let the attendee know you were thinking of them even before they get in the building. Source:  IBM &  Ogilvy & Mather

  2. Delight arriving attendees with the chance to win a product or experience. Brand this ‘Wall of Chance’ for optimum exposure. Source:  Cheree Berry Paper

  3. Draw attendees in by serving them champagne through this step-and-repeat style wall. Source: Wink Design & Events

  4. Think beyond a gobo and use custom window vinyl and natural light to uniquely display your brand.  Source: Scene360

  5. Have fun, play around a little, and create some brand recognition all in one. Source: BMF Media

  6. Paint Your Event is a fun take on the live event painter; Heidi provides entertainment as well as a great piece to remember your special night by painting an encapsulation of the event she’s at. Learn more at Paint Your Event.

For a few more ideas visit Macro Production’s Branding and Engagement Board on Pinterest.

Creating Atmosphere


  1. Did you know you could use water to create images for your decor?  The sword you see is actually a waterfall. Each droplet is controlled by a computer and treated like a pixell so you can write or create almost any image. Source: Pyrotek Special Effects

  2. Tired of networking? Try connecting in a more meaningful way.  Mixtroz has an awesome platform that connects attendees based on similar qualities, interests, or other factors. Source: Mixtroz

  3. Lead the way! These projected arrows are a fun way to let guests know where they’re supposed to be going. Source:  BizBash

  4. Transform a space into an aura with LED Columns. Source: United Visual Artists

  5. Get creative with digital signage. Source: GloAx Solutions

  6. Rethink items which are often taken for granted and have fun with an interactive LED dance floor.  Source: Energy Floors

Mood & Emotion


  1. Did you know you can infuse almost any scent into a room? Sunscreen, flowers, tropical jungle - these are all possibilities to transport your audience to another place or to tie scent to your brand.

  2. The psychology of color is surprisingly important to attention span and mood. Influence how your audience feels through use of colors in a space. Learn more here and here.

  3. Work with your audio tech to help set the mood and manage perceptions through music.

Let's Feel Connected

We all know events are supposed to be about connecting with others, however it remains a challenge for planners to help facilitate those connections or tie the connections to the focus of the event, main message, and/or theme.  We have a few ideas to get your creative wheels turning when it comes to connection. Let’s start with getting attendees to connect with the event-- not just attend the meeting.

  1. Learn about what matters to your audience in a meaningful way by creating an interactive experience which gets your attendees to participate in an activity that has a purpose, is unique, and not overly complicated.  Good design and a clear process, which leads to a clear outcome, ensures the interactive experience creates a lasting impression. Check out what the Cooper Hewitt Museum did to engage visitors in thinking about how creative efforts in design can help solve problems.

  2. Video content.  Visualization works from a human perspective because we respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes images approximately 60,000 times faster than text, and about 65% of us are visual learners.  For these reasons, video is very compelling as a means for educating and engaging connection.   

  3. We’ve all been there-- sitting in an audience bored to death by a speaker unable to think of anything but how bored we are or absorbed in our phone-- either way the message is lost and zero connection is made.  If your speaker needs some help, you might be able to get away with sharing these great TED talks with them...hopefully they’ll get the hint.


  4. Consider a speaker and/or activity that allows your group to give back as a part of the conference. We’re showcasing Wine to Water here. Doc Hendley is a talented speaker who will motivate and educate your corporate group. His mission is to Live/Work/Serve #OnPurpose. Follow that up with a team building activity of  building water filters that help during emergencies to make a real impact.

  5. Create beautiful art for hospitals.

  6. Build custom bikes and skateboards or decorate duffle bags for foster kids with Together We Rise.

For more ideas, visit our Give Back board on Pinterest

Create a Sense of Theater

  1. Add a beauty bar to your gala or appreciation party for your guests.

  2. Book your entertainment through a professional like EntertainmentBuy.

  3. You may not want to go as extreme as an aerial bartender, but consider some off-stage entertainment. Roving musicians, non-traditional bartenders, and entertaining magicians are all fun ways to keep your guests entertained in smaller groups during a reception or dinner.

  4. Get everyone involved with a drumming lesson.

  5. Set the stage and make your guests feel important from the begining with a step-and-repeat as they enter.

  6. Get a local high school drumline to kick things off in style with local flair.


CREATING A SENSE OF SUBSTANCE IN THE SPACE: Turning a bland or empty space into an experience for your guests can be a challenge. Here are some ideas we like which you could consider.


  1. We love offering mixed seating for your guests. Whether that means some standing tables in the back of a ballroom, mixing some soft-seating into your event, or just mixing it up with different chair and table styles. Source: BizBash

  2. We love the depth, color, and height contrast this TEDx ‘stage’ creates.

  3. Show the history of your company or event while creating a beautiful space with intriguing banners. Source: Arthitectural.com

    CREATING A SENSE OF PERSONAL SUBSTANCE: Let’s bring some substance and learning into our attendees’ lives as well by contributing to their health and productivity.

  4. Yoga class or coordinated morning walk - many venues offer this as a service and have great instructors on staff. If the venue can’t provide the instructor, inquire at local gyms.

  5. Quick health breaks with a great coach and speaker like Shannon Nickerson

  6. Giveaways that actually help the attendee learn more or increase their productivity. Consider device chargers, decent USBs (not the super cheap ones), pocket-size planners, a multi-purpose tool (just make sure it’s TSA approved), or these practical webcam covers.


  1. Take this great idea from the Penn Museum of a designated area for brainstorming/future-planning and fit it to your event by allowing attendees to make suggestions, vote on policies or ideas, and make their own suggestions.

  2. Track your audience participation and get them excited about the event with a social media wall through a company link TintUp. You can also ask your AV partner if they do digital signage.

  3. Allow attendees to evaluate the event before they leave and get real-time information with an integrated app like DoubleDutch.

We hope you feel inspired and have come away with some new ideas or at least gotten your creative wheels turning.  If you’d like to consider Macro Productions for your next event, please drop us a line at hello@macroproductions.net.