I have been a professional speaker for over 12 years. Having presented at over 1000 events, I definitely find some meetings more memorable than others. Here are some of the things that I have noticed make an event stand out...
The venue. Often in harder to reach places, unique venues in the middle of nowhere feature great team building activities like hiking and horseback riding. Beautiful guest rooms, nice restaurants, and state of the art meeting space can make the difference between a blah event and a memorable one.
The events. Opening receptions are key to kick off a meeting. With great music, appetizers, fun cocktails and lively conversation, meeting delegates are sure to loosen up and build rapport. Evening banquets featuring an after dinner speaker, a band and dancing will create great rapport and warm memories with delegates.
The Theme. A great convention theme that is timely and cleverly woven throughout the sessions and within the conference speakers' presentations makes an event very memorable.
The speakers. A great opening keynote speaker will get people to interact, think and laugh, building a buzz and generating congruence with delegates.
The people. Something about conventions can bring out a person's wild side. Some people emerge as the life of the party, someone that everyone gets along with and appreciates for their levity. Informal interactions and good natured palling around in the hallways are often memorable parts of an event.
A convention committee can set the tone by keeping some events light and informal, especially if they hire a funny guest speaker or a keynote speaker to create balance in the schedule.