What makes a great event?

In 2005 I attended the Gospelcon conference with Aaron and a 9 month old Jessica. This conference was AWE-some.
The food was amazing, the hotel far exceeded any expectation, the speakers and topics were interesting, helpful and sought after and the location was central and interesting. What makes a great event?
Food is an obvious deal breaker – there needs to be great food, amazing food. And there needs to be a lot of it. Snacks and candy and bright colors. Presentation is key. Focus on the attendees – are they energetic? Bring in foods and props that evoke energy – Red Bull, purified water, Twizlers. Is the crowd or all around event more low key? Bring in calm colors, foods, hot drinks and purified waters.
The event itself has to be something your audience wants. Are you looking to have a girls weekend away? Then don’t advertise speakers or events on how to get stains out of your carpet. You need to take the audience out of their environment and put them in your own. Your environment needs to be bleeding with the message you want them to walk away with.
For example at Gospelcon’s 2005 conference there was no doubt that we were getting together to have a great weekend learning from the anticipated speakers and topics but to also have purpose on the internet and bring integrity to the web. Their signage screamed this without having to say a thing.
It was designed well, professional and there was pride in the “product” Gospelcon was marketing to us. What makes a great event to you, or have you been to one that blew you out of the water? What about it was so awesome?

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