Event planners are the masters behind the magic. They have to be creative, detail-oriented, resourceful and master multitaskers. Meet Alison Owers-Graham, one of our own event planners, whose goal with each event is to create a memorable experience.

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
The Four Seasons Centre is an opera house like no other, and the first of its kind in Canada.

When building a custom experience, you have to put yourself in the position of the attendee. Consider what will leave a lasting impression or wow them. Below, Alison dishes her simple tips on how to make sure every attendee remembers your event.

Seek “unique” venues.

It’s not enough to have a pretty venue, good food and nice décor – been there, done that! Get creative and look at non-traditional locations and venues such as parking lots, galleries, warehouses and film studios. Most likely, your attendees have never experienced such a venue and as a bonus, these spaces are often located in the city close to public transit and free parking.

Put a different spin on it.

Even if you have to keep things quite simple, put your unique mark on it. Think about how to execute your ideas in different ways, whether it’s having name badges in a picture frame, food on a conveyor belt or bartenders on stilts pouring champagne! Provide suppliers with pictures and samples of what you like and have done well before – then ask for their own take on it.

Get interactive.

Provide activities that are interactive, take only a few minutes, and give attendees a takeaway. Activations can be used to educate guests with information or samples. Examples include gift kiosks, flipbook stations, and Twitter- or Instagram-activated vending machines that provide samples and gifts when the attendee posts to social media.

Want more ideas? Alison is a Client Experience Architect, who designs experiences for prospects and clients visiting Toronto, trade shows and hosts events in-market. She can be reached at

A version of this article written by Alison Owers-Graham originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of LinkedIn: MPI Toronto Chapter.