When organizing a conference, there are many details that create a lot of work – not only in execution, but also in idea creation. Be it a congress on medicine or machines, there are some steps that every conference planner has to keep in mind. There is creating the schedule of course, location, set-up of the conference, speakers – food is important – and then there is entertainment or a surprise element you want to show off to set yourself apart from other events. Your event is the one that should stay in everyone’s mind. There are many different ways to do this and we have created a little list for you to get inspired:
1. Networking in a Relaxed Setting
Visiting a conference is a great opportunity for the visitors to get to know each other. It can be hard to get in touch without an introduction. The right environment can make this easier for everyone involved. We suggest that alongside theory-oriented workshops, you offer some artistic networking breaks. One example is a workshop by Niels de Jong, where everyone will create their very own character by drawing on wood. Throwing everyone in the cold water often makes it easier to connect, both cross-discipline and cross-nationality.
A more urban alternative is a graffiti workshop. Here, participants learn how to handle a spray can and can create their first graffiti artwork. Don’t worry about the mess, there is enough plastic foil to cover up anything beforehand.
2. Beautify Your Conference Hall
Especially when hosting a big conference, you might struggle with finding a nice place. Big concrete walls are not what you are looking for but you struggle to find an alternative? Art is a great solution. There are many art forms you can use on any surface without leaving a trace. Alexander Zissou’s Balloon Art is one of them – his artworks are created out of 100% organic material and can disappear as quick as they appear.
If you have big spaces and a beamer in place, you might as well use this set up to host light art installations. KALMA is a Berlin based light-juggler creating whole concepts of light and sound and managing the installation at your venue herself. It’s a magic way to fill in the breaks between speakers without creating an information overload. On the contrary, it makes the audience focus on the visuals for some minutes.
Tape Art is a wonderful way of using abstract aesthetics to illustrate your conference topic. For the conference of the Deutsche Dermatologische Gesellschaft (the German Society of Dermatologists), we created together with Tape Over an artwork that was inspired by the graphic structure of skin cells. You name the topic, because tape can bend in every direction!
3. Set Up Surprising Breaks Within The Conference
Being able to discover something new while visiting a conference is always interesting. Little suprises add to this feeling of being on an adventure, making the maze-like corridors seem interesting rather than tiring. Create a little island of music for example, invite Torben Tietz to play his finger-style guitar and put a smile on your guests’ faces while they take a sip of water and relax for ten minutes.
Alternatively, you can invite a performer like Katay Santos to get a laugh out of everyone with his circus show. Katay can probably perform anywhere and with anything. He sits on a throne of chairs, eats fire, balances a vase on his head and he keeps improvising during his show so you will never really now what happens next.
4. Place Important Information on Special Media
Wall or Window art is a natural way of using the surfaces you already have. There are always some walls, there are hopefully also some windows. Katharina Konte is an artist from Munich who excels at making windows and walls beautiful. This way, your participants will enjoy looking for the way to the next location, rather than getting frustrated with fiddly paper maps.
Janinski from Vienna is another artist using glass like paper and creating stunning drawings and graphics on the shiny surface.
Graphic Art is the perfect way to communicate your conference’s theme or another special message across the location. If you want an alternative to banners and fabric flags spreading your theme, Vesuv might be the right guy for you to find a tasteful way of communicating the branding of the event.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about chalk! Chalk is typically associated with food places – but if well done, you can really carry every message with it. We especially like chalk in a conference context, as a little reference to everyone’s time in school. Look at Hülpman’s designs bringing back rough corners and street feeling to this medium, we love it.
5. Add Evening Entertainment to the Dinner Plans
After a long day of walking, talking and listening, pampering the participants is the number one focus. To end the evening with something surprising and a memory to take home, there is nothing better than a live performance.
Miss Stereochemistry’s music and cabaret show has a stand up comedy part where the artist likes to make references to the topic of your evening. This energetic show will leave every guest with a smile and wanting more fun, more drinking and more dancing.
Do you want your company to step even further away from their comfort zone? We suggest inviting Mademoiselle Gabrielle with her Mad Gab performance. Featuring tap dancing, playing a washboard, puppetry, comedy and hat juggling, this show leaves nobody bored.
Marie Chain is a sensual jazz-blues icon from Berlin. She plays with a band or brings her piano. She will certainly turn your evening into a classical event to be remembered. But just listen for yourself…
Whatever your conference is about, art shouldn’t be missing. If you didn’t find the right thing yet, give us a call. Inviting the right artist can make your days unforgettable. We work with crazy restrictions all the time so don’t worry about the rules of your location. Working around it with our crew of professional and flexible artists is our favourite challenge.