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Get some inspiration for your next event with these great ideas from C2 2018

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C2 Montréal as a conference is not only groundbreaking in terms of content, but in presentation. This year’s highly-successful edition once again offered a wealth of cutting-edge touches, activities and technology to inspire not only attendees – but event planners too. Here’s just a few of the great ideas that blew us away at this year’s event. 

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Open with a bang

Placed at C2’s main entrance, a large rotating floor had the immediate effect of not only grabbing attendees’ attentions, but also made them instantly aware of their surroundings. C2 is not a conference to enter on autopilot, glued to one’s phone – the ground is literally moving under your feet.

Takeaway idea: incorporate elements into the physical spaces of the meeting that destabilize attendees – in a good way – and increase their focus. 

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Networking badges with a difference

Touch technology for conference networking has become commonplace at major events, but C2 upped the ante in collaboration with PixMob and Klik. These LED portable wearables not only light up when you connect with a new contact, but also act as both your on-site identification and wallet. In developers’ own words, “The idea is to leave your cell phone in your pocket and focus on the moment.” We loved these badges so much, we even re-connected with old friends just to watch them flash.

Takeaway idea: add cool interactive technology touches that make connecting fun. 

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Spotlight inclusive workshops and diverse speakers

More than just a trend, the broader sea change in the business world is one of inclusivity and shining light on new viewpoints. C2 gave stage time both to inspiring speakers like trans online privacy advocate Chelsea Manning, Canada’s First Lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (on gender equality) and surprising (and surprisingly vital) voices like Snoop Dogg on cannabis. Put your focus on underrepresented voices and watch your attendee numbers rise.

Takeaway idea: make inclusivity and diversity part of your thinking from the first brainstorm for your event. 

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More than a t-shirt

C2’s 2018 line of outfits for staff members and volunteers ran the gamut from on trend orange suits (with 2018’s de rigeur flash of ankle), or pressed white shirts with matching bowties and subtly coloured pockets. Shiny black C2 badges popped on all black outfits – and each ensemble represented a different group of on-site worker. Make a bold statement at your event with more than just a branded t-shirt, and get your attendees talking – we’d wear everything we saw at C2 off-site if we could get our hands on them!

Takeaway idea: look for out-of-the box ways of showcasing your staff to truly embody the spirit and character of your event. 

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Highlight your location in interesting ways

C2 embraces the notion of location, location, location by holding events both indoors and outdoors on a varied site including temporary structures like the Big Top and inspiring buildings like the Arsenal art contemporain building. The quick outdoor walk from session to session breaks up the day and also offers a moment’s respite.

The specially-constructed quay on Montréal’s Lachine Canal also expertly spotlights the city’s long-term relationship to the water. Offering free electric boat rides up and down the canal for a quick conference break (where we were part of several highly interesting conversations while floating along), attendees were also given a taste of local character and surroundings.

Takeaway idea: spotlight or enhance something about the physical space that makes the location stand out. 

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Challenge and inspire, then regroup and recover

After stimulating its attendees, C2 also offered a wealth of opportunities to rest and recuperate, from a hidden speakeasy with lavender gin on-tap (accessible with a secret password and hidden in the back of the on-site flower shop) to free barbering and makeup application sessions on the banks of the canal. Washroom facilities were stocked with great products and soundtracked by soothing piano pieces and poetry by the likes of local hero Leonard Cohen – another Montréal connection.

Takeaway idea: Offer your attendees somewhere to catch a breath and reset to improve their experience – and make them more productive as well. 

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You know what they say about idle hands …

C2’s workshops and offerings included a cookie-making bakery (which were then distributed to conference attendees in exchange for a written dream) and a make-your-own notebook station with gold embossing and choice of covers.

Takeaway idea: give your attendees something to remember your event by – something they made with their own hands. 

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Keep guests hydrated and happy

Throughout the site, C2’s Tabl’eau water stations (served in recyclable cups or branded thermoses for purchase) offered both still and sparkling water on-tap. The Camellia Sinensis tea stations and Nespresso coffee stands not only kept attendees alert and suitably wired, but gave the local teahouse a chance to spotlight their wares. Cross-promotion alert!

Takeaway idea: never underestimate the power of cold water, hot tea or delicious coffee to keep both attendees and sponsors happy. 

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Photo opps, photo opps, photo opps!

C2’s site and activities are so eye-catching and unforgettably presented that Instagram feeds are virtually clogged with images from the conference from the moment the doors open until the closing party ends. Inspire your attendees to do the same – and create enough FOMO that no-one will miss your next event.

Takeaway idea: generate social media buzz by consciously building stellar photo opps into spaces and events.

Read this next: ICCA ranks Montréal first in North America for international meetings

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