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MTG PLNR is a convention, event and meeting planning blog dedicated to the meeting professional. Our blog features the industry's
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Penguin at the Newport Aquarium

Plan the Unexpected

2013-07-30

 Make your event unforgettable by adding these details. 

When planning a meeting, it’s great to find that unique venue and to do the best marketing possible. But when your attendees get there, are you still hosting that same old event? It’s time to shake things up.


When it comes to the unexpected, those small details make the biggest impact on your guests. And we’ve noticed that the Newport Aquarium does a great job of getting those details right. Here are a few things we discovered about their events that you can use for your own:

Explore the city in style

When you arrange a Cincinnati tour with the Newport Aquarium, you are not going on just any tour. You are going on a Duck Tour! Participants are given duck bills to make their own quacks, and you can always hear quacks and giggles whenever one of the vehicles is coming down the streets of Cincinnati. And did we mention these even go into the Ohio River? It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for all participants!


Takeaway: Turn the city tour on its head. While its easy to concentrate on making the stops along the way fun, don’t forget the ride. What can you do to make your attendees giggle along the way? Look for how to make those small moments special, and your attendees will be talking about the city tour for years to come.

Make your announcements unforgettable

The Newport Aquarium is known to have a scuba diver that holds up signs to surprise guests. This can be integrated into awards ceremonies or to make fun announcements throughout the event. You can be assured that your attendees will never forget it.


Takeaway: Don’t do just things because that’s the way they’ve always been done. Make giving each award an event in and of itself. It will then not only be memorable to the one that wins that award, but also to those witnessing that moment.

Bring in animals

There is nothing more unexpected than what animals will do. They have their own quirks and personalities that can charm even the hardest heart. That is why penguins are a big hit with events at the Newport Aquarium. They come dressed in their own formal attire and no one can resist their adorable waddle. There is always a line to shake hands with these little guys.


Takeaway: Use local resources to bring the cute and the wild to your own event. In Cincinnati, we work with the Newport Aquarium and the Cincinnati Zoo to bring such wonders as baby animals to events. And who can really forget that one event where they got to pet a baby tiger?


What unexpected details are you adding to your events? How have your attendees reacted?