We all know that the foundation of brand affinity, loyalty and advocacy is experience. But how do you implement all these new tactics to make your events stand out? Katie O’Brien, vice president of Experience Design at FreemanXP shared the social, behavioral and technological trends that enhance chemistry and create meaning in a Smart Meetings webinar.

Here are the answers she gave to some of your burning questions.

Q: How can you be creative without upping costs a ridiculous amount?

A: Creative doesn’t always have to cost a bunch of money. The best kind of creative should actually save you money. Using design-thinking tools like sketching, brainstorming, objective-setting and using trends to inspire are great ways to generate ideas fast. The best ideas fit within the budget outlined.

Q: What are best practices for getting older or unwilling coworkers on board for revamping meetings?

A: It’s not about age, but personality type. Everyone has a unique perspective. Your job is to find the appropriate approach to get that perspective. I recommend testing out one new approach at a time and see what sticks with whom. Sometimes people just need to be eased into a new kind of meeting, but if you’re slow and subtle they won’t even realize before it’s a completely new experience with (hopefully) a much better outcome.

Q: How do you go about trying to implement new experiences with a team that is set in their traditional ways?

A: Show similar groups with like-minded teams that have taken risks and succeeded. No one wants to be first. It’s scary. But if you can give a strategy to support your recommendation and inspire them to think beyond, it inspires confidence.

Q: Any idea what type of resources (monetary, time, other) are needed to create a virtual reality experience for attendees? It seems like a big investment. Our events (aimed at donors/supporters of our non-profit org) are fairly small, so I think we’d have to plan to use the same virtual reality experience at various events to get the most value for our money and time.

A: You are absolutely right. Creating augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR) content, it’s a long-tail investment, so it would be ideal to think of it as a campaign of several events. Not including hardware, a VR experience is likely to start around $30,000, but when creating customized content, the average is probably closer to $75,000 and often exceeds that amount. Our Digital team at FreemanXP requires a minimum of 4 weeks (generally 8-12 weeks). Add at least 30 days if there is a mobile app requirement because it has to be approved to be in the iOS App Store.

You can view the entire webinar on demand here.