3 Event Techniques, Jimmy Kimmel Style

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Jimmy Kimmel
President Barack Obama talks with Jimmy Kimmel. Live! video taping in Los Angeles, Calif., March 12, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel takes unsuspecting viewers on all kinds of crazy journeys via his video and social media pranks.

Here are three approaches you can use in your events, a la Jimmy Kimmel.

Promote local

In one episode, Kimmel befriended Phoenix’s legendary chef’s legendary chef Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco. After a couple of tries while visiting his parents in Phoenix, he and his dad met the chef and a friendship ensued. You, too, can surprise and delight attendees by finding and featuring local eateries and even highlighting their chefs during a reception.

Tap Into the holidays

Kimmel’s prank videos—the most well-known of which is telling his kids he ate all the Halloween candy—tap into the holidays. Most recently he found potentially dangerous ways for people to shout “I love you” at their fathers for Father’s Day, which resulted in one dad falling into a pool. What better way to win over meeting attendees than incorporate an upcoming holiday, especially if they are traveling on that date?

Surprise and shock them

When a huge snow storm hit the East Coast, Kimmel cooked up a “I Served a Snowball in Bed” challenge, having viewers videotape themselves bringing a snowball (or more) to their family member while asleep. Elements of surprise, like snow in summer or a beach party at a ski resort, are what attendees will always remember


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.