At In The Event™ corporate events are our specialty! We take bland luncheons and transform them into an unforgettable occasion that gets everyone talking. It can be easy for companies to get stuck in a rut with some of their annual events, but we’ve experienced first hand the impact a truly successful corporate event can have. Here are a few guidelines we always keep in mind to guarantee that our corporate events are anything but boring!
If you have the budget to work with, entertainment is a fantastic way to liven up a corporate environment. But, you don’t want to throw fire dancers at just anyone. It’s absolutely essential to understand your audience when selecting event entertainment.
Know Your Audience and Plan Accordingly
Sit down with your client to determine their event goals. Maybe this corporate event is going to bring together two new branches, in which case they might want something very interactive. In another instance your client might be interested in just creating a relaxing environment to reward employees for all their hard work. For the latter, something without one on one audience contact might be best. Ask your client about the company culture, and if possible experience it yourself. Meet employees and get a tour of the office to get a better feel for the demographic and what type of entertainment they might respond best to.
Think Outside the Box
Live music is great, but get even more creative by thinking outside the box! If you’re looking for something truly memorable, think more along the lines of a mentalist (that really gets the audience talking!), an interactive dueling piano show or a speed painter. Of course, you’ll want to use entertainment to enhance the theme of the event. For example, for a western theme event you might select line dancing instructors and bull riding simulators, as opposed to a comedian. Always be sure to pick an option that compliments other pre-determined event aspects.
While entertainment is a great way to get people excited at a corporate event, ultimately you want your employees bonding and interacting with each other!
Use Layout and Décor to Encourage Interaction
We often use décor items to encourage interaction. At several conferences, we’ve used our 10’ curved chalkboards to prompt conversation. The chalkboards had a question, related to the conference, that employees responded to with a written response on the board. Additionally, any of our modular LED tables, bars and towers can be accentuated with a custom graphic cling promoting an event topic or question to draw attention to focus points and encourage conversation. We also often employ interactive video screens, which allow guests to interact with a website or app. Taking the concept even further, consider using a video capture device to prompt a question or welcome general feedback.
It’s also essential for the layout to encourage interaction. Make sure the space flows easily so attendees can navigate the area and aren’t confined to one spot for the duration of the evening.
Recognize Employees in Unique Ways
Recognition is a great way to get employees excited and can serve as a focus point of the event. Depending on the industry, recognition can take many forms. We’ve developed custom recognition walls and find that some of our staple pieces work exceptionally well for recognition. Our LED video towers offer a unique recognition opportunity, not just to acknowledge performance but also to show the past year’s highlights, exciting company growth or any type of promotional video.
Giving attendees something unique to take home, or back to the office, creates a long-term event effect. At In The Event™, we always look to tie event elements with branding and often develop custom décor pieces that then become office décor following the event. A takeaway item can be as simple as a display piece signed by all attendees, or as extravagant as a custom 10’ LED logoed spandex wall. A simpler approach is allowing attendees to take home the centerpiece, whether they’re fresh flowers or a branded non-floral centerpiece. Green screen photo ops are another fun event takeaway, whether you physically print the photos at the event or go green and upload them to a website or social media to be shared with a larger audience.
Food and beverage is a huge part of any event, and if coordinated correctly can be a very memorable and enhancing element. Carefully selected, good food can set the tone for the evening, using a plated dinner to relay a formal tone or creating a cocktail party environment with passed appetizers. Be sure to communicate with guests regarding the formality of the event so they may dress appropriately. A great additional step to take with your corporate event client is to schedule a tasting with the caterer.
Food and beverage is a great opportunity for theme enhancement. A successful occasion brings out the theme in almost all aspects, including food and beverage. We often coordinate destination events with our beautiful state of Utah as the focus point. Food and beverage creates an opportunity for us to further highlight the theme by selecting items local to or popularized by the Salt Lake City area.
Selecting a signature cocktail for the evening is another fun way for catering to tie into the theme. For example, a cocktail the color of the company’s logo (tasted and approved by the client beforehand!) is a fun addition. At a winter wonderland client event, we had a signature blue martini that proved very popular and tied in perfectly with the event color scheme. Further tie catering into the event with themed serveware and servers.
Successful corporate events must let the company culture shine through while creating an environment that makes all attendees excited to be there. With our unique planning approach, we’re moving corporate clients away from dull, repetitive annual gatherings to develop interactive, team enhancing evenings.
What’s your secret to successful corporate events? Tell us about it in the comments!