Measure Event ROI and Brand Attribution to Better Strategize Your Next Event

Proving good event ROI is one of the most important practices a business can develop to shore up the budget for future events. While measuring ROI can sometimes be elusive, if you align your event strategy with company goals, you’re better able to build a solid business case. 

Event ROI is tied to the event’s purpose, which should be guided by a company’s strategy. When the value of an event is measurable, event strategists can best demonstrate how future events will help to propel company goals. Company events are typically tied to four purposes: bringing people together, introducing new messaging, launching a product, and educating your team. Here’s how to measure event ROI for each of those purposes. 

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Bringing people together 

The ROI for bringing people together can be determined by an event’s effect on a company’s culture and community. This is measured in how your attendees respond to an event. First and foremost — do they attend? Be prepared to design your gathering based on how potential attendees might feel about the event and how you’d like them to feel walking away from the event. If your company just laid off 100 people, your team may not want to see the red carpet rolled out for a celebration. But if you always host an annual event and cancel it this year, what signal does that send? The impact of the investment determines its value.  

Whether you’re celebrating a win or rebuilding from a loss, an event can be a great way to build team morale. If you want to honor your achievers with the gift of a significant experience, make it memorable. Some people don’t want to travel with coworkers, even if it’s an all-expense paid trip. 

If the event is at an attractive location, it can be an incentive for teammates to get to know each other better. If you’re going to take people away from their regular routines, an investment in an experience can make it worth their while. If it’s January at your office in Chicago, a trip to Hawaii is worthy of consideration. Once you make the decision to invest in an event, its value can be measured by the response of your attendees. This not only includes their willingness to attend but also how much they enjoyed themselves. How did the event make them feel? Consider asking with a post-event interview.

GET INSPIRED: UNIQUE CORPORATE EVENT PLANNING IDEAS

Introducing new messaging 

With any rebranding initiative, control over the messaging is of the utmost importance, and an event’s ROI is measured in the successful execution of the message. Getting your employees to unify behind messaging is a good investment to ensure a successful rollout. You can control the narrative of your company’s rebrand. The value of investing in this type of event can be as simple as a question and answer session to clarify any misinterpretations.

For example, if you’re introducing a new logo and brand name to your company, you could email that branding to thousands of team members, but when new messaging is emailed, you’re not able to create context. There’s no forum for questions. 

Instead, a virtual meeting with your CEO can more clearly communicate the message,  providing a firm foundation for connection before its lost in translation. In some cases, companies have hosted in-person meetings where cell phones are put into lockers to limit distractions. When a team is united in messaging, they’re less likely to leak an announcement before it’s been properly communicated to the group. The ROI of an event like this is best determined by measuring engagement with the message. Positive feedback, or the absence of negative feedback, is indicative of a successful messaging campaign.

CONSIDERING A SPEAKER?

Launching a product or service 

Experiential marketing is nothing new, as brands have been putting their products in front of people as far back as the first world’s fair. Infusing human senses create memories that can translate into a powerful and positive emotional response to a product or service. 

That type of event ROI is typically measured with sales. Wrigley’s introduced their chewing gum to the masses at the world’s fair in 1893. Needless to say, that proved to be a solid investment of time and resources. With modern-day events, many companies rely on event applications to track attendance demographics and the timing-related specifics of sales. Some of the more popular event apps include Whova, EventBoard, and Attendify.

The introduction of something new is a delicate process, and there’s inherent value in taking your time with a persuasive launch. People are often hesitant to accept change, with reactionary tendencies that reject new ideas. Investing in an event provides an opportunity to show and tell stories with multimedia, multi-sensory, immersive experiences. Whether it’s William Wrigley showing the value of chewing gum, or Steve Jobs showing the value of an iPod, it’s very effective for consumers to experience a new product in person. 

Educating your team 

If you’re rolling out a new product line, you may not see sales results for a year or more. The same can apply to an initiative to educate a team. To consider the value of training in person, we think most about retaining information. In our virtual world, it can be challenging to keep people’s attention with an online course. 

One of the biggest advantages of an in-person educational event is the opportunity to remove people from their regular schedules and into an environment that inspires creativity. By providing an immersive experience, you give your team a chance to be present and retain information. When you share with your sales team what they need to know to be successful, that event ROI is going to show up in your sales metrics. Another way to measure that ROI is with a thoughtful post-event survey. Did your attendees really learn anything? Ask specific questions and find out. 

Measuring event ROI with strategy

Whatever your event goals may be, the value of an in-person event is here to stay. Educators, entertainers, and marketers alike are asking their audiences to put phones down and engage their senses. The results are invaluable.

To determine the value of your next event investment, start with strategy and then measure with precision. At Heroic, we ask the right questions so that you can invest with confidence.

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IEBA Annual Conference Stands Alone!

The International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Annual Conference is an event for professionals in the entertainment business who buy, book, and sell talent. 

The Conference stands alone in the entertainment industry by providing unparalleled networking opportunities with the entertainment industry’s leading innovators and decision makers, professional development, and current entertainment options. 

Attendees include entertainment industry professionals who buy, book, and promote talent. So of course, Kris Campbell, Heroic’s VP Speakers & Entertainment, was there.

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IEBA Annual Conference Highlights

Having just returned from the Nashville annual event, Kris said, “The two highlights were the Corporate 360 Session and three days of an on-going showcase of great live entertainment.” 

The Corporate 360 Session is for entertainment buyers and producers who work in the corporate event market and agents who represent talent who also work (or want to) in that market. This year, the session highlighted a panel discussion with an agent, a band manager, a promoter, and a buyer. There were many aha! moments felt throughout the room, which was fascinating, given most attendees were seasoned professionals. Proves the point that there is always something to learn!

There was also time for round table discussions, where attendees discuss learnings from the past two years. The pandemic was obviously tough on the events industry and the music/touring world. In spite of the difficulties all experienced, it was clear many were forced to be more creative which produced innovative ideas. For instance, we all know the traditional meet and greet events were tough, or even impossible to execute, during the pandemic. One alternate solution was to do a VIP Q&A with a band. This experience starts with selecting a cool venue with a bar and then placing the band up front, socially distanced. Then, let the attendees ask questions! Everyone felt it was more meaningful and less awkward than the traditional meet and greet. 

Kris also commented, “There is no other place to experience so much exciting talent, meet with agents/managers, and learn about new trends – all in a couple days! This conference is essential for those who book talent for the events industry.”  

Still Curious about The IEBA Annual Conference?

Would you like to hear more about the content that was shared at IEBA and Kris’ HOT entertainment recommendations? You can contact her directly here!

Select the Right Corporate Event Partner to Elevate Your Brand

Your next big event will help foster your brand’s growth, so choosing a corporate event production partner is essential. Whether you need technical support or complete event design, the right partner will make all the difference in accelerating your brand’s growth. 

Your needs may vary depending on your company’s brand goals. An effective event production partner should always offer strategic thinking, experience, and collaborative expertise. At Heroic, we know the signals that determine what makes a good partner, so let’s look at some of the green and red flags any brand should consider when choosing a partner for a make-or-break event.

Strategy first

Before designing an event, corporate event production partners need to understand their audience, how they want to approach the audience, and any obstacles. With this in mind, the best partners will always offer solutions informed by your marketing strategy and branding. This strategic mindset comes with assessing the overall value of an event and letting that value guide corporate event production. Every event is unique, and successful events need design partners who bring a consultative approach to production.

RECOMMENDED READING: CORPORATE EVENT STRATEGY: THE SECRET BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL CORPORATE EVENT

Green flag: questions

Look for partners who ask questions and offer creative ideas. A successful discovery phase goes far beyond repeating and refreshing successful ideas from past events. Partners who seek to understand their clients’ company culture and needs will best understand what factors may impact their results.

Red flag: order-taking

Order-taking may be the right approach for some of your needs. There’s a distinct difference between a “what do you need us to do” question and probing questions that uncover your needs. Be on the lookout for order takers. A strategic partner will ask questions about timing, culture, logistics, and specific objectives that best guide their advice. 

Proven track record

Corporate event production partners reflect a company’s capabilities, and whomever you bring on board should be aligned with your company’s level of expertise. At Heroic, we look for vendors who demonstrate our sense of professionalism, urgency, and problem-solving know-how. Every event comes with challenges. If and when something unexpected happens, you’ll want a seasoned team ready to pivot. A proven track record shows that an event production team has the knowledge they need to evolve and offset whatever comes their way with alternative solutions. 

Green flag: referrals

Trust partners that other industry experts consistently recommended. Vendors that come with referrals are more likely to have built long-term relationships that improve the quality of their work. It helps if you’re looking for a recurring relationship, too. The more you work with one partner, the more expertise they will bring to your event needs.

Red flag: lack of specific know-how

If a vendor is seasoned but lacks experience relative to corporate event production, they may not be a good fit for your event. Make sure a potential partner’s skill level matches the needs of the event. The specific knowledge, network, and flexibility it takes to solve corporate event problems come from years of experience. The best way to determine this level of expertise before hiring someone is to ask detailed questions about their previous work.

A collaborative approach 

You achieve the best results when you work with experts who can collaborate and understand the whole of an event instead of one piece. When leaders surround themselves with trusted partners, the chances of success grow exponentially. Find a team that already has its team. You’ll know you can trust their ability to work together as professionals. Relationships you have throughout the corporate event production world make all the difference in the work when working long hours on an event, making it more enjoyable. Solid partners already have a strong network of working relationships that can meet any number of needs.  

At Heroic, we understand our core capability and know when to outsource. When we call our partners to fill in the gaps, we only choose creative partners as meticulous with timelines and budgets as we are. We also only select partners who are parallel in values in the way we work.  

LEARN ABOUT HEROIC’S SPEAKER SERVICES

Green flag: cohesive branding

True teamwork and collaboration happen when your attendees don’t feel the difference between the professionalism of a brand and its vendors. One event—one team committed to keeping your event moving efficiently. Solid partners understand a company and its initiatives enough to be unified in their execution. 

Red flag: the blame game 

When something goes wrong, and an event partner points fingers—it’s not teamwork. The best partners don’t look to blame anyone but instead calmly and efficiently get to work. No one wants to hear excuses. We want to hear “I’m on it” and see accountability for actions.

Invest in corporate event production partners who care

Experience, strategy, and collaborative skills are necessary, but that doesn’t add much if a partner doesn’t show passion for the work. Partners that communicate genuine enthusiasm for a project can better deliver the level of service that a company expects.

Heroic is a one-stop shop for staging, production, and creativity. Our experience makes us flexible to changes, and we’ve already vetted the pieces of our events puzzle—a determining factor in our readiness to deliver consistent results. Companies consistently partner with us because we choose our partners with professional integrity and understanding, and care for our client’s needs.

Contact us to discuss how we can apply our integrative approach to your next event

Unique Corporate Event Planning Ideas

If your team already knows what to expect from your annual company meeting, or they’ve seen some version of the same PowerPoint presentation ten times now, you may be due for some fresh corporate event planning ideas. Your attendees will thank you for it!

Corporate event planning ideas should be guided by your brand personality and strategic goals, with thoughtful consideration of location, entertainment, and timing of activities. The key to your attendees’ delight is in the details! To make your next gathering one to remember in all the right ways, here are a few corporate event planning ideas and tips to keep in mind. To illustrate how impactful these corporate event planning ideas can be, we’ll be using an example of an intimate event set at a beautiful Napa Valley vineyard that had pitch-perfect planning and execution.

Recommended Reading: Heroic’s Guide to Corporate Event Strategies

Gather with purpose

Carefully evaluating a venue’s location is integral to the success of any corporate event. If you’re gathering in person, gather with purpose. With that in mind, it’s important to let the “why” of your event” inform the “where” and “when.” When companies were hosting events at the height of the pandemic, they had to select locations that allowed planners to create standout experiences while also adhering to health safety protocols. Also, sometimes it’s just more fun to be outside. For example, we were wowed by a financial service company and their perfectly executed corporate event at a Napa vineyard. The ideal location and California sun gave attendees a refreshed perspective and a memorable experience. 

Timing is also a big factor here. If your vision is to create attendee experiences outside of a hotel’s 4 walls,  there’s such a thing as too much heat (and humidity) and then there is the hurricane season. Consider both the geography and the time of year if you want ideal outdoor conditions.

 A venue’s layout also affects the flow of the event, so be sure to consider how open or intimate a space you’d need to achieve your desired impact. Have you ever attended a breakout session in a rock climbing gym? You wouldn’t forget it if you did. How about an early yoga lesson on the beach? Don’t be afraid to get creative with the space!

Get creative with entertainment

Strategy should guide all corporate event decision-making, and entertainment is no different. Whether you’re hiring a musician to play between work sessions or a comedian to roast the CEO at your awards show, unique entertainment choices are a great way to engage and inspire your attendees. Think about what kind of performance might help your employees break out of their everyday mindset. Could they use a laugh right now? Or do they want to be inspired? The difference between the success of a stand-up comic or a motivational speaker could lie in the needs of your attendees.


Whatever talent you might hire, the best way to make corporate entertainment unique is to incorporate it in a creative and surprising way. If you’re hiring a band, consider asking them to write an original song specifically for the event. If you’re hiring a magician, think about which team members have great personalities for being on-stage assistants—it could add an extra touch of fun and connection to the performance.

Make it interactive

Interactive performances and events make an impact. Any opportunity to directly involve your attendees is only going to elevate the event. This could be as simple as inviting attendees on stage or offering attendees to “drink and draw” along with an instructor. 

Going back to the winery event example, a highlight was the team of jugglers that performed at the award ceremony. Some jugglers were dressed as waiters, and, midway through the presentations, began tossing wine bottles about as if by accident. This fun and unexpected surprise kept attendees engaged throughout the ceremony. Creative entertainment choices like this excite your attendees and have them looking forward to the company’s next event for months to come.

Personalize the experience

Another great way to keep your attendees engaged is to design the experience with them specifically in mind. What do your attendees need? Let that need guide the event idea. If your employees haven’t met yet, and they need a team-building exercise, an escape room might be a fun corporate event planning idea for the team. Or even if you know that you need your attendees sitting in chairs all day, there are ways to personalize that experience.

Let’s go back to the winery example one more time (we really loved this event!). As the attendees moved through a beautiful winery all day, enjoying the wine country scenery and juggling waiters, they were also each given a personalized wine bottle. The wine was delicious, the inscriptions on their labels were thoughtful, and no one left the event feeling like a number. It’s attention to detail like this that makes all of the difference for event planners’ success.

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Don’t forget the fun

When designing an event, consider your attendees’ feelings and how you want them to feel. Let the meeting agenda and your unique event activities evolve from there, and whatever you do—don’t forget the fun. It’s safe to assume everyone wants to let their hair down every once in a while, and a unique corporate event planning idea has the power to transform your attendees’ mindset. 

We’ve all seen the same presentations over and over. We’ve all sat in familiar rows of chairs, facing a seemingly endless lineup of corporate speakers. For your next event, consider flipping typical event planning ideas on their heads. When you think outside of the box, you’ll inspire your attendees to do the same.

 If you’re looking for a corporate event production team that thinks of everything, contact Heroic today.

Why You Need Corporate Event Management

Events are powerful tactics to deliver messaging. They’re also meaningful ways to celebrate achievements, train employees, and inspire attendees. Whatever the specific event goals may be, organizations rely on corporate event management teams to strategize, plan, and execute meaningful experiences. 

You wouldn’t trust just anyone to plan a million-dollar wedding, and you shouldn’t trust just anyone with your million-dollar meeting, either. Corporate event management comes with all the moving parts of movie production or concert experience. Execution of that level of production requires thoughtful design. Expert event managers bring the advanced talents and strategies needed for producing events, all to surprise, delight, and motivate your attendees into post-event action. 

Collaboration is vital

It’s not cost-effective to have your internal staff produce an exceptional event. Tapping an experienced production partner is an excellent and often necessary option when organizations don’t have the staff to execute corporate event management and logistics. Experts know what works. Choosing corporate event management teams with the experience and know-how to execute a successful event and ensure company goals are met can be the difference between meeting organizational objectives and an event that falls flat. 

Beyond the need to secure the right venue, technology, catering, and entertainment, event managers bring expert knowledge and a fresh perspective to an organization’s event strategy. They know what’s new and what works and can apply an objective view of a company’s initiatives to build something unique rather than recreating the same event year after year. 

Will some of your colleagues prefer to attend the conference from home this year? Corporate event managers have already thought through the unique circumstances that can change the event’s dynamics. They know which vendors have the capabilities to make just about anything happen. Corporate event managers get the right specialists in the room and know the right questions to ask to ensure the job is done the right way and on budget. Use their expertise to get the most out of your event. 

Recommended Reading: How to Measure Engagement for Your Next Corporate Experience

Experience matters

There aren’t many event crises that a seasoned event manager hasn’t experienced. The best event managers approach challenges with curiosity, creativity, and an affinity for problem-solving. When a last-minute vendor cancellation could otherwise mean failure, an event manager already has the contact information of other vendors who can get the job done. 

Years of experience prepare event managers to handle any issues that may arise. Veteran event management teams approach event productions, understanding that events are living organisms, adapting and evolving to many constantly changing factors. The best event management teams know those factors before they arise, from when your speaker will need a snack to how a venue’s floor plan might affect your attendees’ emotional response to a breakout session. 

For example, if you want sparks to fly (in a good way) at your event, your attendees need room to network. Is there an area where your award winners will want to chat after their big moment? Designing solutions for team-building moments to take place is critical, and an experienced event manager has the expertise to identify those important opportunities.

Find Out The Secret Behind a Successful Corporate Event – and How to Get it Right, Every Time

Strategic thinking

Careful logistics execution is crucial to an event’s success and requires superb collaboration. Logistics don’t add up to much if it’s not grounded in a solid event strategy. Event strategy is where it all begins and continues throughout the event.

Corporate event management experts must zoom out to consider the big picture and ask the right questions:

  • What are the demographics of the attendees, and how might that inform their experience? 
  • What’s happening in the company’s culture that might affect the attendees’ perspective? 
  • Have the attendees faced setbacks that need to be acknowledged, or are they overdue for a celebration? 
  • Will attendees benefit from a cathartic breakout session after the keynote speaker? 

Event strategy should guide all decisions. The answers to the right questions will directly impact each event detail, from the schedule flow to the entertainment. Experienced corporate event managers will create solutions to help organizations meet their goals and objectives.

Event managers don’t just jump in and start building. They develop a vision, determine what success looks like, and then deliver what attendees will need to make an experience worthwhile. This attention to detail is imperative to executing on-strategy.

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Let experts be experts

Specific outcomes matter and those outcomes are achieved with thoughtful consideration. Corporate event management teams bring the strategic expertise to design and put together the intricate pieces of an event’s ever-evolving puzzle. 

You want your event’s schedule to be planned with purpose. The logistics of your event should be so flawless that no one notices the complexities involved in the event’s planning. And most of all, you want your event attendees to leave with sparks, ideas, and feeling a part of something. 

The team here at Heroic can do it all—from strategy to execution. Let’s partner on your next event and put our corporate event management expertise to work for you. Contact us today.

How to Measure Event Engagement for Your Next Corporate Experience

Event success is as measurable as it is achievable—and if you have experience producing successful events, you know it’s all about event engagement. With engagement goals baked into your event strategy, you can effectively and accurately measure the success of your event.

But the age-old question remains: how do you quantify event engagement? 

Your purpose is your best metric. Do you want to increase sales? Cultivate relationships? Share a branding message? 

When your event has a clearly defined purpose, the metrics you’ll use to measure engagement will be easily definable. Engagement tools can help you learn whether attendees are moved to act on your purpose, helping you quantify event engagement. 

Post-event surveys

You may think it’s over when attendees walk away smiling and buzzing with compliments, but engagement goes beyond how attendees feel about the event. It’s what attendees do as a result of the event that matters. 

So, ask them what they’re doing post-event. A thoughtfully crafted post-event survey can generate meaningful feedback only if you ask the right questions. 

Put yourself in the place of your attendees when you develop your survey. Consider how you want them to be empowered in the days and weeks after an event. Net promoter scores help measure approval and room for growth, but more specific questions informed by clear goals—such as sales numbers, if applicable—can determine whether your attendees were properly engaged. 

Find ways to learn about attendees’ actions after the event, if any. Don’t be afraid to hear them say it was a waste of their time. Candid questions and responses are best: you’ll never know unless you ask. When you engage with emotional perception and understand how it motivates attendees, you get vital insights that will inform the strategy for your next meeting. At the very least, you want to know what held your attendees’ attention—and what didn’t.

Related Reading: Corporate Event Strategy – The secret behind a successful corporate event

Surveys for non-attendees

Event feedback shouldn’t stop at event attendees. Strong relationships with sponsors and speakers are just as meaningful—and measurable. Find out what your sponsors got out of an event, and don’t shy away from asking what they’d like to get out of the next one. You can ask about event messaging: was it clean and clear? Ask them if on-site teams felt supported by the venue and planners. 

How you ask questions impacts your results: the more thorough you are with your surveys, the better. Whether you’re sending out a survey as a mass email or setting up a call with your attendees, the effectiveness of event engagement data can vary significantly based on your approach to gathering it.

Event apps and social media

Many platforms support event management, and with those applications come helpful tools for measuring event engagement. The event app adoption rate is a valuable metric for understanding engagement levels. Your goals can determine any metrics you use beyond that.

For example, Whova provides tools to market your event, register attendees, and measure engagement with in-app polls and surveys. It can gauge how long attendees stayed at your event. Most in-event applications—EventBoard, BusyConf, Grupio, myQaa, TapCrowd, QuickMobile, SpotMe, Eventmobi, CrowdCompass, Attendify, and Pathable—can provide this kind of data and more.

Social media applications provide free data regarding click-through rates, post engagement, and page visitors. For example, LinkedIn metrics can provide information on social media traffic on the day of your event. Hootsuite and other social media performance tools can track the success of promotions across platforms and when attendees may have engaged with your event announcements. You can gain insight into when attendees clicked and why. If you experienced an engagement boost on social media after your event, social media tools can tell you exactly when it happened.   

If you allow your attendees to register for event updates, you can also offer them an opportunity to rate the speakers and programs they attend. With an in-event app, they can rate what they see within minutes of a session, providing much more accurate feedback than a post-event survey taken days after an event. You can use data to consider making changes to your next event if you find less-than-stellar engagement. 

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Raw numbers matter

While a thorough survey can provide invaluable qualitative data, sometimes the clearest indicator of event engagement is in the attendance numbers. Still, engagement tools in event applications can collect more detailed information on timing and demographic-related specifics. 

Maybe your attendees rushed to the ballroom for one keynote speaker, or perhaps your attendance numbers were inconsistent over the course of the event. If your attendees aren’t making it to every session, those numbers might also indicate factors that deter involvement—location, timing, personal preferences, or otherwise. Use this information to inform the strategy for your next event.

Related Reading: Heroic’s Guide to Corporate Event Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

Keep them talking

There are many ways to measure event engagement, but if the event ends with attendees taking action and speaking positively, you must capture these sentiments. Whatever insights you garner may be worth repeating with future events. 

Always ask the right questions, even if it’s uncomfortable. Consider how the results match your strategy and make adjustments accordingly. 

At Heroic, we focus on event strategy before any planning begins. That means success can be as accurately defined as it is measurable. Ask us the questions about event engagement you need answered, and we can build a strategy together. 

Corporate Event Strategy: The Secret Behind A Successful Corporate Event—and How to Get It Right, Every Time

There’s a secret that the best corporate event planners know—and it has little to do with creative menus, spectacular venues, or swag bags chock full of trendy products. It’s this: strategy comes first—and the most successful corporate events get built around that. 

If you follow that single principle, corporate event planning becomes an extension of your brand’s marketing and communications objectives, and everything else—theme, program, food, decor, entertainment, swag, or more—can fall into place. That’s because every decision and detail either furthers your central strategy—or it doesn’t. 

For corporate event planners and their clients, the key question then becomes: how do you establish and execute a clear and achievable event strategy? Simple. Answer these three critical questions.

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Question 1: Why are you gathering people? What’s the message or goal?

We’ve all been to the meeting that could have been an email, the lunch that could have been a call, and the call that should have been canceled. This principle intensifies with an in-person corporate event.

So why are you gathering this designated group at this particular time? Is it for a product launch or a new sales initiative? Maybe it’s to celebrate a corporate merger, make key leadership introductions, or rally the troops after a milestone year. Take a moment to consider what you want to achieve—and how that will be measured. 

What’s the key message? What are the metrics of success—the data that will convey you’ve gotten the message across? This might be ROI, quantified by sales lift, stronger customer relationships, or some other measurable KPI. It might include attendee happiness, as demonstrated by a certain percentage of positive post-event evaluations (hint: consider the questions you’ll ask them before you start planning). What other data do you want to gather to track the success of your event? These will differ according to your greater purpose—but being clear on these metrics helps you know what you’re aiming for. 

Time is valuable, and attendees will appreciate your thoughtful crystallization of why they’re being brought together for a few hours or days. And when whatever you’re hoping to communicate—the magic of a new product, the synergies of a merger, the vision of fresh leadership, a collective monumental achievement—gets soundly received in a way you can quantify, you will know your event has been a success. 

Strategists figure out the “why” so planners can figure out the “how.” Now that you know what your event is intended to achieve, you can fill in the event details. 

First, ask yourself what kind of event would serve your strategy best? Is it big and high-energy or smaller and more intimate; splashy or discrete; daytime, evening, or multi-day; fiery or icy; loud or soft; eccentric, trendy, or classic? Or somewhere in between?

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Question 2: What’s its shape, structure, and flavor?

Next, put yourself in your attendees’ shoes at every stage of the planning process. Great corporate event planning results in attendees feeling seen, thought of, and cared for. You want attendees to feel a gamut of emotions: from motivated to empowered to connected, surprised to energized to delighted. Understanding the emotional journey and how it evolves will help you sustain engagement throughout. 

Some do’s:

  1. Design branded and customized experiences. Think about the continuity of the message throughout the event and even how the food and beverage can tie into that message. 
  2. Impact all five senses when possible. 
    • For example, use script writing and creative visual support to awaken sight and sound (and to prevent ‘death by PowerPoint.’) 
    • Use stellar food and beverages and even aromatherapy throughout to tantalize taste and smell—and to carry the continuity of a well-crafted message. 
    • Think about volume control and temperature. When will you make things cozier? When would you cool things down? 
  3. Build on previous successes, or utilize learning moments drawn from past events. 

At every step, go back to your objective and event strategy. Make sure that every decision you make supports and aligns with that strategy.

Question 3: How do you keep everyone safe?

Covid changed the rules—and the expectations.

Pandemic added new challenges to event logistics, and it raised the stakes, too. Anticipation is currently soaring. Most event attendees have been working remotely for two years, and they’re ready to celebrate. Maybe this is their first opportunity to meet—and bond with—new colleagues. Maybe they’re experiencing concerns about Covid, and you’ll need to assure them they’re safe. 

Covid has also changed timeframes: lead times are much shorter now, with two or three months settling into more of a norm. For one thing, it’s challenging to plan when it’s unclear if there will be a Covid spike, a new variant, or a transportation barrier. For another, communication with venues has become challenging, due to staffing shortages. 

The best event planners are prepared and adaptive, with an affinity for problem-solving. Now picture this: it’s been weeks, and people are still buzzing about your corporate event. The word is that everyone left the event feeling like it was time well spent—connections were made and the level of engagement hit just the right mark. 

So the event was a success? Well, you tell us. You now know the secret.

At Heroic Productions, we are supportive, strategic collaborators. We know the right questions to ask, and how to guide you toward solutions that serve your company best. And we know how to create an event strategy—and complete it. 

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Heroic’s Guide to Corporate Event Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

If you’ve ever driven with kids in the car, you’re familiar with the question: “Are we there yet?” That’s what it has felt like the last two years for anyone who plans corporate events or develops the corporate event strategy.

With joy in our hearts, we can finally proclaim: Yes! We’re there!

Now it’s time for a new set of questions. Like, how have corporate events changed? What are the latest corporate event trends? And, what’s the best way to get started planning? 

We’re here to address these questions and more, including:  

  • How to reignite your corporate event strategy
  • What’s trending in corporate events 
  • How to create memorable brand experiences 
  • How to start planning your next corporate event 
  • How to measure your event success 
Corporate Event Strategies Guide CTA

How to reignite your corporate event strategy

Prior to the pandemic, in-person events were the gold standard for brands. It’s almost as if the event wasn’t live, it didn’t happen at all. As a result, virtual events, which existed long before the pandemic, often took a backseat to in-person events.

That sentiment is shifting big time.

Virtual events have hit their stride. In fact, we believe in-person events that include a virtual offering play an integral role in any corporate event, especially when you need to: 

  • Reach a bigger audience
  • Accommodate folks who are unable to attend in-person 
  • Manage your travel budget

What’s trending in corporate events? (How to give it that wow-factor)

Every day, we talk to brand and marketing leaders about their event goals and objectives and two things keep bubbling to the top of those conversations.

People want connection

Whether it comes in the form of networking with new people or reconnecting in person with longtime colleagues, the trend is all about establishing and strengthening relationships. 

This is especially true for companies that went from 100 percent in-office to 100 percent remote in a very short period of time. When planning your corporate event, be strategic with your agenda structure and create space and creative tactics to encourage connection, teamwork and celebration. 

People want to have fun

After two years of staring at laptop screens, people are ready for something different – they’re ready to meet in-person. We’re seeing more interest in laughter, inspiration, balance, real-talk and fun. 

Frankly, we’ve never been happier to have speakers and entertainment as part of our core offerings.

Bringing in outside speakers and talent that are aligned with your event goals create that momentous experience for your audience. While the phrase “surprise and delight” may seem overused, this is definitely the time for it. 

How to create memorable brand experiences (on stage, on-screen, or both)

Lasting impressions rarely happen by accident. They take vision, creativity and lots of planning. Showing up strong at your next event starts with nailing your goals and objectives. This is the springboard for your ever-so-important event strategy. 

What’s the format?

Shakespeare couldn’t have predicted just how true his “all the world’s a stage” line would be in today’s world. The stage can be physical, like at an in-person corporate event. Or the stage can be “on-screen,” like during a virtual event.

What options does the format offer for branding?

In-person events offer more familiar opportunities for communicating your brand in the overall event design – think scenic elements, graphic design, signage, collateral and swag. All of these remain important and should be part of your overall event strategy as they impact the experience you are creating for your audience.

Virtual corporate events have plenty of branding opportunities, too.  

When we produce events for the small screen, we use what’s called a virtual platform to deliver the event. This virtual event technology is an intricate component of your event strategy. It not only sets your event apart from everyday Zoom or Teams calls, it supports the content and experience you are creating and managing.

Virtual events offer many opportunities to let your brand shine. From your pre-communications strategy to registration, to the login screen and pre-show lobby, to your mainstage, breakout rooms and so on – integrating your brand into the design of all touch points is critical. 

Your audience should know immediately that they are at your event, just as you do when you see an Apple launch or the NFL draft, as every detail supports the brand and the goals and objectives of the event.    

A friendly word of caution

Maybe it was living through two years of Zoom calls from home, but we’ve noticed audiences have a low tolerance for technical mishaps, poor quality, awkward transitions and lackluster production. Be sure to invest the time and dollars to make your next event feel special (whether it’s in-person, virtual, or hybrid). Your audience has been waiting for it.

How to start planning your next event

We all appreciate the gift of time, and that’s certainly true in the events industry. Where possible, our clients bring us into the planning process early. We’ve earned a seat at the table by bringing an objective clarity to their event goals and by providing a seasoned, strategic approach to planning and execution.

It is beneficial to nail down essential considerations early, especially:

Event location

This is driven by many factors including the type of meeting (incentive will drive the location/type of hotel), demographics of your audience (east/west coast, etc), airport accessibility, union/non-union labor city, expo component, your budget, etc.

Venue selection

This is critical to your event flow so approach this with a concise list of “must haves,” including: quantity and size of breakout rooms, General Session square footage/shape/ceiling heights with no low-hanging chandeliers, your preferred seating layout, staging/scenic footprint, flow of meeting space, outside meeting space, reception areas, and now more important than ever – the hotel guidelines and budget add-ons.

Site visits

Involve your production partner as you consider a venue for your event and include them on your initial and follow-up site visits. Their view is a combination of technical and production savvy and a discriminating view on what is possible to execute at a specific venue. Your production partner sees different things during site visits that should be factored into the technical budget. They will inquire about rig points, power, load-in restrictions and can also provide specific requests before a contract is signed. 

If event marketing is part of your strategy, you know the importance of making the event unforgettable. That’s where working with an outside partner can make all the difference in delivering a unique experience that drives your messaging and goals. They can:

  • Help you articulate your goals and objectives
  • Focus on understanding your target audience and what drives them
  • Discuss problems your audience may have directly or indirectly related to the event subject matter
  • Drive creative ideas and content that support your brand, messaging and engage your audience
  • Ask hard questions like – what do you want your audience to feel, to do after attending your event
  • Take broad ideas and funnel them down to what is impactful
  • Work with you on timeline management
Corporate Event Strategies Guide CTA

Timeline for planning a corporate event? 

There’s no magic number or foolproof equation. It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve and the support and resources. For example:

  • Do you need to bring people together quickly for an announcement? Or are you sharing a new strategic direction for the company?
  • Is it a brand-new product launch? Or the next iteration of an existing product?
  • Is it a one-time special recognition event? Or an important fundraiser?
  • Is your approval process straightforward or multi-layered with many stakeholders?
  • Is accessibility to leadership’s calendar accessible or impossible?
  • Do you have a budget to support partnering with an agency to produce and execute your meeting or are you driving solo?

Measuring the success of your corporate event

No matter how meaningful an event is, it also needs to deliver measurable value to the business. Who doesn’t want to show ROI to their leadership? Which route you take to measure your results depends on the goals and the corporate event strategy you established. For example:

  • Traditional measures – You can follow up with your audience using an email poll or survey.  
  • Technology – Virtual event platforms provide a wide variety of stats and data about your event – like how often people engage on the platform, which breakouts they attended, or which content they reacted to.  
  • Content-related goals – Let’s say you have an annual sales meeting. You could track customer engagement or retention after the event. If you introduce a new sales process, you can measure whether you have an uptick in sales after three or six months. If you host a state of the business update, you can follow it up with interviews.

It’s your move

We hope these corporate event tips and insights are helpful – especially as you’re thinking ahead to your next event. Let’s chat if you get stuck in the process. Our team would love to help you reignite your corporate event strategy.

Don’t Cancel That Meeting. Consider Live Streaming!

The meetings and events industry has been shaken by the realities and uncertainties of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Companies have started to second-guess their meeting plans, or are canceling them altogether, especially when travel is involved. Hindsight will be 20/20 as to whether or not these steps are overreaction or prudent. But, at the very least, they are certainly well-intended. And though that intention for your audience is there, the delivery of your event’s message has now been compromised. So, short of canceling altogether, what can your organization do to share its message, in a safe and timely manner?

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Heroic Welcomes Kris Young As New VP Speakers & Entertainment

Kris Young_Heroic ProductionsWe are excited to announce our newest member to the team, Kris Young as VP, Speakers & Entertainment. In this role, Young will solely focus on helping clients secure talent to help deliver event key messages.

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Best Convention Cities: Is Minneapolis a Good City for Live Event Production?

Ladies and gentlemen, searchers and seekers, we are happy to report that yes indeed, Minneapolis should be on your shortlist of best convention cities. We’re west of Chicago, east of Las Vegas, just south of the world’s largest freshwater lake and far north of your expectations.

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6 Top Convention Cities You Haven’t Considered for Your 2020 Events

top convention citiesLas Vegas is a sure thing (so to speak). Chicago is a favorite. Orlando is magic. And, New York… New York is so good they named it twice.

These are classic convention city favorites, and undeniably, they’ve earned their stripes for good reasons. But what if we ditch the obvious and expected and put a new pin on the map for convention possibilities?

Don’t confine your event to the city limits. Try convening your soiree in a less-than-traditional city. Might we suggest:

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Tips for Throwing a Kickass Annual Corporate Event

Heroic Productions_Kickass Corporate EventOnce the holidays are over and everyone’s back in the office, you may think your employees are partied-out. But, no! Kicking off the new year with a kickass corporate event is the perfect way to keep the happy holiday spirit rolling as everyone re-focuses on the work at hand. Throw the right event, and you can reinforce their renewed sense of motivation and look forward to a successful business year.

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Augsburg University Scholarship Weekend With Steve Wozniak

Augsburg University

Augsburg University (Minneapolis, Minnesota) hosted their annual Scholarship Weekend with a kickoff event featuring a keynote conversation with Steve Wozniak. Heroic was there to transform their large gymnasium into a visually interesting and easy-to-see-and-hear venue for a full house of attendees. We used a wall of gray drape (gray takes lighting much better than black), plenty of lights, large iMag screens and a couple of well-placed Meyer Sound line-array speaker systems. Take a look at the video!

Delta Airlines’ B747 Farewell Tour

Detroit / Seattle / Atlanta / Minneapolis

Logistics. Planning. And more planning. That’s what it took to pull off this before-Christmas whirlwind-around-the-country, 4 cities (Detroit / Seattle / Atlanta / Minneapolis) in 4-days farewell tour for Delta’s B747-400 airplanes. We supported BI Worldwide by providing the lights, audio and video/projection (notice the large projection screen in the shape of a tail fin!) for the hangar parties. How did we do it? It took two crews and two sets of gear, leap-frogging one another across the country, to pull it off. Some of our crew even had the exciting privilege of riding on the final leg of the tour! It was an honor to be a part of this historic event.

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X Games Party – Maxim & Indian Motorcycles

Aria, Minneapolis

Maxim Magazine and Indian Motorcycles threw an exclusive “by invitation only” party at Aria during a recent edition of the X Games here in Minneapolis, and Heroic was there with over-the-top lighting and audio. We’ve put together a fun, time-lapse video of the set up and included images of some of the incredible motorcycles that were also on display at the party. What a night!

Heroic Supports Nobel Conference 54

Heroic Productions returned to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for Nobel Conference 54. For this annual prestigious event, the Lund Arena ice rink is transformed into a lecture setting for several thousand attendees, and it’s our job to help make sure the message is seen, heard and remembered by all in attendance. We do that with fabulous scenic, crisp audio and video, and creative lighting. A rock-solid video feed is provided for a live web-stream (also recorded for viewing on YouTube) of all the presenters so that people unable to attend have front-row seats for the lectures.

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