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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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.

Please Welcome Debuts with Studio Audience at Studio15

On Thursday, August 18, Heroic Productions launched a brand new, innovative event series called “Please Welcome”. Designed specifically for corporate leaders, marketing, and event professionals, Studio15 @ Heroic buzzed with the sights and sounds of live production, in front of a studio audience. But don’t worry! If you weren’t there, you can catch the broadcast in a few weeks.

“Please Welcome” is a quarterly experience, created by the event strategists at Heroic. Kris Campbell, VP of Speakers & Entertainment, explained that one of many challenges event professionals face today is selecting and booking the best talent that represents, enhances, and punctuates overall event objectives. There are many, many options. And often, while conducting an online search, the one that rings your bell is on the page you didn’t get to because you ran out of search-steam. That’s exactly why working with a talent strategist like Heroic is the answer.

As an example of how the right talent enhances a brand experience, Heroic welcomed and presented Denise Soler Cox onto the inaugural “Please Welcome” stage. At the onset of the event, Kitty Hart, Heroic’s VP of Brand Experience, told us we were in for something special. And she was right.

Denise Soler Cox is a first-generation Latina, award-winning filmmaker, podcaster, and keynote speaker. She floated onto the stage with grace and wrapped her arms around the audience with a beautiful explanation of what it means to create a sense of belonging; something she realized is a deficiency for many. 

Resonating with corporate leaders all over the country, Denise is in high demand as she poses the question, “How can we ask people to be their ‘full selves’ at work if we don’t provide a space for people to experience Belonging?” As leaders understand that DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is now DEIB (B for belonging), there is still much to be done to help people understand the critical nuance needed to authentically build the feeling of belonging for EVERYONE. 

You can learn more about Denise by contacting Kris Campbell and viewing Denise’s film trailer

When’s the next “Please Welcome”? Sign up for our news so you’re always in-the-know for everything #UniquelyHeroic!

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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The right message. The right time. The right messenger.

Producing corporate events is complex and challenging. But producing an event for event professionals is daunting! Right? Expectations are high, and rightfully so. 

We, as an audience of producers, planners, and suppliers know the ins and outs, right and wrong, average and exceptional. We are a discerning group and, you bet, we can pick apart events that we didn’t produce ourselves. However, when 2,000 event professionals came together last week for #MPI #WECSanFrancisco, we gathered to learn, support, and celebrate. 

Period. 

This association that cares deeply for our industry, knows better than to criticize. We celebrated each other and the future of the events industry that is back doing what it does best. 

Here though, let’s dig in a bit on the topic of “the right message, the right time, and the right messenger” which is a mantra here at Heroic Productions.  Specifically, we’re speaking about one of the featured presentations from Denise Soler Cox and The Magic of Belonging.

Were you there? If not, check out MPI’s recap. We see no need to duplicate efforts crafting our own overview. They did a great job. 

Headlining Wednesday’s General Session, Denise moved and inspired the audience. Again, it’s worth noting, speaking to a room of event professionals is no easy task. But Denise gathered herself and her mission to help us all understand how it feels to truly belong and how we can share this feeling with others. 

What made Denise’s presentation so impactful was actually quite simple:

THE RIGHT MESSAGE

Belonging; a natural human desire, right? Who in the world doesn’t want, need, and deserve to belong? 

THE RIGHT TIME

Having weathered the recent pandemic and now economic aftermath, don’t we all crave the comfort and security that comes with a sense of belonging?

THE RIGHT MESSENGER

And, when the magic of belonging is shared by a vibrant Latina who, with passion and grief, tells stories of “growing up Latina” but never feeling “Latina-enough”, the message is felt and received. 

Punctuated by a screening of Denise’s film, Being Enye, it was fascinating to spend the hours and days following her presentation at Denise’s side. Countless attendees approached and shared their own experiences and/or thoughts that were brought forth by her presentation. Even in the middle of the dance floor. Each conversation was met with hugs, tears, understanding, and yes, a sense of belonging. 

“Authenticity is the source of your power
and authenticity is what belonging feels like.”

Denise Soler Cox

As event professionals, we understand the importance of seeing and feeling the impact of the experiences we create. #MPI brilliantly programmed Denise on the mainstage because they recognized this as a “right message, right time, right messenger” opportunity. That’s one of the most important components of designing and executing an impactful event. The emotional impact felt across the General Session room and into the hours that followed confirms that even though we all come from different backgrounds, we all have the same need to belong. 

It’s not just her story. It belongs to us all and it is now our opportunity to share. 

Want to know more?

Want to know more about Denise Soler Cox and how she can inspire your audiences? Or just curious about how a professional speaker or entertainer can inspire your audience? Contact Kris Campbell and visit our site

If you’re in the Minneapolis area, you’ll want to meet Denise in August when she presents at our new speaker series, Please Welcome. Details to come!

Please Welcome is a new and upcoming speaker series produced by Heroic Productions. Sign up for our news now to be sure you’re notified of the date and details!

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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 
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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.

How to Choose an Event Production Partner

Nothing is more important to the success of an event than partnering with a company who can ensure your visual and audio components are executed flawlessly. But, with so many companies out there, how do you decide which one is right for you and your event?

The key word here is partner. The right event production company will be more than a supplier of equipment and labor. You can take advantage of their years of experience to get sound advice and new ideas that can make your event more interesting, fun, or all-around impressive. Choose the right partner, and you can actually look forward to your event instead of worrying.

What should you look for?

Experience

What is the company’s track record? Do they have solid testimonials? What’s their experience working events similar to yours in size, venue, and complexity? Don’t make assumptions about what they can and cannot do because services and capabilities vary from one company to another. How much of their capacity is in-house, and how much do they outsource?

Creativity

It takes more than efficient AV set-up, execution, and tear-down to produce a seamless, memorable event. It takes artistry and imagination. Can they think outside the box and offer suggestions that will improve the vision of your event or add technological elements you’d never have thought up yourself?

Willingness to work within your budget

Everyone has a budget regardless of the size or scope of their event. The right partner will have your back here, with no hidden fees or last-minute surprises. They’ll help you get maximum bang for your buck, advising when it’s best to spend more money and where you can cut costs without compromise.

Communication

Choose a partner who is a good listener and an eager participant — excited to assist with planning your event as well as execution. That strengthens the quality of your production, eliminates misunderstandings, and makes ongoing communication easier. Equally important, it ensures the final event meets your business goals in ways that clearly communicate your brand.

Teamwork and a Great Culture

Camaraderie counts. You want a partner whose people work well and happily with each other because how they function as a team affects the work they do for you. Do you like them? You’ll be spending a lot of time together, much of it under stressful conditions. You want fabulous results, but getting there shouldn’t be torturous. So, how’s their sense of humor and “cultural vibe?”

You’ll find that not every event production company is a good fit for you or your project. Frankly, if you don’t like them or believe in their expertise and talent, you won’t trust them. And trust and flexibility are critical when you’re producing any event. Choose well, though, and you’ll find a long-term partner who will be a multi-value resource when it comes to creating flawless, unforgettable future events.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Planning Virtual Events

Whoever said it’s easier and less time to do a virtual event, in comparison to a live event, has a lot to learn about this “new normal” of our industry. However, what we’ve learned is that people aren’t having the upfront and honest conversations of why this is. Well, we’re here to help answer some of those questions and give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes breakdown of everything you need to know about pre-production for a virtual event.

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7 Inspiring Stage Set Design Ideas for Your Next Conference

Even the most experienced conference event planner can sometimes feel stuck when it comes to set stage design ideas that will WOW your audience. It’s important to create something that will impress, but not detract, all while fitting into the venue, supporting your event goals, and staying within your budget.

Conference stage design makes the first impression for all of your attendees. It’s important not to settle into the same old, same old ideas that have been seen at conferences before.

Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration. So, here are some of the Heroic team’s favorite set stage design ideas that we think will get those creative juices flowing.

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4 Tips for Building an All-Star Event Team

event teamDon’t you just love it when you get to work with the best people ever? Creating and executing a large-scale event requires teamwork. But not just any team. It takes the right people, working as one, to produce an event that runs smoothly and makes a lasting impact on attendees.

The more skills and creativity you bring to the planning process, the more interesting and marvelous your event will be. Here are some tips to build your all-star event team.

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6 WAYS FROM GALA DULLS-VILLE TO GALA HITS-VILLE

The gala is a staple for fundraising and corporate celebrations. Easy enough, just roll out a few white stage lights, a projector, white tablecloths, a plated dinner, seat guests at the same table all night—and, cue the collective “YAWN.” It’s time to shake your mental Etch-a-Sketch on those ho-hum traditional assumptions and make way for fresh, energized, and memorable.

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