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.
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.
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.