Corporate events don’t happen on their own. The best corporate events require meticulous planning way ahead of schedule.
Simple decisions such as the venue and date can make a huge difference on whether the event is deemed successful or derided for months.
So if you’ve just been put in charge of planning your business’s first corporate event, don’t treat it like other events you’ve planned before. Sure, there will be many similar things you need to consider, but there are some unique factors to take into account as well.
In this article we’ll share tips for planning a successful corporate event for your business.
1. What Are the Goals of Your Corporate Event?
The theme and ambiance of a corporate event can vary greatly according to the goals of the event. For example, an event with a goal to educate will be different than an event meant for celebration.
The goal of your event will play a huge factor in determining other aspects of the planning, such as the budget, the right corporate event venue and event content. Make sure that the goal of the event aligns with your company’s goals as well. A purposeless or wasteful event will be bad for your company’s finances and can even negatively affect employee morale.
So before you do anything, take the time to determine the main goal of your event. Brainstorm this step if you have to, because it’s going to save you a lot of hassle down the line.
2. Make the Event Fun
Let’s face it, corporate events never really bring up memories of fun and excitement to anyone’s mind. However, you can easily break the mold here by incorporating fun and engaging themes into your event at corporate event venues.
The best way to make the event fun for your participants is to ask for their opinions and suggestions for the event before the event actually takes place. This will make them less resistant to whatever happens at the event.
Ask them what they’d like to see at the event, as well as help in determining the overall theme of the event. For example, ask them what dress code they’d like to see, or food items on the menu (if you’re serving food).
Determining an overall theme which all participants will be happy to adhere to not only makes the event more immersive, but gives it a cohesive look as well.
Oh and this goes without saying, but if you decide on a theme, make sure you go all-in on it. Don’t implement it half-heartedly, because it’s going to show and your event will be worse because of it.
3. Market Your Event
Guess what, your event is going to be a complete failure if no one is actually there to attend it. Fortunately, this is completely avoidable and not big of a deal if you know how to market it effectively.
Start promoting your event as soon as possible because you want a full house if that’s possible. Also, this allows you to focus on the event itself and not whether there will be people to host.
Oh and since this is corporate events we’re talking about, be a little more diligent when marketing the event. You want your target audience to be people who know what to expect at a corporate event. You don’t want people to show up expecting fun and games.
If you have well-known speakers coming to the event, don’t be afraid to leverage their influence and following to market your event.
If you run into some issues with the date of the event, be sure you have a plan on how to reschedule an event, and communicate the changes via whatever medium you used for marketing.
4. Include Engaging Activities
If one of the main goals of your event is to teach participants new skills, make sure to include engaging activities that are fun to carry out. Don’t include dull activities that no one looks forward to doing, like crossword puzzles.
Make activities that encourage teamwork and coordination, as this will promote teamwork at the company as well. And let’s be honest, these kinds of activities are generally more fun to do as well.
Activities have the distinct advantage of being more memorable for participants, than let’s say, a training video. Participatory learning is more effective if you’re planning on teaching your participants something important.
5. Experiential Learning Activities
Experiential learning tasks include activities that make the participants work together to solve a fun yet challenging ‘project’ by putting their combined thinking power to the test.
These experiential learning tasks are cleverly planned so they also include experiences that one goes through while at work. This is just a way to sharpen your employees’ communications and the ability to work with each other.
6. Invest In Retention Strategies
If your corporate event has content that’s very important for your business, you definitely want the attendees to remember it after the event has finished. Staying on top of their mind will make a real difference.
For example, if your event was focused on teaching participants a new skill, then make sure you follow up the event with a plan that helps participants remember what they learned at the event.
Some easy to implement measures to help participants after the event:
- Recordings of the event posted online
- Webinars held by trainers to serve as refreshers
- Interactive games and quizzes to test the participants knowledge
- Group discussion sessions that encourage participants to discuss the key concepts learned at the event
- Online forums or groups where participants can post follow-up questions
Companies around the US spend billions of dollars annually on corporate events. This is obviously a big industry and for good reason as well. Corporate events are a great way to get your company’s messaging across.
They can also be a great team-building exercise for your employees, provided you arrange the right activities. Hopefully, the points mentioned above will help you plan a successful corporate event for your business.