5 Steps to Throw the Best Corporate Event Your Company’s Ever Had

Being picked to organize your company’s annual event is intimidating. After all, corporate events already suffer from a bad rep. (It’s hard enough watching accounting and sales struggle through water cooler conversation, much less at a formal sit down.)

Add in that everyone is trying to be on their best behavior? Well, it’s easy to feel like trying to plan the best corporate event in your company’s history is a losing battle.

Don’t despair! Believe it or not, you CAN create a corporate event that’s both fun and goal-focused. Just make sure you hit these five points, and you’ll have people raving about your party-throwing abilities long into the future.

#1: Pick a Great Corporate Event Theme

Themes can be overdone. But, when used correctly, they also provide direction for your event. To ensure yours is memorable for good reasons, stick to a safe choice, such as geographic or goal-inspired themes.

Then, make sure to not go overboard by incorporating it into every element of the décor. Instead, make your theme the baseline for activities, food, and drinks. Example: A pig roast and hula-style communication games bring people together far better than draping tables with leis. When done correctly, this can make your corporate event stand out in a way everyone can enjoy — instead of starting off the night already feeling silly or cliche.

#2: Take Time for Team Building

Like it or not, team-building exercises are a staple at corporate events. This is the part of the event that forces people to interact with colleagues they’d never speak to during a typical day at the office.

Since these events are not optional, you get to force your attendees to interact — but you can’t force them to like it. The trick is setting up any scenario where people have to work towards a shared goal. Add some competition into the mix and you’ll really liven the mood!

#3: Offer Optional Activities

Some people like the team-building exercises and are thirsty for more. Others want their event to be filled with a couple of activities and then appreciate the chance to sit back and mingle. Appease both by setting the tone for participation with one or two obligatory activities, then making the rest optional. This gives attendees some control over what they have to do — which will be appreciated and remembered.

#4: Take at Least One Risk

Anyone attending a corporate event will arrive with a set expectation of what will occur. This usually includes something along the line of mingle-teambuilding-dinner-award ceremony. What it doesn’t include any surprises — so surprise them!

Throw in a comedian, a challenge or auction, or a ridiculous prize. Catch their attention. Make your event stand out in any way possible — anything except for the expected.

#5: Provide Down Time

At the end of the day, the attendees at your event are adults who are used to controlling their choices, schedules, and time. Don’t force them to be doing something for every minute of the evening. Instead, allow attendees to enjoy their experience by pausing and reflecting on what’s happened so far.

Bottom Line: Fantastic Corporate Events Cater to Attendees…

Too many corporate events make the mistake of catering to the company’s ideal but forgetting the people who have to actually attend the evening. Instead, make friends for life by planning a corporate event that feels more like a retreat than a requirement. Between sparking fun, delivering surprises, and giving downtime, you’re sure to create a fantastic time for everyone.

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