Planning a corporate event is different from a wedding or birthday party, because the goals are different. There’s always an underlying purpose in hosting an event, such as a branding or promotional message, or building team spirit. This means that you have to put some thought into the appropriate types of activities and entertainment. But some things are the same – finding a venue, organizing the catering and other vendors, and choosing a theme and decor.
Planning a corporate event
Corporate events always have an underlying purpose, which can be oriented to marketing, building team spirit and morale, celebrating an achievement or an annual event, or launching a new product or brand. This means that everything, from choosing a venue for corporate events to finding the right theme and decor, has to be in line with that purpose.
The top reasons for hosting an event in the corporate world are practical ones. According to a survey from BtoB Magazine and Marketo, the top reason, given by 83% of companies, was lead generation. For 72%, customer engagement was the most important reason for hosting an event, while for another 72% it was building brand awareness. Once you’ve identified your main purpose, you can move on to other matters like scouting venues for parties and picking themes and activities.
How to please a picky audience
Another reason why it’s more challenging hosting an event in the corporate world is that there’s always a demand for new ideas. With so many events, themes and activities can get familiar and boring very quickly. And the audience is difficult to please. A survey by OfficeTeam showed that just over a third or 36% of professionals interviewed found company holiday parties to be fun. Almost an equal number or 35% actually had a negative response.
There are actually plenty of fun activities and events that can enliven the starchiest corporate party and win the approval of the most blase employees. Scavenger hunts, giant chess, and casino tables can all help to break the ice, promote team spirit and build morale, and provide opportunities for networking.
Practical matters: budget, party venues, food
When it comes to practical matters like choosing a corporate event space, drawing up a budget and making sure you stick to it, choosing the vendors and the food, hosting an event in the corporate world is not too different. Like weddings and birthday parties, corporate event planners are starting to keep in mind their guests’ food preferences.
For example, the vast majority or 78% of corporations now have vegetarian options on the menu, and as many as 64% have gluten-free choices as well. The decor can be important as well, and large event spaces give you a lot of room to match this to the overall theme of the event.
Hosting an event in the corporate world can be challenging for a number of reasons, but the best way to handle it is to plan ahead. Once you’ve identified your central purpose everything else falls into place around it.