Corporate events are a great way to showcase a new product or service, boost staff morale or to celebrate company achievements and milestones. They can be educational, entertaining or motivational, taking the form of a business meeting, a conference or a product launch.
Whatever the nature, purpose or aim of your corporate event, your event attendees want to be wowed. As a host, it’s your responsibility to turn an otherwise boring or bog-standard event into a memorable experience. But how do you go about doing that exactly?
Here are the top 10 ways to make your event amazing.
Pick the right venue
Finding a venue with that “wow” factor will certainly help to make your event amazing, but it’s equally important that your venue gets the basics right. You need to find somewhere that has the size, space and capacity to comfortably accommodate your number of guests, which might mean multiple rooms. Your venue also needs to provide adequate facilities, including a suitable number of bathrooms, disabled access (if necessary) and the ability to support audio or technological equipment.
Beyond the venue itself, you also need to consider where your event is located. Is it in a part of the country that makes sense for your guests, delegates or target demographic? Is it in an area of the city that reflects the character and atmosphere of your event? (London, for example, has numerous boroughs, each with its own personality). And are there adequate transport links close by so your guests can reach the event without any hassle?
Find a unique theme
What’s more memorable than originality? One of the best ways to elevate an event is by finding a unique theme or angle. Take into consideration your company, your guests and the goal of your event, and think about how you can break the mold in a way that makes sense. You don’t have to go all-out with an over-the-top, in-your-face theme; it can simply be a subtle motif that adds some style and substance to your event.
Provide great food
Nothing brings people together like good food. While it shouldn’t necessarily be your main focus as a host, quality catering can certainly help transform a great event into an amazing one. Think about what kind of food suits your event — is it a late morning lunch that requires light but delicious refreshments? A Christmas party that calls for a festive menu? Crunch the numbers to see how far you can stretch your budget, and research the best catering services in the local area. Don’t forget to cater to dietary requirements, allergies and intolerances either.
Make your guests feel welcome
Everyone likes to be made to feel welcome. Making your guests feel like VIPs is a great way to exceed their expectations and elevate your event. This can include offering them a welcome drink, a name tag, a coat rack, valet service or simply someone showing them to their seats. Some of these take a bit of extra planning and preparation beforehand, but it’ll be worth it. Small personal touches can make a big impact on the success of your event.
Keep it fun
Let’s face it, corporate events aren’t always the most exciting things. How about shaking things up with some party games? Activities like Two Truths and a Lie, office trivia and a jigsaw puzzle race can be a great (and safe!) source of fun that will help to loosen everybody up. If you’re lucky, your employees will still be laughing about what happened on Monday morning. Just make sure the games you choose suit your event; board games don’t always belong in boardroom meetings.
Hire a celebrity speaker
Who doesn’t get excited when they meet a celebrity? Hiring a famous speaker, host or presenter is a great way to make your event special. From actors and athletes to business leaders and comedians, there’s a whole range of high-profile speakers you can choose from to add some star power to your event. A more affordable (and perhaps meaningful) option could be to narrow down your search and hire a guest speaker who’s revered within your specific industry.
Make it interactive
People like to get involved. With the interactive technology that’s out there, it’s never been easier to engage people at your corporate event. Interactive polls are a great way of collecting audience questions, answers, votes and comments in real-time. Or you can opt for something a little more lighthearted like interactive food and drink stations, virtual and augmented reality and giving your guests the chance to co-DJ the event. Let your audience leave their own mark on the event so they’re not just being talked at for hours on end.
Build a buzz
If a singer or band is gearing up to release a new album, do they release it without saying anything? No, of course not (unless they’re Beyoncé). They spend weeks spreading the world and building anticipation so that the record makes the biggest impact possible. Take the same approach with your event. Market your event, take advantage of social media and tease out the unique and amazing features of your event to your guests. Make people mark the date on their calendars, so when the event finally does come around, they’re already excited.
Give your audience something of value
Creating clear value for your attendees is a sure-fire way to make them enjoy and remember your event. Inform them, inspire them, entertain them, empower them, connect with them. Do this and you’ll leave a positive and lasting impression on your audience long after your event has ended. It doesn’t have to be intellectual or emotional, either. You could give them something physical like freebies or goodies as a thank you for coming to the event. If the purpose of your event is to promote a new product, this is a great opportunity to get a sample or preview into peoples’ hands.
Extend the experience
In the same way that your marketing and social media efforts can build anticipation for your event, there are things you can do to extend the experience for your guests after the event has finished. Hiring a professional photographer and capturing the “highlights” of your event is a great way to do this. You’ll not only give your attendees photos (and memories) to keep and to share, but you’ll make those who didn’t turn up reel in “FOMO” regret. You could also email attendees a quick follow-up survey to get feedback, create an upsell opportunity and secure your place in their minds.
Picking the perfect venue is key to throwing an amazing event. With a team of expert and experienced event planners and an extensive directory of over 160,000 venues and hotel groups worldwide, Absolute Venues’ free venue finding service can help you find the right venue for your event at the best price.