Want to host a memorable corporate event? Then you’ll need to put the old thinking cap on.
If you want to entertain corporate clients in a way that they won’t have seen before, you’re going to have to get alternative. Because let’s face it, awkward speeches and boring catering are not going to get you noticed, let alone remembered.
So whether you have to host an internal meeting, or you’re putting together a product launch, or you’re responsible for organising the office Christmas party, thinking outside of the box will earn you huge brownie points with your boss (and all of the participants too come to think of it).
1. Create an experience rather than just an event.
Research from San Francisco State University found that people who bought experiences rather than expensive gifts were much happier with spending their money on doing something, rather than merely owning something. Incorporate this thinking into your corporate event planning - if you all have to socialise together, don’t let it be in meeting room 4, or in the pub around the corner.
Give colleagues a way to bond in a situation that is as far removed from your everyday work life as possible.
Go axe throwing. What a way to destress and let out all of that office anger.
Turn your big night out into a big night in. Don’t want to go out to mingle? Then bring the entertainment in house with party games, prizes and referees.
Make macarons together. Nothing says team building quite like a macaron workshop. If it’s good enough for Sir Alan Sugar....
2. Hold your corporate event in an unusual location.
If you’re launching a new product, leave boring at the door. You want to be memorable, you want to wow, you want a space that will impress guests and stop them in their tracks.
Plus, this is the one time when everyone involved in your project gets together (including the press and potential end users), so give them something to buzz about.
Have you thought about hosting your corporate event in an unusual location that gives you (and your guests) a little extra:
3. Pick a theme.
Just because it’s corporate entertaining you’re doing, doesn’t mean it has to be dull or serious.
If your corporate event falls at a time of year like Halloween or Christmas, you’ve got an instant theme right there.
Just make sure you pick something that fits in with what you’re trying to achieve and then have it guide you through all of your decision making from where to host the corporate event, to the invitations, decorations, and even the catering.
Basically, give your guests something to look forward to and a reason for leaving their desk.
4. Offer guests alternative catering options.
If memorable is what you’re aiming for with your alternative corporate event, then give people an experience they’ll never forget, rather than a grey event that will blend into every other grey event they’ve ever been to.
So instead of a selection of tired sandwiches, sausage rolls and warm white wine, why not provide an interactive edible food station?
An OhLaLa ‘make your own macaron station’ (for example) will see your guests picking their own macaron shells and choosing their macaron fillings to suit their taste. If you’re going to opt for this, why not take the macarons a step further and add your branding to the shells? Easy and instantly unforgettable.
5. Entertain in style.
Don’t just stick on a CD of pan pipes and hope that gives your corporate event some atmosphere. If you want your guests to be engaged, give them something to blow their socks off:
Hire circus performers who wouldn’t look out of place in Cirque Du Soleil.
Book a live band.
Invest in a fire juggler.
Book Burlesque performers.
Finally, remember that the most memorable corporate events (and any event for that matter) is one that is fun, so don’t scrimp on the things that people will enjoy and aim to create an experience for them.
And if in doubt, fill their tummy with yummy treats and you’ll instantly be everyone’s favourite party organiser.