No matter what business you’re in, sooner or later you may find yourself planning an event. It could be as small as the annual holiday party at your favorite restaurant or as huge gala for charity, but one thing is certain: Events become the main experience of your brand for the people who attend.
So what types of events should you consider to help get your business noticed? It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Here are 10 of our favorite ideas for corporate events to get you started.
Large corporations plan meetings in exotic locations to keep C-suite executives informed, but businesses of all shapes and sizes host meetings. The events are definitely business-oriented, but they don’t have to be dull. Consider including snacks and equipping conference tables with office supplies for note taking and doodling, and maybe even some company swag if you’ve got it. You’ll also need to plan for appropriate A/V equipment and charging stations.
Best for: Getting work done when only a face-to-face will do.
2. Team Building
When you work with a team of people, it’s important to make sure everyone gets along and can work with each other’s strengths — and compensate for their weaknesses. Team building can be as involved as a corporate retreat to a ropes course or as simple as setting aside time in the conference room for some games and activities designed to foster teamwork. As you plan, be sure to make time for rest and free-form conversation to let people connect.
Best for: Enhancing camaraderie and developing collaboration skills.
3. Professional Development
If team building develops the soft skills for workers, professional development is all about getting down to brass tacks. PD can come in the form of guest speakers delivering a lecture in an auditorium, consultants conducting a seminar in a classroom, or self-directed sessions with a bank of laptops in your conference room. The trick to making professional development successful is to solicit plenty of feedback about what employees want and need to learn.
Best for: Keeping employees up to date on best practices and important changes in the field.
Conferences are the granddaddy of professional development events, since they involve expert speakers, keynote addresses, breakout groups and networking opportunities. Hosting a conference is a great way to establish thought leadership in your field, but it’s also a major branding opportunity. Be sure to hammer out all the details about food, entertainment, decor and logistics so everything runs smoothly.
Best for: Showing off your business expertise and connecting with other professionals in your field.
5. Product Launches
Revealing the next big thing requires a coming out party. In the corporate world, that’s the product launch. While sometimes a product launch is just a special meeting to get employees up to speed on your newest product or service, modern product launches often include a party, a demonstration and plenty of press. The idea is to get noticed, so you definitely want to put your best foot forward.
Best for: Showing off your brand at its innovative best.
The internet has made the world a much smaller place, and you can attract customers and/or wow professionals in your field by offering lessons and tips to solve their pain points. These are live-streamed lectures or slide presentations that teach people something new. It’s less expensive than a conference, and you can potentially reach a very wide audience.
Best for: Building your reputation for thought leadership on the cheap.
7. Banquets and Galas
It’s always a good idea to celebrate your successes, and a banquet lets you do just that. This is a traditional way to treat employees to a great meal and a nice night out, and it often doubles as a venue for presenting awards to high achievers. While a banquet traditionally focuses on food, a gala is a black-tie event that can include dancing, silent auctions and more.
Best for: Recognizing and rewarding achievement.
8. Incentive Travel
One great way to reward employees — or possibly even top clients and buyers — is to offer rewards in the form of travel to a popular vacation destination. When the gang’s all gathered at Disney World or a tropical resort, your business will host an event or two on site, including meet-and-greets, midnight buffets, parties, etc. Like conferences and banquets, getting the logistics right will showcase your brand in the best possible light and earn you some great word-of-mouth.
Best for: Building brand loyalty and creating buzz on social media if you start a hashtag.
9. Job Fairs
Whether you host the job fair or simply attend one, it’s crucial to put real effort into your display and handouts, whether of the informative paper variety or the fun, sparkly pen and branded Rubik’s Cube type. This is where you’ll be able to express what your business is all about for recent grads and other job seekers, and capturing the attention of the best and brightest helps your business grow in the future.
Best for: Highlighting your corporate values and recruiting top talent.
10. Charity Events
Whether you host a golf tournament, a walkathon, or sponsor a concert or performance, charity events connect your business with your community. Showing that you care is only part of it, though — you also want to make sure everyone has fun and that things flow seamlessly with solid logistical planning.
Best for: Building strong community ties while increasing brand recognition.
No matter which type of event you choose to help you reach your goals, you need to plan for perfection. Corporate events take months of planning, and part of the recipe for success is to work with trusted vendors every step of the way. When it comes to setting the perfect table, Linen Hero has everything you need. Whether you’re planning a shareholder meeting or a charity gala, our Design Heroes are standing byto consult with you to make your event extraordinary.