Guest post by Paul Campbell.
Corporate events play a vital role in enhancing customer relationships and advancing sales cycles in companies of all sizes. These include events organized by an enterprise to engage with existing customers (user conferences), prospective customers (seminars and road shows), and employees (retreats, sales kickoff meetings).
However, planning a corporate event is a challenging, complex undertaking. Organizers need to pay attention to an incredible number and range of details encompassing everything from pre-event promotion and the registration process to the venue, welcoming guests, the weather forecast, WiFi, the menu, logistics, sponsors and partners, sound and light systems, session content and speakers, data collection, and security.
If you want to your event to be engaging and impactful, your corporate event must be memorable (in a positive way).
Five Tips for Planning Memorable Corporate Events
Organizing a corporate event isn’t “party planning.” It’s a strategic, high-cost / high-potential-reward activity that can significantly impact employee morale, brand image, and sales. A successful corporate event is one that attendees remember for the right reasons. Here are five tips for organizing memorable corporate events.
Make the event appealing to your target audience.
Before, during, and after the gathering, you need to create buzz around the event. Choosing a popular or unique destination and venue, incorporating the latest technology to enhance the attendee experience, and booking noteworthy speakers are some ways to make the event appealing.
Once the date, venue, content, presenters, entertainment, and food are in place, promote the event on various platforms. Be creative. Use physical channels (direct mail, billboards, signage, radio) as well as digital media (email, blog posts, targeted online advertising, social media).
Set the moods with colors, lighting, video, and music.
Set the mood and tone (e.g., vibrant yet inviting) with colors, decor, furnishings, lighting, and music. Since it is a corporate event where you want all the guests to feel comfortable, make the venue bright. Bright colors encourage people to take videos and pictures.
Provide on-site technical support and possibly even live event video editing assistance. Use and promote an event-specific hashtag, and encourage social media sharing.
In addition, you need to have the right colors for the event. You can choose to have the company’s colors and include colors that can add warmth, excitement, and energy. If the occasion is pure business, the preferred color is blue because it represents efficiency, trust, and intelligence. The music selection depends on the type of event and audience demographics.
Pick a creative event agency.
An event agency can make your corporate event memorable or dull. This is because they’ll be responsible for delighting, entertaining, setting the mood for your guests, and encouraging (or not) attendee engagement. They have the power to make the audience follow a specific course.
Poor event planning and management can create the wrong mood, fail to keep attendee attention (ever seen a roomful of people tapping away on their phones, completely ignoring a boring speaker?), and provide a disappointing overall experience.
So choose an event organizer wisely. Pick one who can bring fresh new ideas and use innovative technology like biometrics, augmented reality (AR), and facial recognition to aid in the interactive parts of the event.
Make your guests feel special.
Make your guests feel welcome and engaged through the decor, content, food, music, and the excitement. For instance, you could greet each guest with personalized swag at registration. Another tactic is to have a photo-booth or picture background where attendees can take pictures or record video to share on social media.
Remember to thank your attendees.
Show your guests appreciation for spending their time and money to attend your event. Being thankful plays a critical role in terms of memory and audience reach. It also helps you to stay connected with attendees after the event and increases their likelihood of attending another occasion.
You should also give out branded gifts, but get creative here too! Think beyond pens, t-shirts, and coffee mugs. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on thank-you gifts. Just look for something unique your guests will appreciate.
The Bottom Line
Corporate events can be arduous and time-consuming to plan and manage, especially for large, multi-day conferences. But by keeping the tips above in mind, you can create a memorable event.
Paul Campbell is the founder and a director of the Purple Patch Group, a business that started life as an event agency in London over ten years ago. Through years of live events experience on both sides of the fence—managing them and sitting front row—Paul and fellow director Holly created the Presentation Experts. Through Purple Patch Group they develop corporate events and conferences for brands and companies.