7 inspiring corporate event ideas to try
When it comes to corporate event planning, there are many things that could go wrong.
Suppliers, branding, communications - you name it - event planners face a lot of obstacles before delivering the final event. But what happens when you’ve spent all that time and effort on an event that doesn’t actually deliver the results you wanted?
The last thing we as event planners want is to create a ‘been there, done that’ experience that doesn’t provide value or encourage action. And we’re sure attendees would agree!
So if you’re looking to spruce up your company events and ensure your attendees are positively inspired, this post will cover some exciting corporate event ideas to consider for your next event.
Our event managers have shared their top engaging corporate event ideas that have worked wonders for our clients.
But first, we’ll look at some of the key benefits you can expect from an inspiring corporate event and the different types of corporate events for your goals.
Why are corporate events important?
Corporate events are a growing tool in the arsenal of marketing, sales and employee engagement teams alike. Face-to-face event experiences are important for achieving many organisational goals, since they allow for direct and consistent communication with the right audiences in meaningful ways.
A Bizzabo survey found that the majority of marketers (80%) believe live events are critical to their company’s success, and 63% plan on investing more in live events in the future.
You can read more on this research and the benefits of face-to-face events in our blog on measuring conference ROI.
Different types of corporate events
There is a wide range of corporate event types to consider depending on your desired outcomes. Hosting an event could be part of a strategy that promotes your business, develops stronger company relationships, or drives your industry forward. Whatever your goals, your event should reflect your audiences’ needs and the feelings or actions you want to evoke.
Here are some of the common event types used by corporate event planners:
- Experiential and promotional: can include exhibitions, conferences and launch events that showcase aspects of your business in a creative way.
- Employee engagement: incentive trips, internal conferences and team building events can provide an effective platform for sharing company news and motivating employee performance.
- Celebratory events: company anniversaries, award ceremonies, gala dinners and fundraisers allow your teams to celebrate success and provide excellent networking opportunities.
- Industry networking: exhibitions, conferences, business dinners and incentives are effective corporate event types for improving industry presence and connecting with key audiences.
Once you’ve decided on the type of event, it’s time to plan out those all-important event ideas to drive engagement.
Here are our tried and tested, exciting corporate event ideas to inspire your next event:
7 exciting corporate event ideas
1. Your very own company festival
A festival event style is an exciting option for promotional and employee focussed events. Transforming your standard corporate event into a laid-back festival can create a refreshing environment for networking and delivering company news.
We created a two-day festival experience for an engaging company anniversary event, complete with dodgems, food vans, live music and fireworks. A company festival is a great option for a spring or summer event, however it can be recreated indoors for a fun and immersive experience.
2. The creative unconference
Invigorate your conference events with a creative ‘unconference’ based around what delegates want to learn. First adopted by the technology sector, unconference events allow delegates to decide on the agenda, topics, workshops and more.
An unconference involves attendees in the execution of the event and removes a ‘hierarchy’ of selected speakers or panellists. Moving away from the traditional conference format can help to build a culture of innovation and allow for industry-forward conversations that may not happen elsewhere.
Find out more about unconferences and how to create your own in our blog, the rise of the unconference.
3. Encourage new skills through a masterclass
Employee events often feature breakout activities that reflect key messages. But instead of focusing on business related activities, incorporating extra-curricular learning with an exclusive masterclass could help to deliver company messages in a more meaningful way.
A masterclass can be used as a team building activity to encourage personal growth for each attendee, and it’s also a great way to network with suppliers and customers. As part of an upcoming event we are organising an afternoon tea followed by a cookery school, to give attendees the chance to try something they’ve never done before.
4. Take a train ride
Train travel is a more sustainable way to get to event destinations further afield, and can also be used as an event experience in itself.
Trips on train services like Northern Belle and the Orient Express can provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for exciting incentives with excursion opportunities at different stops. Or, you could even provide event activities en route - there are different packages for activities such as prosecco tasting experiences depending on your budget.
5. Or, take to the skies!
If you’re looking for an exhilarating and memorable reward activity, why not take to the skies? One of our lucky event managers was able to learn to fly a plane with ex Red Arrows, on a Top Gun Experience day for a sales team incentive. Pretty exciting!
You could also charter a plane for an exclusive way to combine corporate travel and memorable event experiences. As well as a luxury yacht charter, we have also chartered a plane to the Taj Mahal!
6. Host an internal TEDX event
Another way to encourage personal growth and share expertise is through an internal TEDx event. People within your company or network could present relevant messages that are important to them. It’s another way of leveling the playing field and sharing information in a valuable way.
You could also invite TED speakers to deliver messages that resonate with your event and inspire your delegates. We had David Meade present a talk at a conference, which he has also delivered as a Ted Talk.
7. Private music concert
A private music concert is an ideal event idea for a company celebration or to end a conference on a ‘high note’. Theming the event tickets, catering and merchandise to the performance can create an immersive experience with strong connections to your brand.
See our company anniversary event case study featuring a private Beverley Knight performance for inspiration.