An event for your employees, a seminar, a conference, or an evening gathering for customers and prospects … professional events are essential and a driving force for business.
Whether to celebrate, unify, express thanks, build loyalty, or announce a new product, the reasons for holding a professional event are many. Each requires preparation, organisation and a little inspiration. And yet, there is sometimes a feeling of deja vu, a lack of originality.
In this article, we give you 4 tips and ideas to make your corporate event a success!
1. Use a venue that’s out of the ordinary
Make an impression on your employees and/or customers by welcoming them to a place that has never been seen before, that’s unusual, original or unexpected!
For an internal event
Getting out of the office for an internal event is guaranteed to be beneficial, whether it’s for team building, a work group or other reason. More and more venues, not originally intended for corporate events, are now hosting them, including lofts, studios, bars/restaurants, cafés, galleries, etc. We’re also seeing new coworking and co-meeting spaces multiply and rent out their spaces. A party or corporate event in these types of settings will ensure a warm welcome, in a new environment outside the office, to get employees out of their daily routine.
For a customer event
Welcoming customers in a location that’s exceptional, original or far from the ‘corporate’ image is also a way of making an impression and demonstrating the attention you pay to customers and/or prospects. The venue itself should reflect the company or the event. This is a good opportunity to create a theme based on the venue or, conversely, to look for a venue that echoes the desired theme.
The brand image can play a role: if this is based on innovation, culture or sport, the choice of venue can be directly linked to the company’s DNA and the image it wishes to convey.
Ideas for original venues for your professional event
- A sports complex (e.g. football or rugby stadium, swimming pool, stud farm, ice rink, dojo)
- A themed celebration venue (e.g. cabaret, retro gaming, vintage)
- A private business (e.g. clothing shop, restaurant, concept store)
- A cultural venue (e.g. museum, theatre, gallery, opera)
- A mobile venue (e.g. party bus, barge, or even a plane!)
- A place with a view (rooftop, view of a monument or from a monument, 360° view)
2. Lead the event
Avoid the ‘spectator’ feeling
In order to make a lasting impression, brands and the audiences themselves often seek interaction with the brand, product, employees, and so on. Always keep the same aim in mind and don’t remain spectators!
Go beyond the professional framework for an original event
Creating interest, encouraging support or uniting your team can be done through workshops or activities, challenges and speeches that are out of the ordinary and not typical of the professional sector. Don’t hesitate to draw your activity ideas from worlds that are completely different from your company’s.
Unify through originality
For example, company seminar activities are becoming more and more varied, with activities in all different areas! Today, companies offer their employees events such as sporting activities, creative sessions, atypical activities such as escape games, cooking workshops, beer brewing, music lessons, theatre games, virtual reality … there really are a thousand and one ideas for bringing your teams together.
For presenting a new product, one option is to present the creation of the product and any expertise behind it (e.g. craftsmanship, technology) through activities that allow the product to be used and demonstrate its uses.
Use the technology at your disposal
Digitise your event, whether by offering digital payment or interactions through tools such as NFC chips, augmented or virtual reality, and so on.
Brands are not lacking in imagination! Don’t be afraid to take the same approach with your business events.
3. Meet your guests’ needs
Predict and exceed your attendees’ expectations
Depending on the venue, date and time you choose, you can predict some of your guests’ expectations. Examples: Meal, event schedule, location (indoor or outdoor), space required, ‘classic’ activities.
Although you can’t escape some of your attendees’ expectations (comfort and safety first and foremost), you can surprise them by going against what you and others have taught them to expect.
Aim high and get creative!
Originality can be found everywhere: in meals, the content of the event, the guests, the speeches, the decoration, the dress code …
Predict the number of guests
Gone are the days of manually filling out Excel lists to keep track of the number of guests and RSVPs awaiting reply. Registration, invitation and ticketing platforms allow for tracking in real time. Depending on the format of your event, add the price of the ticket or registration. You can control admissions on site with automatically generated and downloadable listing.
This allows you to retrieve all the data you need, providing practical information, warning you of any last-minute changes, requesting feedback after the event, and more.
Plan a suitable budget
To properly orchestrate the unique professional event you’ve imagined, you can’t ignore the need to budget.
Preparing a provisional budget for an event is a key step which allows you to compare your ambitions with your means as honestly as possible.
Tip: To save money, opt for daytime over evenings, and weekdays over weekends!
4. Encourage discussion and create links
A professional event is often an opportunity to exchange ideas and meet future partners, collaborators and more!
It’s always important to create an environment that’s conducive to discussion, a quieter space, and time to set aside. Whether it’s a party or a company event, networking happens naturally and helps to develop skills and business. Once again, don’t hesitate to create unique opportunities to encourage discussion.
This is one of the potential objectives in organising your professional event, particularly in the case of presentations to prospective customers, recruitment events and the integration of new employees. In the same way, in some cases, unusual activities can be used to break the ice.
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