Has your company ever held an affair where employees and guests couldn’t wait for it to be over? The wearisome presentations and uninspiring speeches are staples of business conferences, awards ceremonies and team-building seminars that companies regularly hold.
Corporate events are held for a purpose – to celebrate milestones and reward employees, as an educational seminar, to attract new clients and show appreciation for current ones, or to create a buzz for a new product. But they don’t have to be staid and boring. Make dull company affairs fun, festive and full of energy, yet still effective in imparting the lessons to be learned and the corporate message to be reflected on.
That said, here are seven trends that will turn monotonous conferences and functions into memorable experiences that will have employees looking forward to the next one.
Pick an unconventional venue.
Steer away from the usual hotels, conference centers and restaurants for your event venue. Depending on the occasion, you can hold the affair in a yacht, a museum, a rooftop, resort, cinema or one of those new pop-up locations. By planning accordingly, a venue can make the difference between a truly great event and a ho-hum one.
Jump on the food truck bandwagon.
Food trucks have invaded the streets. Instead of a getting a caterer for the conference lunch or dinner, ask food trucks to come in and serve the meals. Since food trucks specialize in a certain menu, invite a couple or more trucks, depending on the number of attendees to the event. Coordinate with the chefs before hand for the menu-planning and match it to your theme. The trend in food today is using locally sourced and natural ingredients, such as meat, sustainable seafood, fruits and vegetables. Include these details when you talk with the food truck chefs.
Don’t leave out the entertainment.
Entertainment is a key feature of corporate events because, let’s be honest, all events need a break from the main content if only to keep the attendees’ attention from wandering. Great singers, dancers and comedians will help make the event memorable for employees and guests alike. Comedy is a great entertainment choice. It will lighten a stiff atmosphere and refresh minds, preparing them for the next round of talks and presentations.
A tip to getting live comedy entertainment is to avoid inappropriate content. When you book comedians for your next corporate event, choose professionals so you won’t have to worry about offending anyone in the audience, especially an important customer or the CEO of a company you have a business relationship with. Make sure good quality audio and video equipments, lightings, etc are in place.
Rent an animated GIF booth.
The ubiquitous photobooth you see in every event has taken a back seat to the GIF booth. Rent one for the upcoming event your company will hold. The GIF booth takes sequential images to produce an animated GIF clip that you can send and share with your officemates via the company email. The clip will gather the event’s experiences and improve employee engagement. It can also build the brand and establish a link with customers if shared on social media. For added measure, use background themes that fit in with the event and put the event hashtag and company logo on the video clip.
Film the event with a drone.
Having a drone flying overhead is the cool thing now, some people will remember the event if only because of it. An event drone has many uses. It can take aerial videos and photos of important aspects of the event, grab close-ups of speakers and participants and even delivery food and drinks to tables. Drones for events can be rented and the footage captured can be made into a clip with video and still images.
Add in a meditation session.
Hire an instructor to insert a 30-minute meditation session. The aim is to create a less-stress work environment and employees to decrease anxiety and promote productivity. The instructor will guide employees through the basics of meditating and possibly get them to practice it regularly.
Make use of mobile event apps.
Paper handouts during corporate events are a thing of the past. Now there are mobile apps for every aspect of the seminar or conference the company is having. From online agendas to registration, social sharing and note taking, in-app chats to polls, these apps help to increase attendees’ engagement and retention of the event’s purpose.