How to Enhance Your Next Corporate Event Experience
As an event planner, you aren’t just producing an event, meeting or gathering but a corporate event experience. You’re creating a space and an adventure for guests, and that means you have a lot of opportunities to make something extra special about it.
Only an event that goes the extra mile and makes something big and memorable will really leave an impact on participants. For your next event, do something different and set yourself apart. Here are a few ways to make your event stand out and impress guests who are used to traditional, routine event programming.
Change Things Up
Anything you can do to get away from the same old way of doing things is worthwhile. Many of your participants and clients will be veterans of similar events, so they’ll be accustomed to a certain rhythm and schedule.
Simple things like changing the schedule around can be helpful, and changing the format to make things feel fresh and new make a huge difference for the attendee experience. Throw PowerPoint out the window and bring in new technologies and new presentation styles to shake it up and get participants to pay attention.
Break the event down to the basics. What is it that you need to deliver? Is the primary content simply information, advertising, team-building or something else?
Now consider how you can deliver that end through less conventional means. A surprise is essential for capturing engagement and keeping people focused on the event experience. Not only will “reveals” and unexpected twists catch people off guard and make them remember the event, these surprises will help you deliver content more effectively by keeping guests’ attention.
Planning the Setting
One easy way to make your event special and memorable is to be intentional and creative in picking your setting. Don’t settle for any random hotel ballroom for your next corporate event experience. Think about how the space can contribute to the experience and help you deliver your goal.
Create a theme for your event and shape the environment around that theme, even if it’s something simple like a rustic or more elegant kind of ambiance. Anything is better than the dull, dry neutral theme of a standard corporate retreat.
Dream big, and then see how you can stretch your budget to make it happen. Destination events on the beach, in the mountains or in a big city bring their own sense of excitement. The best part of taking a group to an island or to an exciting, tourist-friendly big city, is that you don’t have to work hard to make that setting exciting and different. Let the location as it is shape and enhance your event.
All About Engagement
The most important thing in cultivating a quality event experience is audience engagement. Whether it’s through a mixed-up schedule, quality presentation content or a thrilling, exotic destination setting, you want to keep your participants focused and engaged on the present experience. If they’re living in the moment and don’t want to miss a second, instead of zoning out and making plans for the following week, then your event is going to be a memorable success.
Engagement and participation is something you can address at all levels of event planning, from the big picture and the setting to the nuts and bolts of how the event will work. Consider lodging, layout and even seating. If it’s an event that stretches out over several days, how will participants socialize and come together in their evenings and free time? Is there a space for that?
Be careful about how you group people together and seat them. Big, roundtables cut down on actual interaction and community-building, as you really can’t have a conversation across a table that large, especially if there’s music or other people talking all around you. Think outside the box and try to maximize engagement for optimal success.