Corporate events are usually two things: predictable and dull. But yours doesn’t have to be. With a little prep for the before, during and after your event, and some outside the box thinking, you can host an engaging corporate event that will be valuable and interesting to everyone attending.
Before the Event
Promote a unique Twitter hashtag.
Get people talking about and excited for your upcoming corporate event with a unique event-related hashtag. Tweets with hashtags get 2x the engagement than those without hashtags; they can also get you more likes, retweets and followers.
Know who’s attending.
When you know who’s coming to your event, you can better prepare and pull off a successfully engaging corporate event. In your registration form, add a couple of questions or a comment box to assess attendees’ needs and event expectations. When you know their needs and expectations, you can be sure to host an informative and interesting event.
Get out of the office.
Whether you’ve got a new employee training session or end-of-the-year party, take it out of the office. Offsite meetings have been found to improve employee focus, productivity, creativity and engagement. And isn’t that what you want out of every corporate event? Book offsite business meeting venues for a change of scenery that will lead to endless company performance benefits.
At the Event
Make it informative and fun.
Speakers talking into a microphone, reading word for word from a PowerPoint presentation—this is the kind of stuff that makes attendees check their phones and doze off. Corporate events have to be both informative and fun, and not forced fun like making tables stay together all day and do group games. Consider booking compelling speakers who do more than just stand and talk, having panel discussions and using interactive tech, like social photo booths or VR headsets.
Have interactive activities.
Interactive elements will keep attendees engaged, and if your event is to teach about your products or teach employees new skills, interactive elements are even more important. Use hands-on learning activities, as well as real-time polls and quizzes, unique team-building exercises and games.
Offer more breaks in between sessions.
Too often businesses think the only way to keep people’s attention is to make them sit in front of them for longer. But if you’ve ever been to a company event where the breaks were few and far between, you know this has just the opposite effect. Giving people either more or longer breaks will help them be refreshed, better focused and more engaged during the sessions. They can use these breaks to use the restroom, check work emails, make personal calls, etc., so they’re not doing it during a session.
Host a Q&A.
Wrap up your event with a Q&A, especially if you held an event for potential clientele. Offering a set time for you and your team to personally address attendees’ questions will increase engagement and brand awareness.
After the Event
Host an after party.
Keep the party going by extending your event with a more relaxed social gathering. Host a dinner at your business meeting venue or host an offsite event, like attending a local sporting event or taking a sightseeing tour if there are out-of-towners. People tend to open up more in these types of relaxed environments.
Send out a survey and recap email.
The survey is for you. The recap email is for the attendees. In the survey, ask questions like, “Was this conference helpful and informative?” and “Is there anything you would change about the event?” These simple, but important questions, continue attendee engagement and show them you care about their feedback, while also providing you with information to improve future corporate events. And whether together or separate, make sure to also send a recap email—complete with a quick rundown of everything attendees need to remember from the event—within 24 hours after the event ends.