Published on May 31, 2022
Does your corporate event checklist elicit yawns? Here’s what you can do about it.
Planning for a corporate event can start months, even years before the event date – especially for large events. You have to work out a budget, research cities, and event spaces, transportation, speakers, negotiate contracts, and market your event. And that’s just a start. You probably use a thorough corporate event checklist to keep track of everything.
But there’s something that too often gets left off the list somewhere between site visits and that last speaker: fun. You can certainly have a successful event without a focus on fun, and indeed, fun can happen spontaneously. But some of the most successful event planners know you can’t leave anything to chance, including a good time.
Whether you’re planning a large, international customer conference, or a small, regional event, you want to “Wow” everyone who comes. After all, you want them to spread the word that your conference is the one to attend.
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How to make “fun” part of your corporate event checklist
Once you have the primary details in place, it’s time to make sure that your event attendees will enjoy themselves. And that starts weeks or even months before opening day. So what goes on your corporate event checklist?
1. Fun marketing
If people are going to look forward to your event, you have to get them excited about it. That starts well before you confirm the first speaker. Conference and event hashtags can get a lot of traction on Twitter and Instagram, so if you are planning a legacy event, you may already have an audience. And you may already have video footage from previous events.
Can you put together a blooper reel? A highlight reel? As the date gets closer, hype your sponsors and special guests. Tag local businesses that you’re working with on food, beverages, and entertainment. Share plenty of behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram. Share industry jokes on your Twitter feed.
The point is to make your event something that anyone in your industry can relate to.
2. Excellent, fast WiFi
You and your event attendees all want – nay, expect – fast, reliable WiFi. If your event space doesn’t already have good WiFi in place, you’ll need to contract out to set something up. This might not sound like fun, but it’s definitely “not” fun if you have hundreds of customers or colleagues frustrated because they can’t connect.
Fast WiFi can also empower your social media wall so everyone can keep up with your event hashtag, even if they don’t have their smartphone on.
3. Tasty coffee
Is there anything better than walking out of a keynote address and finding a gourmet coffee stand handing out free iced coffees? Maybe, but it’s definitely near the top of the list. Don’t forget to promote it and tag the vendor on your social media feed!
You don’t have to stick to coffee, either. Hire a local vendor to supply small-batch sodas, local teas, or another regional specialty. Everyone appreciates a refreshing beverage.
4. Tasty food
Just like coffee, food can turn a good event into a great event. It’s the little things that count, right? Who doesn’t love hors d’oeuvres? And to add a little fun to the offerings, go with a local specialty. You can serve shrimp cocktails anywhere in the country, but if you’re hosting a conference in New Orleans, go for the crawfish cakes. Or offer soft pretzels in Philadelphia. A little local flavor can go a long way in bringing some personality to your event. And more importantly, it’s a memorable move. (Pro Tip: Make sure you accommodate dietary preferences, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and so on.)
5. Tasty entertainment
Choose carefully here. The right entertainment can make your event truly memorable. Hire a string quartet to play as people roll in for the morning session. For the end of the day, a brass band is always a good bet.
You don’t have to stick exclusively to music, either. Contract with a magician to entertain people between sessions. Build intrigue with living statues or impress your audience with acrobats. There’s no shortage of entertainment ideas.
And, of course, don’t forget to spread the word about the food, drinks, and entertainment. Use your digital signage to keep everyone in the know. A few small additions to your corporate event checklist can turn your event into one that people return to year after year.
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