Putting on a corporate event is one of the best ways to take a break from the everyday, make connections with other professionals, and deepen relationships. The type of event you put on, though, depends on your objective. Are you trying to have a brainstorm session, impart much-needed information, promote team-building, or lock in sales from top clients? Maybe you’d like to bring together professionals in your field from around the region or country. Before you decide what you want your event to be, make sure you know exactly what you want it to do. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, here are some of our top corporate event ideas that will leave your guests in awe:
1. Get a breath of fresh air—literally
Whether you’re inviting professionals from around the country for a conference or you just want to give your team a much-needed break from hard work, having an outdoor, exercise-based event can help everyone take a break, make memories, and build stronger relationships. An outdoor event can include anything from an afternoon spent kayaking to completing a high ropes course with your team, to a beach retreat or ski resort—or even a short cruise! Whether you’re planning a big conference or a team outing, exercise and fresh air effectively allows people to take a mental break and enjoy themselves between sessions, which means they’ll have a great time and be more focused when it’s time to go back to work.
Whatever you do, make sure to have activities and options that can accommodate everyone’s level of fitness and ability. Outdoor events should be fun and relaxing—never a source of anxiety or shame for anyone.
2. Take some time to explore your own city
This is an open-ended, but out-of-the-box concept for most companies and corporate outings that will work for events with any objective. Ask around at your local zoo, museum, historical site, botanical gardens, etc., to see if they will accommodate a corporate event. Most will. Depending on your objective for your event, it can be as simple as a walk around the zoo or a free guided city tour, or as intricate as a silent auction and dinner hosted at a local art museum. In any case, it’s a chance for all of your guests to get out of the office and explore something a little different that’s nearby.
If you’re thinking of putting together a team-building event, it can be a great chance to do some local exploring that you may not always have in your day-to-day life. Plus, it’s a low-stress outing for your team to bond, learn together, and get a breather from the typical day at the office. And if it’s a conference or a client event that you want to put on, it’s a great chance to show off your local hotspots around town—and much more interesting than renting a conference room or convention center. Plus, at most of these venues there will be plenty of photo ops, which means many opportunities for guests to make memories they can look back on later.
3. Create something together
Whether it’s a team-wide brainstorm on an internal challenge at hand or a nationwide conference of professionals in your industry, make your event into a collaborative problem-solving session with a deliverable solution at the end. Think along the lines of a code-a-thon or a writing workshop—a very specific event with roles for each guest to use their skills instead of simply sitting and listening.
There are a lot of advantages to this type of event: It’s collaborative, not hierarchical, so no one is sitting on the sidelines. Plus, working alongside other professionals to solve a problem is a great way to network and make connections—or deepen relationships within your own team—without relying on small talk. And finally, it gives your guests something to be proud of and to remember.