The corporate world is continuously evolving as new people, companies, and ideas enter the market. Younger generations are forever influencing the business world as they grow older, eventually joining the ranks and continuing to precipitate change from within. With each new generation, comes new progression and a slightly different set of values – ultimately necessitating a review of old practices in the interests of staying current. As corporations and their employees evolve, so do their requirements from their company, especially when targets have been reached and exceeded. Accordingly, the old faithful corporate event scenarios have become tiresome, making way for new ideas to keep attendees engaged. SparkSight’s Jessica Martinez suggests the strategic use of 4 interactive social tools; photo booths, a live social feed wall, games, and even mobile apps.
Tina Benson of Team Tactics made the point perfectly, stating that, “What an event brings to delegates and attendees is, by definition, an experience.” The key difference between a standard event and an experience is sheer depth of impact. Quirky, cleverly organized events are the new direction that the corporate world is moving towards, replacing the overplayed fallback of hiring a ballroom and a band. To make a lasting impression on event attendees, the focus needs to be on engagement – a sense of community, purpose, and belonging. In an article for the Huffington Post, Louis Efron uses his father’s career with IBM to communicate the importance of total immersion in making employees feel like they belong to a larger family. In Efron’s case, IBM got it right; “My father worked there for 18 years when I was young and I still fondly remember IBM’s two annual events.”
In a recent article, Al Wynant (CEO of Eventinterface) said, “With events becoming more experienced-based, planners are now…engaging attendees through the full lifecycle of the event.” This engagement can be made possible by enveloping attendees in a venue that has been themed to create a cohesive and convincingly unique experience for all. It’s not just about the décor, when it comes to structuring a successful event – another important consideration is the ROI for attendees. Return on Investment, in many cases is completely dependent on the type of company, attendee profile, budget, and many other considerations. In some instances it may be enough to simply offer a visually striking venue and great entertainment, while in some cases it makes sense to offer more, especially if the money is there to back it up.
It’s not only the large scale companies that have the ability to produce a memorable event – with some careful planning and imagination, smaller budgets can be utilized to great effect. James Timpson of tech.co recommends starting the planning process by defining the message that the event will deliver: “Your objective will dictate how you will budget and you’ll be able to identify areas where you are can compromise to cut costs.” By cleverly reducing costs in key areas, it will become possible to channel more cash toward the key aspects that make up the backbone of the event.