5 Benefits of Including an Opening Cocktail Party for Your Corporate Event

October 25, 2023 Mario Stewart

As you carve out the itinerary and agenda for your upcoming corporate event, don’t overlook the boosted engagement power of a cocktail party opener. Kicking off your big day of guest speakers, company training, or corporate entertainment, a cocktail party can be just the icebreaker and mood-setter you need to make your corporate event a success. Tap into these incredible benefits of an opening cocktail party and see why so many top event planners incorporate them.

1. A Social Atmosphere

A corporate event might be all about the business, the product launch, or the training sessions. But it doesn’t have to be all work. In fact, those company events with brilliant entertainment value and activations are more memorable and impactful. Hosting an opening cocktail party for your corporate event can infuse the entire engagement with fun and socialization. Set the tone by inviting guests, clients, and employees to a social hour or two for networking, mingling, and acclimating to the event setting.

2. Brings Fun to the Corporate Environment

Corporate conferences can be boring or tedious for guests. However, there’s nothing boring or tedious about a cocktail party. Drop some beats, get creative with lighting effects, and lighten the mood. Consider booking cocktail hour entertainment, specifically for those two hours or so of mingling. Event planners know the value of a great cocktail party and happy hour. You can tap into that magic as a kickoff element for your corporate event.

3. Inspires Networking

Stepping into a bright arena full of people can be intimidating for guests. But stepping into a dimly lit yet well-designed cocktail lounge inspires guests to relax and connect with others. Networking happens at the bar, over hors d'oeuvres, and under the soft hues of accent lighting. These elements all tend to relax the senses and calm any networking anxieties. 

4. Great for New Introductions

Hosting an opening cocktail party to kick off the corporate event allows for a grace period for people to meet and mingle before the official “conference” begins. It's a more relaxed and social environment that presents numerous opportunities for guests to introduce themselves and others. 

5. Another Way to Make a Big Guest Impression

Event planners are always bringing in activations and interactive entertainment to boost the engagement of their corporate events. An opening night cocktail party can be just another way to make a big guest impression, too. Curate a unique drink menu that coincides with your corporate event theme or message. Offer gourmet appetizers. And be sure to create a signature cocktail or drink.

FAQs About Curating an Opening Cocktail Party

Have more questions about incorporating fun and exciting opening cocktail parties at your New York corporate events? Check out these rapid-fire FAQs.

How long should an opening cocktail party last?

Depending on the theme and mission of the corporate event you’re planning, consider hosting a cocktail hour or two. If your event is slated to cover more than one day, which is common among industry conferences, consider a full evening cocktail reception kickoff party the night before your event agenda begins.

What should you include in your cocktail party experience?

Treat your opening cocktail party like its own event. Book entertainment, offer appetizers, create lighting effects, and even consider booking a surprise guest or two.

Why are opening cocktail parties important to the corporate event?

Cocktail parties or receptions are great tone-setters for a corporate event since they encourage networking and engagement prior to any official stage presentations or sessions. They’re great for providing a social atmosphere and comfortable environment for all guests.

Discover More Corporate Event Planning Insights at The Expo

If you’re a New York event planner eager to discover more corporate event planning insights and big ideas, get inspired at The Event Planner Expo! Next year’s Expo is already in the works, so check out ticketing information and get on our waitlists for big announcements in 2024! 

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