New York event planners can sometimes feel like they have to be mind readers. You likely have a questionnaire and strategy for working with corporate event clients to help you better understand what type of conference experience to deliver. But sometimes, your corporate contact is unfamiliar with what it is the employees really want from a company party, corporate get-together, or business holiday celebration. Since you can’t always ask the employees directly about what they want, here’s a wish list to help you develop the most memorable corporate event experience. While you’re strategizing a plan that meets the corporate goals and objectives, integrate these key elements, as well, to also make it great for attending employees, too.
Corporate Events Have to Be Fun
Company holiday parties, product launches, and annual brand meetings will all have some itinerary to follow. But what the employees really want is a fun experience. So, as you’re planning, look for creative ways to infuse a little light-hearted fun. Conferences can still be professional and performance-driven without compromising the element of entertainment. Yes, you can keep the tone educational and executive level. But even corporate leaders want to have a little fun.
Employees Want to Feel Connected
Recent studies and stats suggest a whopping 70% of employees don’t feel engaged at work. And how enthused are workers going to be when they’re invited to spend their personal time going to a work event? There’s added pressure on New York event planners to make these company-sponsored events and conferences more engaging and connected. Get creative about introducing event elements that help make attendees feel more connected to the experience, the brand, and the purpose of the event. Any way you can involve participants in speaking or integrating accolades and awards will be great for connecting the audience to the event.
Avoid Any Awkwardness
What employees wished you knew is that sometimes, corporate events can be awkward for them. Walking into a room full of people they’ve never met or rarely engage with, along with being expected to mingle with managers and executives, can be a tall order. As the event planner, your job is to create an environment that is free of awkwardness and anxiety. This might involve a better strategy for seating people or including fun, personal details on name badges. Create ice-breaker opportunities and make smart use of a cozy lounge area for networking.
Competition, Games & Prizes
No matter what the theme is for your event, consider introducing some friendly departmental competitions, games, and prizes. These are great additions for creating lively interactions, good laughs, and exciting giveaways. Even small tokens of appreciation or swag can go a long way in improving the attendee experience.
Introduce Something New & Exciting
If the company has something new or novel to introduce, make it a big deal at the event. Employees will feel the conference is more valuable if they have something new to take away from it. Maybe it’s a company announcement or an exciting new line of services. And if there’s nothing innovative to announce, provide entertainment or cool interactives that make the experience itself new. Whatever it is, showcase it and make sure it’s introduced and delivered in a big way for maximum impact. Ideally, when employees can leave the event with something new, they’ll feel more rewarded for attending.
Simplicity Is Key
What employees really want is a corporate event that’s easy and simple to enjoy. As an event planner, you’ll want to identify ways to simplify every process, from parking to dinner and beyond. Make it easy and hassle-free for guests to arrive, sign in, and find their seats. Ensure communication throughout the event is clear, including speaker announcements, dining directions, and entertainment timelines. When employees know what to do, where to go, and what’s next, they’ll feel more relaxed in the moment and be more apt to enjoy themselves.
Consider these employee insights when you plan your next New York event or conference. And keep up with other event planning tips with our ongoing blog series. For more ideas for improving your event planning strategy, get in the room with the biggest industry influencers at this year’s Event Planner Expo!