Five corporate event ideas for your next conference

Posted by Jo Kelly

Whenever you host a conference you should aim to ensure it’s an event your guests enjoy, find useful, and remember.

But making it stand out from the crowd can be tricky. We’ve listed some corporate event ideas to help make your next conference one your guests won’t forget.

While it’s always important for a corporate event to be memorable, making your conference stand out can benefit your business in many ways. This includes:

  • Encouraging guests to find out more about your business, take your brand more seriously, and buy your products or use your services
  • Attracting guests to your future conferences and other events
  • Showing that your company is inventive by keeping things fresh and trying new ideas
  • The buzz of your conference can also result in your guests telling their business associates, like colleagues and clients, about your event, encouraging them to attend next time round

Conference ideas to consider

Theme

It’s always worth deciding on a good conference theme. An overarching motif, statement or topic, which all parts of your event can revolve around, can help you plan it to detail and focus any ideas you might have.

Your theme could cover an aspect of your industry, like technology or construction, a seasonal event like the build up to Christmas, or an area of product development like innovation.

Having a theme in mind like this can help tie all the elements of your conference together. From décor, to promotion, discussion topics to entertainment, having a definite theme to unify all conference elements can also make your event much more memorable.

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Venue

Finding a good location with the facilities you need to host your conference is always crucial. But selecting somewhere memorable or interesting to make your event stand out takes a bit more thought and research.

Conferencing facilities can sometimes be a bit austere, boring or dull, so it’s a good option to think outside the box. If you want something different from the norm, consider looking at venues you wouldn’t normally choose or that relate more closely to your selected theme. For example, museums, iconic landmarks or country houses, can make fantastic alternative venues for your corporate event.

When taking a new perspective regarding your venue of choice, you should also find a space that accommodates your needs, such as catering facilities, access to public transport and parking.

Many out of the ordinary venues will require you to hire and bring in some of the facilities you need for your conference, from microphones and stands for speakers to lighting rigs, display boards and furniture for seminars. It’s important to consider this, and the additional time, work and costs these venues could bring if they aren’t equipped with what you need.

Some alternative venues also simply won’t have the space to accommodate all of your attendees. So always think about the scope and purpose of your event. Whatever the venue, you should keep practicality in mind.

Speakers

Having some interesting speakers at your conference is another way to make your event stand out. It provides a good opportunity to involve key influencers within your business sector, allows attendees to learn something new, while giving them the experience of listening to someone credible, engaging and memorable.

Choosing key people within your industry to speak about important current topics, or revealing a new product, can be fantastic way to bookend your conference too.

See our other conference and meeting tips

Opening and closing your event with talks from highly regarded people, with something interesting, thought-provoking or important to add to your conference, is also a great way to ensure you provide attendees with insights to take away and use.

Activities

Choosing unique and interesting activities to take place during your conference is your opportunity to really wow attendees and do something a bit different.

This could be activities linked to the overall theme of your event or something with a practical application. For example, if your conference is geared towards sales, providing hands-on sessions with new products can give conference attendees enhanced product knowledge and information. It can also prepare them when going into a busy sales period, or for a product launch or campaign.

Entertainment

Keeping your delegates interested and entertained is important, so kicking off your conference in style can help excite delegates from the word go. It’s also important for your conference to go out with a bang and end on a high. So entertainment that sees the event off in style should be a big part of your corporate event planning. Options could include a:

  • DJ
  • Musician or band
  • Comedian
  • Show
  • Gala dinner

You could really push the boat out and hold a combination of entertainment for your guests. Just keep in mind that the entertainment tends to be the final part of your event and is often the last thing your delegates you will see before leaving.

How you close your conference is your final opportunity to make it memorable for your attendees.

If the conference is over a couple of days, it’s also good to maintain momentum by holding regular entertainment. This can keep the delegates engaged and interested, wondering what is going to happen next. Not only does this wow your attendees, but it helps to make the event that little bit more memorable.

Keeping these key ideas in mind when planning a corporate event can help you to create something that feels relevant, is interesting, engaging, and makes a lasting impression on your guests.

We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative conference events services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.