On Employee Appreciation Day 2020 we hosted our first annual company conference. CR Event Manager Holly Brown, guides us through how to switch up an internal event, based on our experience from our CRCLE event.
Last year, our CR Event Management Team brainstormed new and exciting ways to kick-off the next financial year and of course a new decade. Instead of the usual 4-hour kick-off meeting, accompanied by PowerPoints and lists of objectives, the team hosted our first ever CR Company Conference – CRCLE.
Not only was the day enjoyable and engaging from start to end but running an internal event was a great way to showcase to the rest of the company what the Event Management Team do – rather than only seeing the amazing Instagram posts, blogs and travelling photos from all over the world!
However, we quickly found that it’s more challenging to impress your colleagues than it is clients… so the pressure was on!
Here are six tips to help motivate your company through an internal event:
1) Change it up
Like all projects, it was important for us to stick to a budget whilst creating a different atmosphere in comparison to the usual company meetings. So, we decided to hold the event in our offices where there is a lot of space to utilise.
Company meetings are normally held the CR.own INN, our company pub. However, to avoid the conference feeling like a regular meeting we decided to choose a new area of the office to change it up. Therefore, we utilised a large space near the kitchen (easy access for a cuppa!) and created a stage and set to really transform the area.
2) Kick it off real good
With a CEO that’s into his rock music, it was only right that we had walk up music that elevated the room. With a bit of ‘Ready to Go’ by Republika, the mood lifted, and it instantly felt like it wasn’t one of our usual company meetings. The personality of our CEO and who we are as CR was instantly brought through the sound system. Simple yet effective.
Discover more about how live or virtual conferences and meetings can benefit your businessLearn how
3) Morning mindfulness
One of CR’s key focuses is looking after their staff’s wellbeing both inside and out of the office. CR are looking to introduce new tools for 2020 to help employees with mental health and welfare. As a result of this, we made it mandatory that we kicked off the morning of the conference day with a guest speaker from our chosen charity, MIND, Coventry & Warwickshire.
Our MIND speaker, Fatima, guided us through a morning meditation to ease us into a state of peacefulness ready for the day ahead. As well as providing us with some breathing exercises, Fatima also gave us tips on how to stay mindful in the workplace.
4) Teamwork makes the dream work
We like to think we are one big family here at CR, so we pride ourselves on coming together regularly for a bit of light-hearted fun – therefore it was important we brought people together through team building activities.
Our first activity was learning how to do the ‘HAKA’. Although the events team see this often, it’s not something the rest of the company would know, except for the rugby fans!
So, after learning the techniques from our HAKA professional, we split up into teams. This was a good way to get people from different departments working together and doing something silly. Each team went and practised their best HAKA before performing infront of each other and deciding on a winning team. It was a unique teambuilding activity, but it really did have us all laughing together – which is what it’s all about!
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5) The bit that everyone remembers… food
We know that food is one of the most important elements of an event. People always remember how good or how bad it was. So, we made a conscious effort to ensure we had food on our minds whilst planning the event as well as keeping the CR brand trickling through.
We wanted to welcome our colleagues to the conference in a fun and quirky way, so we set up our very own smoothie station. With our branded ‘take a shot and take a seat’ sign and CR branded shot glasses filled with fruit smoothies; the day kicked off with a healthy treat that put smile on everyone’s faces.
We know that most of our colleagues have breakfast when they arrive at office, so we needed to ensure we catered for breakfast time, especially as they say this is the most important meal of the day! We organised a little continental breakfast, with fruit, croissants, bagels and continental meats. It was delicious to say the least.
Then came lunch, we worked with one of our amazing food suppliers to bring in a live cooking station cart that we could all enjoy. In the pre-event registration form, we asked all colleagues to vote for a lunch choice from our vendor and it was the Greek chicken wraps got everyone’s taste buds tingling… yum! Disclaimer… Veggie and vegan options were also available throughout the day😊.
We then finished off the afternoon with an afternoon tea that involved a bit of bubbly and CR branded cupcakes to cater for those with a sweet tooth.
We had full bellies by 4pm, let’s just say that!
6) Keeping it relevant
Although we wanted CRCLE to bring everyone together, we also wanted to ensure that people took something away from the day, so knowledge building was so important. From utilising in house skills from the people that work here, to learning about CR’s history we managed to cover a vast number of topics in just one day.
We kept the agenda jam packed with learning, training and CR Worldwide related sessions. Just like a client conference, we ensured there was main plenaries, breakout sessions and round table discussions. We collectively, as a CRCLE event team, had a tender process to what would be on the agenda, as well as which sessions would be mandatory for the entire company.
The agenda allowed room for small round table discussions on how to improve areas of the business, to main plenary sessions on the 5 key themes for CR’s future and vision 2020.
It was important that we had the topics available for all colleagues so they could leave feeling like have learnt something at CRCLE.
Our full service event management team can create a live conference, partner summit or meeting event from 50 attendees to – well the list is endless! For more information and to view our case studies, head over to our profile page.
However, live events aren’t always the only option. They are by far, the best way to engage and connect an audience, as face-to-face is important. But, utilising virtual events as part of the portfolio to complement a live event, continue the training and motivate brand ambassadors, throughout the year at smaller virtual meet ups, are an option worth exploring – more details here.
Whatever the objectives you are trying to achieve, talk to the award-winning event experts here at CR Worldwide.