Corporate events like conventions and conferences should be all about sharing. Lecturers and group leaders share understanding of upcoming industry trends and teach actionable skills. Meanwhile, businesses share cutting edge products and new marketing initiatives. However, you’re missing an opportunity if you only focus on giving attendees networking opportunities and knowledge.
The people attending the conference are at the front lines of your company. Essentially, they are the ones who make the magic happen. They turn hours of hard work and dedication into groundbreaking products, market success, and excellent customer experiences.
It’s important to acknowledge their contributions and make them feel valued. This is true around the year of course, but you can be especially effective during corporate events. Everyone is already gathered, riding the convention’s wave of excitement and motivation. This creates an excellent opportunity for the company to give back.
So what are some ways to give back to employees during conventions, corporate events, or conferences? You may need to think outside the box. After all, every group and industry will be a little different. You know better than any article on the internet what your employees will appreciate.
It’s worthwhile to take some time before the conference to brainstorm. You may want to include managers or group leaders into the decision making. They can offer valuable insights into your employees.
Stumped for ideas? Here are a few options to use as starting points:
One of the fastest and easiest ways to express appreciation is through a tangible gift. These improve the employee’s day to day life and make them feel valued. Try to think of items that might be of real use to attendees. What are some things that they might need every day? What about:
- demos or samples of upcoming products?
- USB sticks?
- company branded knit hats?
- backpacks or bags?
- quality pens?
- items of clothing?
Best of all, these gifts can pull many duties. They can become a valuable part of a person’s everyday life. These also function as passive advertising, getting the brand’s logo out there. Finally, they act as touchstones that keeps the conference’s messages fresh in employees’ minds.
Another fun way to offer valuable gifts is through games like a scavenger hunt, bingo, or a raffle. You can offer up entertaining prizes like tickets to a sports game, restaurant vouchers, or gift cards for a spa. Employees will appreciate that you value them both on and off the clock. These gifts are also a great way to release stress in high-pressure fields.
Handle the Details
You can also show appreciation by handling some of the routine details involved in attending a convention. This could include:
- checking people into flights
- arranging transportation to the airport or convention center
- making hotel reservations
- assembling welcome packets for attendees with a map of the city and major attractions
- serving meals during the conference
Note: Remember to include a variety of food options for people with allergies or special diets!
The Big Picture
The key idea here is that a convention can act as a focal point. It’s part of a broader communication strategy which covers the entire calendar year, not just one event. You have a vision for the future of your company and the employees that are the lifeblood of that company.
Now, how is a vision built? One brick at a time. Each time you show appreciation for your employees, you’re empowering them. Each time you share actionable skills and strategies, you’re helping them build their own competencies.
After the convention, those employees will go back to their regular workday schedule, but changed. They will approach problems with more flexibility and creative solutions. They will interact with clients or customers with confidence. And finally, they will become the most effective brand advocates you’ll ever have. They understand and care about the company, and the marketplace will respond to that passion.