As people from each corner of your business convene, your corporate event managing brain should be focused on one thing: attendee engagement.
Engaged workers return home with a renewed sense of purpose and alignment with your company’s vision. That alignment leads to increased productivity. These two factors alone should indicate that engaging your conference’s audience is priority numero uno.
With thousands of people convening in one area, there is sure to be a lot of diversity. You’ll need to design a platform that proactively includes a large audience while resonating with them on a personal level.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds – just stick to these key best practices and you’ll do just fine.
Corporate Event Networking
The idea of having to network at a large conference is enough to make any introvert jump out of their skin. Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive. In order to cultivate a shared experience, you may need to find icebreakers that make networking enjoyable for every type of attendee.
Take advantage of event tech trends and incorporate them into networking, for starters. One way to generate pre-event buzz is to create a social media hashtag. Event planners can utilize this hashtag to address FAQs, offer a sneak peak of keynote speakers and initiate discussion amongst participants.
You can also utilize your mobile event app by allowing attendees to create profiles and engage with peers prior to the event.
Now that your event has started, it’s important to consider how the size of your audience impacts the networking experience. Larger audiences may cause the meet-and-greets to feel awkward and forced. By breaking up the audience into smaller groups, this will help make the networking experience feel more intimate and less overwhelming.
Most people believe that once an event is over, so are the networking opportunities. But in order to really maximize connections, corporate event planners should facilitate networking even after the event is over. Just like your mobile event app helped to generate pre-event networking, it can once more serve as powerful tool to connect people after your event.
By inquiring about participants’ favorite breakout sessions, biggest event takeaways or post-event career goals, this can help to connect people who did not have had the chance to meet during the event.
Corporate Event Games/Contests
Games and tournaments are the perfect, casual way to engage your attendees while they network. Taking advantage of everyone’s competitive spirit is a great way to spark up conversation.
These activities break up the event schedule while also incorporating some fun into the itinerary. Bags tournaments, digital quizzes and augmented reality scavenger hunts are all effective ways to get your attendees moving and interacting with one another.
Health and Wellness Trends
Health and wellness at corporate events is trending, so it’s important to have it play a key role in your event itinerary. The majority of your attendees probably work a 9-5 desk job where they spend most of their hours glued to a chair. The last thing they want is to attend your conference and spend more time sitting.
To get the blood flowing at your event, throw in a morning yoga session or a schedule a group run.
You can also utilize your location when implementing activities during the conference. Mountain locations offer the perfect opportunity for hiking, biking and horseback riding, whereas city locations are perfect for encouraging your attendees to walk from session to session.
You also can’t forget about sleep.
Tired attendees are disengaged, plain and simple. Too often, they expect to go to cocktail parties until midnight and then be up and ready to go for the first session at 7 AM. Break this cycle by making sure you give them plenty of time to unwind.
This certainly is not to say you should avoid adding a lot of sessions to the itinerary. Breakouts, networking socials and workshops are still the lifeblood of corporate events. But jamming too much into the schedule carries the risk of running attendees into the ground.
At the least, provide some time for people to decompress on their own. You may even want to start sessions later in the morning if there are late night activities the day before. Trust us, your attendees will thank you.
Corporate Event Philanthropy
Giving back to the local community is one of the most popular things you can do for your attendees.
67% of people would rather work for organizations that support social initiatives. 67%, people!
Every large-scale business event is an opportunity to leave the host city better off. Bringing your employees into the mix gets them involved with a meaningful cause and encourages them to work together toward a common goal.
In the past, CPG Agency has helped clients promote sustainability by planting trees and picking up trash in local parks, building bikes for children in youth clubs, and assembling hygiene kits for homeless shelters.
These are just a few ideas. There are so many other ways you can influence the host city.
Most of the networking and team-building activities mentioned have one thing in common: physical interaction.
With internal communication growing more digital, face-to-face conversation is a rarity these days. By encouraging your attendees to actually engage and interact with one another, all it takes is one conversation to spark a movement amongst your people.
Strengthening the connection your employees have with your brand and each other is the best to way to maximize engagement and build your brand from the ground up.