Surprise & Delight Ideas to Make Your Next Corporate Event Stand Out

If you want to use surprise and delight elements for your next corporate event, your imagination and creativity will serve you well as you welcome your guests.  There are a plethora of ideas that will make your attendees’ time at your event useful and fun.  Here are some ways to entertain your guests all while informing and equipping them in their field of interest:

Celebrate the Arrival of Your Attendees

One way to delight your guests is to make a big deal of their coming.  One idea might be to have a big New Orleans marching band playing as they walk to the first session or exit the bus.  You get the idea.  Make the opening shine and promise a great event from the onset.

“I got a gift!”

Don’t underestimate the importance of a gift bag.  Everybody likes to receive stuff. Take the opportunity to give your guests some things and make sure they’re relative to their industry for an extra punch. Catering to financial folks? How about a special pencil or some other tool of their trade. You might even want to include something that will work well as a help during the event. I know an attendee in government who was given a Mr. Potato Head to help walk through the session!

Social Media with a Twist

Of course, make and share your unique hashtag and make sure to have a Social Media wall, but what can you do that everyone else isn’t? One thing people always need more of is fun, personal content that they can share. There are a ton of ways to give them something they can excitedly share, my personal favorite being a Gif booth.  These are fun and your attendees will love interacting with it.  These are photos, but on steroids.  Big fun.

Fun Eating

Including the cost of one or meals can open the opportunity for great fun and socializing during meal times. Why not set up D-Y-I food stations or booths and have your guests have fun making unique concoctions from the provided prepared ingredients.  Many will opt to try it out even if others won’t.  Be sure to have an option for the nays.

Take Them to It

Research the area, if you aren’t very familiar with it, and find a way to interact with the city or a particularly cool and relevant place during the event.  Charter a bus, load your participants and speakers and then off you go. Maybe there is an area where the population with which your attendees work are being served in a new or cutting edge way, why not take them to see it rather than just telling them about it.

Location and Atmosphere

Another obvious way that planners can use to delight attendees is through the use of the arts. Think about including a schedule of artists to perform throughout the conference.  People may never go see a poet, but you could schedule one in and open the door to the delight of the spoken word. Other options might be unique choirs, string ensembles, jazz quartets or comedy acts.  Depending upon your location, you have different surprises you can give your guests during your event.

Networking Opportunities

Maybe you could have a networking and socializing event that encourages interaction at your event.  This will help your attendees  form new contacts and relationships that may benefit them for years to come.
Build intentional networking sessions into your event and your guests will thank you  for it. You might even want to use these sessions to introduce your speakers and other influential attendees to others up close and personal.
In order to bring surprise and delight to your conference attendees you must be intentional and purposeful. Use your brainstorming sessions to come up with outside the box ideas and even if you’ve not seen them done, explore them and see if perhaps you might be able to make it work.  Innovation is the key to being the conference that introduced that, whatever that is. Think about it, somebody was the first one to use name tags or hand out gift bags. Explore your unique ideas and go for it.