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Event Experience

Entertainment Ideas for Corporate Events

A2Z Team March 11, 2024
Table of Contents
11 min read

Planning a successful corporate entertainment event is about more than simply gathering people together in one place for a common purpose. It’s about creating something legendary that really resonates with your attendees, keeps people talking about it for a long time to come, and helps you reach your business goals. 

A knack for planning and executing amazing corporate events can help you raise funds and generate interest in what your company does. It can strengthen your connection with your employees and leave them truly excited about their professional futures. Fantastic events can certainly help you stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business landscape. 

However, successful corporate event planning means ensuring every factor is well covered, and choosing the right approach to corporate entertainment in the first place is part of that equation. Here we’ll go over a bit of everything you need to know to get your corporate event entertainment strategy just right. 

What Is Corporate Entertainment? 

The broad term “corporate entertainment” can refer to any private event a company might hold for its team members, stakeholders, clientele, or peers. 

Such events may be large and expansive, as with conventions, conferences, and large-scale fundraising events. However, they can also be small and intimate, as with company holiday parties or team-building retreats. 

In many cases, corporate entertainment may also encompass various hospitality efforts that go into entertaining guests and making them comfortable. Common types of corporate entertainment events include but are not limited to: 

  • Charity events 
  • Seminars 
  • Educational events 
  • Awards ceremonies 
  • Team-building events 
  • Holiday parties or other corporate get-togethers 
  • Trade shows 
  • Conferences 

Why Use Corporate Entertainment? 

Corporate image and company culture are essential when it comes to the overall success of your company. 

Strong companies are built on strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, clients, and communities. Solid corporate events help facilitate and strengthen relationships like these. Smart corporate event planning also brings benefits like the following to the table. 

Better brand awareness 

Modern consumers may appreciate fantastic products and services, but at the end of the day, it takes more than that to keep them coming back again and again. Strong brand identities are ultimately what turn consumers into customers and foster powerful business relationships. 

Well-planned corporate events like expos and conferences help reinforce your branding efforts, boost brand awareness, and expose what you do to a much wider audience. They can help establish you as a thought leader in your industry, as well. 

Stronger relationships 

It’s really a given that successful events and shared experiences bring people closer together. People mingle and get to know one another. Existing relationships have an opportunity to grow stronger, especially if the event is a very enriching, entertaining one. 

The sense of connection employees, clients, partners, and business connections may feel to those they interact with at a corporate event often carries over into the workplace. This in turn leads to higher productivity rates, better collaboration, higher levels of trust, and so forth. 

Showcase highlights 

A truly fantastic event that hits all the right notes can be the kind of experience people remember for years to come. This makes corporate event entertainment a great way to celebrate milestones, highlight key products, or otherwise shine a spotlight on the very best of what your brand brings to the table. 

Create an entire atmosphere around your latest product drop. Show your employees how much they matter with a memorable award ceremony. Show peers and community pillars the best of what your brand’s all about. It’s all up to you. 

Elevate company morale 

Employees who feel valued, acknowledged, and considered are much more likely to report high levels of job satisfaction. They’re more loyal to the companies they work for, and they’re significantly more apt to take personal pride in what they do for your company. 

Corporate event entertainment can help facilitate all of this and more for your in-house team and peers. 

Inspire new ideas 

A truly memorable corporate entertainment event is one that positively crackles with positive energy and everything that comes with it. This includes creativity, inspiration, and innovation. 

When team members, partners, and stakeholders come together to enjoy an event like a conference or a seminar, they chat. They bounce ideas off of one another, share breakthroughs, and pose questions. They learn from one another. This can easily lead to fantastic new ideas for products or improvements. 

13 Tips for Planning Corporate Event Entertainment 

Efficient corporate event planning is about striking an ideal balance between creativity and practicality. It’s about pulling off a seminar, party, or other event that really pops without obliterating your budget in the process. And, of course, it’s about adequately meeting the needs and expectations of your attendees. 

Here are a few actionable tips to keep in mind when planning your own future events. 

1. Create memorable experiences 

There’s a reason why you’ll eventually forget about a big-screen television or leather jacket you absolutely had to have but not a concert you experienced or a vacation you went on. Even the best-quality material items eventually lose their value and become obsolete. But memorable experiences can show and teach you things you’ll value for a lifetime. 

That said, the most successful corporate events are unique experiences that show creativity and engage people on exciting new levels. Plan something your attendees will talk about and remember for a long time to come. Ensure the experience you choose hits the right chord by getting to know your target audience first and learning what types of experiences resonate with them the most. 

2. Choose the right venue 

Your choice of venue can make or break your event, so don’t settle for just anything. Explore your options carefully, and take the time to choose a place that fits your event well and that your audience will appreciate. 

Great venue choices cover multiple bases, including the following: 

  • They fit the crowd who’ll be attending 
  • They impress while allowing you to stay within budget 
  • They lend themselves well to the type of event you’re organizing 
  • They offer a chance to step away from daily life on the job and experience something new 

3. Understand your objectives 

Knowing you want to plan a stunning corporate event is one thing. Ensuring that said event actually helps you meet your business goals is another. Before you start the planning process, it’s crucial to know what you’re hoping to achieve by having an event in the first place. 

Are you looking to boost employee morale, improve productivity, promote a new product line, or something else entirely? Choose the type of event accordingly, and keep in mind that you’re looking to cultivate an experience people can share. 

4. Make it interactive 

There’s a reason some people tend to dislike corporate events as a rule. They’ve simply been to a few too many that involved sitting in a ballroom somewhere listening to speakers or simply observing something they’re not involved in. 

Great events that are truly well-organized have cohesive themes that engage people and give them a chance to get involved. Yes, they give people a chance to learn something new. But they’re also immersive, allowing people to truly be a part of what’s going on. 

Consider ways to get creative with your event and make it different from the run-of-the-mill events your audience may be used to. How will you push things out of the box? What will your audience take away from your event that will ensure they remember you? 

5. Make it appropriate 

While it may be tempting to simply hop on whatever event planning bandwagon is trendy at the moment, it’s important to think things through first. The fact that a particular type of event or approach is hot doesn’t necessarily make it a good fit for your audience or company. 

Ask yourself some questions like the following before moving forward with anything very trendy: 

  • Does the option you’re planning fit into your budget? 
  • Is it in line with your chosen theme? 
  • Do the associated entertainment choices make sense for your audience? 
  • How will choosing this approach help you realize your goals? 
  • Does this option fit your brand identity or conflict with it? 
  • Does it fit your current take on company culture? 

You’ll also want to look into ways to set your event apart if you’re jumping on a theme or entertainment approach everyone seems to be doing right now. Going too trendy when it doesn’t make sense can actually backfire and make your company look less innovative than it is. 

6. Plan your budget well 

Corporate event planning within a budget is a truly underappreciated art. Entertainment options can be expensive, and even little costs can add up quickly. However, mapping out your budget in detail at the start of the planning process can help immensely. Here are some suggestions to consider: 

  • Allot a portion of your budget to each aspect of your entertainment plans right at the start 
  • Get detailed breakdowns on final costs from entertainers, caterers, etc. when vetting options to avoid nasty surprises later on down the line 
  • Find out whether you’ll need to cover additional costs related to lighting, sound, or other supporting elements. 
  • Know what’s included and what’s not with the venue you choose 

7. Create a realistic timeline 

Timing is everything when it comes to planning an event, so thorough scheduling is just as important as proper budgeting. Establish a detailed but realistic timeline, and ensure everyone involved in the planning process is aware of it. (Scheduling software and similar tools can help with this.) 

If you’re working with a corporate event planning expert to bring your event together, keep them in the loop. The same goes for any team members you may delegate specific tasks to. 

8. Do your planning in advance 

Although it’s not impossible to pull a solid event together at the last minute if you really have to, more is more when it comes to time. The further in advance you can plan your event, the better. 

Planning ahead with plenty of time to spare gives you a chance to assemble an ideal timeframe for meeting specific benchmarks. It’s easier to secure the right venues if you have some time to spare. You’ll also have time to make adjustments or find alternatives if you run into any roadblocks anywhere. 

9. Delegate wisely 

Even small corporate events involve a lot of different tasks to take care of – far too many for any one person to take care of. That said, it’s important to resist the urge to try to do everything yourself. Instead, assemble an entire team around you and fill it with people you know you can trust. 

Assign each person on your team a task, as well as a timeline for completing it. Check in with your team regularly to ensure everyone is on task and on time. Have a reliable point of contact at your venue of choice, as well. 

And don’t forget to consider the day of the event itself. If you’re involved in the actual event, leave yourself time and space to interact with guests and play your role well. 

10. Avoid overscheduling 

Great corporate event planning should definitely be thorough, but it should contain at least a little wiggle room, as well. That said, be sure to avoid filling every second of your event itinerary with activities, workshops, and presentations. You run the risk of overwhelming your guests. 

Instead, leave people some room in between goings-on to mingle with other guests and network a bit. Give them time to relax and regain their focus before moving on to the next thing. Yes, events should be informative and productive, but they should be fun, too. 

11. Embrace variety 

Even themed events thrive on variety, so be sure to make it a priority when planning your corporate events. Include a diverse mixture of different activities, presentations, speakers, and entertainment throughout the day to keep people interested and engaged. 

Encourage more efficient collaboration and interaction between your guests by including different presenters and experts in your event. Select people from diverse backgrounds, who hold different positions within a company, etc. to bring more different perspectives to the table. 

12. Consider all possible attendees 

Naturally, not all corporate events will involve only professionals, as with parties and company retreats. Some find team members bringing their families along or showing up with a plus-one. Truly great events include something to suit and delight everyone who might show up, including non-professionals, children, and spouses. 

Planning activities to occupy children or give spouses and other family members a chance to have a good time, too, is a wonderful way to make employees and colleagues feel seen. The idea is to keep everyone busy, engaged, and eager to see what else the event might bring their way. 

13. Think about your menu 

Activities aren’t all that matter when it comes to creating a memorable event that will leave people feeling happy they showed up. Food also plays a major role in how good a time guests will have at an event, so it’s important to think carefully about your menus. 

Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind as you plan the culinary portion of your upcoming corporate event: 

  • Well-fed, hydrated guests concentrate better, so provide snacks in between sit-down meal breaks 
  • Decide on a policy regarding alcohol – whether to have it at all, how much to allow per person, etc. 
  • Avoid heavy lunches or breakfasts for professional events, as these can leave guests feeling groggy and unmotivated 
  • Consider fun themes for meals, cocktails, and snack trays 
  • Provide options for people with different dietary concerns, children (if they’ll be present), etc. 

Creative Corporate Event Entertainment Ideas 

Looking for some fantastic corporate event ideas that really venture outside the box? Here are some options to think about: 

  • A team scavenger hunt can bring people together to solve problems, coordinate, and discuss possible solutions – perfect for strengthening relationships between colleagues and coworkers. 
  • Escape rooms are another popular way to bring people together to solve a common problem and work together. Plus, they’re something fun and affordable nearly everyone can enjoy. 
  • Honoring employees, peers, and colleagues with a themed award celebration is a great way to make team members feel special. It also gives them a chance to dress up, have fun, or cut loose, depending on the venue. 
  • Planning a hands-on event like a group class is a great way to get people from lots of different backgrounds working together and engaging with one another. Possible themes to consider include cooking, painting, or storytelling. 
  • Game-themed events like casino nights or boardgame competitions can be fun ways to get people strategizing and networking. They can also be fancy or casual, laid back or semi-formal. 

Wrapping Up 

Although it’s certainly possible to run a successful company and build tight-knit teams without corporate event planning, forgoing it altogether can be a real missed opportunity. Events are fun, they’re memorable, and they bring diverse ranges of people together in fruitful ways. 

Plan your event well, and you can leave people more excited about their jobs. Great events foster creativity, connection, innovation, and loyalty, as well. Start by implementing the tips above in the planning of your own events, and watch the magic unfold firsthand.