What Makes a Successful Corporate Event?

Corporate events can increase brand awareness, drive sales, or build team morale. They take careful planning, but they’re worth it if they generate revenue, positive PR, or contribute to employee happiness. But how can you ensure they’re successful?

The best corporate events get two things right. First, they have a clearly defined purpose. Second, they’re hosted at highly-customizable event spaces with great amenities.

Corporate events come in many forms, such as seminars, conferences, trade shows, or product launches. These events are typically used to drive revenue or brand awareness.

Other types of corporate events are more focused on your employees. They could be holiday parties, company off-site days, or appreciation events. Essentially, they aim to improve team morale. While these are some of the most common examples, corporate events can be any event that is sponsored by a business.

The aims of a corporate event

All corporate events are connected to a business objective. The goal can be a metric like sales or lead generation, or it might be something more intangible, like employee engagement.

As we said, it’s vitally important to define what you want to get from your event. There are a lot of decisions you need to make during the planning stages, so having a goal to work toward is helpful.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) where possible. If the event’s goal is to generate leads, set a target, and monitor whether your occasion fulfills its purpose. Your goals will inform the attendee experience. If your evening is a way to celebrate your staff or say thank you in some way, plan activities that they will appreciate. That could be entertainment, food, or drinks.

Similarly, if your event has business goals, like educating your audience, you need to think about ways to make them comfortable and engaged, so they’re ready to hear your message.

Whatever the objective, you’ll want your event to be a success. And for that to happen, your attendees have to have a good time, and your event needs to be memorable.

How to make your corporate event memorable?

You can do many small and big things to create an event that your employees or clients will remember. But perhaps the most crucial decision you make is picking the right venue. Get this part wrong, and your clients or employees will still remember your event. However, it will be for all the wrong reasons.

Great events will speak to your brand’s personality and competence. A seminar or company party in a bland conference room or the back of a restaurant, surrounded by stacked tables and mismatched, poorly framed art, is not the image you want to associate with your business.

Creating a seamless sense of occasion requires lots of work. Everything needs to run smoothly, from timings to on-day coordination. The best events captivate their attendees and keep them stimulated and engaged. A purpose-built venue that looks and feels the part will go a long way towards making your guests feel relaxed.

The right setting will help your guests feel at home. From there, they can fully concentrate on whatever you’ve got planned.

The best solution could be renting a space that offers first-class amenities and wide-ranging customization options. Each event is unique, so you’ll benefit from working with a team that understands and accommodates the adjustments you need to fit your brand or company culture.

The venue will be the foundation of the event. It will define capacity, accessibility, and how attendees flow around the space. Choosing the right location is half the battle. From there, it’s just about adding the elements that will help you reach your objectives.

Elements of a successful corporate event

There are some things that every type of corporate event needs. However, other elements are specific to the occasion. For example, a complimentary bar with some raucous entertainment might be great if your business celebrates a milestone or achievement. However, it might not work when sandwiched between a guest speaker and a sales pitch at a conference.

The key is never to lose sight of why you’re hosting the event. This maxim should inform almost all of your decisions. Ask yourself what your audience needs to push you towards your goals.

If it’s about educating the public, have informative, engaging content. Regarding staff appreciation, ensure it’s more relaxed and informal than your work environment. Here are some elements that can ensure your corporate event meets your attendee’s expectations.

Unique surroundings

Some venues just have that “wow factor.” You know it when you see it. Great event space will provide attendees with a buzz of energy and a feeling of comfort. Many corporate events don’t put too much thought into the venue. Or, if they do, the things they consider are overly practical.

But if you want your event to stick in the minds of your guests, give them something unique. A space with lots of natural light, modern architecture, artisan furniture, and modern interior design will help your event feel different from the run-of-the-mill corporate occasion.

Ease of access

A successful event needs attendees. So don’t make it difficult for them to get there. It might be good to host a corporate retreat in a remote location, but most corporate events should be accessible.

Accessibility means a lot of different things. If you’re expecting people to fly in from out of town, nearby access to airports and hotels is essential. If it’s something more local, think about parking, shuttle buses, or other forms of transport.

Customization

A corporate event is a superb branding opportunity. It could represent a way for your business to improve its image in the eyes of your audience or prospects. Or, it could be a chance to host a great event so that you increase employee engagement and show your team you care.

If it’s the former, you should try to hire a space that allows you to express your brand personality via customization. Venues that can accommodate your decorations or other promotional materials are a bonus.

Additionally, sometimes you’ll need the flexibility to move things around and reimagine the space. So find a venue that will work with you to achieve the most conducive layout for your program.

Food & refreshments

People love food and drinks. It’s as simple as that. If your event is stretching on for the whole day, it’s worth providing refreshments.

Many people find it difficult to concentrate on an empty stomach. A conference or seminar full of disengaged, hungry attendees is not what you want.

Hiring a catering company for your event is a wise choice. They can provide you with a wide variety of food options, from canapés to full-blown meals. Additionally, they can take care of any dietary requirements upfront, ensuring your event is as inclusive as possible.

So, look for an event space that has a prep kitchen. That way, any vendors you hire will be able to set up for the day and ensure you impress your attendees with the food they’ll remember.

On-day coordination

Having an on-site venue manager is essential. Even smaller corporate events can have many moving parts, and having an experienced professional to help you coordinate on the day is something you’ll be highly thankful for.

The best venues provide an on-site manager. These professionals have seen it all before, so you can draw on their extensive experience to ensure things run smoothly on the day. They know the venue like the back of their hand to manage any surprises or issues.

Some venues will also be able to provide option extras, like event management. An event manager can help you plan everything down to the fine details. This kind of assistance can be invaluable if you don’t have the experience yourself.

Lights and AV

Talks are the focal point of most seminars and conferences. Often, they’re the thing that will attract attendees. If this kind of content is part of your big occasion, ensure that your chosen venue can deliver the experience you want.

First-rate lights and audio equipment can give your show a slick look and feel. The best venues will have good on-site AV equipment, soundboards, and projectors to help you deliver your content.

And if you have special requirements, they’ll have access to the resources or sound and lighting technicians you need to pull off your event. 

Fun and entertainment

Who says corporate events can’t be fun? There are specific scenarios where your occasion will need a more serious or respectful tone. But for everything else, don’t be afraid to inject a bit of fun. Live entertainment, like comedy or music, are great ways to break the ice and get a positive mood. Or you can get creative and choose a fun event theme.

Keeping your audience engaged is essential, so consider breaking up your day by adding interactive elements like games, activities, or contests. If your event is too passive, you risk creating a bored and disengaged audience. So find ways to keep things upbeat and lively, even if it’s a seminar on a dry topic.

Get the foundations right, and everything else can fall into place

Hosting a corporate event can be stressful. There are many things to coordinate or decide upon, and quite often, a lot rides on the occasion. The most important thing is that your attendees have a great time, and choosing the right venue is an essential step towards that goal.

A stunning space with experienced staff is the bedrock of a successful event. When your attendees feel like you’ve made an effort to blow them away, they’ll be far more receptive to your objectives.

Discover the perfect home for your corporate event

Vuka has two venues in Austin that offer something truly unique. Our Bouldin Creek venue is a restored warehouse that captures South Austin’s earthy and artistic qualities, while our space in Brentwood offers something more contemporary and stylish. To find out more about how we can help host a corporate event that you attendees will never forget, get in touch today.