Who said corporate events should be boring? Entertaining a serious audience is, well, a serious business. It takes creativity, inspiration, and resourcefulness to make the most of any corporate event.
Planning a corporate event is no joke. Conferences, workshops, presentations, seminars, forums, annual meetings, away days, and general networking events – it takes months to plan, organize, brand, establish partnerships and sponsors, and so forth.
After you’ve put so much effort into your next corporate event, it would be a shame if you fail to take the boredom out of the equation!
Here are 8 ways to make your next corporate event not boring:
1. Pull a rabbit out of your hat
A foolproof way to kick start your corporate event is to offer the attendees a grand opening they will never forget. Come up with a creative way to approach a short, yet impressive opening ceremony – consider a live band performance, fireworks, a light show or even a magician (depending on your audience’s profile an your event’s theme).
Starting your event with a bang will not only serve as a great conversation starter but it will also guarantee you a lot of social media buzz with people taking pictures and videos of the performance and posting them online using the official corporate event’s #hashtag. Who knows – your event may even go viral!
2. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”
Guess what? It’s the same with women! Nothing will keep your audience’s fuel levels up better than a careful selection of food and beverages to suit every taste. This is easy to achieve with the help of little tricks like offering several meal choices, different salad dressing options, a spice buffet, etc.
Another way to show the attendees that you treat them as individuals rather than a grey-costumed mass is to consider people with particular needs (vegetarians, people with food intolerances, allergies, etc.) when taking care of the menu. Such small gestures never go unnoticed.
3. Make people laugh
There are not many things that can improve the overall mood and bring some life to your audience better than a good laugh. You have many options when it comes to using your sense of humor at a corporate event.
From making witty remarks during the presentation to inserting a funny video here and there in between the (boring) Powerpoint slides, it is really a matter of creativity to come up with a way to mix things up for the people listening to you.
4. Give your audience a break
Over-scheduling can turn your corporate event to a real beyond-boredom disaster. Remember that when it comes to presentations, it is quality that matters more than quantity.
Shorter sessions followed by regular breaks will keep your attendees engaged and focused during the presentations and they will be able to catch their breath from session to session. In fact, these breaks are as important as the presentations themselves, giving people the chance to interact and better assimilate the information that has been presented to them.
5. Put your attendees in the spotlight
Involve the audience in any way you can. This will both keep people engaged and will grab their attention throughout the event, leaving aside the last trace of boredom.
Another huge plus of giving your attendees the chance to share their opinions is that you make them feel an integral part of the event, nurturing their sense of importance. Let them ask questions and express their opinion, encourage brainstorming, provoke discussions on Facebook, tweeting and retweeting points of interest, etc.
6. Keep them guessing
Last time we checked, no corporate event attendee was eagerly looking forward to an endless day of changing slides and the inevitable back pain from having to sit still all day. An easy way to entertain a serious audience and avoid event boredom is to keep them guessing what’s next.
Keep the excitement levels high by giving some clues on what they should expect later in the day. You can even bring in some creativity and turn this into a contest with small rewards for everybody who followed the clues and guessed what the surprise was. Needless to say, this is a rather fertile soil for social media commenting, #hashtag-ing, and sharing!
7. Make them use their bodies
A great way to take the boredom out of the corporate event equation is to regularly make your attendees practice their fine and gross motor skills. This will not only help them stay focused, but it will also ease their discomfort from sitting still for such long stretches of time.
Incorporate different physical exercises into your presentation – it can be raising a hand, standing up and looking right/left or – why not – even dancing! The people attending your event will be pleasantly surprised by the breath of fresh air that comes with moving around.
8. Keep them close
No, this doesn’t mean making them feel uncomfortably stuffed into a conference room with no room to move a muscle. The idea is to resist the temptation to split your audience as, thus, you automatically fail to create a shared experience for them.
On the contrary, you should organize the space in such a way that it promotes and encourages interaction. This will guarantee you that no attendee will feel lost in the crowd at your corporate event.
Some final food for thought
Planning a boredom-free corporate event is easy if you’ve come prepared. While you cannot avoid the mandatory elements of corporate events, you can spice them up in such a way that your audience is kept engaged and entertained during the event.
Inject creativity in every aspect of event planning, consider fun activities and ways to keep the attendees’ minds fresh and productive and you are guaranteed a corporate event that’s everything but boring.