Why host a corporate party? Organising a corporate event gives your employees something to look forward to. It will boost company morale by reducing stress and improving motivation. Team building is key to a cohesive, close-knit community. Furthermore, it will validate your employees; if you show them that you care about their well being. then they will be more willing to put in the effort from 9 to 5. Corporate events also promote creativity. 75% of employees say they aren’t living up to their creative potential at work.
And if that doesn’t convince you, then you should know that companies with engaged employees make 2.5 times more than their less-engaged counterparts. And these engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their company!
1. Define your budget
Your budget determines what you can have at your ultimate corporate party. However, creating a friendly and festive atmosphere can be done regardless of the budget. Create a budget tracking sheet which sets out, in detail, your budget for each area and what you expect to spend on different areas of the event. You can also check supplier payment terms and look for discounts which can be noted within this sheet. It is better to set out your budget in advance so you don’t get a nasty shock and go over budget. Also, be sure to surveil the budget throughout the process to avoid unpleasant surprises.
2. Opt for an unusual place
If your budget allows, don’t just rent a room to organise your event. Go for more unusual spots like a rooftop bar, a box in a sports stadium, or even a castle, for example. Your venue should reflect your audience, so choose the one that you think will best suit your company culture as well as the expectations of your guests. You want enough space to comfortably host your guests and a location that isn’t too far from the office, as you know that’s somewhere everyone can get to. Help your guests by giving them conversation points; stand-out features or funny props are good ice breakers. This could be a roof terrace with a view, or an atmospheric basement space. We will talk more about themes later on…
A booking platform, such as Kapow provides real-time access to venues and even has a free 24-hour cancellation policy so you can lock-in your venue, get your boss’s approval and not worry about a cancellation fee. Skedda is a US based, but worldwide, online booking platform for hiring rooms for corporate events. It is trustworthy and reliable and offers a variety of room for all your needs.
Feel free to capture this extraordinary place through beautiful corporate photos and videos to capture the moment. Your employees will be proud to be associated with your company and future candidates too will want to be a part of this.
©BAM Karaoke Box
3. Clarify logistics and organisation
Like many professional events, corporate parties require time, patience and organisation if you want them to be successful. If the evening is far away from the office, schedule shuttle buses through a professional bus service to take the guests to their destination. Plan different time slots back in order to give your guests a choice of times to leave the party. To ensure safety, avoid activities that are too dangerous (like sports, for example, which are more risky). Make sure that the premises of the party has the appropriate security in place, such as, presence of security guards, fire alarm system, first aid kit, etc.
4. Think about music
The music for a corporate party can make or break the do, so choose carefully and decide whether you want them playing cheesy tunes or more classic choices. A DJ or live band or even a Spotify playlist, which your guests can add suggestions to before the event - these are all good options but it’s up to you to decide which one is appropriate for your company. If you opt for the DIY sound and light system for your corporate soirée, you will need to rent the equipment for the evening, Technical Entertainment System offers great, reliable services for any type of event.
5. Organise a corporate party starting with a theme
Thinking of a theme for a corporate event can be a daunting task but it will help guests to break the ice by giving them something to talk about on arrival. We believe there are three ways you can go: simple, sophisticated, wacky. Here are some examples to get you started and your imagination can run free from there…
Crazy Hats is a simple, low cost theme. It will add a little element of fun without ridiculing your guests! This is a happy medium that allows them to wear suitable clothes of their choice but still get involved. If you want a theme within a theme you could opt for ‘themed hats’.
A Love Boat theme could accomodate a glitzy dance floor and seated dining, but also a shipwreck and beach décor too. Event staff could dress in sailor outfits and guests can opt for the theme too.
Great Gatsby is a classic, sophisticated theme, which suits balls, galas, weddings and black tie events. This theme can be easily adaptable and if you are on a lower budget, easily represented using a black and gold colour theme without huge props etc.
Black & White is equally sophisticated, but arguably simpler to execute. Décor and furniture are easy to sort out and black goes with everything so you can use other colours to compliment it. As it is a corporate event you could easily incorporate your logo into the colour theme without any fear of colour clashing.
A Carnival theme allows for big, bold colours, signs, performers, funfair rides, games, snacks - basically anything and everything comes under this theme. You can even have a big-top tent or incorporate the tent shape into other décor to really make it an event to remember.
An Escape Rooms theme is not only a creative, fun theme but make also double up as a great corporate team building exercise. This will force employees to get involved and solving problems. It will be memorable and adrenaline pumping without being overly competitive or involving major sports, which some guests might not be able to partake in.
©BAM Karaoke Box
6. Choose a great team to execute the event
It’s important that you pick the right sized team and select members who will positively impact the team to make the event a success. The organisation's event planner should work closely alongside someone in human resources or the happiness manager, to help authorise plans and drive decisions. You may not need a huge team, depending on the size of your company and your party, but it is essential that the Office Happiness Manager is informed of all the decisions to ensure that the event runs smoothly and inspires employees to work hard in the future.
Ultimately, it’s not the size of the team, but the quality of the members. Think about who in your team are good directors, good listeners, good with numbers and even those who might have contacts for caterers, musicians, event planners, etc.
7. Games, entertainment and activities for your corporate event
We have already touched on some activity ideas in the themes part. Entertainment may be linked to a theme, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Rule Number One is ban boredom at corporate events. However, Rule Number Two is don’t enforce organised fun! Here are some ideas to get you started…
Setting up a casino at your event with game tables, slot machines, and professional croupiers is a fun game for your employees. Renting the equipment is much less hassle and requires less organisation than opting for DIY, it will also look more professional.
A bit of friendly competition in the form of a contest can actually help guests to feel more at ease and liven up your corporate event in minutes! For example, caption contests, a pub quiz style trivia game, a scavenger hunt are all great ideas to start off with.
A corporate comedian will keep the language office appropriate and business-related jokes, which should appeal to the audience. Find someone specifically who specialises in corporate gigs, though, so that they don’t cross the line. The same thing goes for a celebrity impersonator.
Thanks to performers like Dynamo, magicians and illusionists have gone from birthday party entertainers to professional performers. A spectacle like a magician will inspire your guests with mind-blowing tricks.
Interactive food and drink stations are a fun way to get your guests to mingle. Anything from customisable cocktails to a live stir-fry station will both entertain and feed your guests.
Social photo booths are great - who doesn’t like taking pictures of themselves dressed in silly hats and glasses? These booths have developed over the years and you can now take stills, videos, or even GIFs, all to be posted straight to their Instagram account!
Your food can also be part of your theme or entertainment for the evening. When it comes to food, plated meals are often more cost-effective than buffets, and they can be presented much more elegantly than having everyone stand in line and serve themselves. Be sure to have both vegetarian and vegan options. EZ Cater is a catering company with offices all over the States. They are the only nationwide network for business catering, offering a variety of cuisine for all sorts of corporate events and parties.
Limiting alcohol will both make sure your guests behave appropriately, whilst simultaneously keeping the budget down! For this reason, you want to narrow your booze selection or even create cheap signature cocktails to reduce costs and keep intoxication levels down. However, most employees don't want to attend a company event that doesn't feature some form of alcoholic beverage. Be sure to have a non-alcoholic option too, though!
9. Call in the professionals
There are many caterers and professional companies who are dedicated to organising events like these. Trust them, tell them what you want and they will take care of the rest. From the location, to the caterer, through to the entertainment, put them in charge of making suggestions and telling you the constraints (budget, timing, number...) Don’t forget to use professional photographers who will allow you to remember beautiful memories of your corporate evening.
10. Share your event
Before the event
In order to ensure that the maximum number of people show up, we advise sharing the event upstream, for example, by displaying posters at strategic points (in the office, coffee machine, cafeteria) and by sending a send-to-all email. Make sure to indicate the date, place, theme and dress-code, the directions to get to the location, etc.
After the event
Communicating the event, even afterwards is very important. Sharing all the photos and videos of the event on social media will allow you to greatly improve your employer brand. Indeed, the internal "clients" (employees, managers, partners) and external clients (candidates, media, job website) will all then be aware of your company thanks to beautiful corporate content displaying a quality corporate evening.
Follow these top ten tips and you’ll create the ultimate corporate party to remember. It will inspire and motivate your company to keep going and create cohesive, tight-knit teams thanks to the event of the year! Furthermore, spreading the word about your sick party will entice future prospects and clients to join your company in the future.