Looking for corporate event ideas that people actually get excited about? Banish boring and overdone corporate events with help from this blog post. We’ll teach you how to spice up any business gathering with the right decor, entertainment, and more.
Corporate events get a bad rap. If the event is for internal teams, many attendees are obligated to go even if they don’t feel like it. Because of this, it’s important to create something worth looking forward to.
If your corporate event is for customers and partners, you’ll still need to come up with something exciting to grab their attention and make them want to spend non-work hours with you.
Regardless of the scenario, you may run into other common corporate event planning obstacles such as budget approval issues or specific HR rules that limit activities. Unlike private events, corporate event decisions aren’t entirely up to you. But don’t let those get in the way of your creativity!
Keep reading to discover 10 creative corporate event ideas that are actually fun for everyone
1. Create a fan film.
Make your guests the star of your event by creating a film all about them in real-time at the event. Gerrid Smith of Joy Organics says that this activity was one of the most successful parts of their past product launches.
“A product launch is one of the few events I’ve planned that has really gone off without a hitch,” says Smith. “Launches are a great way to get the word out about a new company, collaboration, product/service, or promotion.”
Guests stepped into the rented photo booth and recorded a short snippet of themselves with their new products. The exclusivity of the event – “only 180 people were carefully selected to join our launch party’s spectacular event,” says Smith — combined with first looks and testers of never-before-seen items added to their excitement and was showcased in the fan film.
2. Support your local businesses.
If you’re looking for corporate event ideas that are great for small teams in need of a casual get-together, this one’s for you. Every day, consumers are making the decision to shop local, so this is a great way to celebrate the uniqueness of your area and support your neighbors in the process! By shopping local, you help create a more inclusive community and your attendees get to bond over discovering a new spot together.
To plan an event like this, we recommend seeking out business owners that are interested in hosting and checking their availability for the given event dates. From there, you can either choose an option that is best for your team’s interests or put it to a group vote. If you’re not familiar with the area, ask your attendees to pitch their suggestions.
3. Host a storytelling show or workshop.
Formal storytelling shows (a la David Sedaris) are a hit amongst genre fans and newbies alike. True stories told live are compelling, funny, thought-provoking, and emotional. They teach us a lot about ourselves, our creativity, and the world around us. Whether they’re simply enjoying a cocktail in the audience or getting up in front of their colleagues or fellow VIP customers in a workshop setting, this is one of those corporate event ideas your attendees will talk about for years to come.
4. Host a corporate event in the Metaverse.
Expert corporate event planner Lauren Gessa knows a thing or two about this topic. Her company, RemoteBridge, services clients that include 17 Fortune 100 companies. She customizes each event to the needs of the individual brand. This past spring she planned an event in the Metaverse.
“In this two-day hybrid virtual conference, attendees from 26 different companies toggled back and forth from activities on our virtual island to breakout sessions in Teams,” shares Gessa. “Each day had approximately 5 hours of programming between the platforms.”
Even though it’s “a little buzzy right now,” Gessa says, hosting the event in the Metaverse was a great move for their attendees. Attendees get the benefits that only a hybrid event can provide like greater accessibility and cost savings. But by hosting the event in the Metaverse specifically, Gessa was able to bring corporate event ideas to life that simply wouldn’t have worked on any other platform.
From virtual team-building games like Last Avatar Standing to an in-world scavenger hunt, Gessa’s example shows us that the Metaverse is a great addition to any corporate event ideas you may already have.
5. Seek some thrill.
Sky-diving, bungee jumping, and swimming with sharks are on a lot of adrenaline junkies’ bucket lists. So why not bring their dreams to life with one of the most memorable corporate event ideas in the world? Talk about a bonding experience for attendees!
And it’s more doable than you might think. For example, this indoor skydiving venue offers vertical wind tunnels and certified instructors that provide the thrill without all the risks of this popular activity.
If any of the above ideas aren’t your jam, take a moment to explore your area for other exciting, yet less intense, experiences. Here are our top choices you are likely to find near you:
- Canoe tours of a local river
- High-speed luge trails
- Indoor rock climbing
- Ziplining and slacklining
- Go-karts or bumper cars
6. Bring in the food trucks.
For many people (us included) food is the best part of any event. Clever catering combines novelty and great quality grub, both of which can be found in a food truck hire for your next corporate event!
Bring in one or more local favorites to surprise and delight guests. Ask the restaurateurs to create a custom-themed dish or simply offer up their hottest menu items. Set up and clean up is a breeze as long as you have enough picnic tables or blankets and large barrel trash cans.
If you have the budget to rent more than one food truck, we highly recommend it. Here are some food truck pairings we’d love to see at any corporate event:
- Organic champagne slushie and seafood taco trucks for happy hour snacks
- Homemade bagel breakfast sandwiches, cold brew coffee, and acai smoothie bowl trucks for a hearty brunch-time meeting
- Instagrammable ice cream (think Happy Ice), gourmet popcorn, and hot dipping pretzel trucks for a summer fun, carnival-style spread
7. Allow furry plus ones.
If your company already welcomes dogs into the workplace, why not invite them to your daytime corporate event too? After all, they’re probably the highlight of everyone’s days. Not to mention the fact that they would make terrific guests of honor!
Simply add a note on your invitation that plus ones include well-behaved pets. Or, if you’re looking for more elaborate corporate event ideas that really make a splash, offer vendors selling discounted luxury pet goods (they’ve got jewelry, fashion, and beauty for pets now, can you believe it?), or serve catered treats alongside your lunch spread.
Bonus: While this idea is fun, it’s also quite practical when you consider the fact that having a pet in need of care back home is often an obstacle for eventgoers.
8. Book an arcade.
Arcades aren’t just for kids! And with the popularity of Stranger Things bringing back our favorite nostalgia activities, we have no doubt that choosing an arcade as your next corporate event venue will be a hit with your attendees.
There are many different types of arcades to choose from. In most major cities you will find at least one of the following:
- Barcades complete with wine, beer, and even cocktails
- Tech-forward arcades with all the latest VR games and machines
- Hip vintage pinball arcades
- Chain arcades with bowling, skee ball, and all of your favorite fried foods
9. Find pre-packaged experiences.
A pre-packaged experience is an event that has planned all the big-picture stuff for you. All you have to do is buy the tickets and invite your guest list.
The best part? There are so many to choose from! Here are just a few we’ve either attended or heard rave reviews about:
- Paint & Sip parties where an instructor leads guests through a beginner-level painting class while they taste a variety of wines or beers. Or swap this out with a more high-tech version: An Apple class dedicated to sketching ideas in Notes.
- Zoo or botanical garden nights where the grounds stay open for post-work fun that includes at least one fun demonstration, an up-close encounter, and/or food and drink packages
- Macabre and quirky ticketed events such as graveyard tours, murder mystery parties, and haunted corn mazes
Pro tip: Check local event venue calendars to get even more inspiration.
10. Bust out the board games.
Charcuterie boards, wine, and a game of Clue? Sounds like a great evening with friends. But with a little extra planning, you can turn this beloved low-key hang-out idea into a full-fledged corporate event people will actually want to join.
The benefits of board games for corporate events are endless. They provide a great space to work on team building with new employees or find common ground among new customers right from the get-go. The classics such as Monopoly and Uno are great for all ages and offer some fun nostalgia (there’s that word again), while indie Kickstarter darlings appeal to full-grown gamers eager to test out the newest hits.
We also love that this is one of those corporate event ideas that works for any budget. For a DIY version of this get-together, you can borrow from a hobbyist in the office or even your local library. Alternatively, make a splash by renting out a game store that offers its own free-play games. For example, Next-Gen Games in Los Angeles has all the friendly staff, tables, chairs, and games you’d ever need for a night of good clean fun at your next corporate event.
Now you’re ready to plan a corporate event everyone will get excited about!
Up next, learn more about another fan favorite corporate event type: Golf tournaments.