Monday Motivation: 24 Corporate Event Planning Trends & Tips to Drive ROI
Experienced planners know all the best practices for corporate events but, after a while, the challenge becomes about standing out from the crowd. How can you make your conference, brand activation, or other corporate event different in a sea of lookalikes? And, even more importantly, how can you surprise and delight attendees while still maximizing your event ROI?
To answer these questions, we’ll take a look at how you can use some of the industry’s latest trends in fresh, innovative ways. And, provide a fool-proof corporate event checklist featuring those couple of essential items that tend to slip out of focus.
10 Interesting Corporate Event Planning Trends
Here’s what’s trending worldwide and how you can use these ideas to elevate your corporate event.
1. Promote burnout prevention for both yourself and your convention guests.
Burnout causes more than 60% of work related absences. Not only does this invisible illness impact ticket sales, it’s largely gone unaddressed – until now. Use your event promotion marketing to educate future attendees about the seriousness of the issue and the steps can take steps to maintain healthy habits before, during, and after the convention or seminar.
2. Double check that the trade show venue has had their indoor air quality tested recently.
The air we breathe plays a large role in our health and productivity, so make sure you add this often overlooked checklist step to your venue inspection. If you’d prefer not to ask them about recent testing you can do an evaluation on your own.
- Walk through the venue with your eyes closed and note what you can smell.
- Look for general signs of cleanliness (for example, mold in the bathroom is a big indicator of poor upkeep).
- Ask about how frequently carpeted areas are deep cleaned.
- And finally, take a peek inside one of the custodial closets – if you see chemicals stored near ventilation systems, you should consider alternative venues.
3. Add facial recognition or photos to your check-in process.
Ensure your corporate event has a personalized experience. Check-in apps can help you make a great first impression as soon as guests enter the door. Use an app to notify photographers as important guests arrive so quick photos can be snapped, or to notify catering to bring a try of appetizers right over.
4. Provide robot assistants for your ADA guests.
Regardless of your budget, there are plenty of ways to make your event even more amazing for ADA guests by simply renting your very own robot to help with tasks like co-moderating panels, translate multiple languages, and provide text to speech assistance, among other things.
5. Use voice assistants to provide personalized recommendations for attendees at product launch events.
This NYC wine store asked their Alexa to give event guests personalized whiskey recommendations. Even if merchandise sales aren’t a major part of your next event, there are lots of clever ways to use voice assistants for business-related events.
6. Incorporate one phone-free session into your event agenda.
We all know that excess screen time is damaging for our physical and mental health, so stay ahead of the curve by adding at least one activity where devices are required to be powered down and put away.
7. Use communal dining tables to ward off atomization at corporate events.
The rise of the individual has made socializing, networking, and teamwork more challenging at corporate events. Although you won’t be able to defeat this cultural phenomenon with just one seminar, you can use social eating to help connect your event community. And make sure you use a seating arrangement tool to help arrange your layout.
8. Review the diversity of your event attendee list halfway through ticket sales.
Events and marketing campaigns are now witnessing the impact of post-demographic consumerism, where prospective attendees are more concerned with inclusivity than surrounding themselves with like minded peers. If you notice that your ticket sales are leaning heavily towards one group than the other, make sure to adjust your marketing strategy and add prospective attendees who would benefit from the experience but haven’t yet risen to the call of purchasing a ticket.
9. Replace your convention VIP lounge with a library.
Follow in the footsteps of major brands like Lululemon and add a library kickback space to your event. It encourages community, adds a cozy touch to otherwise sterile convention halls, and provides a truly relaxing experience for your event attendees.
10. Add mental health stations to your event’s first-aid facilities.
As society’s views on mental health transform, so too should our events. Coordinate with your venue to see if they have a licensed psychologist available to provide services at your next corporate function.
Now that we’ve highlighted some trends you can add to your event checklist, let’s talk about ways to maximize your ROI while we’re at it.
9 Corporate Event Checklist Tips That Will Maximize Your ROI
Get the most out of your event with these creative ideas.
1. Create a list of invited media outlets for trade show guests.
Booths and vendors will greatly appreciate the opportunity to prepare accordingly. And your regular attendees may also want to make connections with outlet representatives for their own future marketing efforts.
2. Promote your own original guide to trade show booth design for beginners.
Make this high value piece of content gated and collect additional email addresses you can use for event marketing.
3. Make data sharing a benefit for brands who host booths at your event.
Leads are great, but insight into ticket holder behavior and sold out activities will help participants create even better booths next year. Ensure your event data sharing is GDPR compliant, though.
4. Incorporate photo booths into your inbound funnel strategy.
Simply ask your attendees to fill out a quick survey that will categorize them as a lead while they’re in line.
5. Provide curated and personalized event experiences for VIPs.
Curating a great event experience is all about understanding what your audience’s expectations are then finding a way to provide something that is either higher value, more convenient, or super memorable.
6. Strategically co-host an afterparty with a complimentary brand.
Whether your event is one day or one week, make sure you offer post event activities for those who have later flights, want to celebrate with their teams, and might be interested in one last hurrah.
7. Add a social media monitoring tool to your event promotion strategy.
Once you know where event keywords and phrases show up most frequently online, you can eliminate any unrelated event checklist marketing items and focus your time and resources on where your audience is more likely to find you.
8. Include hands-on product demonstration areas.
If you or your event presenters offer a physical product, give them a designated space to host educational demonstrations and give event goers exclusive access to try before they buy.
9. Add a digital option for virtual attendees.
Live streams, downloadable lecture notes, and dedicated chat groups help bring offsite participants into the experience.
And finally, here are some items you might have accidentally left off your current checklist!
5 Most Commonly Overlooked Corporate Event Planning Checklist Items
You’ve made your list, now check it twice with these friendly reminders.
1. Communicate guest allergies and diet restrictions.
Tools like Social Tables help keep you, your guests preferences, your servers, and your caterers all up to date about food or beverage related restrictions in one easy to use, centralized platform.
2. Create emergency backup lists for vendors and staffing.
Last minute cancellations, lost items, and absent helpers aren’t a problem as long as you have 2-3 backup contacts for each possible scenario. Make sure to double check each vendor’s last minute contract policy and let them know they’ve made your backup list just in case. You can even print out or save PDFs of all the documents you would need in order to work should you need to.
3. Triple check common navigation app instructions.
Make sure Waze, Apple Maps, and Google Maps organically offer the best, most convenient route from your designated hotels to the main event location. This is especially important for rural areas where back roads or shortcuts the locals used aren’t used in the suggested route options. If they don’t match up, make sure you communicate your suggestions and set up appropriate signage.
4. Assign vendor parking.
Catering vans, cleaning crews, and booth set ups all need a space to unload but when they’re done unloading, where should they go? Use clear signage and maps to direct vendor traffic and keep the premium parking spots available for VIPs and speakers.
5. Do a final venue walkthrough as if you are an attendee.
Things like signage, temperature, and cleanliness will become more apparent when looking at the space from their point of view.
Now you’re fully prepared to take your corporate event planning to the next level!
Next up, check out even more corporate event planning tips, see corporate event themes, and find even more ways to exceed your event KPIs. Or check out corporate event planning software that will save you time.