Corporate events can be tricky to get right. But, find the winning formula and you will know about it by the happiness on the faces of your staff.
Top ideas for corporate events vary by demographic, however. If you have a young and active workforce, then they may well appreciate a high energy event such as karting or paintballing. An older workforce may prefer something a little more sedate, such as an inter-departmental quiz show challenge or an experience day where they can choose from a nominated list of options – paintball, karting, spa day, cookery class or similar.
It is wise, when organising events, to be as inclusive as possible. People with young families may not appreciate an evening event, while teetotal staff and those who have chosen to drive to an event will have their own reasons for staying sober. Some of the best events are summer fairs and fun days, where everyone can indulge in what they prefer; whether that is sampling the local beer, trying out the bouncy castle, listening to a band or enjoying other entertainers or simply zoning out and enjoying the downtime.
Unusual corporate events will always capture the imagination. Not everyone is willing to commit to a tandem skydive, but you may well find some unlikely candidates queuing up to try their hand at flying a glider. Crossword and puzzle fans would probably appreciate a treasure trail where they have to solve clues, and the gym bunnies in the firm would be quite happy running around paintballing each other into oblivion.
Another way to approach a corporate event would be to suggest it as a charity fundraiser. The tales of crazy things that people will do for charity are legion, and often include competing in marathons, dressing up in oddly-themed clothes and shaving their heads. Ideas along those lines include hosting a ‘Wrong Trousers Day’ where staff wear the most inappropriate trousers to work and raise money for Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Charity, asking colleagues to wear green for Macmillan, pink for breast cancer, orange for the air ambulance, or football shirts for men’s charities. The other advantage of a charity fundraising corporate event is that even if people don’t take part they may well be persuaded to sponsor team members who are, or turn up to cheer on race competitors.
Whatever you choose for your corporate event, you are unlikely to gain 100% participation (or even approval), but you will probably find that some staff will have a great time, and they may well bring along others who are intrigued by the idea or who always wanted to try whatever experience it is. If something is a particular success – or even a spectacular flop – you can try and work out what made it a top corporate event and use the experience when organising future occasions. After all, the idea of corporate events is they should be enjoyable at the very least. If they can be instructive as well, that’s an added bonus.