Corporate events have a reputation for being a bit underwhelming. There’s something about the combination of bland food, traditional venues, and awkward after-parties that leaves attendees underwhelmed — or even worse, disengaged from your brand.
But more and more corporate event organizers are realizing the benefits of humanizing their conferences, trade shows, and networking events. Much like their B2C counterparts, they’re turning to personalization and elements of surprise to engage and delight their attendees.
Looking to spice up things at your next B2B event? Here are three innovative corporate event ideas to help you create a memorable experience attendees will love.
Corporate event idea #1: Host a mystery dinner
When it comes to events for lead generation, another free meal at a fancy restaurant isn’t enough to draw prospects to the table. But if you introduce an air of mystery, the registrations will add up quickly.
A mystery dinner is a sit-down dinner whose location and guest list is known only by the organizer. Participants are sent save the dates ahead of time, then, on the day-of, are told where to go and with whom. Seeing who’s been invited and sharing a meal is all part of the excitement — especially when you intrigue industry leaders enough to attend.
Note: Dinner should be hosted by one of your company’s leaders and include industry thought leaders. If you’re coordinating more than one dinner, provide the hosts with the name of a bar or restaurant for everyone to meet at after the dinners are over.
Corporate event idea #2: Think outside the ballroom
Incorporating an unexpected element into your corporate event can help set it apart — and what better way to up the wow factor than with a unique venue? These untraditional spaces can really help you break out of the B2B conference mold.
Just imagine a keynote at an art gallery in the morning, breakout sessions later that afternoon in open-air tents, all followed by an evening of networking over cocktails on a rooftop with views of the city. These types of nontraditional events have helped Techweek become the nation’s leading technology conference and take their event on the road.
Corporate event idea #3: Offer unusual food experiences
Whether it’s a local roaster brewing coffee for your attendees early in the morning, or a special booth on your tradeshow floor dedicated to an interactive culinary masterclass, providing an extraordinary (or out-of-the-ordinary) food experience can help you make a lasting impression.
For example, at the launch of its Christmas themes for 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue set up a nitrogen ice cream bar which offered attendees unusual flavors such as popcorn or Jack Daniels and vanilla. Each one had the novelty factor of exhalable “dragon’s breath” nitrogen smoke.
Need more corporate event inspiration? Find out how MozCon grew 152% since debuting in 2011 to become “the best conference a marketer can attend,” according to one attendee.