Corporate events are meant to bring people together and to represent a company, usually with specific goals in mind.  They are a door to great networking, growing, entertainment, and building as a whole. So whether you’re planning a company retreat, client appreciation event, or company picnic we have your basics covered.  And while there are many types of corporate events out there, we have listed some of our favorites and ideas on how to make them the best yet!


Seminars & Conferences

Purpose: Seminars and conferences are typically the biggest, priciest and most well-marketed type of corporate event with targeted audiences in mind and geared to educate.  Usually it is held by people of the same industry and outsiders looking to network, to exchange ideas and developments, these can last from a few hours to a few days. Generally industry-leading speakers will be showcased giving keynote speeches and free merchandise will be given out amongst participants

Ideas:  Whether you’re a leader in an industry looking to give a speech or a company showcasing a booth at a conference one thing is certain: plan ahead!  Have your goal in mind, plan what information and merchandise you will give out, and make your company stand out. If you haven’t experienced many conferences before, you can find many free or low-price ticketed seminars and conferences in your nearby metro area!  TED Talks are probably the most well-publicized conference, check out a video of one here!


3. Company Retreats

Purpose:  Company retreats is a good way to bond, refresh, and refocus as a whole.  Usually a company retreat has a goal in mind, whether this is to get away and refocus to a new company brand, such as hosting an annual planning retreat for executives, leadership and education retreat to allow natural leaders to emerge in the group, or a recreational corporate retreat to bond, it is something important to do to localize, engage and encourage employees within the company.

Ideas:  You can find some good local campsites to host company retreats, there are also organizations who help you plan and build weekend getaways, and there’s always an option to do something more international.  The purpose is to get out of the office atmosphere. For leadership and education you can try rope and zip lining courses, for recreational retreats if it’s within your company’s budget a small cruise, boat excursion, amusement park, or hiking expedition are good options.  As for executive retreats try to opt for a hotel in a nice city to get out of the same old routines.  We love these US-based venues from BizBash’s article.


4. Team Building

Purpose:  Team building workshops are meant to bring the employees of a company together to build on strengths and encourage morale.  It will also highlight employees strengths and weaknesses, so you can better delegate tasks and raise endorphins to help bonding.

Ideas:  Ropes courses, escape rooms, laser tag, volunteering, cooking classes, kayaking, etc any outdoor activities really encourage group-focused endeavors and overcoming obstacles in a fun way that encourages connections.  It’s a good way to focus on something else together other than work and to spread positivity and enlightenment. Hubspot has a long list of ideas to get your creative neurons firing!


5. Product Launch

Purpose:  Product launches are a way to market and create a buzz surrounding a company’s product release to potential customers and to the media.  If done properly they can generate a good amount of media coverage prior to the product release.

Ideas:  When launching focus on the people rather than the products and how they can benefit your audience.  Also launching a teaser campaign on digital social platforms is also a good way to reach millions of people and you should schedule this 20-30 minutes before the product launch date.  Choosing an appropriate venue, and incorporating form of entertainment will make the product launch more inviting and exciting as well. See these two great product launches below:

6. Holiday Parties

Purpose: Holiday parties are always joked about in movies but they are a good way to ring in the holiday season amongst co-workers and friends. With gift exchanges, good food and a bit of egg-nog, it’s a good way to bring everyone together. The trick is to plan it at a time when the majority of people are available. It’s good to have something well-planned, cost effective and defining proper etiquette.

Ideas: Some great ideas for your company holiday party could be setting up a Secret Santa Exchange, fundraising, vendor sponsorships, comedy shows and drinks in the city, or any other holiday-inspired activity. Even if you have a smaller company, you can check out these “18 Holiday Party Ideas That Are Big Fun for Small Companies” by Snacknation.


7. Fundraiser

Purpose:  Sometimes corporations work with charity organizations to set up fundraisers for good causes, this can be a good way to encourage employees to give-back and helping for charities has been proven to elevate people’s moods.  Hosting fundraisers can range from something small in the office to a big event at a nice venue with some entertainment. People love to support a good cause.

Ideas: If you’re planning on hosting a corporate fundraiser on behalf of a charity organization some ideas can include matching gift programs, dollar for doers, raffle, fashion show, walkathons, annual events, or many more.  Again, depending on the size of your event corporate fundraising can be something small and intimate, or something large and extravagant. We love these ideas by CyberGrants.


8. Trade Shows

Purpose:  Trade shows are very great at bringing industries together.  They are perfect for lead generation and presenting products and initiatives to both the general public and other companies in the industry.  Similarly to seminars and conferences, trade shows sometimes give out free merchandise as well. Trade shows are typically held at places such as convention centers where companies will rent out a booth space and pay for advertising, promotion, and speaking opportunities with hundreds of other vendors.

Ideas:  Whether you have a small or large company, trade shows are perfect with interacting with the general public.  Make sure to negotiate and choose optimal rates. Many vendors choose to have something unique and exciting to draw crowds in such as videos on iPads, raffles, interactive games, and you can check out some ideas here!


9. Gala

Purpose: A gala is a glamorous, festive social event used to raise funds for charity.  It usually requires a more upscale dress code, catered dinner, live performances, and speeches with a large guest list  

Ideas:  Many people have heard of the Met Gala which is a perfect example.  Setting sights on your goals and charity event is key, look for a high-end venue whether it’s something historical or more modern to fit your theme.  Having a theme is a great way to bring it out the more glamorous aspect of the event such as winter wonderland, masquerade, Moulin Rouge, under the sea, etc.  These “30 Fundraising Gala Theme Ideas” are perfect!


10. Company Picnics

Purpose:  A company picnic are large outings where employees and their families come together.  Usually these are hosted in the spring and summer at an outdoor venue such as a park, or even an amusement park.  Typically these involve corporate-style BBQ buffets, yard games, and entertainment for the whole family!

Ideas:  Looking to host a fun company picnic?  Don’t go short on the amusement! Live music, raffles, rally races, waterslides, giant jenga, can jam, bingo, moon bounce, eating contests are just some ideas to have at your event!  You can also see more about hosting company picnics on our other blog article here.