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Organising an Enjoyable Corporate Staff Event.

Andy Robertson

The annual staff corporate event has been around a long time but in recent years organisations have been making these events more and more like a festival experience. Companies see these events as key to motivating staff as well as strengthening their brand internally but how can they make them enjoyable for staff attending too.

The old traditional annual corporate conference typically seen in many technology companies is starting to look outdated, boring and perhaps dreaded by many staff. Presentations about product launches and corporate initiatives spread over 2 or 3 days is certainly not anyone's idea of fun. Some event organisers try and spice things up with extra-curricular activities but getting the right balance can be difficult. What are the key considerations in putting on a successful corporate event that achieves its corporate aims and is fun for everyone attending too.

Traditional Corporate Conferences. 
Organisations like Microsoft, IBM and Apple have held annual staff events for decades and these are used to inform employees about progress in the company and provide opportunities for geographically spread workforce to network face to face. The locations selected are often soulless cities and take place in conference centres with 8 hours of presentations every day for 2 or 3 days. The highlight of such events may be an evening party.

New Formats.
With the advent of the well-funded tech start-ups in recent years the idea of the annual staff event changed significantly. Legendary and infamous staff events evolved with companies like Uber taking all staff to Las Vegas for an all-expenses paid party and WeWork’s very own music festival for staff. Although these are extreme examples that have been viewed by many as unnecessary expenses, they have changed the mindset of corporations seeking to organise their annual staff events in a different way. 

Balancing Objectives. 
The key to organising a successful multi-day corporate event is getting the right balance of numerous factors. Anyone tasked with organising these events needs to consider budget, value for money, corporate objectives and staff motivation. Any product launch presentations should be interactive and as short as possible with an opportunity for staff and senior managers to interact. Adding fun team building exercises along with evening parties can make the events more enjoyable for attendees. Avoid making staff sit through hours and hours or tedious presentations, keep these short and introduce external speakers to add something to the content. Select a location that is indicative of enjoyment, whether that’s a beach location or somewhere with a reputation for fun and enjoyment. This helps people get more motivated about attending.

Organising such events can be done by an internal team in the organisation but this depends on the resources available and the size of the event to take place. With limited internal resource or experience it can be preferable to employ the services of a professional external event organising company. They will charge a fee for their service which can add to the overall costs but they will work to a given budget and deliver a slick well run event that meets the overall objectives. They can also help to achieve the right balance of corporate objectives and an enjoyable event for all attending. 

For anyone organising and planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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