Whether it’s to impress a client, partner or employees, corporate events are an important date in the calendar, and should never be overlooked. They are a powerful method of strengthening relationships, which means they deserve plenty of thought and planning beforehand. The key is knowing who you are putting on the event for, and what you want to achieve. Let’s briefly go through what your aims are for the different groups you might be targeting.
These are the people who you’re going to be making money from. You rely on their custom above all else, so it’s very important that you keep them sweet. Events are always the chance to continue selling, though perhaps this may be toned down slightly if you’re in a more informal setting. Always keep in mind that you’re in a business situation, and maintain all of the same values and messaging that you would if you were in a normal meeting with them, even if you’re at a sporting event or other casual activity. As Forbes phrase it, “stay in professional mode.” One top tip is not to overload an event with salespeople; this is the chance to introduce customers to members of staff that they wouldn’t normally encounter.
Partner companies are often neglected when it comes to planning special events, simply because people tend to forget how important they can be. The general consensus is that partnerships are mutually beneficial, so there’s no need to woo anyone outside of the workplace. This is of course wrong. Hosting a dinner evening or taking a partner company to a concert can be a great way of cementing the relationship and ensuring you stay partners for a long time. In many cases, they will be almost like colleagues, and deserve to be treated as such.
Appreciating employees is really very important indeed. Studies have repeatedly shown that happier employees are also more productive, so it’s in a company’s own interests to ensure that once in a while, staff are made to feel valued. An event, whether it’s a Comedy Carnival, paintballing or something more high-brow like a day at the races, is perfect for developing loyalty. If you plan in advance, you can really go a long way in showing your colleagues that you’ve thought about them, and that things haven’t been thrown together at the last minute. Welcoming event suggestions is a great way of making everyone feel as though they’re included.