As an event planner, you may be faced with planning your company's next big event. It can be stressful when reading all of the different types of event management and options. Don’t fret! Whether you’re planning your next online event or going in-person or hybrid, this article gathers a list of event ideas and checklist for all the stages of planning (and just because you’ve done it before doesn’t mean you won’t miss something - we’re all human!)
When it comes to choosing the right type of event for your industry, you need to consider a few factors in the early stages of your event planning process. Depending on what kind of company you have, you may be more inclined to have an event that is more information based, like a seminar or conference. If you choose your event to be a bit more casual and laid back, an event like a company party or an interactive performance may be best. Corporate companies typically have information based events, but there are times when they want to relax and have an informal and casual event. Casual events allow the attendees to mingle with their colleagues and get to know them on a personal level.
When choosing an event for your company, you need to choose which event format is best and will be the most successful. There are 3 event formats to consider for your industry -
In terms of selecting the right event format, you have to think about your goals and how much you have to spend. Narrow down which format aligns with your goals and lay out all the potential cost differences between each one before proceeding with the planning so you know which one is feasible. No matter which format you choose, using an event hosting platform like Hubilo allows you to connect with all of your attendees, whether in person or virtually.
There are so many different types of events we can share, but we will focus on our top seven.
Seminars are much like conferences in nature. However, seminars tend to focus on employee training. While conferences cover a central topic over a few days, seminars are typically done as a series and include much smaller groups of people. Some topics for seminars may include new product training, certifications, coaching and time management. Because of the size of the typical seminar, the ideal location for this type of event includes boardrooms or classrooms. Long tables and chairs will help employees pay attention, take notes or brainstorm ideas as they break into smaller groups. Discussion groups are easier to develop in seminars, as these groups are smaller, and they give everybody the opportunity to speak. Seminars are able to have guest speakers connect with attendees on a more personal level, and provide them with the tools and skills they need to excel in terms of their business and personal goals.
If your goal is to gather employees and relay new information to them, then a conference or seminar is the best choice. Virtual conferences are a great way to discuss a central theme with a large group of people over the course of a few days. Conferences allow for several breakout sessions, contests, guest speakers and of course, networking. Because of the typical size of conferences, a convention center is the ideal spot to host a conference. Auditorium style seating, pointed towards the stage will keep the attention of the audience. If the need for breakout sessions arises, you may head to other smaller rooms, or remain in the large conference room and gather in small groups around the room. Conferences can also be made into a hybrid event with our extensive features, including our broadcast studio that allows events to be streamed completely online if needed along with great engagement features to make sure everyone stays involved. Employees who work from home or cannot travel long distances are able to log right into the conference and be immersed right into the action.
Trade shows are an opportunity for your business to display new products and train attendees on how to use said product. While the primary focus of a trade show is displaying new products, a large room such as a conference room, is the perfect way to bring in multiple vendors. Your guests can attend the trade show at their leisure, and learn new information about new products and sponsors. Trade shows often lead to sales leads, which in turn can benefit your business.
Executive meetings may be considered the backbone of the company. High-level employees, such as management or directors attend these meetings to gain valuable knowledge that will improve the company’s productivity. Important business decisions may also be made during these meetings, as upper management is likely to be in attendance. A smaller venue, such as a boardroom or even a restaurant are a great way to host a town hall event. Sitting face to face with your employees can help when brainstorming new ideas or making important decisions.
While doing research for your event, also be sure to do research on your attendees. Sending out a simple survey before the event is a great way to find out their personal goals and interests! With this information, you are able to include a topic or guest speaker that the majority of the attendees will enjoy! Understanding who your attendees are before they even come to your event will help build the personal and professional connection!
Another example of an event is a workshop. While workshops focus on things outside of the office, you are still able to bond with your colleagues. Using a series of icebreaker activities and interactive games, your company is able to bring participants together to make connections and problem solve. Check out our integration partner Captello for customizable game options! Workshops are a great way for employees to work with people they might not normally work with, while also learning something new. By creating different types of workshops, especially the use of Hubilo’s breakout room feature, you are able to have a single point of entry for the attendees to return to after having a great workshop session!
In terms of a company party, there are several reasons to celebrate! Whether it is a global team event, annual awards ceremonies or a holiday party, company parties are a great way to get colleagues out of their cubicles and interact socially. There’s no doubt that you and your employees work hard, and they deserve a chance to relax and get their brain off of their email. Company parties can be held in a conference room, cafeteria or common area, depending on the size. Food and drink can be brought in, and people are able to help themselves as they discuss sports or their personal lives. While company parties are a great way to socialize, they can be a great way to network. You may get to chatting with the person next to you, as you both reach for the last spring roll. You are able to relax and have fun, while still making professional connections.
Product launches are a huge way to release all new information about your product as well as teach your audience how to use it! There is a lot of important information that comes with a product launch, and the event may even be recorded to use in the future. Product launches are usually light-hearted, yet informative events. They offer a question and answer session for attendees to learn more about the product and further their knowledge for future strategy.
In order for employees to work at their best level, their managers are able to lead internal meetings and training. Internal meetings can be held within each team or department, and the employees can work together to come up with new ideas or work together to problem solve. Trainings may come in a variety of formats. They could come in the form of a new software or having to learn a new piece of technology. Whatever the case may be, training your employees will help them perform better in the long run.
A career fair is a great way to promote your business and share employment opportunities to high school students and potential employees. High school students, particularly juniors and seniors, are constantly looking for job opportunities for the future. Setting up a table at a career fair with brochures, fliers and even branded company “swag” is a fantastic way to promote your business. Sending knowledgeable, friendly and trustworthy employees to the career fair helps to keep the fair attendees engaged and interested in talking about your business. Having a sign-up sheet for people to fill out with their information is a great method to keep in touch with these potential employees. Much like virtual conferences, virtual career fairs are on the rise! Students or potential employees can log onto the virtual platform and be transported right to the career fair, and receive the same information as the people physically attending the event.
As time goes on, employees are going to retire and new employees are going to be onboarded and take their place within the company. A reunion for employees who have retired mixed with long tenured employees is a great way to come together and celebrate all of the accomplishments of these employees. Inviting newly on boarded employees to the reunion is a great way for the new employees to meet employees of the past, and maybe gain any information that may help them on their professional journey.
Another great type of event that is both fun and informative to host are events for higher education institutions. We held one for Stanford University, and the results were great. They said, “I like Hubilo's capability to allow 5000 participants to interact with each other. The engagement features are very helpful. With Hubilo, I was able to enhance attendees' experience in interacting with speakers.”
Everyone loves a good themed party, right? Whether a holiday is right around the corner or you just closed a new deal, a themed party is always appreciated! Themed parties allow guests to relax in the laid back environment and truly enjoy themselves. A small prize for best costume on Halloween or most spirited on St. Patrick’s Day will motivate participants to let their personalities shine through and will boost attendance. Employees should be able to have fun at work with their colleagues and a themed party is a great event idea to do that.
A cooking class is guaranteed to be fun for everyone involved! Not only will guests be able to bond with each other, they will end up with a delicious dish they can enjoy! Choose from different types of new cuisine that your participants will have fun making or eating together.
The perfect way for your guests to fully relax is a spa day! Spas have all different types of treatments that your guests can indulge in. Treat your employees to a massage, facials or manicures and pedicures in or out of the office. A full day of relaxation is just what your employees need after a long week of work or finishing a particularly difficult task.
Game nights are always a popular way to gather people together and have some team bonding time! Game nights are even able to be held in the office, after hours. Depending on the size of your team, choosing the right game can be easy. Put your minds together to solve riddles or work independently to win! Your participants can relax and let loose while having fun and being a little competitive.
Escape room events require all kinds of brain power to try and get out of the room! Your attendees will have fun and a ton of laughs trying to escape! Escape rooms come in a variety of themes, and your teams can choose which room they want to escape from! Team bonding is a huge part of your event guests working well together, and working on escaping a “haunted room” or “an old-fashioned study” is a great way to bring participants together. Of all the different types of events, this certainly is the most interactive!
Most people enjoy sports, and attending sports games as a company is both fun and will help teams bond. Not only will you be in an atmosphere of other sports fans, you will be in the company of your colleagues. Getting away from the office with your employees really allows them to relax while being in an environment they enjoy.
Webinars can be hosted by anyone, and the subject can be anything that the company chooses to promote or educate on. Webinars have become increasingly popular since the beginning of the pandemic, and they are here to stay! Webinars are flexible virtual events because if some of your audience cannot attend, the webinar can be recorded and it can be watched at a later time. Experts can host seminars and provide their targeted audience with information they will need to further their work and brand.
For anyone who wishes to further their education in certain fields, online courses and classes are the way to go! There are even classes on the personal end that your attendees can take, such as a cooking class with a sponsor! Classes can be taken for both professional and personal reasons and are a way to encourage networking. If your product requires hands-on-learning, this is also an amazing opportunity to teach attendees in person!
Interactive performances are growing in popularity and are very easy to join! Virtual open mic nights are a great way to gather, virtually, with people from all over the country and express yourself. Comedy shows, plays and musicals are able to be viewed virtually as well. This category of events allow people to express themselves through art, music and dance. Just because you may not be able to attend these events in person, doesn’t mean that you can’t enhance your attendees’ experiences.
Fundraising events come in a variety of ways to celebrate. Whatever the cause may be, you can raise money and have fun while doing so. Auctions, whether live or silent, is a fun way to interact with your colleagues. Prizes for these auctions can vary in size and monetary value, and the bidding can even become competitive! Keep in mind that while it can become competitive, it’s all in good fun and for a good cause. Gala dinners are another fun way to network with future prospects and your sponsors. Get dressed up in your best dress or suit, listen to a special guest speaker and enjoy a fancy night out! All of the money raised goes to a great cause and you get to know your colleagues on a more personal level.
Auctions are the most popular way to raise money for a great cause that your company chooses. Both live and silent auctions let your attendees choose which items to bid on, as well as getting a little competitive with each other. Items for auctions, especially the silent auctions, hold a higher price point, as the items require enough room to bid above market value. Items may include golf clubs, trips, wine baskets or even a new television. You may even end up with a new partnership all while raising money for a great cause.
Sporting events are a fun way to gather your guests and head to the stadium! Most sports teams host corporate companies, and often have fun perks for them! Some teams will give companies a VIP tour of the stadium, provide guests with free hats and host them in a VIP suite. These suites are often filled with catered food and drink, all while you take in the sights and sounds of the stadium. And it’s always a bonus when your favorite team wins the game!
Gala dinners are another fun way to be with your colleagues outside of work. Get dressed up in your best dress or suit, listen to a special guest speaker and enjoy a fancy night out! All of the money raised goes to a great cause and you get to know your guests on a more personal level.
There are all sorts of music festivals for every type of music! While your participants may not all like the same kind of music, going to a festival to broaden your horizons is a great time! It gives people the opportunity to dress in their own fashion, relax and listen to all kinds of music. Music festivals are also filled with all kinds of vendors of clothing, food and drink and art- the perfect opportunity to showcase your potential product. It gives your attendees the chance to branch out and check out all of the vendors while bonding.
Who doesn’t love an event with food? Food festivals are filled with vendors who specialize in any food you can think of! While you may find your favorite foods while walking around with your coworkers, you may find a new food to try out! It also allows you to order a couple different kinds of food and share them with your colleagues. Branching out and trying new foods, both sweet and savory is a great way to bond with your coworkers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Popup events can be held either inside or outside the office for marketing! Popups can include things like a beer garden, a retail space, food trucks or a trivia event. If the event is after normal business hours, guests can head down to the event and relax after a long day’s work. Once other employees see their colleagues enjoying the popup event, whatever it may be, they will be encouraged to join in the fun! Popup events can be held monthly, quarterly or yearly, whichever you see fit and they can be customized to have a new theme or product every time.
Whichever event idea you choose, creativity and content are the main drivers of high registration rates and retaining attendee engagement. Be sure to think about these factors when planning your event! Choosing the right type of event may be difficult but isn’t impossible. Think about the level of professionalism you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to raise money in a more professional setting, then maybe a gala dinner would be the correct choice. However, if you want your attendees to enjoy themselves and have a good time, then maybe a sports game or food festival would be the way to go. Your guests are going to have a great time during any event even if you choose hybrid, in-person or virtual!