Corporate events have become more than just a way to celebrate milestones or reward employees. Today, they’re also a great opportunity to build relationships with clients and partners.
Whether it’s a company picnic or a team-building retreat, there are plenty of ways to get creative corporate event planning. We’ve got some unique and fun ideas for you to try out this year.
Corporate Event Ideas for Team Building
Teamwork is the backbone of any business, but sometimes it’s hard to see how much work goes into making a successful team. Team-building events are a great way to help people bond and even learn new skills together. There are many ways to incorporate team-building activities into a corporate event.
Here are some ideas that can be done in any setting:
Scavenger hunts are a classic game that everyone loves. They’re easy to set up and require little preparation time. You can use them as a part of a larger event or create a separate scavenger hunt for each group in attendance.
A team retreat is often the perfect setting for a scavenger hunt. It gives everyone a chance to explore the area while learning something new at the same time.
Basic items for this event:
Mix it up by adding clues to the items. For example, if you want to give away prizes related to nature, add a clue about the location of a nearby lake. Or, if you want to encourage creativity, include a word scramble puzzle at some point. Tailor the game around specific event themes. Here are a couple that you could try:
- Around the World: This hunt takes participants to different parts of the world, either in person or through pictures and items.
- Movie Scenes: Participants have to find objects or scenes from popular movies.
- Geography: Teams could be given a list of questions about geography and asked to complete tasks related to the answers.
- Zodiac Signs: Participants must find items related to the twelve zodiac signs.
Pro Tip: You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make a scavenger hunt fun. Use inexpensive prizes that match the theme of your event if you have one (e.g. candy bars for Halloween-themed company events).
This event idea is a great fit for outdoor venues but can also be done indoors with the right planning. If you want to stir up some healthy competition among teams, you can also assign points based on who finds the most items.
Departmental Family Feud
Another corporate party idea worth considering is departmental family feuds. It’s especially perfect if you’re catering to a small number of people since it doesn’t take too long to prepare.
The basic premise of this event is simple: teams compete against each other in various categories. Each category has its own rules, which makes it easier to keep track of who wins what.
Everyone gets to know each other better by playing a game that requires them to share personal information. The goal is to win points by answering questions correctly.
This type of event works well for smaller groups because it doesn’t take long to play. It’s also a good icebreaker for large groups since it allows people to get to know each other without feeling like they’re being interrogated.
What you need for this event:
One way to come up with questions for a family feud game is to think about things that are common interests for coworkers.
Ask people to share their favorite movies, books, or TV shows. It’s a good idea to come up with a range of questions so that everyone has a chance to answer.
If there are people who are shy or don’t want to answer, have them pick a number and then read the corresponding question.
Pro Tip: Provide enough space for everyone to sit comfortably. Also, make sure you have plenty of batteries for the microphones.
DIY Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are a popular option for corporate event activities. They’re a unique experience that combines puzzles, clues, and challenges to solve in order to escape a locked room.
These special events are usually designed around a specific theme, which makes them ideal for themed parties. They’re also a great way to teach employees about safety procedures and preventative measures.
Basic items for this event:
When planning an escape room event, it’s important to create a challenging and fun experience for participants. Here are some tips to help make your event a success:
- Choose the right escape room kit. There are many different kits available, so be sure to select one that fits the theme and difficulty level you’re aiming for.
- Set the stage. Decorate the room to match the theme, and make sure it’s big enough for the number of participants.
- Create interesting clues and challenges. The puzzles and challenges should be engaging and challenging, but not so difficult that participants get stuck.
- Keep things moving. Participants should be constantly engaged in the activity, so make sure there’s plenty of action happening throughout the event.
- Provide instructions and hints if needed. If participants get stuck on a puzzle, be prepared to offer them some help without giving away too many clues.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a particular theme in mind yet, try going for something that’s easy to set up and customize. For example, transform any regular old conference room into a Detective Agency-themed room with the usual office items lying about if you put your mind to it.
Corporate Event Ideas for Outdoor Gatherings
The great outdoors is a wonderful place to throw an event together. Coupled with good execution, these outdoor events are guaranteed to bring out the best in attendees. If you’re looking to throw together something more than just a casual picnic, here are some suggestions you could try:
Brunch or Dinner Cruise
Nothing tops a nice meal by the water — maybe except a meal on the water. And that’s the experience you can give your attendees when you combine a brunch cruise or dinner cruise with your corporate party.
This type of social event is especially suitable for groups of 10 or fewer. Your guests will enjoy delicious food while enjoying views of the lake or ocean.
Basic items for this event:
To throw an event cruise, you’ll need a boat, preferably one that has enough space to accommodate your guests. You’ll also need catering for the event, as well as drinks and utensils unless you’re planning to see to all of that personally. If you’re hosting a more formal dinner cruise, you may want to provide music and entertainment as well.
Although this is surely one of the more expensive options on this list, you’ll be surprised how inexpensive boat rentals can get. And so long as you keep the event within the charter schedule, you’ll be fine. Yachts are of a relatively good size for 10 or so people.
Always plan for more attendees. Just be careful about blowing up your budget. Find a happy medium between expectations and the reality that fewer people may show up if you overestimate.
As for the other arrangements, here are a couple of ideas to try:
- Catering: Hire a caterer to prepare all the food for you. Or you can do it yourself. Either way, find a location where you can serve the food. It’s best to choose somewhere close to the boat since you won’t want to carry heavy dishes around.
- Drinks: You’ll need to stock up on beverages for your guests. Make sure they include beer, wine, soft drinks, and juices. You might even want to add a few cocktails to the mix.
- Entertainment: Depending on what event type you’re planning, you might want to provide live music or entertainment.
Pro Tip: If you’d rather go the traditional route, rent a houseboat. Houseboats are generally larger than other types of vessels, making them better suited for large groups.
Traditional Summer BBQ
Summertime is synonymous with barbecues, picnics, and relaxing around the pool. There’s something about the classic barbecue theme that makes it feel like a special occasion.
What better way to celebrate the season than with a corporate party idea that feels like a vacation?
From the food to the décor to the drinks, plan ahead so everything goes smoothly. The best part? You can accommodate a good number of people and it’s a lot less expensive than renting a yacht!
Basic items for this event:
Barbecues are a great setting for everybody in the company to shoot the breeze and get to know each other in a less-than-formal setting. Mood setting is important. Here are some ideas to try and match:
- Location: Local parks, lakesides, beaches, or community centers are great options for event spaces. They’re free, and you won’t have to worry about finding a location that’s big enough to fit all your guests. Plus, you’ll have plenty of room to spread out. Check for reserving locations ahead of time. Many communities will require reservations for pavilions and grill sites months ahead of time. Call the local city parks and recreation department to ensure that the space is available on your event day.
- Theme: Something lighthearted would work really well. Think “summer” or “beach.” Or maybe you want to do something creative like a “family day at the zoo.” Whatever you choose, just make sure it fits the vibe of your group.
- Food: Barbecue is a pretty casual affair, so don’t overthink the menu. Just stick to the basics: burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, etc. For dessert, you might want to serve ice cream sandwiches or popsicles. You can also just do outreach to a couple of regional food trucks interested in catering to your event. This is also a great way to get the local community involved in your event.
- Decorations: Keep it simple. Use balloons, streamers, and flags to create a festive atmosphere.
- Music: Turn off the radio and crank up the tunes. This is a time when everyone should be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about what they’re listening to. Hire a good DJ to spice things up.
- Drinks: Make sure you stock up on beer, wine, water, and soda. Also, if you’re planning on serving alcohol, make sure you have enough glasses, bottles, and corkscrews.
Pro Tip: Start by picking a date and time that works best for your guests, and remember to set aside plenty of space for parking and setup. Consider how many people you’re expecting to bring along since seating and dishes will take up some room.
It’s always an excellent idea to have plenty of vegan options on the table. To make it feel like an extra special event, arrange for some fireworks after dinner.
Office Sports Tournament
Speaking of fun events, summer is the perfect season to hold an office sports tournament.
It’s a great way to get everyone out and moving about. but it’s also a great way to bring people together for some friendly competition, foster camaraderie, and give everyone some fun activities to do.
Basic items for this event:
What makes this fantastic as an option is that it can easily be integrated into other events like Summer Barbecues as a prelude activity.
It also gives you a lot of room to accommodate any sport or activity that your attendees are interested in. All you need to do is provide them with a list of rules, and then let them go wild.
Here are some examples of sports tournaments you could organize:
- Venue: Your local park or sports center is great for venues. Try to find one with enough seating available for everyone in attendance. If you can find a venue that’s suited for your chosen sport (i.e. a basketball court if you chose basketball), all the better.
- Themes: Pick a sport that everyone knows and loves. Maybe it’s football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, golf, tennis, or even volleyball. Then, pick a game that’s easy to learn and doesn’t require much equipment.
- Food: Serve pizza, nachos, popcorn, chips, cookies, and sodas. Anything goes as long as it’s healthy and filling.
- Decorations & Music: Set up tables and chairs in the middle of the field or court. Bring in some decorations such as banners, pennants, and flags. Have music playing in the background.
- Drinks: Stock up on water, juice boxes, energy drinks, and your drinks of choice. Don’t forget to keep plenty of cups around for refills.
Pro Tip: The most important thing to keep in mind is safety. Showing team spirit is fine and is encouraged, but don’t push anyone too hard. Keep an eye on kids at all times if you have any in attendance, and make sure there are adults present who know how to handle situations.
For an easier time, have someone designated as the referee or a game expert who has some experience officiating sporting events. Also, make sure you have a first aid kit on hand.
Corporate Virtual & Hybrid Events Ideas
The worst of the pandemic is finally behind us, and there are many lessons in its wake. One of them is that events need not be strictly in-person; you can hold virtual hybrid events that are just as impactful and as memorable as one attended physically.
What’s more, the technology to make this happen has been around for a while now and is readily available to everyone at little to no cost. The following are some event types to explore:
Virtual Fundraiser Parties
Fundraising parties are a great way to raise money for causes close to your heart. They’re also a great way to connect with others who share similar interests, which is why they’re often held during social gatherings.
But what happens when those social gatherings aren’t happening? Well, you can still throw a fundraiser party virtually, and it won’t be any less of a memorable experience than one held in person.
Basic items for this event:
The fundamentals of your online fundraiser are fairly easy to set up:
- The first order of business: decide on a charity or cause to sponsor. If you already have one in mind, great! Otherwise, choose something that’s relevant to your company and/or industry, or something that your attendees are likely to care about in particular.
- Next, reach out to the beneficiary of the cause or the nonprofit’s community of staff and volunteers to inform them of your plans. Do this well before the event date, but don’t wait too late because you may miss out on potential sponsors and participants. Once you’ve got their approval, start planning the details of the event. Create an interactive fundraising page on your website where people can donate, register for tickets, and sign up to volunteer.
- On your fundraising page you’ll want to include information about the cause, how much you hope to raise, and a link to your website’s event page. Note that not all fundraising platforms are the same; some cater better or have more features related to particular niches such as game development or medical crowdfunding, so make sure to pick one with a niche closely related to your cause.
- Finally, invite friends, colleagues, and other like-minded people to attend the virtual event and donate via email or text message.
There are actually several ways to go about the virtual fundraiser event itself. You can do something as formal as a Virtual Fundraising Gala, or it can be as simple as a Virtual Quiz Night.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our article about the different types of virtual fundraising events.
Pro Tip: You may think that planning a virtual fundraising event would require a lot of work, but it really isn’t. In fact, most of the time spent planning and organizing the event is done beforehand.
Once you get started it should only take a few hours. It’s worth noting that if you’re hosting a large number of people, you might want to hire someone to help you manage the logistics of the event.
Hybrid Music Festival
If you want to take things up a notch, try hosting a live music festival — that also takes place online! If you’re wondering if this type of hybrid event is at all novel, no it isn’t.
It just used to happen on TV when there were live concert broadcasts. But today, you don’t need all the expensive tech to make it happen for your attendees.
Basic items for this event:
While the tech to make this happen is fairly accessible, you’ll find very quickly that quality radically changes from one event type to another. Production quality, sound, lighting, etc., vary widely depending on what kind of production you want to put together.
The good news is that you can easily create a high-quality experience without spending a fortune. For example, you could use livestreaming sites to broadcast the event in real-time or create a custom site for your broadcast (if you need help with that, reach out!).
Then, you’d simply need a decent enough camera and microphones to capture audio and video during the event. This option is great for small events since you won’t need any fancy equipment. However, if you want to stream a larger event, you’ll likely need to rent a professional setup.
Unless you have in-house talent performing (which is perfectly okay if you’re doing this as a company talent show), you’ll probably have to do some outreach to artists performing at your festival to stream their sets. This could mean paying them directly or using a service like GigSalad to connect you with local performers.
This is a great way to showcase your brand, build awareness, and give back to the community.
Pro Tip: When it comes to producing a hybrid music festival, you’ll want to choose a location that has a decent amount of space, both for your attendees and for the camera equipment setup.
Ensure the area where you set up your cameras is relatively quiet so the noise from the crowd won’t interfere with the audio!
Corporate Events Don't Need to Feel Corporate
There’s nothing wrong with having a corporate feel to your event. However, sometimes companies forget that not every event needs to be formal and stuffy. At the end of the day, corporate event activities should be an exercise in celebrating, having fun, and giving back, and it’s important to maintain that tone whether you’re planning a small gathering or a massive conference.
With the right ideas and approach, you can turn any event into something memorable and enjoyable for everyone involved. And if you’ve got any questions about how to pull off a successful virtual event, let us know! We’d be happy to help you turn your corporate event ideas into reality.