Whether it’s a catered “networking” dinner or a party to celebrate a company’s latest big accomplishment, corporate events aren’t usually known for their fun factor. But that doesn’t have to be the case—and you don’t need to rely on mini quiches and jazz piano to keep it professional.
So how do you make corporate events fun? We’ve put together our pro tips for planning events staff will look forward to rather than dread.
1. Get creative with your food
There’s no rulebook that states food at corporate events must be limited to a banal meal or traditional appetizers. Everyone loves great food, so this is a great way to inject some fun! Here are a few ideas:
- Set up a DIY food bar. From pizzas and tacos to s’mores and ice cream sandwiches, do-it-yourself food bars are all the rage. Whether you’re working with a caterer or setting it up yourself, these bars are a great way to create a tasty, novelty, and interactive experience for your guests. Bonus: all the picky people or those who dietary restrictions can easily accommodate themselves. Check out these DIY food bars on Pinterest.
- Put a fancy twist on regular foods. “Deconstructed” food is hot right now, and it makes for a novel food experience. Try taking a cheeseburger or salad from standard to sensational by using exceptional quality ingredients presented in a unique way. Just look at this deconstructed pumpkin pie!
- Bring in a reputable food truck or cart. Your friendly neighborhood food truck isn’t just for a hurried lunch during work; you can “hire” a truck or cart to set up shop at your event. Is your corporate event in Los Angeles? One of our favorites is the Urban Oven—and we guarantee your guests will love their wood-fired pizza!
2. Make it interactive
Mingling is great (and dancing is even better!), but one sure way to get your guests involved and having fun is to introduce some interactive event activities. Get inspired by some of these guest-favorites:
- Rent a photo booth with props to get your guests giggling and making memories. This not only gives your attendees a memento to take home, it also encourages them to have fun and interact with each other.
- Get artistic juices flowing with a large, blank canvas. Your guests won’t need much encouragement to sign their name, offer words of congratulation, or draw a little doodle—and you’ll be left with a cool work of collaborative art!
- Host a trivia quiz or contest. It’ll get guests working together for a common goal, all while having fun. Mix up your teams to create an opportunity for coworkers who don’t normally interact to get to know each other outside of the office.
3. Get the right entertainment
Harps and pianos have a time and place, but your corporate event will stand out much more if you shake things up. First step? Hire a professional corporate event DJ and emcee to set the mood and keep the party flowing. Then consider some of these fun ideas:
- Schedule a surprise performance in the middle of your event, when attendees are most likely to start getting restless.
- Special performers, like aerialists and stilt walkers, make a fun addition, and having them interact directly with your guests will keep things interesting.
Whether your guest list includes 20 or 200, remember there are ways to make sure your corporate event stands out—and that there are professionals out there to help!