Corporate events can be fun and memorable for all the right reasons, or they can go down in company history as cringe worthy and never to be repeated.
Chances are, anyone reading this has experienced their fair share of both types. From the Christmas party where the food ran out to the bribe-the-staff-with-bacon-butties breakfast meeting which saw the whole workforce arriving on time and ready to eat, plus willing to listen to the CEO tell them about the annual figures and plans for the company’s future direction, everyone’s been there.
So what are the best corporate event ideas?
Perhaps surprisingly, involving alcohol is not always a sure-fire hit. There will always be employees who overdo it, plus those who can’t drink because they’re driving home, and those who don’t drink for a variety of reasons.
One of the best ideas I came across was a treasure hunt around London landmarks, organised by a company located just outside the M25. The only things the employees had to pay for were their train tickets and alcohol consumption. Everything else was covered by the firm. The managers organised everyone into teams divided across the branches, and teams of six random employees then piled into chartered London black cabs and attempted to direct the driver to the locations suggested by cryptic clues. At each location, video footage had to be taken to prove the team had been there, and this was then shown at the evening meal. This event was half team building exercise, half Christmas party with a difference.
Other ideas for corporate events can be much simpler. Many companies have an annual Charity of the Year. Allowing staff paid time off to volunteer with this cause can foster good will among the staff, and offer a chance to organise a team building event to the benefit of the charity as well. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be an active team building event either. Those with marketing, financial, writing, fundraising, teaching or creative skills can help out in their specialist area. Many larger employers such as universities and hospitals have an active corporate programme where staff of all areas can volunteer their time and use their existing skills to benefit a charity of their choice, while being paid by the company for their time.
Many corporate events can be high energy (kayaking, karting, paintball, for instance) which could alienate those colleagues unable to participate for health or fitness reasons. Those employees might appreciate a lower intensity form of bonding exercise such as a board game challenge or culinary themed event. Pot luck suppers are a good way for small teams to appreciate the abilities of their colleagues in the kitchen, and work rather well with an international team, as each person can showcase the cuisine of their home country. Board and card games are another low impact way for employees to get to know each other. For the more creative, a painting, crafting or writing workshop might be more to their taste.
Staff with a musical preference would probably appreciate a karaoke night. This can be both an ice breaker for new team members and a chance for established staff to let their hair down a bit. The adrenaline junkies will definitely appreciate a kart racing or white water rafting outing; similar ideas include a skydive or a gliding evening. That is another rare corporate event which might appeal to more people than the organisers would guess. Flying a glider is quite an experience; the pilot is totally in control of the machine while the instructor sits behind clapping their hands to indicate that they are not touching the controls.
Whether companies are looking for a high octane event or something a little quieter, corporate event ideas come in all shapes and sizes, just like their employees… If you would like some professional help with your event then we highly recommend Accolade as they have done some amazing events for us in the past and this certainly removes a lot of the stress in hosting such an event. The idea is that no one is left out, because the range of possible events is so wide that everyone can find something they would like to experience.