Recent years have seen more of a move away from traditional corporate events, which are losing delegate engagement due to their predictable format. Corporate Festivals are now rising in popularity – business events with a relaxed feel, emulating the vibe of festivals – due to their unusual and interactive nature. They’re the ideal way to mix laid back networking with well-planned conference objectives and are most popular in the summer months when the idea of sitting in a stuffy meeting room becomes unbearable.
But how do you organise a corporate festival? We’ve gathered 8 tips to help.
1. Consider your budget
It’s not the most exciting place to start, but budget is a key factor for corporate festivals. Creating a large-scale experience on a tight budget isn’t going to be easy to achieve. In order to create the right atmosphere and a successful event, there are lots of different parts to consider, such as venue, entertainment, catering and more which very quickly adds up. Make sure you take this into account when considering a corporate festival. Once you’ve decided on a workable budget, stick to it. It can be very easy to get carried away adding elements to the day which aren’t actually needed. Take into account what you want to achieve with your corporate festival and make sure anything you add is contributing towards this.
2. Determine the goals and objectives for your corporate festival
This leads us on to our next tip, determine the goals and objectives for your corporate festival. The same rule applies to any business event; you need to clearly define what you would like to achieve before you can start planning details. What do you want your employees to have learned or done by the end of the event? What are the key takeaways? This will help make decisions on everything from your agenda to the entertainment.
3. Find the perfect venue
Before you can book any other suppliers, you’ll need to source a venue. There are loads of incredible, unique venues, perfect for corporate festivals across the UK. If you’re unsure where to start, take advantage of a free venue finding service like the one we provide, which sources venues to meet all your needs. Look for a venue with plenty of space and consider transport links for guests arriving from further afield. Outdoor spaces or venues with an easy flow between interior and exterior tend to work well. You could even consider a tipi or marquee to really capture that festival feel.
4. Choose exciting entertainment
Creating a relaxed and engaging experience will help to break down hierarchal boundaries and enhance the connections between guests, leading to stronger relationships in the workplace. Interject important meetings and business breakout sessions with some interactive team building activities in the daytime, and lots of fun evening entertainment. Consider live bands, magicians, acts and performers or inspiring speakers to add an extra level to the day.
5. Have fun with catering!
When it comes to corporate festivals, you want to make sure that your employees have an unforgettable experience, and creative catering is an important part of that. Explore different ways to deliver delicious food and drinks to your guests, such as food trucks and street food. Different venues will have different amenities for catering, so make sure you liaise with your venue contact when organising your food and beverage offering. Options such as fresh pizzas, barbeques and fish and chip trucks are always a winner, but there’s a tonne of possibilities to choose from. Just be sure to take into account any dietary requirements and consider having a couple of options for guests to choose from. You’ll also want to ensure everyone stays hydrated throughout the day, so budget for teas, coffees and cold drinks when working out your expenses.
6. Enhance the experience with original invites and literature
Go all out with the festival theme and create a fun invite to capture the attention of your attendees. It could look like a festival ticket, with all of the information they need for the event. Then think about any stationery or literature you’ll use on the day. How about creating lanyard name badges or paper wrist bands instead of using traditional name badges? You might also want to consider creating a booklet or leaflet, with the running of the day and key pieces of info on. Details like these help to create an immersive experience that keeps everyone engaged with your event.
7. Make sure the running of the day is clear
Corporate festivals tend to be organised with a modular approach at a big venue, with workshops and sub-sessions dotted about for guests to dip into. This is great for creating an interesting experience, but you still need everyone to be in the right place at the right time! Think about having signage created, that can clearly be seen around your venue, to point people in the right direction. It’s also a good idea to put together a clear agenda or floor plan so guests can easily find their way around. If there are certain meetings or sessions that are compulsory to attend, make sure this is communicated clearly to all attendees.
8. Think About Accommodation
Another thing to consider when planning a corporate festival, is whether you will need to provide accommodation. Corporate festivals tend to be all-day events, going on into the evening, or even take place across multiple days. If you are offering alcohol in the evening or hosting your event a distance from where most colleagues are based, accommodation should be a serious consideration. Camping or glamping work perfectly with the festival theme, or you could look at booking multiple rooms at a local hotel.
9. Enjoy yourself!
After lots of hard work planning the perfect corporate festival, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour! Imagine looking out at your guests, laughing and enjoying themselves as they network around a firepit, munching on delicious food from a choice of food trucks. It’s been a great day, and everyone’s taking away lots of useful information from interesting meetings and business updates, feeling more connected to their colleagues after some fun team building activities. Leave the running of the day to the professionals, and get stuck into all the exciting elements you’ve put in place.
Putting together a corporate festival takes time and a lot of careful planning, but the outcomes and engagement make it worth doing right. If your looking for more advice, or would like to take advantage of our full event management services to organise your corporate festival for you, get in touch with our friendly sales team.