While OFFSITE NYC boasts a three story event space, we packed the same high energy, colorful and stimulating environment into a booth for the EMRG Event Expo this month! In our third year of attendance, OFFSITE met new contacts and reconnected with other planners and industry peers. After engaging with hundreds of booth visitors, OFFSITE Director of Communications, Sarah Vaynerman, advised event planners about transitioning corporate events into corporate experiences.
Meeting with clients isn’t limited to getting lunch and brining executive leadership around a table. Instead, creativity rewards both clients and hosts. Approaching corporate events as corporate experiences solidifies relationships, inspires new ideas, and demonstrates commitment. When hosting a corporate experience, it’s important to remember three questions: Are you invoking emotion? Are you igniting ideas? Are you motivating action? In other words, when planning an event, what do you want visitors to think, feel and do? Sarah recommends three criteria to meet that end result: think outside the box, engage and comfort.
OUTSIDE THE BOX:
While going to lunch may be pleasant, interactions and details will be forgotten during this mundane activity. If you want clients or employees to remember a corporate experience, then event planners have to think outside the box. For example, OFFSITE NYC transformed into a Nexxus Hair Salon to indulge beauty bloggers and influencers. Visitors tested the latest hair products thanks to beauty specialists washing and styling at the OFFSITE event venue. The luxurious event continued with champagne and catering by Olivier Cheng and party favors by Jimmy Choo. To really woo people, ditch the steakhouse and immerse your client in your brand. It’s easy to forget details over dinner, but not tips during hair treatments.
To captivate guests, encourage interaction with people as well as the space. Previously, a creative media agency did not just visit OFFSITE, but also interacted with the entire event space during a scavenger hunt. In efforts to boost brainstorming initiatives, employees searched through OFFSITE rooms and decor to complete a scavenger hunt for nostalgic, inspiring, colorful objects. By finding new meaning in objects, their employees were ready to tackle on their creative projects with a new perspective after the exercise.
When thinking of comfort, event planners may only consider room temperature and refreshments. But comfort extends into making visitors feel relaxed, not alien, in the event space. When Facebook’s new hires gathered for a Hackathon, the recent graduates may have felt uncomfortable in a fancy event space when they’re used to programming in their college dorm. So when the employees were working toward their 3 a.m. deadline, OFFSITE placed an order for Chinese delivery at midnight. By mimicking this casual, fun, college-environment, the Facebook employees could continue their work without distraction.
Sarah told the audience, When it comes to event planning strategy, there’s no formula. Instead, sit down with planner and facilitator and think: who are you addressing, what do you want them to know, and what do you want them to do. By answering these three questions, and applying these three techniques, your corporate event can transform to a corporate experience. How have you answered these questions and implored these ideas into your event planning functions?