How to Stop Your Next Corporate Event from Being Boring
Most of us have been there at one point or another. Sitting through an event so tedious that you start contemplating eating your own elbows, just for something to do. If you regularly attend corporate events, the likelihood is that you’ve been there more than once. The problem with business events is that, by their very nature, they are serious. Serious issues are discussed. And even if you’re completely passionate about what you do, there’s often no getting away from the fact that work is work. And work can be – whisper it – boring.
So, what do you do? You hold these events for a reason. You need the information to be shared and appreciated. You need the messaging to be embraced and acted upon. You need, in short, your attendees to get on board. That’s why it’s important to blow away the boredom right at the beginning of planning your next corporate event.
5 Ways to Banish Boredom from Your Next Corporate Event
1. Do the unexpected
Whatever industry you work in, the chances are that your corporate events are pretty formulaic. You’ll greet guests, make your presentations, leave a little time for mingling, then finish with some food and maybe entertainment. That’s just how it goes. But it doesn’t have to. Try mixing things up. Consider having an opening ceremony of sorts, something that really brings out the bells and whistles. Create a competition for attendees to work through while at the event – something cranial, or a basic ‘Easter egg’ hunt. Show a sense of humour by issuing official ‘buzzword bingo’ cards, with a genuine, desirable prize for the winner – it’s a sure-fire way to get people listening to the dull bits. Create a pick ‘n’ mix sweetie table: a small sugar hit can make people happy as well as providing a talking and gathering point.
2. Make ‘em Laugh
There are few things that can lift the spirits like laughing. And it’s become big business. In the early noughties laughing classes started to spring up in London. Now, they’re available all over the country because when we laugh, we feel good. And that’s exactly what you want from your event attendees. You could do something really different – and awfully un-British – and instigate a mass laughing session before your first presentation. Or, you could just incorporate humour into your speeches and hire a comedian for your dinner-time entertainment. Either way, people will feel more positive.
3. Feed Them, Seymour!
One of the easiest ways to stop your event from turning into a showcase for the Little Shop of Horrors is to feed your guests. And to feed them well. Well-chosen foods can enhance the concentration. And while you probably won’t get many people thanking you for beetroot juice and flax seeds, you can certainly do better than soggy sandwiches and the generic chicken and beef. Show that you’re interested by offering something for vegans and vegetarians. Provide something gluten-free. And if you’re having a sit-down evening meal, think about the table dressing. Forget about generic place cards, brighten things up and make people feel truly welcome with personalised Giant Fizzers place settings. Make your tables fun.
4. Keep People Moving
Nothing stagnates the brain like sitting in a stuffy room, listening to someone else speak. While you probably don’t want to instigate an ongoing game of musical chairs, finding ways to get attendees to use their bodies will stop them switching off. Even if it’s something as simple as inviting raised hands for asking questions, or directing them to turn their heads to see a particular part of a presentation.
5. Encourage Interaction
Finally, keep people engaged by encouraging interaction. As human beings, we like to talk. Even the introverts are social animals. Sitting silently, unable to share what’s unfolding before us with our peers is depressingly isolating. You obviously don’t want people talking throughout your main presentations, but arranging the seating so that guests can see each other and chat between the dropping of information can completely change the tone of an event. Of course, there probably needs to be formality in places, but that doesn’t need to come at the cost of engagement.
Staging a corporate event should be hugely beneficial for your business. But you’ll only get the best from it if you manage to keep your guests with you and away from the depths of boredom.