What’s considered a cutting-edge company event activity one month could be a complete snoozefest the next. With the ever changing landscape of the event industry, how do you choose activities that upstage last year’s events, but also meet the objective? Borrow some ideas from this roundup of the most unique, engaging corporate event ideas to start planning for 2016.

1. Room Escape

Escape games are the newest craze sweeping the nation. Groups are locked in a room with no way out and are required to work together to find clues and plot their escape. Most major cities will have a similar escape room to accommodate small groups. This company event idea is sure to engage the participants and get everyone talking and thinking like a team.  

Business impact: team bonding, teamwork, communication

Download "The Guide to Interactive & Engaging Company Events" for tips on how  to rock your next event!

2. Trampoline Parks

Planning a company event at a trampoline park is an excellent way to blow off steam and get some exercise. Most facilities have areas for open jumping but also coordinate games and challenges. This is an energizing activity that when paired with a training component can become a practical and engaging corporate event idea.

Business impact: team bonding

3. Cooking Class

Taking a cooking class is a unique way to get employees out of the office and interacting together. They are typically budget-friendly and great for small groups. Individuals who wouldn’t usually work together have a chance to build new relationships over some delicious food! A cooking class is also a great opportunity for leaders to foster discussions or make announcements.

Business impact: team bonding, team building

4. Paint Night

The Picassos of your organization (and even the less artistically inclined) will love spending the night mingling, snacking, and painting. Typically hosted at bars and restaurants, small groups of employees are given a canvas and art supplies to express their creativity and connect with team members. This is a simple corporate event idea as there’s no need to purchase supplies, clean up afterwards, and the meal is taken care of by the restaurant. Employees can take home their masterpiece or hang it in their workspace to remember and ratify the experience down the road.

Business impact: team bonding

5. Gamification

“Gamification” is becoming a buzzword and garnering attention for good reason. It’s effective for achieving a variety of results, it’s scalable, and it can actually be fun! Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanisms like challenges, scoring points, or achieving levels to teach a new skill, typically leveraging technology like an app. Gamification isn’t just about entertaining your attendees, it has the potential to strategically reinforce the goals of the event through fun and interactive games. Essentially, you can incentivize the participants to focus on the core event objectives as they also become their own objectives. Once you have a theme for your event, think about a game or challenge that supports it like a scavenger hunt or murder mystery.

Business impact: dependent on the game but most will address team dynamics, communication, and problem solving.

6. Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the next generation of company events that can be exciting, immersive, business-relevant and much more memorable than a speaker or entertainers. Experiential  learning programs create an experience by embedding the learning into an interactive game so people will learn without realizing it. This company event idea pulls individuals out of their comfort zones in a way that creates sustained behavior change. Most programs are scalable for large groups and can have massive implications on company performance. Typically, these events give you more control over the atmosphere and the learning outcome than other, less structured events.

Business impact: (depending on the actual activity) time management, accountability, team dynamics, understanding and  meeting customer needs, organizational communication and  breaking down silos.

It can be tempting to plan corporate events around trendy ideas as they’ll certainly spark some buzz around the office, but be mindful of how applicable the outcomes of the event are. Step back before planning your next event and ask yourself: “Will this event generate an impact on the business?”

Download Guide: The Guide to Interactive and Engaging Company Events

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