When planning corporate events and meetings, you will quickly find a world of possibilities for almost every aspect of your event – venue, decorations, food, activities, and more. Having so many possibilities can easily cause information overload and make it difficult to make decisions. To help ensure that every decision you make during the event planning process is going to help create a cohesive meeting for attendees, having a theme can be a life saver. Establishing an event theme early on and sticking to it throughout the process has a number of benefits, including:
1. Supports Your Event Message
A theme can be a surprisingly effective way to drive home the message of the event and achieve your stakeholders’ objectives. For example, say that the event is focused on kicking off a long term objective, and the event goal is to inspire employees to look forward to the future so they are making decisions today that support success tomorrow. In this case, a future-themed event would be ideal to highlight the message in a way that is fun for attendees. The elements you weave throughout the day can showcase the long term objective that the organization is striving for, while highlighting the importance of keeping the future state top-of-mind.
2. Creates a Cohesive Attendee Experience
From pre-event communication, to event day, to post-event follow up, a theme will help establish a unique and identifiable brand for your event. The human brain processes information by organizing it into categories, so by using a theme, you provide a cohesive experience that ties everything together for your attendees.
Every element that you choose that supports the theme helps unify the event. Choose an experiential activity that supports the theme, select food that fits with it, even pick transportation that is connected to it somehow. For example: you are hosting a company meeting with an established goal of improving productivity and morale among many departments. You have selected an aquatic theme. To create that cohesion:
- The venue is on the ocean or large body of water
- You have ocean-inspired drinks and dishes
- Your color scheme is a mix of blues that are used throughout pre-event communications, the event website, brochures, and event-day materials
- You have a boat scheduled to bring attendees from the airport to the venue
- The experiential activity you selected to drive the message home shares the aquatic theme and supports the goals you wish to achieve
Because a theme was established, all of these components could be selected throughout the planning process to contribute to a cohesive experience for attendees. Whether the theme you choose is whimsical or serious, it ties everything together and makes the event memorable.
3. Contributes to Engagement and Excitement
The event theme is a great way to generate excitement leading up to the event, and keep them engaged while they are there. You can progressively provide hints for attendees about what the theme is using pre-event communication, getting them excited about what’s in store. Then, they will spend the day looking out for those elements and little details that relate back to the theme, making it an engaging and share-worthy experience.
Gamification is not just a way to make your corporate event agenda more fun – it can be a unique way to bring home the key messages, and build useful skills among your attendees. When it’s done effectively, gamification helps attendees to feel fully immersed in the event experience, while passing on tired tactics that attendees expect, like speakers, icebreakers, magicians, or comedians. If you are thinking about adding gamification to an upcoming corporate event, take the time to consider the components in this article so you can make a plan to effectively and successfully gamify your event.
Coming up with just the right theme that ties into event objectives can be a lot of fun – and once you’ve made that initial decision, it’s a lot easier to decide on all kinds of components of your event. Having a solid theme that ties into the event goals not only makes your life easier, it also results in an event that is fun and engaging for attendees while effectively achieving stakeholder objectives.