Putting on a standout factor into a corporate event might read like an oxymoron, but there's no reason why your audience don't deserve a special and memorable experience at a conference or meeting.
In May, Exclusively Corporate -- a conference specifically designed for the needs of corporate event planners -- took place at the IMAX Frankfurt. As reported by the MICE blog, one of its morning sessions was devoted solely to putting the 'wow' factor into corporate events. Surely, this is a sign that gone are the days where the set standard of drab, grey buffets and long-winded, uninspiring talks are enough to capture your attendee's attention.
There are several tricks that can help put your corporate event into a league of its own -- from inviting stellar expert speakers to hosting it in a world-class venue -- but one of the quickest and easiest is really quite simple: embrace the power of technology and high-quality furnishings.
It can, however, be hard to distinguish what pieces of equipment are worth bothering with, which is why we've simplified the task for you and put together a list of the most in-demand equipment that will help make your corporate event a memorable tour de force.
If you're hosting or planning an event that lasts over two hours, comfortable seating is non-negotiable. Don't underestimate the lasting effect uncomfortable chairs can have on your attendees' impression of your event. Assuming you want your event to be remembered for its content and flawless organization rather than for it being a literal pain in the backside, we strongly urge you to invest in hiring high-quality, comfortable chairs.
2. Plenty of tables to accommodate a large crowd
Depending on your venue, you may or may not already be provided with a range of tables for your corporate event. If you're planning on having drinks or a buffet, it's worth ensuring you have plenty of tables for catering purposes. If you're format is closer to that of a Demo Day, exhibition, or open discussion, you will also need to ensure there are enough tables for said purposes, and that they're able to hold enough people.
3. Soft seating area for added comfort
Sitting and standing around at corporate events takes its toll on everyone. The one thing attendees dream of -- especially at the end of a longwinded day -- is comfortable, plush seating to melt into. Why not round-off your event with complimentary drinks in a well-furnished, extra-comfortable seating area? Trust us -- your guests will thank you.
4. Portable air conditioner to keep your guests cool
Let's face it: few things are worse than enduring a long day of work-related speeches and networking in a crowded room on a hot Summer's day (you'll probably catch yourself day dreaming of alfresco drinks at least once), but spending the same day in scorching, sweaty room is triply as bad. Keeping in mind that corporate events usually require semi-formal attire, the communal suit-induced humidity can get all too much to bear. It's easy to avoid the scorching disaster scenario: simply hire enough high-quality air conditioners to keep the temperatures at a comfortable level.
5. Plenty of glassware -- and extras, just in case
Glassware breaks, so it's always best to have a back-up, even if your catering is providing you with what sounds to be enough. And, while you're at it, make sure you've got enough water tanks to keep the crowds hydrated.
6. LED screens and loudspeakers for a powerful presentation
Arguably the most important piece of equipment in the list. High-quality, LED screens and loudspeakers will add their weight in gold to virtually any presentation. Projectors are all well and good, but they're hardly convenient: how many of us have squinted through presentations we could hardly see up on a white screen? Or struggled to hear a speaker due to a lack of proper technology and equipment? Avoid these mistakes by hiring an LED-screens-and-loudspeakers package for your corporate event.
7. HQ headphones that actually work - and work well
Disposable headphones are the bane of every event attendee's existence: they simply don't do the job. How many times have you been given a set of headphones that screech or simply don't work? These technical glitches simply waste everyone's time. Avoid annoying your guests by hiring high-quality, HD stereo headphones instead of opting for the disposable, poor quality version.
If you work in the world of corporate event planning, iPads are a wonderful investment. Not only are they multi-functional, but they help you save heaps of time. From attendee check-ins and registrations to custom kiosks and surveys, the use of iPads in events is becoming increasingly more common. If you can't afford to invest into several iPads, or you simply need back-ups, you can always opt for hiring them instead.
9. A backup laptop (or two)
Many of us have been unfortunate enough to attend or personally experience a technical glitch at a long-awaited corporate event. The easiest way to avoid a laptop-malnfunctioning induced disaster is by backing up on more than one device. The easiest way to do this is to triple-check to ensure your presentations are saved in the right format on several laptops. If you don't own more than one laptop device, you should look into hiring one for the day of the event.