Whether you are trying to create a stunning user conferences, galas or pop-ups—how can you make organization stand out from the rest?
Corporate events are a fantastic way to show off your company brand while establishing your event brand. This is your chance to show the users of your product or service who your company is through an amazing event for them.
Here are 20 corporate event planning ideas that can really wow your attendees this event season. But first, here's a quick preview:
9+ Corporate Event Planning Ideas
- 3D Selfie - Adobe MAX
- Illuminated Balloons - Fox Upfronts
- Projection Art - SXSW
- Pop-up Giveaway - Google
- Digital Graffiti - #LikeAGirl
- Food Installations - BizBash
- Fan Festival - YouTube
- Candy Logo - BMW
- Alternative Seating - TedX
Now that you've had a quick preview, here's the full list of corporate event ideas.
1. 3D Selfie
Photo source: Killer Infographics
Creativity is the focus of Adobe’s stunning user conference called Adobe MAX. The three-day long conference fosters creativity with a giant Lite-Brite in the MAX Playground, a mobile app designing station, and a 3D selfie creator. The Shapify booth by Artec captures the exact shape of an individual and produces a 3D figurine. Incorporate technology and fun into your event to really impress your guests.
2. Halloween Party
Photo source: The Recipe
Probably the most fitting example for the title of the piece, Virgin Media hosted ‘Trick or Cheat with TiVo’ Halloween Party back in 2011 that used their new TiVo feature for a quiz game with guests. The corpse-like bartenders and ghoulish snacks made for a very spooky night.
3. Ice Cave
Photo source: Eventologists
LinkedIn took “chilling” to a whole new level. At Talent Connect, the yearly three-day conference focused around recruiting, the company constructed an Ice Cave where attendees and speakers could relax, mingle, and have an icy drink. Talk about cool event marketing.
Here’s a time-lapse of the creation:
Photo source: Bob Gail Special Events
Remember how fun carnivals were as a kid? With the colorful striped tents all the lined up next to each other to create an endless row of games and food? You can recreate that childhood fun in your next corporate event. Google hosted a carnival-themed appreciation event for their Google City Experts, people who write high-quality reviews for Google Maps.
5. Illuminated Balloons
Photo source: BizBash
The Fox Upfronts is a presentation hosted by the network’s executives for advertisers and the media where TV programming is pitched and marketers have a chance to buy commercial airtime “up front”. Things get really fun at the after-party. Fox used illuminated balloons with the names of their shows to light up the path in Central Park as guests headed to the Wollman Rink to ice skate.
6. Live Music Concerts
Photo source: NYFF Events
Music is enjoyed universally and can bring people together from all over. Every year, Pandora hosts a Holiday Party that brings in popular bands like the Fall Out Boys, Panic! at the Disco, Tegan and Sara, and more to perform. Pandora users can enter for free and are also treated with drinks and lounge space.
7. Projection Art
Video source: We Are Matik
At SXSW, Samsung turned tweets into art. The “Dream Tweet” was an interactive installation where guests were asked to tweet about their dreams with hashtags. These tweets were then projected in real-time onto a wall where they fell onto a shelf. (Want to make your events even more social? Check out these event marketing tips from social media experts.)
8. Pop-Up Giveaways
Photo source: Hoodline
Hungry? Why don’t you stop by a Google Pop-Up Donut shop. In 11 different shops around the United States, Google offered visitors a chance to win a Google Home Mini or two donuts. The creative part about this event is that there’s no guarantee anyone would win the Mini—your fate is completely random. While the possibility of winning a sweet tech prize definitely builds some excitement, who could be disappointed with a donut?
9. Digital Graffiti
Photo source: ALT TERRAIN
To instill confidence in girls at their #LIKEAGIRL Unstoppable Confidence Summit, Always created an interactive installation where attendees could write inspirational messages that would be projected on a digital wall. This idea was executed by the marketing agency ALT TERRAIN, which is one of 150+ agencies featured in our Event Agencies Directory.
10. Food Art Installations
Photo source: BizBash
Food Network’s 20th birthday party featured amazing food-themed art installations at their event including a chandelier of macarons, an edible herb installation that bartenders cut fresh leaves off of to add to cocktails, and an oyster bar made out of ice.
11. Company House
Photo source: Digital Trends
Constructing a building for an event can create an intimate feeling for your guests. For the past few years, Spotify has been building an interactive Spotify House for SXSW. This house isn’t meant for sleeping. It features performances, a Playstation Music Arcade, and SoulCycles. For Spotify, this experience create a great opportunity for attendees to interact with music in a new way.
12. Traveling Pop-Up
Photo source: Adult Swim
Pop-Up shops are a fun and spontaneous but are usually only tied to one or a limited amount of locations. The alternative? A pop-up shop on the move! To build hype around the season 3 premiere of their hit show Rick and Morty, Adult Swim drove a giant “Rickmobile” around the United States selling merch to fans at every stop.
13. Fan Festival
Photo source: Mid-Day
YouTube celebrities are powered by the fans that watch from all corners of the Earth. An event that brings the two groups together is the Youtube FanFest started in 2014. Big stars like Ryan Higa, Bethany Mota, Superwoman, and Epic Meal Time have all attended to speak and meet fans.
14. Star Lighting
Photo source: BizBash
To promo Fox’s new show, Cosmos, the company transformed a parking lot into a screen room for the first episode. Kinetic Lighting created a LED star draping that resembled the cosmos and lit up the tent with “stars”.
15. Bring in Celebrities
Photo source: The Break Room
Every year the Target Corporation holds an annual meeting for their employees that consist of social activities, interactive exhibits, and an exclusive private music concert. In the past, they have brought in Coldplay, Gwen Stefani, Garth Brooks, and Taylor Swift.
16. Exercise for Prizes
Photo source: The Cool Hunter
Just bike and you could win up to $25,000. That was the idea behind Puma’s SPINSTAR campaign. The athletic brand set up stationary bikes and held a competition where those who biked for two hours would receive Puma sneakers and workout gear. The winners would move onto the final competition where they competed for that hefty cash prize.
17. Candy Logo
Photo source: BizBash
Got a sweet tooth? Show off your company with a logo that’s made out of candy. BMW had their candy logo at the Washingtonian Channels Annual Party. This edible decoration is a simple and cheap way to show off your brand at any event.
18. Alternative Seating
Photo source: Somerville Beat
Traditional upright chairs that are used for large conferences are tried and true, but not the end-all-beall. Instead, you could opt for large pillows like TEDxSomerville did for their event. Give guests the chance listen to speakers while resting comfortably.
19. Game of Thrones Theme
Photo source: BizBash
Consistently ranked as the most popular TV show airing right now, Game of Thrones has solidified itself in pop culture. So for HBO’s premiere party, the network set up a Game of Thrones themed night. The decor, activities, and photo ops were all inspired by the hit show. Even a massive throne replica was created just the evening.If—for legal or logistical reasons—you can’t quite pull of a Game of Thrones theme, it can still be worth it to deck out your event in a theme “inspired” by a pop cultural phenomenon.
20. Interactive Canvas
Photo source: Mickey Stretton
Microsoft wanted to showcase the creative potential of new graphic design software so they build a giant interactive wall at their Microsoft Remix event. Visitors wrote their messages on a tablet which were then displayed on a plasma wall. The sensors in the wall were able to sense someone approaching and reacted accordingly by enlarging messages.
Conclusion: Finding Your Corporate Event Theme
Take note from the corporate events these major companies have hosted. Thinking outside of the box for your event planning will not only be fun for you to execute but fun for your attendees to experience.
Looking for more great event ideas? Check out our favorite experiential marketing examples and our favorite recruiting event examples. Otherwise, click the button below for more event resources. Your brain will thank you!