When planning a business event, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome. You want to ensure the event itself is productive and purposeful, but you also want your guests and attendees to be invigorated by the programming. In the past, corporate events fell into a rather staid and predictable pattern. A sit down dinner with a few remarks or a boardroom presentation with a boxed lunch. But like anything in life or business, there are trends. Even though trends pass, corporate events today look nothing like they did 50 or even 20 years ago. For one thing, there is a greater reliance on technology than ever before. There are also new and exciting approaches to the event spaces themselves, as well as the menu offerings and the entertainment provided. Here are some of the popular trends from 2015 that we expect to stick around throughout 2016 as well.
New technology permeates every level of society – from our schools to the workplace, from our homes to our boardroom. The same new technology is also changing the way corporate events are staged and executed. Here are some tech savvy trends that are helping to bring corporate events into the 21st century.
- Electronic Registering – Paper registration has always been problematic. It’s plagued with mistakes and misspellings and difficult to update quickly and efficiently. Using electronic registrations keep the process much more streamlined and allows event planners to update information quickly and efficiently. It also makes it easier for attendees to register for an event and pay any necessary fees. Even we use electronic registrations for our wedding tastings. Not only do we invite our clients via email, but we manage their registration, guests and special dietary needs through an online platform. We also register online for ISES events that we attend.
- Social Media – Social media makes it easier to promote events, but also is a great way for attendees and guests to communicate freely both before and after a function. Our venue partners each host some great events of their own like the West Fest at Eiteljorg, Indiana Spirits at Indiana State Museum, and the New Years Eve Party at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. How do they let people know about their event? They promote it on social media!
- Wi-Fi Enabled Devices- Gone are the days of pens and notebooks for corporate presentations. They have been replaced with iPads and laptops, making it easier for your guests to take notes, share information, and stay connected to their offices in real time. Each of our venues has wi-fi access available for corporate guests as well as a variety of other technology to aid in presentations such as built-in audio visual systems.
New trends in food and food service are changing the way that corporate events are catered.
- Think Healthier – Everyone is trying to eat healthier these days, and that extends to special events. Instead of donuts and danishes, many companies are opting to select fresh fruits, create-your-own yogurt stations, and other healthy snacks. This will provide the fuel they need for the day’s activities, and allows them to feel good about their food choices. Read about how to maximize your meeting productivity through food.
- Think Smaller – While buffets and sit down meals are still popular choices for many corporate events hors d’oeuvre stations are making their way as a modern business trend. Smaller portions and a wider range of menu options allow your guests to enjoy a larger selection of culinary delights instead of being pigeon holed into one meal choice, all while being able to mingle with their peers throughout the event. Stations also help to create a lively atmosphere, keeping attendees alert and networking throughout the experience. Don’t think a full meal isn’t provided with a station setup? Browse through some of our station parties to get a great idea of some of the offerings we have available. Remember, every great caterer will work with you to create the perfect menu for your event and anything on our menus can be customized just for you.
CREATING THE RIGHT ATMOSPHERE
Business events can be staid and restricting, with attendees seated in rows of straight backed chairs. This can lead to mental and physical fatigue. The latest trend is to create a more lively atmosphere by arranging guests in clusters, either in groups or around tables. This type of social seating helps to keep attendees alert and interactive, while allowing them a fair degree of comfort. Decor also plays an important part in creating the right atmosphere. Uplighting can help to enliven a room, transforming from a plain function hall into a comfortable lounge. Incorporate your company’s logo and color schemes into the decorations to brighten the room, and to avoid a static and unproductive or unexciting environment.
Business event planning, like anything else in life, is subject to the fashions and trends of the moment. While chasing fashion is rarely productive, the few topics discussed here are well worth any business’s attention. These trends in business event planning are helping to make corporate events more interesting, memorable and productive.
Read more about some of our past corporate events and advice to planning a great corporate meeting or event on our blog.