Top 5 Corporate Event Trends for 2019

    While it may feel like all business from 9 to 5, corporate events give coworkers and colleagues a chance to bond, brainstorm, and cut loose in a more relaxed and authentic way. 

    Venues love courting corporate event business — they often require less planning and lower overhead costs, and they’re more likely to be recurring events vs. one-offs like weddings. 

    But just because it’s a corporate event, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with elements like décor, programming, and food. Whether you’re celebrating a business milestone or looking for renewed networking results, these corporate event trends can work for companies of all sizes. 

    1. A Casual, Fun Venue
    Client meetups and more formal board meetings are best placed in an office or other business settings, such as a coworking space or even a restaurant’s banquet room. With corporate team events, however, you have room to mix things up a bit. Lately, more and more companies are choosing to skip the hotel ballrooms and conference centers in lieu of nontraditional venues like theme parks, indoor karting tracks, and even escape rooms. 

    While these are most appropriate for team-building and celebratory occasions (not for shareholders’ meetings), they offer a fresh opportunity to host a memorable, standout company party. 

    Venue pick: While it’s exciting to get caught up in the thrill of a race, some of your attendees may be more comfortable on the sidelines. Speedway Indoor Karting and 1911 Grill in Speedway, Indiana offers the best of both worlds, offering a world-class karting experience for those who want to ride, while others kick back and converse over dishes like fried pickles, Philly steaks, or kale salad. The two-story building is spacious and an ideal choice for events of all sizes. 

    2. Live-Streaming and Virtual Participation
    If it's not in the budget to fly your entire global team in for a company-wide event, consider what tech has to offer. Live-streaming through virtual conference tools, or even social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, gives those who can't be there a chance to see everything unfold in real-time and get in on the party action, no matter where they reside. 

    Facebook Live, in particular, has proven to be a great resource for reporting updates, informing stakeholders, or doing company-wide training seminars that are essential for attendees to experience simultaneously.

    3. Shareable Moments
    Another perk to using tech in your event is that it’s a natural way to get the word out about your company culture and brand. Consider giving your event its own branded hashtag and offering attendees natural prompts to share what they’ve learned or loved along the way. (Because some corporate events may contain proprietary company information, be sure to also give attendees clear instructions on what can and can’t be shared.) 

    It’s also key to provide the Wi-Fi access needed to back up your goals. No one wants to waste their data plan on company messaging, no matter how much they believe in it!

    4. A Positive, Inspiring Tone
    You don’t have to rule out competition entirely, but it’s worth noting that corporate events do best when they focus on how to bring everyone together. Whether you’re hoping to iron out a few operational bugs through a retraining exercise, or you intend for the event to celebrate jobs well done, there can never be enough positivity and enthusiasm in your messaging and theme. 

    From décor to the presentations, look at ways to frame the experience as a way to move forward and focus on the gifts and abilities of your teams. Corporate events like this can be the perfect time for new beginnings.

    5. Throwback, Nostalgic Eats
    Many companies use corporate events to show off their culinary chops or treat attendees to fancy bites. If you asked your employees and team members, however, they likely agree that they just want to eat good, tasty food. In the spirit of a laid-back event, skip the high-end ingredients and tiny toasts. 

    Buffets are a great option for events like this, and their great for serving up the nostalgic food trend. Whether you choose BBQ, a taco bar, pizza, pasta, or something slightly novel (like a mac-and-cheese or dessert bar), make sure you have enough dietary options to make all your guests (including vegans, those who are gluten-free, etc.) feel welcome. 

    Venue pick: Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio offers some unique flavors, such as Sauerkraut Balls and Confit Pig Ears, along with savory favorites Chili Marinated Pork Tacos and vegan mac and cheese! Accommodating work parties of up to 100 people, this American gastropub is a must-see destination for your next company fete. 

    Not everyone agrees that it's wise to follow trends, but this list of must-try corporate event themes is something you can't afford to not inspect closer. With many of them focused on building community into the culture of your business, the positive effects can linger long after that last attendee has left.

    Today's companies aren’t afraid to mix things up a little. Let this trend list be a starting point that inspires your company event coordinators to try something new.