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Planning a corporate event: make it personal

Who says that business meetings, corporate events and team days have to be straight-out-of-the-box dull? There are ways of making your event inspiring, unique and personal to each guest. It’s the difference between going through the motions and actually achieving the goal of the meeting itself.

So, why else do we want to impress, wow and delight our delegates? Isn’t it a waste of time and energy? 

*9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings

73% of people work on other things during meetings

39% of meeting participants admitted to dozing off during a meeting

That’s why. You HAVE to put in the effort to create an amazing event otherwise you’ve lost before you’ve even begun.

Surprise, engage and touch your audience and you’ll reap the rewards.

How to make it personal

Personalisation should be part of every stage of your event planning process. A half-hearted after-thought will be obvious and not worth bothering with.

Define goals and objectives for your meeting and use personalisation to achieve them.

The right venue is key to a successful event – ideally a venue with stand out features that gives your guests something to talk about – why not a brewery, a cookery school or a wine library?!

Forget technology – it’s not always the answer to everything.

A simple handwritten invitation can be incredibly powerful and set the tone for the whole event.

Think about how you can create ‘moments’ for each person at your event.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Ideas for personalisation

Get guests involved – Before you arrange your meeting, make sure it’s at a time and place that your guests are happy with. Ask them – what would you prefer; first thing or after the working day? You’ll have them onboard right from the get-go.

A personal welcome – Stand at the doorway, thank them for coming, shake their hand, ask their name if you don’t already know. So simple and you’d think…obvious.  But how many events have you been to where you get lost, awkwardly find a seat and fiddle on your phone avoiding eye contact until somebody starts the meeting? A totally negative first impression.

Make them feel comfortable – Offer everybody a drink or something to eat. If you’re a trainer, for example, you may not know your guests yet. What a great way to engage in conversation and make them feel comfortable? Tea, coffee, biscuit?

Simple touches – A handwritten note on the first page of their notepad, upbeat music in the background or sweets on the table.

Agenda – It’s vital to have an agenda for the day, but why not offer the chance for guests to add anything they would like to talk about? You could offer a 1:1 post-event slot with yourself or the guest speaker.

Get feedback – Show that you care about each person’s experience by asking them to complete a feedback form.

It’s so easy to be held back by corporate event traditions. Ditch the rule-book and go back to basics.  Ask yourself, how would you greet people at a party at your home? What would you do to ensure they were comfortable?  What would you want them to go away thinking and feeling? Your business meeting should be no different.

Source: highfive.com, meetingking.com

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