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| Written by Veronica Ferguson

Corporate Events: The Why and the How

Most business professionals attend a variety of events each year, from local networking events to international industry conferences. In fact, many organizations encourage their employees to attend such events because of the knowledge to be gained and connections to be made. But one thing these companies may be missing out on is the opportunity to host their own corporate gathering for their employees.

Like any event, internal corporate events are an investment in terms of both time and budget, but the potential return on investment is tremendous.

Benefits of Corporate Events

Examples of corporate events include company retreats or picnics, holiday parties, awards ceremonies, milestone celebrations, teambuilding outings, and more.

Whether the primary goal is to educate or motivate, corporate gatherings bring many benefits and should always be included in an organization’s employee engagement strategy. After all, one of the best ways to retain your employees is to engage them—but more on that later.

Here are some of the top benefits of corporate events.

Increased Employee Morale

Corporate events are often a time to celebrate and reward your team, and this type of recognition has been proven time and again to increase employee morale and motivation. Whether it’s a full gala with individual awards given out all night or a few moments onstage to call out exceptional performance and highlight company wins, recognizing accomplishments at both the individual and organizational level makes employees feel valued and boosts their morale. This in turn increases motivation and leads to improved performance. It’s a win-win!

Improved Retention and Recruitment

On a related note, employees who are engaged in the company and feel valued for their contributions are less likely to leave the company, which is why companies that host annual corporate gatherings tend to see higher retention rates. Being known for hosting superb events is also an effective recruitment tool, especially if those events reinforce a strong, impactful company culture. Speaking of which…

Stronger Company Culture

…a strong company culture is another benefit! Companies often issue statements about their culture and what it’s like to work there, but corporate events provide the opportunity to walk the walk. When employees experience the culture in person and see it come to life, it is reinforced. They leave as stronger advocates with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the company culture.

Greater Collaboration

Corporate events build stronger relationships, but it goes beyond simple networking. There’s always greater collaboration when the parties involved actually know each other. By bringing the entire company together, you can connect employees from different departments who may not get to work together on a normal basis. When you return to work, teams are more aligned with improved lines of communication.

Empowered Employees

Empowered employees are top-performing employees, and corporate gatherings are the perfect place to set the stage for success. You can share the latest company news, provide demos on the newest products, and ensure strategic alignment across the board. No matter what information you choose to highlight, your teams should leave the event confident in the direction of the organization and how they contribute to its success.

Reduced Stress

Finally, work events are often appreciated for the simple fact that they’re a break from work. When offered during normal business hours, these gatherings are an exciting change from everyday tasks. The opportunity to have fun and connect with others reduces stress and decreases the risk of burnout while also improving employees’ mental health.

Planning Your Corporate Events

It’s never too early to start planning your corporate events. If it’s an annual event, it’s best practice to lock down the event dates a year in advance so you can announce next year’s dates at the end of this year’s event. You should also discuss any corporate events at your annual strategic planning meetings. Be prepared to explain the intention of the programs, the value add to your organizational and cultural objectives, and the ROI of various event elements.

It may surprise you to hear that it’s never too late to start planning, either! A minimum lead time of three months is usually recommended, but it’s not impossible to pull off an event at shorter notice. This is especially true when partnering with a third-party event management company like M&IW. Keep in mind that a longer lead time provides more options when planning while a shorter lead time may require more compromises on venues, speakers, entertainment, and more.

No matter how long a lead time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when planning a corporate event. Third-party event planners like M&IW save you time, stress, and money. In addition to their extensive knowledge and cost-saving industry relationships, third-party planners are always up to date on the latest event trends sure to delight and engage attendees.

Next Steps

Whether you are ready to refresh your current lineup of employee events or want to start a new tradition with your first-ever corporate event, M&IW is here to help. Contact us to learn how we can help you plan a gathering that employees will talk about for years to come. Already an M&IW customer? Contact your Customer Success Manager.