Nothing jazzes employees up after the New Year more than a fun event. Usually, your employees are riding a holiday high after taking time off to be with family. They're inspired to start the New Year with eagerness and renewed motivation.
So, it's the perfect time to host an event to keep that excitement going in the office. To avoid an annual snoozer, here are some tips to throw a kickass annual corporate event.
Give Your Event an Intriguing Name
Try to avoid calling your annual event a kick-off meeting or event. It sounds stuffy. It also implies that all the major decisions regarding the company's future have already been decided and the employees have no say in the matter.
Instead, come up with a creative name that excites employees about the focus of your business in the coming year. We're thinking something like "2019: A Year for Innovation" or "Breaking Barriers in 2019." That sounds a lot more intriguing than "2019 Kick-Off Meeting."
Hire an Engaging and Inspiring Speaker
Of course, you want the CEO or president of the company to say a few things, but hiring someone outside the company to engage and inspire the team will leave a lasting impression. "But how do I find an engaging speaker?" you might ask.
- Look for someone who can read a room. If people are not responding the way you hoped, a smart speaker can quickly switch gears to reconnect with employees.
- They should know how to use technology. Nothing is worse than listening to someone present a PowerPoint. Find someone who is familiar with innovative tools that foster interaction.
- They know how to inspire non-tech participation. Not everyone loves using apps to answer surveys or polls as part of their audience participation. A savvy speaker knows how to pose questions that elicit audience members to raise their hand and answer.
- Look for someone who adds value to your event. Don't just pick anyone to inspire employees. Choose someone that relates to your business, values, culture, etc.
Create Fun Ways for Employees to Participate
Don't spend the night having people talk at employees. Find ways for employees to engage with one another and the speaker. This could include interactive activities like surveys, trivia, polls, or Q and A using an app.
Ask employees for ideas to help improve the business in the coming years through a survey app. Create a poll asking employees what the best part of the event was so you can make next year's event even better. Set up lounge areas where co-workers can mingle with one another. Try a team-building exercise to unite colleagues. These are just a few ideas to make your event fun and memorable.
Treat Your Employees to Entertainment
OK, so not all companies can afford to land a top talent like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, or Bon Jovi for their annual company events, but some quality entertainment is definitely better than nothing. Hire local musicians, a magician, hypnotist, comedian (only the ones with clean jokes or you'll have an HR nightmare), or circus acts to liven things up. Your employees work hard all year long, they deserve to unwind together and have a good time.
No matter what your event entails, you'll likely need the help of an AV partner to provide the lighting, audio, and visual. Not only can an AV partner provide the necessities for flawless presentations, but they can set the mood for the night with an array of dynamic lighting and exciting visuals. Your employees will be so impressed, they'll be counting down the days until next year's big event.