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Firstly, what is it Corporate Entertainment?
Entertaining existing or prospective clients is a proven method of generating sales and retaining existing business. Corporate entertainment revolves around an activity you feel your customers will enjoy, that will leave them with positive feeling about your company. Corporate entertainment can easily be confused with corporate hospitality, but there’s an important difference between the two. Corporate event entertainment is active – you and your clients will be taking part in something, whereas corporate hospitality involves taking them out for a day to watch something such as a rugby or soccer match. There’s no participation required from your side.
Looking for Corporate Entertainment ideas
There are loads of corporate entertainment ideas one can embark on, so you should be able to find something to suit your interests and that of your clients. For example, go-karting, hovercraft flying, clay shooting, quad biking, paintballing, golf, and hot air ballooning are all popular corporate entertainment activities. Perhaps even something adventurous, it you are up to the task.
The advantages of Corporate Entertainment
Taking your clients out on a day is a nice way to say thank you for their business, and at the same time encourages future business. It helps to cement your bond with past, present and future customers, and places your business in their minds as an organisation that approaches things differently and innovatively. It is also sends a message to your clients that you value them and their business. Not to mention that it help you to nurture your relationship with your client, which in effect, helps your business to grow.
Getting value for money
Many marketing budgets have a specified entertainment budget to cover corporate entertainment events. But the crucial thing to remember is that the whole point of corporate entertainment is to see a return on your investment. It is therefore a good idea to work out how much new business you hope to make from a client, and then see if it’s worth spending the amount of money it will cost to take them to an event. For this reason, though this marketing activity might be very expensive (depending on the activity chosen and the number of people involved), you should always ensure you get value for money.
What to do
So, when organizing days out with clients, you could use the services of a specialist corporate entertainment agency. All you need to do is tell the agency what you want from the event and they will sort out the rest. Alternatively however, you could easily book any of the entertainment service providers by visiting our list of corporate entertainers.
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As a professional speaker, over the years, I have been given many different kinds of gifts after my seminar from the meeting planner. Some of these gifts are useful and some I have no idea what I will do with.
After a seminar or motivational speech, many meeting planners present you with a mug, water bottle or a T shirt with the company or association logo on it. It is a nice token of appreciation however most people have little use for it. I must have 20 logo mugs in my cupboard, and those are just from recent years.
I remember one year I was the motivational keynote speaker a conference in Newfoundland and the meeting planner gave me a coffee table book. Too big to fit in my carry-on, I left it in my hotel room. A week later, the hotel sent it back to me in the mail.
These gifts are expensive, they require a lot of work to put them together and who knows where they will end up. Before going to the trouble to give any gift, ask yourself why you are giving it. Because you will feel bad if you don’t?
Is it because you have to present them with something at the end( the check would be fine)? As far as I know most motivational speakers don’t feel entitled to a gift anyways.
Here are some of the best gifts for a professional speaker I have received:
Recently I got a solar charger (very cool!) with the association logo on it. When on the road, you can charge you cell phone, IPod, computer, etc
- A simple thank you card signed by the entire conference planning committee
- A miniature wooden lectern
- Original art from local artists
- A contribution made in my name to a worthy cause
- Photos taken of the event in a little book
- A star bucks coffee card – A favourite gift, everybody likes coffee
- A bottle of wine from the region. Was great, except that I couldn’t take it in my carry on
- Many conference speakers speak to raise their profile in the industry, so articles featuring them, or articles summarizing their message are a real memento.
- One conference did a humorous caricature of me, holding the company logo. I still have it, ten years later.
- Gifts like fruit in the hotel room before you arrive are great especially if a speaker arrives late and all food places are closed
- The best gift by far is A follow up thank you letter and a referral to another speaking engagement or event
A professional speaker doesn’t give motivational speeches for the presents anyways. The real gift is being there and contributing to the event…
Keeping your event attendees safe is a big responsibility, and planners should always be thinking ahead about their role in maintaining a safe environment for their guests. Many catastrophes can either be prevented or fixed by implementing a few simple procedures. No one expects an event planner to substitute the role of police or firefighters, but when a problem does arise the expectation is that the lead planner and their staff will know how to handle the situation.
The safety measures discussed below are easy enough to integrate and provide a good foundation for managing risk at your next event. It is true that you can never really focus enough on safety and security, but these guidelines will keep you prepared to respond in an efficient manner.
Stock an Emergency Kit
Having a basic first aid kit is a must for every planner, but an emergency kit includes more than just bandages and medical tape. You’ll also want to have things like flashlights, ponchos, and a set of 2-way radios. Other things to consider include a spare key to your office, directory book of important contacts, and a small amount of cash. Basically you want a tackle box stocked with any item you might need to solve problems before help can arrive.
Organize a Phone Tree
In the days leading up to the event you’ll want to organize a list of contacts in order of who should be contacted first. Keep in mind the best emergency service number is not always 911. For example, I worked on a college campus where it was more efficient to contact campus police first in order to request medical or safety assistance. In addition to emergency services, you’ll also want the numbers for vendor and venue management in case something goes wrong in those areas. The phone tree document needs to be organized in a way that all staff members can quickly recognize which person to contact.
Train Your Staff
One of the biggest inefficiencies you can face in an emergency situation is an untrained staff. You simply can’t afford to lose time to people searching for answers. Realistically, it only takes about 15 minutes to review important safety details with your staff. This includes identifying key staff members, discussing the event timeline, and pointing out locations for restrooms, fire exits, and of course your emergency kit. This is information that every person on the staff, from greeters to servers, should be familiar with.
Create a Contingency Plan
What will you do if your venue unexpectedly closes? How will you seat unannounced guests? What if your keynote speaker gets stuck at the airport? In a perfect world you won’t have to worry about these things, but you should at least discuss them prior to your event. The solution for these types of issues are not always simple, however, they become much harder to deal with when you’re trying to research answers during event day. Once again, it doesn’t take long to put together a contingency plan that includes your list of preferred options, and having this information at your fingertips will provide you with confidence during a crisis.
Plan an Event Walk-through
Visualizing the exact path your guests will navigate through the event can really open your eyes to potential problems. This is why I always suggest hosting a walk-through with staff members a couple weeks before the big date. With this, you literally want to park your car and walk through yourvenue as your guests will. Be on the watch for potential safety and security hazards as you do this, and don’t forget to consider everything from the perception of attendees, VIP’s, and guest speakers. What are the potential issues they will face when attending the occasion?
Like so many of the other hats event planners wear, the role of safety director needs to be executed with organization and attention to detail. And while this task can seem overwhelming with so many other responsibilities on your plate, the largest responsibility is being able to respond and call the right team for help. Following the strategies here will put you in position to do that effectively.
Award banquets are unique among events. The planner needs to bring together diverse elements to carry them off. Well-planned, award banquets can be fun for guests and winners alike. When planning an award banquet, two elements are crucial – time and entertainment. Managing overly long speeches and keeping attendees engaged throughout the event makes everyone happy. Set a clear program for the banquet, execute it, and use an event hire company to eliminate any potential headaches in getting all the equipment together.
Before the Day: Quick Checklist
- Budget – finalising a budget is an ideal starting point for planning.
- Date, time, and venue – set the date, time, and venue so you can move on to the organising invitations. Make sure there’s plenty of parking available nearby.
- Invitations – finalise, and send out invitations.
- Menu – what will you be serving? If you need to keep food heated, look to party hire equipment companies for suitable equipment.
- Awards – have awards designed and ordered.
- Seating – once you have an indication of numbers, you can begin to confirm seating arrangements.
Keep the Event Flowing
Set a clear program for the day to keep the award banquet flowing. A good master of ceremonies or host can help with this, but the planner needs to address to other issues such as when serve the food; bring on entertainment; and other elements for the overall program.
- If there are quite a number of awards being presented, set a strict time limit for speeches. Let the nominees or award winners know in advance about the time limit.
- Even if the award banquet is being held in honour of a particular person, or a just a few people, you’ll still need to set an approximate time limit for their speech-giving moment. Depending on how quickly they speak, they should plan for 80 – 150 word per minute.
- Go over the program a few times to check for continuity. The key is to maintain the interest of attendees with intermittent changes of pace in the flow of events.
The entertainment should suit the subject matter of your event. If you want live music for a formal or corporate event, a quartet or a few violinists will probably go down better than a heavy metal rock band. Alternatively, you can consider having background music to be played during the event.
Other ideas for entertainment:
- Guest speakers to give topical or humorous speeches
- Mini-video documentaries to give background or information about the subject area
- Performances by singers or musicians
Great catering keeps attendees happy and interested. Be sure to time the delivery of refreshment by staggering it and by offering plenty of drinks so guests are not left too hungry or without refreshments for long periods during the award banquet.
Don’t Compromise on the Sound System
The sound system will be one of the most important elements in making your award banquet work. Attendees should be able to clearly hear the presenters and speeches. Make sure the sound system is adequate by double checking on the day, well before the start time, and testing it.
Have a Back Up Host
If you’ve appointed a master of ceremonies, appoint another host who can step in if the MC gets sick or is delayed. Another idea is to have two or three hosts who can alternate or co-present for more interest.
Organise post-event reporting to let your guests access photos of the banquet. The easiest way to do this is just to set up a website. This allows you, attendees, and your organisation to reflect on and maximise the PR power of your event after all the hard work!
When hosting an event for your business, it is more than reasonable to expect it to be effective, deliver maximum impact and offer something different, so that your company and occasion is memorable and significant. Theming your event can help to achieve this end, and when you choose a theme that is well matched to your business, the focus and efforts of attendees at your meeting, conference or other event will be unified.
Why events, and why event hire?
Businesses of all sizes, types and purposes stage events to reinforce and enhance their business activities, relationships and achievements. While organising an event can be daunting, accessing support from professional event hire companies is invaluable and can remove so much of the stress and preparation.
As you start to plan your business event, you will realise that there are so many areas to be considered and that each of these areas opens up a range of choices. Take the example of a venue for your event — you may choose to host your event in a hotel, function centre or other permanent building, but it is increasingly popular and effective to host events in outdoor and different environments. Marquee hire, table, chair and other equipment hire, off-site catering and the hire and set-up of audiovisual equipment may well be areas you need to look at. However, your investigation and planning will be worthwhile and appreciated when delegates are impressed and thoroughly enjoy the business event that you offer in a unique and appealing location.
When a well-chosen theme underpins your business event, the presentations, materials and activities that constitute your event can be more effective and approached with greater enthusiasm. It is important to define and establish the objectives of the event and, from this point, select and embed an overriding theme.
As you develop a theme for your event, it is vital that you consider the messages you want to share about your business and the event’s purpose. Essentially, your event theme will only be effective and understood if it is meaningful and on-target.
Points to consider in theme selection:
When selecting a theme for your business event, keep the following in mind:
- Knowing your audience — your employees, clients, customers, partners and any other people that will attend your event — is vital. Choosing a theme that will appeal to them is of critical importance and can determine success
- The different reactions and responses of new and veteran staff — it is definitely possible to appeal to both groups!
- The possibility of seasonal or other relevant activities to which you can tie your event. For example, 2012 is an Olympic year
- Themes, slogans, programs and initiatives that may be integrated or otherwise aligned with your event
- Short themes are almost always stronger and more memorable
- The likelihood of the theme being sustained over time, without people tiring or growing bored of it
- The potential for the theme to create a sense of fun
- The likelihood that people will buy into the theme and what it is intended to convey and achieve
- Sensitivity, political correctness and absolute avoidance of sexism, racism and other objectionable elements
- The need to review your event agenda and identify how the theme can link with your agenda
- The ability to build every element of the event around your theme; this means that presenters can be asked to use language and references relating to your chosen theme
- Use of the theme (and possibly an event logo) on all promotional materials and literature
- Use of decorations, prizes, giveaways and other items that reflect the theme of your event
- Depending on appropriateness and relevance to your event, music, roleplays, skits and other entertainment may be matched to the theme of your business event.
An event theme that matches your business can definitely enhance the experience of your attendees and the ultimate success of the occasion. Choosing an event theme to match your business can be an effective way to focus the attention of your audience and convey clear messages about your business.