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Curated Corporate Experiences: 5 Tips That Go Beyond the Ballroom

With the recent shake up of the event industry, there has never been a better time to reimagine corporate experiences - from mundane to marvelous! As more and more people continue to work from home, corporate events need to work double-time. From nontraditional venues and memorable local excursions to community impact programs and philanthropy, there are so many new opportunities to explore for more authentic gatherings and more connected audiences. Our clients often wonder where to begin. The best part is, curating an event isn't as difficult as you might think. We've put together some tips on how you can create a one-of-a-kind experience for your next corporate event or celebration.

1. A Vision is Key

A vision is a guiding principle. It's a shared idea of what the future could be, and it helps you understand how you'll get there. A vision can be straightforward, whimsical, mission-driven, or all of the above.

  • A vibrant creative concept that ties together all elements of the event.

  • A celebration of company culture and employees' hard work.

  • A commitment to being innovative and forward-thinking.

  • A summit focused on showcasing new products and features, while bringing together clients from around the world.

From here, create a roadmap with your vision as a North Star. From venues to experiential activities to food and beverage, all your decisions and details will be easily guided by your event goals.

2. Unexpected & Nontraditional Venues

Corporate event planners can choose from a range of spaces and venues that allow them to create an experience that truly inspires their clients and employees. We love a beautiful hotel ballroom as a classic choice. In some cases, it makes sense to mix it up! Choosing a unique and unexpected venue will completely transform your corporate retreat, keeping attendees fully engaged and the creativity flowing.

  • Talk to locals -- they know the spots that ring true.

  • Checkout recently renovated historic locations.

  • Research parks and community spaces that give back.

  • Look for venues with indoor & outdoor options.

3. Get Out of the Box with Activations

By incorporating unique experiences into your next event—like cooking classes or wonder workshops—you create opportunities for attendees to interact with each other outside of their usual business context.

  • Imagine your event as an immersive experience. What if you could take your audience on a journey through time, or to another country?

  • Draw inspiration from the location of your event and lean into local.

  • How about personalized experiences? Give them a chance to create something with their own hands and then share it with others—it will bring them together in ways that can't be quantified by traditional metrics like cost per attendee or ROI.

  • Don't forget experiential! We live in an age when people are craving authentic, real interactions. Incorporate elements that create lasting memories based on personal interactions rather than passive consumption of content alone.

  • How about giving back to the community? Allow time for some volunteer projects that double as team-building activities.

4. Create a Vibe

If your event isn't memorable and exciting enough to hold someone's attention for the whole duration of its execution, they'll stop paying attention before you've even finished your introduction. No better way to set the tone than to lose the stale furniture, and give your guests an experience by designing a space that allows for more creativity.

  • It's not a theme, it's a vibe! Have fun with furniture colors and mixing styles. Draw inspiration from the best designed hotel lobbies around the world or following well known interior designers on social media. Go down a rabbit hole on Pinterest and create your own mood board. Better yet, let the designers at Panacea Collective help!

  • Replace folding chairs with lounge vignettes for presentations to keep attendees comfortable.

  • Swap round dining tables for a mix creative furniture groupings to keep guests mingling, and provide opportunity to break off for conversations.

5. Show Me the Money

It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your corporate event enjoyable. Or maybe your corporate event budget has grown from savings on office space leases or business travel. Here are a few key components to keep in mind.

  • Align budgets with goals and prioritize what is most important.

  • Know the increases of cost in a post covid world.

  • Communicate clear cost expectations with your planners and vendors.

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There are many ways to spice up your next work experience! Panacea takes pleasure in producing fun, local or destination, corporate events. We bring our expertise and hallmark creativity so you don’t have to worry about the details. Contact us to start planning your next corporate event…

{ photos above from Panacea Collective productions at Taliesin West, The Holdsworth Center, Deep Eddy Distillery & Tasting Room, Private Ranch, La Cantera, and Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa At Gainey Ranch }