How to Make Corporate Entertainment Events Memorable

This being Memorial Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss one of the most sought-after aspects of corporate event entertainment, which is how to make it memorable. Whether we’re talking about corporate parties for clients & senior staff, employee team building activities or experiential marketing events to raise brand awareness, the lingering concern of the event planner is simple: how do we make this something that everyone will remember?

Having participated in many varied corporate entertainment events in New York City as both a producer and a participant, I’ve been able to glean several factors which I feel are important for ensuring that participants both think and talk fondly about the function, long after it’s happened. Below are some tips for making sure that your company bash is a memorable one, regardless of the activity or entertainment provided:

Change it Up – Companies are like people, in that they tend to stick with what works and not wander far off the reservation. This is true when it comes to entertaining employees & clients, as the natural inclination is to do what’s been done in the past. As such, “fun” stuff companies do for their folks tend to be the same old thing, held at the same old place, at the same time of year. In order to make an event stand out, you should deviate from the norm: try new activities, new venues, new event calendars. Get everyone talking about how this year’s annual fest was so much different from years past, simply by deviating from the well-worn path.

Exceed Expectations – If you’ve driven attendance by promising the world – and you deliver that and much more – you will go a long way towards creating a memorable impression on your group. If, however, you make promises about  the spectacular things your event will feature, how much fun will be had  etc. and miss those goals by a long shot, not only will people not want to remember the event, but the parts they DO remember will be framed in the negative. Meet and exceed their expectations, and you will genrate an experience which people will remember positively.

Include a “Wow” Factor – At least one aspect of your event should be something which dazzles, shines or otherwise impresses. Regardless of your limited budget or timeline, invest in creatively injecting something which makes everyone say “wow,” and you’ll be a rock star in everybody’s eyes – doubly so if you deliver something truly special on a tight turnaround, and with limited assets.

Provide a Take-Away – Toys, trinkets, prizes, awards, photos and other “chum” serve a purpose: a constant cubicle reminder of the fun times had at Company Event X. Avoid making this item edible, unless it’s truly something special & especially scrumptious- in which case, people WILL talk about it for a long time!

As a corporate event planner, you work so hard to create functions which meet the professional standards of  your company, as well as your own. Making an event truly memorable, however, requires a little extra time and thought- yet is always an option. So why not take it?


  1. Jody urquhart on May 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    True most companies do the same thing over and over Again… So doing something different should be easy. New venue, new activities, entertainment.. All great and FUN. Most people just want to have

    • david on May 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Agreed that doing something different should be easy- however, we all know how difficult it can be for companies to change…

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