The most common types of corporate events are popular for a reason: they are effective at achieving the desired result of the planners. Whether hosting a conference or a golf tournament, companies use these events to bring people together in a new way, developing interpersonal relationships that couldn’t exist inside the structured environment of the office.

Seminars and Conferences

Purpose: Organizations plan and hold these meetings with targeted audiences and provide them with relevant information.

Description: Seminars are usually shorter events, lasting a couple hours to a few workdays. They have single or multiple speakers and generally keep all participants together in the same space. Conferences, on the other hand, typically have multiple sessions. They are usually held at hotels, beginning with a keynote session and then offering breakout sessions by topic.

Trade Shows

Purpose: Organizations attend trade shows as a lead generation activity. They may also choose to host or sponsor a trade show to reinforce their image as an industry leader among those who attend.

Description: Event planning for trade showsinvolves negotiating sponsorship rates for booth space, advertising, promotion, and speaking opportunities where company leadership can speak. Trade shows are held in large spaces, showcasing the products and services of often hundreds of vendors.

Purpose: This is where the big bucks are spent on a per-person basis. Business development and organizational planning are typically the topics of the agenda, but equal weight is given to enjoyable activities as part of the original incentive and reward.

Description: Executive retreats and incentive trips typically last between three and five days and require attention to site selection, lodging, transportation, catering, business meetings, golfing and other activities.

Golf Events

Purpose: A favorite event of almost every organization is an annual golf outing. Relationship management is the primary objective, and teams are often constructed for that purpose.

Description: The idea, like the executive retreat, is to give people in the organization a venue where they will be able to build relationships in a relaxed environment. There is a saying that “deals are sealed on the green.”

Appreciation Events

Purpose: These programs allow an event host to spend informal time with its guests in a nontraditional environment, giving both parties an opportunity to build rapport and learn more about mutual business priorities. Appreciation events can range from programs geared toward employee appreciation to those for showing client appreciation, both of which have become a staple in corporate America.

Description: There are limitless possibilities and types of appreciation events that organizations hold throughout the year. Common programs include:

  • Dinner and theater
  • Day at the racetrack
  • Suites at sporting arenas
  • Day and evening cruises
  • Private parties at music festivals
  • Holiday parties
  • Tickets to a popular event

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