Corporate events are an opportunity to educate, appreciate, and celebrate. Done well, they shine a light on your company, showcasing why you, and the people who work for you, stand out from the crowd.

These days, accomplishing that feat requires more than traditional, stuffy ballrooms and 8-hour conference sessions. There’s more emphasis now, than ever before, on creating an interactive, engaging experience that will leave a mark on attendees long after the event is over. Even if you’re a traditionalist, switching gears isn’t really all that difficult – it just involves adapting a more relaxed mindset and having some fun with the process. Here are some of the top trends in corporate event planning to help get you started:

Providing a Taste of the Local Color
Set the tone for your event by providing venues that aren’t just the same old conference room. Capitalize on your city’s “story.” In other words, give your guests some exposure to the unique things that make your town stand out.

Here in Raleigh, that could mean planning your meeting sessions at the North Carolina Museum of Art, with periodic breaks through the day where attendees can participate in small, docent-led group tours and a catered lunch under tents in the outside gardens.

Seating
Casual seating is becoming the norm. At lunches and dinners, switch out the traditional large round tables and opt instead for long banquet seating instead that facilitate open conversation among a larger number of people both across and down the table. For break-out sessions, create conversational spaces – small groupings of comfortable chairs and tables designed to bring small groups of people together to discuss new information, brainstorm
ideas, or simply network.

Brain Breaks
Multi-day meetings that start at 6 a.m. and continue well into the night can be mind numbing. More and more, events are incorporate mini entertainment opportunities. Neck and shoulder massage stations, yoga and meditation sessions, beer tastings from local breweries, and virtual reality experiences are popular.

Incorporating Technology
Mobile apps are a must these days for any corporate event. Not only can you drive more engagement from attendees by keep them informed of sessions and activities in real-time, but you can also garner valuable feedback to tweak upcoming events and guide future events. Check out CrowdCompassAttendify, or Webmobi.

Transform Your Space
Even when your event is at a single centralized venue, transform it into a one-of- a-kind experience. Think about turning your space into a North Carolina showcase (think Epcot) by taking attendees on a virtual road trip that highlights the different regions – the mountains, the Sandhills, the Piedmont, and the beach, by creating distinct “regions” that use colors, linens, table arrangements, décor, and food to provide an authentic feel.

Trust Your Rental Company
Above all, choose a great partners. J&J Tent & Party Rentals provides flexibility and responsiveness as we work with you through the entire process. Whatever you need – tables, tents, chairs, linens, staging, and more – we’ll help you achieve a successful, less-stress event. Call us at (919) 977-3691 and we will help you get exactly what you need to make your event amazing.