Corporate dinner party ideas are trending — and with good reason. The best ideas don’t always happen in the office. Corporate dinner parties offer companies the chance to make meaningful connections (and brainstorm the next brilliant idea) around the comforts of the table.
So how do you plan a corporate dinner event?
Good Question. Like with any celebration, it’s important to find the ideal venue and a team of talented event professionals (from event planners to corporate caterers) to perfect your vision. You can also find inspiration and corporate dinner party ideas by searching through thousands of photos from real corporate dinner parties. See an idea you like? Don’t forget to save your favorite photos to an Idea Slate and share with your events team.
But wait, there’s more:
We spoke with Ryan Hill, founder of Apotheosis Events, for his take on corporate dinners. His experience planning everything from large-scale galas to smaller corporate events makes him perfectly poised to offer insight about the changing nature of corporate gatherings.
“I think the landscape of the dinner party has evolved greatly since the power dinner era of the 80’s or 90’s,” says Hill. He notes that “in the post recession era…corporations are more focused on brand education via experiential learning than on dinner parties being settings for extravagance or negotiations.”
He goes on to say, “I find that my clients want to completely immerse their guests in their brand while making personal connections with them that may lead to deals down the road.”
So what does this mean for you? We’ve gone through hundreds of real events to find some of the best ideas for a more personable corporate event. These 8 corporate-dinner party ideas go beyond the convention center for a memorable experience that will elevate and promote your brand. Whether you are looking to connect business to business or business to consumer, check out these innovative ideas that prove work really can be fun.
1. Corporate Dinner Party Invitations
Make it Fun to Open
Who doesn’t love opening a present? We adore how this invitation suite feels like a gift waiting to be unwrapped — while its design hints at the colorful and geometric décor later found throughout the celebration.
Make it Artistic
Your invitation offers guests a sneak peek of the party ahead. We love how this opalesque invitation makes a subtle nod to the ethereal décor — like pink-ribbon ceiling installations and plenty of crystal — gracing this elite planner’s event.
Ryan Hill, Apotheosis Events
The ROI is no less important, but the strategy has changed completely. Corporations want people to understand their brand, and for that to happen quickly.”
2. Corporate Dinner Party Venues
Elevate Your Celebration with a Glamorous Ballroom
Chicago wedding planners dined in style at this majestic hotel ballroom. We love how moody uplighting and towering candelabras go hand-in-hand with glittering crystal chandeliers and lofty ceilings.
Create Endless Photo Ops at a Picturesque Zoo
Guests at this Spring Awakening dinner party had plenty of reasons to “ooh” and “ahh.” A clear-tented space offered dazzling views of the zoo’s beautiful scenery and engaging exhibits.
Put on a Show at a Performing Arts Center
Take advantage of the stage at a performing arts center and have a little music (or a lot) with your dinner. We love how six-foot custom-made wheat fans captured the varying hues of uplighting perched above the stage — which was also echoed in the table décor.
photographer: Gruber Photographers | floral, design & planning: Colin Cowie Lifestyle | venue: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts | rental: Party Rental Ltd. | rental: Bruce Thompson Creative Services | entertainment: On The Move | rental: Luxe Event Rentals | rental: Taylor Creative Inc. | bar/dance floor: Visual Comet | lighting: LEVY | NYC | caterer: CxRA
Wow with Dramatic Skyscraper Views
Guests enjoyed awe-inspiring views of Los Angeles at this event space perched nearly 1000 feet above the city. With floor-to-ceiling windows, there is always spectacular scenery — especially at night as the city basks in a million twinkling lights.
Host a Hip Dinner Party at a Studio Space
Look. The combination of endless candlelight and suspended greenery found the perfect home at this modern studio space. With soaring ceilings and dazzling skylights, the architectural details were as scrumptious as dessert.
Make Time for a Rooftop Cocktail Hour
Before heading outside for breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline, guests indulged at a Negroni fountain for ready-made cocktails. When it came time for dinner, guests headed downstairs to an elegant private event room.
Put a Twist on the Corporate Office Space
An intimate museum space feels intellectual, yet stylish. While this corporate dinner had only twelve seats at the table, guests dined in the presence of some of history’s greatest writers — along with a host of colorful blooms.
Step Into Another World With a Clear-Tented Space
Jewel-hued uplighting transformed this elegant tented space into an otherworldly atmosphere. We also love how floral centerpieces evoked each of the four seasons at this fashionable dinner party hosted by Tiffany & Co.
For Great Food, Think Restaurant
This beloved Chicago restaurant partnered with the French Consulate in Chicago as part of the Gout de France food festival. With a custom menu created for the occasion, it’s no surprise that this dinner party was one for the history books.
Set the Scene with Unique Architectural Details
Who needs décor when your event space comes with stained glass windows, ink-blue lattice work, and unique sputnik chandeliers? Take advantage of a venue’s architectural details for an Instagram-worthy dining space.
3. Corporate Dinner Party Décor
Point Guests in the Right Direction
Cute signage pointed guests in the right direction at this vibrant employee event. With so many fun activities on hand (did someone say caricatures?), we wish we could step in all directions at once.
Create Room Dividers with Lush Foliage
Guests enjoyed a sense of privacy with potted trees artfully positioned between each banquet table. In a world where “social distancing” is the new normal, we love this creative (and aesthetic) way to partition an event space.
Promote Your Brand (and Sense of Style)
Promoting your brand is as much art as it is science. We love how bareMinerals wowed guests through every course of the meal with a gorgeous branded backdrop.
Get Blown Away with a Gorgeous Balloon Installation
A ceiling installation of lustrous balloons draws all eyes to the event area of your choice. We love how clusters of metallic-gold balloons paid homage to the Golden Globes at this viewing party.
Create Your Own Star-Lit Skies
This Oscar de la Renta event — with towering centerpieces, uplit drapery, and boxwood tent panels — wows at every turn. We love how projection mapping brought floral-studded starlight indoors at this sensational celebration.
Dim the Lights
With the right lighting, this 9000-square-foot raw warehouse event space becomes the perfect venue for an intimate dinner party. We love how the surrounding darkness creates a dramatic dining experience.
Create a Sense of Intimacy with Elevated Foliage
Elevated foliage added a sense of intimacy to this stylish dinner party. We love how the bright-blue pillars add a pop of color to the scene.
Set Up a Projection Screen
Hollywood influencers enjoyed on-theme visuals at this intimate launch party. We also love the unique ikebana-inspired centerpieces gracing the banquet table.
Cozy Up to a Fireplace
Coral table linen and fresh blooms made this already charming historic venue that much more delightful. We especially love how a half-moon of foliage drew all eyes to the cozy fireplace.
RELATED: 22 Creative Pop-Up Shops & Events
4. Corporate Dinner Party Themes
Trick or Treat
Spider-like black candelabras, victorian-style seating, and skull-crowned dinner plates made this exclusive dinner for Miami event planners as spooky as it was chic. We also love how colorful cocktails matched the vibrant tablescapes.
“Pretty in Pink” is an understatement. We love how geode-style linen, neon signage, and flamingo-frosted cupcakes elevate the color pink at this elegant dinner party for female entrepreneurs.
photographer: Julie Dietz Photography | event planner: WANTZ EVENTS | florals: Vale of Enna | venue: Bangtel | dessert: Love, Sugar & Grace | rentals: Nimble Well | calligraphy: Lindsey Hook Calligraphy & Pen Arts | linens: BBJ Linen | rentals: Halls
Art Deco Delight
Dramatic floral arrangements and black accents made this dinner party both stylish and unique. We especially love the art-deco style lounge area for mingling and cocktails.
Look: We love how coconuts served as vases at this Bali-inspired event. A colorful boxwood backdrop gave guests the perfect photo op, while artisans from Bali were on hand to show how jewelry is handmade.
Modern & Monochromatic
From seating to tablescapes, every décor element was a mix of black and white at this ultra-chic dinner party. We especially love how a funky lucite chandelier added an extra contemporary touch to this glamorous affair.
Fit for Royalty
Deep purples and golds made this dinner party a regal affair. We adore the gold-plated menus and luxe purple linen that transformed this farm table into a banquet table fit for royalty.
Guests stepped into the beautiful land of Morocco at this stylish employee event. We love how globed chandeliers, woven baskets, and cakes iced with Moroccan-patterns set the scene for a fashionable dinner party.
Ryan Hill, Apotheosis Events
For example, at a dinner we produced for John Hardy, we had a laser focus on how to bring the brand to life using sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. The focus was on the story, the sensory experience and deepening relationships — and fun, it always has to be fun.”
5. Corporate Dinner Party Table Décor
Impress with Instagrammable Place Settings
Every element of this dinner party for women in tech, hosted by Instagram, is picture perfect. We can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous tablescapes and colorful ceiling installations.
Illuminate Your Tablescape
This NFL Owners’ dinner dazzled guests with everything from creative catering to larger-than-life floral arrangements. Dramatic lighting installations wowed guests throughout the evening, including during a sumptuous sit-down dinner.
photographer: Simoudis Photography | planner: Imagine Party and Events | floral design: Jerry Rose Floral & Event Design | venue: St. Paul Union Depot. | caterer: Michael Scott Events | lighting: Frost Productions
Let the Linen Steal the Spotlight
Guests found their seats at a gorgeous place-card wall — composed of luxe swatches — before heading to a delicious dinner (served on more stylish linen, of course).
photography: Kiss Me For Eternity | planning & design: Diamond Affairs Weddings & Special Events | floral: Three Branches Floral Design | venue: The Filter Building | catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering – Dallas | entertainment: Jordan Kahn Music Company | Decor: Perch Event Décor | Rentals: Marquee Event Rentals Texas | lighting: BEYOND
Go for Contrast Colors
Silvery tablescapes glow with ethereal beauty against a backdrop of ocean-blue uplighting. We also adore how seashell plating furthers the deep-sea vibe.
Tie Your Color Palette to Architectural Details
Colorful centerpieces and gold votives mimic the gorgeous colors seen in the stained glass windows of this unique event space. Other gold details include vibrant uplighting and petal-shaped dinnerware.
Let Each Table Boasts Its Own Style
This elegant dinner party featured three distinct table designs. Although each table boasted a unique aesthetic, they created a harmonious composition when viewed all together.
Make it Monochromatic
Chic yellow linen and bright-yellow blooms were just the beginning of this yellow-forward celebration. Several varieties of yellow cocktails also added to the monochromatic setting.
Bring in the Blooms
Ombre-style floral centerpieces wowed against an ivy-covered backdrop at this stylish event space. We especially adore how evening brought on a romantic (and mysterious) atmosphere — along with plenty of candlelight.
Get Dramatic With Glassware
Dark wine glasses add a touch of intrigue to this cheerful tablescape of silvery linen, pale-yellow seating, and bright florals. Best of all, mirrored-gold plating reflects the goblets and creates a glamorous shimmer across the banquet table.
6. Corporate Dinner Party Catering
Whet One’s Appetite
This corporate dinner party for Laudi Vidini sparked excitement for a sit down dinner with gorgeous passed hors d’oeuvres. We are in love with how these colorful bites pop against lucite appetizer spoons.
Let Each Bite Stand on Its Own
We love how each individual bite boasted a glass-bell dome of its own. Other delicious treats from this dinner party included appetizer spoons and savory ice cream cones.
photographer & catering: Blue Plate Catering | decor & chairs: HMR Designs | venue: Chicago History Museum | equipment: Hall’s Rental Service, Inc | decor & lighting: Frost Chicago | linen & chargers: BBJ Linen | silverware: The Festive Frog | av: Freeman
Entertain Guests with Onsite Mixologists
You can expect an artistic celebration when Broadway stars and collaborators get together for dinner. In addition to the gorgeous ikebana-inspired décor, a drip-brew cocktail station made this event a haven for artistic temperaments.
Cheers With Color-Coordinated Champagne
It’s true, Champagne was bound to steal the spotlight at this dinner party co-hosted by Moet Champagne. Not only did guests enjoy a different Champagne glass for each course, they also received a personalized Champagne bottle (perfectly color-coordinated, of course).
Keep the Catering On-Theme
King George, VA
This gorgeous “Field to Vase” dinner party boasted one photo op after another. From lavish tulip chandeliers to garden-like savory ice-cream cones, every aspect of this celebration was picture-perfect and on-theme.
Wow Guests With Avant Garde Presentations
This avant garde-themed dinner party boasted imaginative face masks, colorful tablescapes, and creative cuisine. We especially adore how bowls doubled as spoons and shaved broccoli bites evoked a fairytale forest.
Think Outside the Box With Creative Garnishes
With such gorgeous cocktails on hand, this networking event turns the act of mingling into a stunning photo op. We appreciate how fiddlehead ferns, lush foliage, and colorful blooms make for imaginative garnishes.
Serve it With Style
Serving trays can be as eye-catching as artistic cuisine. We adore this serving tray filled with dried split peas — not to mention the delicious appetizer spoons that go with it.
RELATED: Creative Catering Displays
7. Corporate Dinner Party Entertainment Ideas
Keep the Vibe Going with the Right Music
Crocheted doilies brought the boho-vibe of this exclusive dinner party to the DJ booth. We also adore how printed Mandalas made for a gorgeous backdrop (and unique seating chart).
Make it an Activity
La Tavola Fine Linen hosted a vision board party — along with a delicious dinner — at their home studio. We appreciate how guests were invited to create their own colorful vision boards — while surrounded by inspiring décor and chic signage.
Bring Your Brand to the DJ Booth
Lanai City, HI
This Gala dinner, hosted by Hennessy, featured far more than just spectacular food. We love how this company beautifully promoted their brand with themed greeters, a mirrored logo on the dance floor, and an on-theme DJ-booth backdrop.
Ryan Hill, Apotheosis Events
We can replicate this experience for 4 people, or 40 people, and deliver the same experience and brand intimacy.”
8. Corporate Dinner Party Favors
Personalize the Party Favors
From now on, cutlery etiquette may have to include personalized candles. We love how each guest received a beautiful, personalized party favor — in addition to a sumptuous sit-down dinner in this chic tented space.
photographer: Jenny Quicksall Photography | event planner: Rheefined Company | design: Rosewater | venue: Kimpton La Peer Hotel | lighting: LightenUp, Inc. | invitations: A Fine Press | entertainment/dj: Dart Collective | rentals: Taylor Creative Inc. | calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina | table decor: Greystone Table | linen: Nuage Designs | videographer: Honey Reel | personalized candles: LAIT | 24k gold water: LUXWTR
Make it Memorable with Branding
Every element of this dinner party has us swooning — including the wall of branded keychains. We also love how guests entered the dining space on a uniquely branded staircase.
Take-Home Gifts for Lasting Memories
Guests made their own coasters — and life long memories — with a chic array of stamps. Other fabulous corporate dinner party ideas from this Valentine’s Day event included a live-cooking demo and on-theme décor.
photography: Kent Drake Photography | event planner & party favors: Christina Currie Events, Inc. | floral: Anthony Gowder Designs | caterer: Truffleberry Market | cookies: ECBG Cake Studio | stationery: LBrown Design & Paperie | candies: Anna Shea Chocolates | linen: BBJ Linen | dishes/glassware/flatware: The Festive Frog
We’re not done yet:
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