by Lauren Mandel, Director of Marketing
Let’s be honest: employees don’t always look forward to mandatory corporate events. But if you plan the right type of event — with the right vibe — then your team will view your corporate summer party as a fantastic perk rather than an obligation. Booking an exciting venue, choosing a creative theme, booking engaging entertainment, and bringing in plenty of delicious food and drink will have your whole office talking about your corporate summer party for months to come. Follow these 7 simple steps (and see creative twists below) to plan the most incredible corporate summer party this season.
1. Pick the Right Venue or Event Space
The venue for your corporate summer party should feel fun and lively — and nothing like your day-to-day office environment. These parties were all hosted at very different venues, but we love how each was completely transformed.
The Huntington Bay Club offered the perfect indoor/outdoor venue for this chic corporate summer party. Found Rentals provided the rustic-glam lounge areas and tables (topped with gorgeous florals from Lavender Flowers), while 24 Carrots Catering and Events curated an incredible bar display and delicious bites.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a dream venue for any type of event, but we especially love it for a corporate celebration. The event planners at SQN Events worked with Reenie Rose and Divine Designs and Events to enhance the garden’s natural beauty with whimsical décor, a lush bar, and plenty of photo ops.
2. Get Creative With a Theme
Whether your corporate summer party is decked out in on-theme décor, or you’re encouraging your employees to dress the part for a fun costume party, these creative themes will inspire your events.
A breakout session at Engage19! Baha Mar infused the rainbow into each and every aspect of the event, from confetti-filled balloons to the epic dessert bar display. The conference was designed by Emily Clarke Events and hosted across multiple venues, including Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar, and Rosewood at Baha Mar.
3. Brand Everything — From Décor to Signage
Branding not only provides an ideal photo backdrop, but it can also help remind your employees why they’re celebrating. Display your logo throughout the décor, create custom bar signage, and more.
Engage Summits does it again, this time with some of our favorite custom signage from Chalk Shop. The planners at Très Chic Southern Weddings seamlessly integrated chic on-theme signage for the bar and buffet at this celebration hosted at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort.
4. Provide Delicious Food & Creative Cocktails
From branded buffet presentations to creative takes on your favorites finger foods, these catering and cocktail ideas will be some of the most memorable parts of any corporate summer party.
If you’re hosting a tropical-themed summer party, take note of the food at this event from Wolfgang Puck Catering – Dallas and hosted at AT&T Performing Arts Center. Coconuts were used everywhere — from the food to the décor — and we especially love the halved fresh coconuts that were used as serving bowls.
5. Engage with Experiential Activities & Entertainment
Experiential marketing is no longer just a trend — it’s an expectation guests have when attending top events. Choose engaging activities or interactive entertainment to wow your guests at your corporate summer party.
Jessica Fels Event Production & Design incorporated the theme of this event for Marc Jacobs into every element, including the carnival-style games with custom graphics from AAA Flag & Banne and SoCal Graphics. From the branded Ferris wheel to the toss game, guests had so many opportunities to stay engaged while celebrating at Santa Monica Pier.
Guests at this moody celebration by TINSEL Experiential Design at Angel Orensanz Foundation had the opportunity to participate in multiple activity stations, including DIY candle making. Provide candles — or other art projects — with your company’s colors or logos to be customized by partygoers.
6. Provide Plenty of Photo Ops
If there’s no Instagrammable moment, did a party even happen? Event guests expect a photo op or two, and we found a few options that are perfect for any summer event.
This fashion-forward party, hosted at JLM Boutique – Beverly Hills, featured multiple custom backdrops where guests posed for photos. Anything but Gray Events undoubtedly knew guests would love each Instagrammable décor element, including balloons from Balloonzilla, food displays featuring nibbles from Collette’s Catering & Events and florals from Shindig Chic.
Guests created their own picture spot at this corporate event, hosted at Glasshouse Chelsea in New York City. The teams at Glasshouse Chelsea and Bastille did an incredible job with the festive décor. A black-and-white backdrop was quickly transformed, thanks to colorful markers and guests’ creativity. We love a photo op that can double as an activity.
Neon signage, greenery and floral-filled backdrops, and perfectly-placed props created photo ops for Bachelor star, Jojo Fletcher’s pop-up shop at The Lakewood in Chicago. Guests enjoyed passed bites from Paramount Events and Dineamic Catering while they mingled and explored the reality star’s new clothing line, FLETCH.
7. Don’t Forget the Favors and Swag
After such an incredible event, it would be a shame to send your employees home empty handed. Use one of our favorite conferences — with two separate but equally incredible events — as an example for great favors and swag.
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