What makes a successful corporate event? Creating a memorable, enjoyable experience for your guests.
Corporate events are an opportunity for your company to build product and brand awareness, support employee engagement, improve company culture, find new customers, and speak directly to your target audience. Hosting a successful corporate event involves a lot of hard work and planning—from securing a venue and printing flyers to organizing catering and inviting guest speakers. One of the most important parts of event planning, however, involves branding and design.
Whatever event your company is throwing, paying attention to how the event is branded and what design elements are implemented on site is a key part of planning an event that inspires attendees and cements your company as a leader in the industry.
Types of Corporate Events
While any event sponsored by your company could be considered a corporate event, most fall under one of these event categories.
Corporate appreciation events are intended to strengthen the company’s connections with current employees, future talent, and/or clients. These events can range from a party to thank staff members for their hard work to an informal networking event where potential employees can learn more about the company culture. You could also host an entertainment-based event to show clients your appreciation for their patronage.
Seminars, Conferences, and Workshops
Through seminars, conferences, and workshops, your company can demonstrate its industry expertise and brand itself as a reliable source of information. Seminars tend to be short, lasting a couple of hours or a few workdays; workshops are also short but often highly interactive; and conferences include multiple sessions over what can be several days.
Trade shows are exhibitions that provide companies with the opportunity to showcase their products and services, which increases brand awareness and—hopefully—expands their customer base. Your company could have a booth at a larger trade show, using it as a way to introduce your company’s brand to attendees, or you might consider hosting or sponsoring a tradeshow, which would reinforce the company as an industry leader.
To generate excitement and press about new products, companies often host product launches. These events can help set your company’s brand apart from the competition as well as create a sense of loyalty among targeted customers invited to the event.
Corporate event branding is especially important for product launches because it will help differentiate your product from those produced by other companies.
As part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, more and more companies are turning to charity events. By showing existing and potential customers that your company cares about more than increased profit, nonprofit galas and other charity events build trust in your brand and help convince your audience that your company is multi-faceted.
What Is Corporate Event Branding?
Corporate event branding is a way of distinguishing a unique identity for a company and event.Elements like the event name, logo, colors, and graphics all contribute to the overall corporate event brand.
An effective brand should tell a story, and the challenge of corporate event branding is that it needs to reflect not only the company’s brand but also the unique properties of the event itself.
What Is Corporate Event DESIGN?
Corporate event design is a way of incorporating your corporate event brand into the décor of the event. Different types of events provide distinct design opportunities to communicate your corporate event brand to attendees. In other words, corporate event design is, effectively, the act of implementing your corporate event brand through decorations, food and drink, a theme, printed materials, and more.Visit VIRTUAL DESIGN BAR
01 Choose an Event Theme
When planning a corporate event, start with a theme. The event theme will set the tone for the event and is reflected throughout—from the décor to the dress code. You can keep the theme simple by sticking to a color scheme and establishing the mood you want to invoke for your guests, or you can go all-out and choose a creative theme that your guests will see and feel the moment they walk into the venue.
02 Pick an Event Name
Every event needs a name, ideally one that is unique and fits with the company brand. While a seemingly small detail, the corporate event name is used on many different aspects of the event design and branding: invitations, directions, printed signage, website materials, social media posts, and more. Choose a name that fits the theme and purpose of the event and communicates those elements to anyone who hears it.
03 Use Company Brand Colors
Implementing company brand colors into the overall event color scheme is an easy and effective way to establish a link between your company and the event. You can incorporate brand colors everywhere:
- Printed materials like signs, flyers, schedules, and nametags
- Food and drink décor (for example, the icing on the cake)
- Table linens, placemats, and other tabletop décor
- Flower arrangements, artwork, and other decorations
Don’t overdo it; if your company color is bright or loud, consider mixing in some more neutral shades to balance things out.
04 Decorate with the Logo
Your company logo goes hand-in-hand with the corporate brand. Print the logo on napkins, seating cards, the podium, pens—anything to ensure your company stays at the forefront of your guests’ minds.
But be careful. You don’t want to overdo it! Too many logos scattered about the venue could seem distasteful. Pick a few areas to display the logo and use colors to make up for the rest.
05 Create a Grand Entrance
You only get one chance to make a first impression. A grand entrance, decorated with a flower arch, balloons in corporate colors, or a statement piece like a photo opportunity will set the tone and impress attendees from the moment they enter the venue.
Be sure that your grand entrance also communicates to your guests where they need to go and what they need to do. Directional signs can help guide your corporate event attendees to the right place.
06 Select Eye-Catching Tabletop Décor
Stunning, eye-catching tabletop décor is an excellent way to grab the attention of your guests. Whether you decide to create a floral centerpiece, drape a custom table runner across each table, decorate each chair with a sash, or add a colorful pillow to every place setting, your table decorations will establish the mood for any corporate event.
07 Find a Unique Event Venue
The venue is everything. Location, the size of your guest list, and access to transportation options are all important to keep in mind when making a decision on which venue to pursue, but consider going one step further by getting creative with your venue choice. For example, if your company brand has established an elegant, modern tone, a rooftop venue may be perfect for your event. On the other hand, if you are hosting an employee appreciation event, a park where you can hold a family-friendly barbeque may be just the right setting.
08 Use Custom Lighting
Lighting can set the tone for your event. It can also influence emotions, guide guests to certain areas of the venue, and direct attention to the stage where your guest speaker is about to walk out.
The type of event matters here. Are you planning a seminar or conference where attendees will want to take notes? You’ll need to have enough lighting so they can write and, at the same time, not so much lighting that it distracts from the presentation.
You can also use custom lighting in your corporate colors to further reflect your company’s brand.
09 Display Local Artwork or Photography
One unique and interesting way to decorate your corporate event is to display artwork, photographs, or sculptures from local artists. Not only does using local art to decorate the venue support the community, but it also adds beauty to your event space. And it can be cost-effective, too; consider offering to list items for sale in exchange for a discount from the artist.
10 Create Branded Event Graphics
The visual items you create for a corporate event will be used in so many aspects of event planning and marketing. These graphics can be added to the website, social media, flyers, banners, and signs and are another way to incorporate the corporate event name, colors, brand, and theme. Additionally, every branded event graphic should communicate the type of experience you want event attendees to undergo.
11 Print Branded Signage, Maps, Agendas, and Badges
Your printed materials—like signs, maps, itineraries, agendas, badges, and nametags, to name a few—are yet another opportunity to establish the tone of your corporate event. Including company logos and colors on these items is an easy way to show attendees how they are connected to the event. Similarly, providing the information that guests need to navigate the space and find the activities they can attend means they can focus on their experience instead of getting lost.
12 Get Creative with Food and Drinks
Whether you are providing event attendees with snacks and desserts or catering a sit-down meal, you can get creative with the food, drinks, dishes, glassware, and cutlery to further display the corporate event brand and theme. Does your company promote eco-friendly business practices? Provide guests with a branded, reusable water bottle and farm-to-table ingredients. Are you hosting a formal charity event? Use chargers or placemats to further elevate the eating experience.
13 Promote an Event Hashtag
A corporate event hashtag serves two purposes: It lets attendees know what is happening with the event, both before and after it starts, and it gives you a way to track the buzz being generated about the event online. Hashtags also provide an opportunity for attendees to connect with one another and with your company’s social media accounts.
14 Decorate with Floral Arrangements
Flowers are a classic event décor choice, and for good reason: They’re gorgeous in any season and for any type of event. However, you can use floral arrangements in creative ways. For example, choose flowers that match your company’s colors to brand your decorations without words. You can also arrange flowers in an arch or around a column to further embellish the grand entrance of the venue.
15 Build Swag Bags
How do you ensure guests will think about your corporate event once it’s over? By providing them with branded swag bags.
Freebies are crowd-pleasers. Print your logo on items such as pens, mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, hats, and tote bags—all in your company colors, of course—and give them to guests as take-home gifts. Then, when they see those items in the following days, weeks, and months, they will recall your corporate event and further establish your brand in their memories.
Take Corporate Event Branding & Design to the Next Level with Lola Valentina
At Lola Valentina, we are ready to help you decorate your corporate event with unique table linens, runners, napkins, chargers, placemats, and more. You can shop our revolutionary design house to see our selection of original patterns, expansive colors, and tailored sizing, or you can work with our team of in-house designers to create a custom pattern. Visit our design bar to explore color and pattern combinations until you find just the right look for your corporate event.
All our items are environmentally conscious and proudly crafted in the United States.
Are you ready to establish your corporate event brand and bring your corporate event design to life? Talk to a designer today to get started.