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Corporate & Experiential - when two worlds collide

Increasingly companies are taking their corporate events to new heights, ensuring their employees, and wider stakeholders, are given an experience to remember. By incorporating new techniques to build a wider event package that goes beyond a traditional approach, they are finding innovative ways to communicate with the people who matter most. Events such as these provide an unrivalled opportunity to bring brand values to life; giving employees this type of truly engaging and memorable experience takes internal comms to the next level, and makes your employees true ambassadors for your brand.

Of course such developments are far from being universally applied just yet, but we've seen a clear, emerging trend for some time now. The corporate sphere is increasingly recognising that a more immersive experience, using new techniques in general, and experiential ones in particular, can deliver a more memorable and successful event.

The importance of keeping employees properly informed has long been recognised. Large scale events bring a cross section of internal stakeholders together in a way that nothing else does, providing senior management with a key opportunity to let them know, face to face, what's going on across the business as a whole. This might relate to annual results, a new campaign, a change in strategy, a new system roll out, or simply a regular update to ensure your workforce are informed and aligned. Getting it right is important, and looking to the wider world for ways to enhance the experience is a great way to get started.

In some cases we are seeing a shift away from 'formal' to more 'fun' approaches. This is not to say one could, or should, ever replace the other entirely. More that there is an appetite for taking a fresh look at how corporate events are run. The world of experiential offers a number of consumer focused techniques that can be applied in a business context to great effect, but unsurprisingly there is no one size fits all approach. There are numerous factors that will impact on what is appropriate - from a particular brands' own values to the type of information they are wanting to share. Context, and balance, are everything.

Some of the trends we are seeing are:

• Closer alignment to consumer brand values
• Immersion throughout the whole delegate journey, not just at the event itself
• A greater focus on content, and the ways it is brought to life
• More interaction and involvement for employees
• Focus on new technologies to bring experiences to life
• Adopting a more collaborative approach, rather than “talking at” attendees

Of course to a certain extent there will always be some healthy scepticism when it comes to trying new things. Given the importance of these events that's entirely understandable. Also, there is often a misconception that anything new will inevitably add additional costs to budgets. In reality it comes down to what you're trying to achieve, and what techniques will work best to help you reach that particular goal.

Corporate events take many forms – from presentations and team building days, to more intimate workshops, to social events and awards ceremonies. What matters is ensuring correct, consistent messaging across all these platforms, and having a willingness to look outside of what has traditionally been the norm for corporate communications. This allows you to move on to more engaging and inspiring experiences. Whether it’s using new apps and technologies to allow real time voting and live input from delegates or a fresh approach to the agenda or breakout sessions, the opportunities are endless.

Having employees engaged and motivated is essential for business success. You need them to bring your brand to life for customers, so you must first bring it to life for them. Keeping all this in mind, looking at more consumer led approaches for your next corporate event might be worth considering.