Congratulations on being successful enough to throw a corporate event! But before you start sending out invitations and planning decor, choosing a theme that sets the tone for the whole affair is crucial. Themes are typically associated with less formal events, like birthday parties or weddings, but they can also add excitement and cohesiveness to corporate events.
This guide will discuss how to choose a corporate event theme. You’ll see that the theme is closely linked to the program for the event, so we will also touch on how to prepare a program that ties into the chosen theme.
Why Should You Consider Following A Theme For Your Corporate Event?
If you aren’t convinced that you should spend the extra time and effort to come up with a theme for your corporate event, consider the following benefits:
Nothing catches someone’s attention quite like a catchy theme.
“It provides a clear message for your event and makes it easier to design marketing materials, such as flyers or email invitations. Having a theme also helps potential attendees understand what they’re signing up for.”
On social media, a theme can also make for more visually pleasing and cohesive posts leading up to the event. Even after the event, you’ll benefit from a theme as it can create better photo and video content to share with followers.
Sense Of Cohesion
Some corporate events are big, with multiple activities and speakers throughout the day or even multiple days. A theme can tie everything together and make it feel like a cohesive event rather than a random collection of events.
Additionally, having a theme helps attendees feel like part of a community at the event. They can dress in themed outfits or participate in group activities related to the theme.
“Like-minded individuals are more likely to attend events with themes that match their interests.”
Choosing a theme that relates to the focus and goals of your event can help reinforce those messages for attendees. For example, if your company is launching a new product, a theme related to innovation or technology can tie into that message. Or, if the event’s focus is team building, a theme related to collaboration or unity can help convey that message.
“As for conventions and conferences, a theme can also unify the various speakers and sessions.”
Guide Decor And Program
Of course, themes also make it easier to decide on the decor for your event.
“Pre-established color schemes and design elements can make the planning process smoother. You can always deviate from traditional decorations related to the theme, but at least it gives you a starting point.”
Themes can also guide the planning of the event program. Consider incorporating elements of the theme into presentations or activities. For example, if your theme is “outer space,” you could have a presentation about the latest developments in space exploration or offer attendees the opportunity to build and launch their own rockets.
More Memorable Experience
Lastly, a well-chosen theme can make for a more memorable event experience. Attendees will walk away not just remembering the information and activities from the event. They’ll also have good memories of the unique atmosphere created by your company. That can go a long way in securing client or employee loyalty and satisfaction.
Steps To Establishing The Theme Of Your Corporate Event
There are a few steps to follow when deciding on a theme for your corporate event. You don’t have to go through all of them for every event, but they can be helpful in the brainstorming and decision-making process.
Decide On A Type Of Corporate Event
First, consider the type of corporate event you’re planning. Is it a conference, convention, team-building event, holiday party, product launch, or something else? This choice can help narrow down potential themes and determine what kind of atmosphere would be most appropriate. Only some themes will work for some types of events.
“For example, a Christmas party only works in the holiday season. Likewise, a team-building event may not have the same atmosphere as a product launch party.”
Consult our guide on types of corporate events for more information on this step.
Set Goals And KPIs
Next, establish the event’s goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). What do you want to accomplish or communicate through this event? We also have a guide on setting corporate event goals that can be helpful in this step. The basics of this step include identifying your target audience and determining the desired outcomes.
These goals can then guide your theme choice.
“A retrospective theme might be appropriate if your goal is to celebrate a company milestone or anniversary. Or, if the event focuses on networking and building relationships, a theme related to connections or community could work well.”
As for KPIs, you want to optimize them based on your event goals. That could include a certain number of attendees, new business leads generated, or increased employee satisfaction. Your theme choice can also impact these metrics, so keep them in mind as you make decisions.
Create Your Target Persona
Creating a target persona can also help select a theme in line with setting goals and KPIs. This step involves identifying the demographics and interests of your target audience.
For example, if you have a primarily younger crowd, choosing a trendy or modern theme could appeal more to them. An artistic or design-focused theme might be a hit for businesses that attract creative types.
“Think about who your ideal attendees are and what kind of atmosphere they would enjoy. Doing so will allow you to tailor the theme to appeal to them, making for a more successful event overall.”
You can also consider incorporating elements that align with your brand image or values into the theme. That way, attendees will walk away not just remembering the event itself but also connecting it to your company in a positive light. Remember that your company name and logo should also be prominently displayed throughout the event.
Consider The Tone And Mood
In addition to the type of event and target audience, consider the desired tone and mood for the event. Some events may call for a serious and professional atmosphere, while others may be more lighthearted or celebratory.
Choosing a theme that aligns with the desired tone and mood can help set the right atmosphere. It’s important to strike a balance between being too casual and too formal. Too much of either can make attendees uncomfortable and detract from the event’s success. Colors play a significant role in setting the tone and mood as well.
“Generally speaking, warm tones like red and orange evoke excitement and energy. Cooler tones like blue and green convey calmness and tranquility. Consider incorporating these colors into your theme or using them as inspiration for decor choices.”
Decide On Logistics And Budget
When choosing a theme, it’s essential to consider any logistical limitations and budget constraints. There’s no sense in planning a beachside event if the venue doesn’t have access to a beach. And if your budget only allows for a certain amount of decor or entertainment, think about how to use those resources effectively within your chosen theme.
On that note, don’t forget to factor in any necessary permits or permissions when selecting a theme. For example, if you want to serve alcohol at the event, you’ll need to ensure the venue has a liquor license.
“Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by planning a theme that requires things you can’t obtain.”
When the time comes to start brainstorming themes, don’t be afraid to gather inspiration from outside sources.
“Look to popular culture, current events, holidays, or even your own personal interests for ideas. You could also attend other corporate events or look back at past events for inspiration. What did they do right, and what could have been improved upon?”
Once you have some ideas in mind, bounce them off colleagues and ask for their input. It can also be helpful to test these concepts on a small scale before committing to one for your event. Visit the potential venues dressed in appropriate attire for your theme, and see how it feels to be in that atmosphere.
Ask For Help
If you’re still unsure about what theme to choose, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consult with event planning professionals or vendors who have experience in the industry and can offer valuable insight. They may even have additional suggestions or ideas you hadn’t thought of before.
Curated Events has over 25 years of experience planning weddings, corporate events, and more. Selecting themes and creating programs are just a few of our services. Contact us today for more information and to start planning your event.
Hot Corporate Event Themes And Programs In 2023
Another source of inspiration is the internet—specifically, trend forecasts for the coming year. You can search social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest for visual inspiration or search various websites for the hottest event themes predicted for 2023.
Here are some hot corporate event themes and programs to consider for 2023:
A futuristic theme is one way to make your event stand out from the rest. Telltale elements of this theme include neon lights, metallic accents, and bold geometric shapes.
Incorporate technologies like virtual reality or augmented reality to wow your attendees and make the event truly futuristic. You might even consider hiring futuristic performers or booking a venue with high-tech amenities.
For programs, consider hosting workshops or panels on emerging technologies and their impact on industries. Artificial intelligence and robots in the workplace are popular and relevant topics in the business world.
Black Tie Gala
A black-tie gala is a classic event theme that never goes out of style. Focus on creating a sophisticated atmosphere with elegant decor, delicious food, and drinks. A dress code, such as Black Tie or cocktail attire, adds to the glamorous vibe. Remember that a gala theme typically calls for sit-down dinner service rather than heavy hors d’oeuvres or buffet style.
Programs for a black tie gala could include award ceremonies, networking mixers, or keynote speakers. Or, you could add in some entertainment with live music or a comedy act.
“As long as you keep it classy, the sky’s the limit.”
Bring the glitz and glam of Hollywood to your event with a red carpet theme. Decorate with lights, cameras, and famous movie quotes. Attendees can dress to impress as their favorite film character or Hollywood star.
Hire celebrity impersonators for a fun twist and have them mingle among the guests, posing for pictures on the red carpet.
“A Hollywood theme is very versatile when it comes to programming. Depending on the type of event, you can make it as formal or casual as you’d like.”
The roaring 20s is making a comeback as a popular event theme, especially since the release of the Great Gatsby movie.
“Transport your guests back in time with vintage decor, jazz music, and prohibition-era cocktails.”
Programs for a Great Gatsby-themed event can include swing dancing lessons, a speakeasy bar experience, or even an old-fashioned casino night with classic games like poker and blackjack.
Get Started With Curated Events
Remember to plan ahead and have fun with it no matter what theme you choose for your corporate event. Your attendees will appreciate the extra effort put into creating a unique and memorable experience.
If you need help selecting a theme or putting together your event program, the experienced team at Curated Events is here to assist. Contact us today for more information about our services and to start planning your next successful corporate event.