We’re all missing in-person events as we take Zoom calls from our couches and heat up another pot of coffee. One thing we’re not missing, however, is the switch from the traditional branded tchotchkes to more elegant digital swag bags. Everyone attends at least one conference where this happens. You’re handed a bag and know…
Finding the right event based on your event goal
You need to plan an event, but your head is spinning from the what appears to be an overabundance of choices. No need to stress out. You can narrow down the choices considerably based on the primary purpose of your event.
Make networking effortless
If the main reason for your event is networking, you’ll want to choose an event that promotes a whole lot of mixing and mingling. Be sure to choose a space that’s large enough for your group to move around comfortably without pushing through the crowd. And the more relaxed and engaging the setting, the better.
To accomplish that mission, the traditional cocktail party is still an excellent choice. Take your next cocktail party to new heights with a rooftop bash at Bolero in Chicago. Or add live performers to the mix with an Alice in Wonderland-themed cocktail party at Capitale in Washington, D.C.
If you want to go a bit beyond the cocktail party, stationed dinners are also an outstanding option. After all, guests aren’t tied to a table as they are with seated dinners. Head to Tom’s Urban in LA to enjoy a tasty taco bar with all the fixings complemented by a premium open bar. Or treat your guests to some mouthwatering sausages, complete with beer pairings, at Minneapolis’ New Bohemia.
Impress prospects and recruits
When it comes to acquiring new clients or recruiting in-demand employees, you need to sell yourself and your company. Your event, therefore, should aim to impress—but also be conducive to conversation.
Seated dinners that offer a “little something extra” certainly make the grade. Delight your prospective clients or employees with a three-course dinner of international cuisine, complemented by sommelier-selected wine pairings, at Sonsie in Boston.
It’s hard to go wrong with fine wine or spirits tastings, too. Treat them to a tasting of award-winning wines at The Woodhouse Wine Estates in Woodinville, Wash. Or dazzle them with an expert-led whiskey tasting at Victory Tavern in Dallas.
If your prospective clients or employees are sports lovers, taking them to an action-packed VIP sporting event could also help seal the deal. Catch a Cubs game and enjoy upscale bar food and drinks at Lakeview Baseball Club in Chicago. Or if you are looking for something more hands-on, let them take a swing at a variety of hybrid golf games at Topgolf in the Denver area.
Show your appreciation
It’s important to recognize and reward existing clients, too. And few events say “thank you” as well as a retail shopping experience. Guests will not only get expert help from the store staff, but they’ll walk away with a luxury item without whipping out the plastic.
If your VIP clients are into fitness, then gear them up at the Nike Running store in Costa Mesa, Calif. Your clients not only will receive a gift card toward cool Nike gear, but also will get to indulge in tasty bites and adult refreshments.
Or get fancy by inviting them to a retail experience at M.Gemi in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. While they nibble on appetizers and sip wine or beer, they can cash in a gift card toward a snazzy pair of handcrafted Italian shoes.
Giving your special clients a spin or two in a luxury car is a great way to show appreciation, too. Invite them to put the pedal to the metal with an exotic car-racing experience at Racing Adventures in the Houston area. Clients will get to drive three high-performance cars around the track, choosing from a selection that includes Aston Martins, Porsches, Lamborghinis and more.
Very special clients also deserve very special dinners. Reward them with an extraordinary culinary experience, inspired by Paul Freedman’s best-selling book, Ten Restaurants that Changed America, at New York’s Delmonico’s.
Reward employees for their hard work
Are you looking to give existing employees a well-deserved pat on the back? Then you’ll want to think along the same lines as you would with client-appreciation events, but maybe a bit more laid back. The main objective is for your employees to have fun.
Interactive experiences are always a good option. Treat them to a sushi-rolling class at Roka Akor in Scottsdale. Or let them make their own guacamole and margaritas before enjoying dinner at Philly’s Distrito.
Another option? Let them sit back and be entertained. Book a private comedy show at Improv Asylum in Boston. Or treat them to a private movie pre-screening, complete with dinner and drinks, at Studio Movie Grill in Arlington, Texas.
Hone those collaboration skills
You’ll also find plenty of choices that will enhance your employees’ teamwork skills while still allowing them to have loads of fun.
The growing number of escape rooms spells opportunity. Break Out Florida will divide your group into teams; teams must work together to solve a series of clues to escape from a locked room in 60 minutes or less.
And scavenger hunts are classic team-building experiences. Let your group explore San Francisco’s Union Square on a cityHUNT scavenger hunt. Instead of looking for objects, teams work to solve a series of clues, challenges and picture/video tasks using cutting-edge technology.
Cooking competitions, too, are a fun way to hone collaboration skills. Invite your group to participate in a team-based Iron Chef-style cooking competition at Atlanta’s Team Building with Taste.
The above-mentioned suggestions for various event purposes are by no means exhaustive, but they make for a great starting point. Of course, you can always contact Kapow’s event experts to help you find an event that meets your goals!
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