It’s important for companies to make sure their event theme is something that’s appropriate for not just the event and the audience, but also their company culture and the setting.
Event themes can be used to reinforce messaging, attract registrants, connect attendees and create cohesive storylines. Not only that, nailing down the right kind of theme for your event would also help in aligning together the other pieces of your event puzzle.
While event planners are often quite comfortable establishing the themes for in-person events, many are left wondering how to select event themes that can be considered suitable across in-person, hybrid, and virtual event formats. If you are planning a corporate event and find yourself in a similar situation, you have come to the right page! In this article, we will share with you a few of the best corporate event theme ideas to inspire you, and also our thoughts on how you can incorporate them across the three popular event formats.
Event Theme Idea #1: The Greatest of All
Your attendees are some of the best in their respective fields of work. This is why you should consider creating a theme around the most popular artists. For example, you may take some inspiration from the Billboard charts and design your event theme around this central idea, implementing it differently for the different event formats.
In-person event: Display posters or pictures of top musicians from the various popular genres and their best albums, for example. Then, you can spice it up with food from various cuisines, taking inspiration from the artists’ cultural backgrounds or countries of origin. For drinks, you can offer a mixology bar and name the drinks after the featured popular songs. Finally, you can suggest that the attendees prepare for a night full of extravaganza by dressing up as their favourite musician.
Virtual or hybrid event: Create and share the song playlist with your virtual attendees, to let them listen to the event music playlist whenever they wish. You may also send them virtual party favours like sunglasses and light-up bracelets ahead of time which will let them bond over lip-syncing or virtual karaoke.
Event Theme Idea #2: Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunt is one of those activities which are always fun and fit in well with just about any kind of corporate event, whether it’s virtual or in-person. Consider whether the teams would prefer to work as teams or individuals to win the prizes, and then connect this theme to the other parts of your event.
In-person event: Create a sheet with clues and riddles which the guests can solve in order to locate the hidden prizes. Then, hide the additional clues around the event venue to send them in the right direction.
Virtual or hybrid event: Share the scavenger hunt clues with your attendees during the event registration itself. Then, hide illustrations, words, and icons on your virtual event website and other virtual environments for further gamification. At the end of your event, you can award the prizes through a virtual raffle.
Event Theme Idea #3: High Tea
If you are planning an afternoon event, you should consider using this theme which is associated with an age-old tradition of high tea. Such a theme goes really well when you are organising long, detailed discussions and serving teas with pastries to the guests.
In-person event: It’s a common practice to serve tea or champagne with biscuits, chocolates, and sandwiches. In addition to this, you can use a pastel colour palette that goes well with your company’s branding and make flower arrangements that add sophistication to the decor. To make it a special and unique experience, you can hire tea mixologists and serve unique tea blends for the guests to enjoy.
Virtual or hybrid event: Organise a virtual tea party by sending your virtual attendees the supplies for it. You may also consider gifting them with a mix of teacups and saucers or perhaps a traditional tea set. Share an audio stream with them featuring a natural soundscape or soft background music for them to enjoy while they enjoy their virtual high tea moments.
Event Theme Idea #4: Year 3022
Give your guests a sneak peek into the distant future by making them look into the proverbial “crystal ball”. Give great minds the opportunity to come together at large conferences, prepare for what’s to come in the future, focus on problem-solving, and generate ideas worth exploring.
In-person event: You should consider an eco-friendly and high-tech event featuring green tech and sustainable energy along with demonstrations. It’s also a good idea to serve novel foods like vegan meats and unique futuristic drinks to go with them. The whole event experience should leave the attendees feeling good about it until long after the event is over.
Virtual or hybrid event: This theme is one of the best suited for a virtual or hybrid event. Set up a panel of experts to guide the attendees on how today’s decisions can have a major impact on our future. Apart from hosting virtual sessions, you should encourage attendees to make the most of your chosen virtual event platform by asking questions, and getting involved in real-time online discussions. You may also create a futuristic virtual environment for their entertainment, such as organising a hologram dance party featuring a robot DJ.
Event Theme Idea #5: Food Competition
Make sure there’s something for everyone, from desserts to appetisers. This theme can not only introduce your guests to new foods, drinks and cuisines, but also let them network more effortlessly. Such a theme can go really well with company gatherings, charity events, and fundraisers.
In-person event: Consider modelling your event venue after the show set of food competitions. Divide your attendees into teams, in which they will be playing the role of chefs, each representing their country or culture. Let them cook and compete with each other for winning the top prize in your food competition.
Virtual or hybrid event: Send your virtual attendees some grocery vouchers and nonperishable ingredients in advance before the event, and organise a virtual cook-off where they can choose what they would like to cook and present in the virtual food competition.
Event Theme Idea #6: Battle of Wits (or Trivia Night)
It’s always a good idea to puzzle your attendees with some trivia. But how about creating your entire event around this theme just to see who all in the audience really know their stuff? You can get an emcee to host a special trivia night for your audience and create a customised set of questions which could be centred around things related to your company, or even topics like music, movies, cultures, professions or industries, among other relevant topics.
In-person event: Divide the attendees into teams and make them compete head-to-head to win the prizes. You can use question banks focusing on general knowledge related topics, such as science, geography, history and literature. Another good idea is to create drinks or food items where guests have to correctly guess the contents. Consider decorating your venue with photographs of famous places, people, and inventions – anything that can get the minds of the attendees buzzing.
Virtual or hybrid event: Transform your event’s virtual environment into a game show set with the help of your virtual event platform. At the end of the event, award prizes through a digital raffle system.
Event Theme Idea #7: Awards Night
Everyone appreciates getting recognition for their hard work and achievements. Organise an awards night to celebrate the achievements of your guests and give them superlative awards for attributes relevant to their field of work, such as “Ace Customer Advocate,” “Most Outgoing Manager,” or “Sales Machine.” Depending on your audience, you can tailor the awards and also the event experience to best suit your purpose and goals for the event.
In-person event: It’s best to present your awards when your guests are enjoying food and drinks and having a lot of fun, such as during happy hours or dinner. You can extend the event’s theme by giving away swag bags during or after the award ceremony.
Virtual or hybrid event: Hire a professional award show host or perhaps assign one of your team members the job of presenting the awards through a livestream. Consider sending your virtual attendees awards, trophies, and swag bags beforehand, and let them know these can only be unboxed during the main event and not before.
There’s always a theme that will help drive registrations and better align with your business goals. With that being said, you should always put your audience first and find a theme that resonates closely with your audience, no matter what type or format of event you’re planning. Think about what will motivate your attendees to show up and support networking among your attendees.
If you would like to receive more professional advice and guidance in this regard, reach out to our team of expert event planners today!