Guest post by Ann Nguyen
In today’s fast paced and ever-changing business world, corporate entertainment is big business. The problem for smaller businesses is that the companies you might be trying to impress have probably seen it all: Premier League matches at Old Trafford, museum tours, boat trips down the River Thames.
This can quite clearly cause problems, but can also present you with a golden opportunity to impress if you’re willing to employ just a little imagination.
Sometimes, the best place to look for ideas may not be the first place that comes to mind.
For example, a quick search online for potential venues brings up the same old faces time after time. Choosing an off-beat venue, however, can really add a memorable atmosphere to the event, and if your potential or existing clients go home happy after a special day that sticks long in the mind, you can rest assured that you’ve done your job well.
The classic example of a unique and quirky corporate entertainment venue is what used to be Battersea power station, which now hosts events amid its stunning historical architecture. However, British theme parks such as Alton Towers or Chessington World of Adventures have boomed in popularity in recent years with companies, as has the environmentally friendly Eden Project. Cinemas, diversifying away from their film roots, are also becoming an ever more popular choice of corporate entertainment venue.
It’s fair to say that conferences can be a little trickier in terms of picking a memorable experience. By their very nature, conferences tend to be a little more staid and formal, perhaps due to the basic logistical requirements (conferences usually need a main venue, syndicate rooms, and even accommodation options).
However, you can still find unusual venues that provide an extra dimension to the day. As with corporate entertainment, cinemas are growing in popularity for conferences, especially for lecture-style seating conferences. Imagine how great the visuals look on a 30ft high screen!
With corporate entertainment, the sky’s the limit, and you can opt for as wacky an environment as you want. It can be difficult for those responsible for organising such entertainment to break out of using the same old venues and following a set formula. After all, old habits die hard. However, it’s worth remembering that there is a world of opportunity out there for anyone prepared to employ a little lateral thinking in their approach.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, try imagining the perfect venue for your target audience. You could even have a quick chat with them to find out what really appeals. Armed with this information, you can then do a bit of research to see how closely you can match the ideal environment; for example, if your target audience would really prefer a day’s kayaking or abseiling, booking the suite at the nearby golf club isn’t going to provide them with a great deal of excitement.
Venue finders can also come in handy when trying to locate the best venue, and remember that corporate entertainment companies are specialists at what they do; they’ve got the expertise to help you plan the ideal day if you can present them with a clear idea of what you want to achieve.