The New Face of Corporate Events | What It Means for You

Photo Courtesy Oxford Thames Hotel, UK
Recent studies have shown that corporate events are the first type of special event to make a come-back in the recession-recovery process. While the wedding market continued through the recession but experienced more DIY'ers and budget cut-backs in various facets of wedding vendor's services, corporate events almost dwindled entirely.  Companies were going bankrupt and those who were able to hang on did not have the funds for "superfluous" types of events like holiday parties and incentive programs.  Those who did have the means felt the moral and ethical pressure to not show extravagance with so many people suffering in the nation. It became considered "poor form" to host extravagant parties during the last recession.

According to Executive Director of the Association of Club Catering Professionals Lynne LaFond DeLuca, "In 2012, special event industry vendors reported corporate events were on the rise and are expected to soar in 2013 and 2014."   She continues, "But there is a different approach this time. They are not only cautious, but corporate event planning is more employee-recognition and training-oriented rather than just hosting extravagant celebrations."

According to DeLuca, many corporations will incorporate a charitable element into their events, giving back to the community.  "It shows an understanding and empathy to the tragic events taking place around the nation and world and how people are struggling," she says.

Having an element of humanity is no doubt the right thing to do but it also helps businesses more than ever right now. Businesses who are keenly tied into the human element and giving back to their employees through investing in advanced training and rewarding successes through incentive programs are among the first to recover financially the most quickly.  So how does this affect you as a special event business looking to attract the corporate event market?  Here are some questions to get you thinking:

  • What companies exist in your hometown to whom you can easily approach for joint-ventures in employee incentive programs that involve your services?
  • What great causes locally could benefit by being given back "to" from fundraising with your services and those of local companies?
  • Do you live in a hot destination spot where companies frequently fly their top notch executives or top-performing employees for reward programs?  How can you liaison with local destination event planning companies and event planners who specialize in corporate events?
  • On a budget for advertising but need some exposure?  What local charities and non-profits can you join forces with and by doing so, get some complimentary press?

 What are some of the things you are seeing and what are other ways can you dovetail on the new face of the corporate event market