Here’s the thing: departments don’t mix with other departments, differing management levels rarely mingle, and your workforce may find chatting with clients rather intimidating. As for those well-meaning name tags and that pain stakingly drawn up table plan? They only add to the awkwardness. Yup, creating an all-inclusive event can be tough.
Then, there’s an altogether different and far more pressing an issue – creating a corporate event experience that is really, genuinely inclusive sometimes fails to consider people who may have a disability, special need or mobility challenge.
Here, we tackle both issues, head on – walking you through the ways in which every guest can be involved, together – no matter their department, managerial level, worker status or individual needs.
Arranging a corporate event that everyone will enjoy and engage in may sound difficult but that’s our expertise and our team events are definitely all inclusive!
Part one: All together now – departments, managers, workers, clients
One amazing corporate event activity – that’s what’s needed in order for every person, no matter the department, the managerial level, age or gender, worker or client, to get wholeheartedly involved. We’ll move on to the anatomy of what makes a great activity in a moment. For now, let us stress that group organisation must mix up your guests. Table plans that place people together that don’t normally mix are a bad idea because they have only chit chat to keep them entertained, and chit chat always runs out after a while if people don’t really know one another.
So, onto the three things that make for an ice shattering corporate event:
- Laughter – Nothing breaks down barriers like a good belly laugh, so opt for an activity that gets your guests giggling (ideas include an It’s a Knockout obstacle course, Inflatable Games, or creating a song tune with just foot taps, slaps and claps.
- Fun, friendly competition and perhaps a little time pressure (for which The Big Picture, Company Bake Off!, Team Apprentice, Animation Team and Dragons Den are just the ticket).
- Engaging, interactive evening entertainment – Close your day with happy-hormone boosting entertainment – how about Crashing Waiters, LED dancers, Magicians, Singers, Showgirls, The Haka or Company Gameshows.
Part two: Designing a corporate event to welcome every body – Three top tips
- Talk, ask, listen: When inviting clients to your event, or telling staff when the big day is, ask about whether they have any special needs that should be considered. This could be as simple as including a yes/no question to an RSVP, and an additional box in which to list what their needs are, and how you can help, or a request on your staff correspondence, posters and emails. Remember to provide a multitude of ways in which they can reply – phone, email, in-person and by textphone.
- Speak with your venue: Once you have a good understanding of accessibility needs, you can discuss your requirements with the venue in question. Adaptations that you may need to consider include:
- Wheelchair assisted buffet service – with waiters bringing food to the table.
- A well-considered floor plan for wheelchair and/or scooter circulation
- Accommodation for guide dogs – such as bowls of water and signs indicating suitable outdoor areas
- An induction loop facility to aid the hard of hearing – if the venue doesn’t have these already installed, you can hire them instead (the cost of which is relatively cheap)
- Avoidance of strobe lighting – as it can induce epileptic fits, migraines and so on
- Handouts and instructions in large print or braille
- Arranging reserved seating for:
- hearing impaired to be near the interpreters, captionists or note-takers
- vision impaired
- sign interpreters
- wheelchairs and motorised scooter users
- people accompanied by guide/service dogs
- Discuss accessibility with your event organisers: Professional event organisers should be more than well versed in ensuring a venue is accessible, however much more than this, they should also carefully consider individual needs when it comes to group events, team building and interactive entertainment.
We really can engage everyone and we mean everyone, no matter what size group you have or where you are in the world – prepare yourself for an amazing corporate event!
That’s how you make your event, entertainment and activities all-inclusive – for every guest involved from team building activity, to the speeches and onto the evening dinner. Want to talk about your guests and how we’ll make sure they’re involved from start to finish? Call the Accolade team on 0800 083 1172 or pop a message through via our contact page.