Anyone can plan a corporate event, but not everyone can plan an AMAZING corporate event. Recently I planned and designed Shangri-La Hotel Toronto’s annual Lunar New Year party. It was a celebration for their corporate clients and is always an amazing event. Every year needs to top the last event, so we knew we needed to bring out some unique elements and interesting details. I break down some of my best corporate event ideas from this party, to give you some inspiration for your next special event or party.

Photos: Indigo Events

Create Drama

When designing your next corporate event, think of ways to create drama and anticipation. You don’t want to show your cards all at once. At the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto’s Lunar New Year Party, we created a dramatic tunnel of lanterns as the walkway to the entrance of the party. Guests got to take a photo of it and walk through a mysterious tunnel before they got to the main event.

Corporate event ideas: Creating drama and anticipation

Decorate To Wow

You always want to leave guests in awe of your design and party. Create beautiful decor, use luscious flowers and design with photography in mind. Will it look beautiful on camera? Will guests be dying to take a photo in the space? Create a beautiful space that guests can’t help but take photos of it.

Corporate event ideas: Decorating to wow guests

Corporate Event Ideas: Inspiring Photo Opps

Don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary. Create unusual and inspiring experiences for guests to take photos of. At this party, after the lantern entrance guests entered into the ballroom and were greeted by a hanging aerialist pouring welcome drinks. It was quite the surprise!

Corporate event ideas: Creating inspiring photo opps and interactive experiences

Exciting Food and Drink

Food and drink is a given at a corporate event, but you can still make it exciting and interactive. At our bar, our mixologists created interesting drinks with flair elements, like torching the red dates for a unique smoky flavour. Half the fun of eating and drinking is the experience itself, so make it exciting for your guests!

Corporate event ideas: Interactive food and flair bartending

Corporate Event Ideas: Creating Passive Entertainment

Beyond getting food and taking your photo, your guests will need to have what I call passive entertainment. This gives them a break from the excitement overload and makes them want to stay longer at the event. At the Shangri-La Party, we had mini manicure and hand massage stations for guests to rest their feet and enjoy some time off from the craziness of the party. It was just what they needed.

Corporate event ideas: Passive entertainment with a pedicure station

If you are interested in seeing the full party, click here. Whether you are planning a gala or intimate corporate event, take a few of my tips for planning an amazing party and get inspired to do something unique. Happy planning!

Rebecca Chan is a Toronto event designer and event planner. If you have a brand activation, media launch event, design project, trade show or a special event, connect with her today to see how we can collaborate on your next project.