By Kelly McGibney, events executive (Corporate) at Sadler’s Wells
Most of us know the drill when it comes to what to expect at a corporate event. Turn up. Get a coffee. Listen to some PowerPoint driven presentations, maybe followed by a Q&A. Network over lunch. For years, the primary goal for a corporate event has been to ensure everyone that should be there turns up and has the ‘experience’, with logistics, food and operations providing some of the key measurement criteria for perceived success. Yet event organisers have in recent years of course moved on from the basics, looking to explore whether an event is actually engaging the people it is meant to, actually communicating key messages and changing perceptions. The whole Event ROI or ROO (return on objectives) agenda has become much more prevalent.
In order to help with this new movement, concepts such as meetings design have caught the eye of the more daring event organisers, keen to experiment and challenge the norm with unusual event formats and what some might consider ‘whacky’ approaches. Yet there may well be a simpler way to spice up your corporate event with a little more creativity, without getting people too far out of their comfort zone. Perhaps even the venue itself can provide a little inspiration to help you achieve this.
Sadler’s Wells is known throughout the world as a leading dance theatre. For many of our corporate clients, there can be a creative or ‘dance’ connection and therefore good reason to hold their event at our venue, but for many more they are looking for a functional venue that can accommodate them. Yet, once inside the space, we often see a change in how they behave and the way the approach their events.
Let me explain my theory…
When you enter a theatre, nothing else quite compares (as an actor and experienced theatre manager I am confident in saying this!). Walking on to the stage and into an auditorium can transport even the shyest of delegates into wannabe performers. Hearing the orchestra warm up or watching professional dancers lope through the corridors, leg-warmer clad and ready to prepare for their next performance can really change your approach, moving your focus from the left, logical side of the brain to the right, creative side. This can open up a world of possibilities for how people are willing to behave at a corporate event.
Of course not everyone is going to start performing pirouettes on the main stage just because they are at a dance theatre, but it might just remind them that it isn’t always about a cup of coffee and a PowerPoint. If we open our minds to the art of the possible at events, we are far more likely to really achieve something beyond just meeting with our peers.
Fore more information, visit www.sadlerswells.com/venue-hire or follow @SadlersVenue on Twitter.