Whether you’re planning a small meeting with your team, a large holiday party or fundraising gala, or any event in between, you want your corporate event to be successful. Pulling off a memorable event that your employees and attendees actually enjoy and that meets your business goals is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible. We’ve put together some of our best tips and tricks for planning an unforgettable meeting in the SoCal area.
Plan something unique to the SoCal area
Southern California is amazing and we chose this location for our hotel because of convenient access to nearby attractions (like Disneyland® Resort, Anaheim Convention Center, Honda Center, and more), perfect weather, and all the other amazing things SoCal has to offer. Why not take advantage of it? If you have guests who will be traveling to attend your conference or gathering, be sure to include some of that SoCal flair throughout the event. There’s a lot to love about Anaheim and the surrounding area. To give out-of-town guests a taste of Southern California, consider:
- Serving some locally sourced food and beverages
- Providing an Anaheim/SoCal-themed welcome basket for guests and attendees
- Taking guests to nearby popular attractions like Disneyland® Resort or Angels Stadium
- Hiring local musicians/entertainers to perform
- Having local organizations sponsor or speak at your event
- Volunteering as a team in the Anaheim community
Think outside the box
We always encourage those booking event space at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel to think beyond a traditional meeting setting. Everyone sitting around a table or one person standing at a podium talking for hours is no fun. If you really want to make your corporate event unforgettable, don’t be afraid to shake things up. Try:
- Changing up the seating arrangement to encourage mingling and networking
- Adding some fun entertainment
- Utilizing a creative theme
- Planning some fun group activities
- Unplugging from electronic devices for part of the event (or go all-in by incorporating mobile devices/social media use into the event)
- Breaking up into groups for more personalized discussion
Look for a unique event venue that has character & charm
If you’re planning to host your corporate event outside of the office, look for a banquet hall or event venue that’s going to be memorable for employees and attendees. Think buildings with unique designs and themes — like our castle-themed hotel — and specialty decor, lighting, and landscaping that stand out and grab attention. Give your guests a reason to share details about your meeting or conference. In the age of social media, hosting corporate functions in Instagram-worthy spaces can help engage your guests and attract even more customers, partners, and top talent for your business. Consider how you want your guests to feel and look for a one-of-a-kind venue that fit that vision.
Consider technological needs
Obviously, technology is a huge part of making a business and corporate event successful. Because of that, many businesses opt to take their meetings, and conferences off-site due to not having the necessary technology and equipment on-site. If you’re planning to integrate audio/visual technology into your meeting — from microphones to projection screens to extension cords — you have to do it right. When looking at venues and event spaces, be sure to ask questions regarding their available A/V equipment, WiFi connections, and any A/V technicians and support staff you may need to help you set up and run the equipment. The last thing you want is technical glitches holding up your event or causing confusion.
Engage all senses
If you really want to take your event to the next level, consider all five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. How can you engage each of your guests’ five senses? Finding a unique space, as noted above, is a start, but it goes deeper than that. Here are a few ways you can engage all five senses at your next corporate event:
- Look for an event venue that has windows and good views of nearby scenery to help spur imagination and ideas.
- Encourage mingling and discussion, especially during downtime, and strategically play background music to help fill the silence. Depending on the type of event, guided meditation can also be an interesting sound-focused exercise to help guests focus and relax.
- Research shows that smell can influence mood and evoke a strong emotional reaction. Candles, essential oils, or fragrant food and floral arrangements can add a special flair to the event.
- Offer delicious food and beverage options. Our expert mixologists can even craft a custom cocktail for your event that guests can try.
- Bring examples of products for buyers or employees to feel, touch, and try out.
Start planning early
“The early bird gets the worm” isn’t a popular mantra for nothing. Organizing a conference, holiday party, or another corporate function is not something you want to procrastinate on. Planning early helps assure success for all areas of the event.
First, booking your event early means it’s more likely that you’ll be able to book the venue and vendors of your choice. Vendors and party venues generally fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons like the holidays. Plus, many vendors charge extra for “rush jobs” that need to be done at the last minute — if they’re available at all.
Also, remember that your business meeting or event doesn’t just start once attendees arrive. It starts when they first hear about it. Thinking ahead and planning early gives you time to build anticipation and market your event properly. Whether you’re sending out official invitations, posting on social media, or corresponding via email, you want to set the tone and get employees and guests excited about what’s to come. It’ also leaves time to send follow up invitations, share additional details about the event space, or give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at what’s to come, which helps pique their interest and keeps your corporate gathering top of mind.
Book your next meeting at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel
If you want to plan a memorable SoCal event, we can help. Our castle-themed hotel features more than 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, as well as delicious catering options and all the A/V equipment you need. Request a proposal to start planning your next meeting today.