If you are tasked with arranging an event for your colleagues, or your clients, then getting the right type of event can be tricky. You need to find the event that will appeal to the greatest number of people, you need to get the right level of participation, and above all you need to make it special… memorable even.
Any entertainment event that carries your company name will reflect on your business. If you’re the boss and you get it wrong it could be an expensive mistake, if you are an employee and you get it wrong – it could cost you your job! I am not kidding, people have got fired after arranging disastrous company events. When an event goes bad – if it is for employees it could just mean some bad feeling in the office – if it is for clients, then it could cost fortunes in lost orders – you might never see that client again!
|Paintball – Not for everyone?|
That is the worst-case scenario; the truth is that many ‘bad’ corporate events are just that – bad! It’s rare that things can get to a stage where you lose clients, most ‘bad’ corporate events are just dull, boring. With that in mind, it is easy to get carried away in the other direction – not all your clients will appreciate the chance to go skydiving, be splattered with paint guns or be thrown around a race track. Those corporate events have their place, and will be the perfect event for a selective few, but if you want your event to be inclusive, then you need to look for something less strenuous.
A very safe option is to provide some food & drink, perhaps in a location that is a little different, and add some additional entertainment. This could be anything: a comedy act, a band, a group of dancers, perhaps even singing waiters! Some companies really push the boat out and book a big cast to deliver a complete show. These events can be really very good, but are they different enough for you to be remembered?
The clever option is to book an event that has a level of participation that a wide number of guests will be happy to play some part in. It helps if the level of participation is optional – no-one likes to feel pressured to play a game of Teambuilding ‘Twister’ because the boss is watching. Can you imagine the sound of peer pressured Karaoke?
So that is why many types of ‘optional’ (or at least low level) participation events are thriving in the corporate entertainment market. Casino nights, Quiz nights, Race Nights, Corporate Bowling, Poker events, Murder-Mysteries & Treasure Hunts to name just a few.
|Casino Nights – Safe Bet?|
There are also those events with an element of teambuilding built in. Learning to play the drums works well, because the sound the group makes together is better than the sound made alone – a good message promoting teamwork in the office.
Now I realise there are many options available, and the corporate entertainment that I supply may not be appropriate for everyone. However, the range of corporate events I offer tick a lot of the boxes.
It can work as a passive entertainment with no obligation upon the audience other than watching and being entertained. While my Cabaret Show has some audience participation (help with some of the tricks), most of the audience can sit safely unembarrassed and enjoy the night. This kind of show works very well if the ‘randomly selected volunteers’ are more high profile members of the company known to all I the room.
The next level of participation is a ‘Challenge and Trickshot’ show. This is where I play 10-15 players, and then perform some tricks. This gives a few more people the chance to become involved, and can work as a spectator show too. The challenge frames form a part of the entertainment. This wouldn’t work with many sports. Pool is user-friendly, and players with even basic cue skills can pot some balls – some may even win a frame if the balls split right. This wouldn’t happen in Snooker, Golf or Tennis!
For full on participation there are a number of competition formats we can use to get everyone involved in a company pool championship. For most of these formats we employ a simple set of rules which give players of all standards the chance to enjoy the challenge of competitive play without needing a great knowledge of tactics. Pool is first and foremost a social game, we think it’s a great way of making getting people to chat and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.
|Pool – User friendly|
In terms of staging an event, Pool also has a number of advantages over some other corporate activities. Participants don’t need special clothing, protective equipment or a health and safety briefing before we start. The event is usually indoors, warm and dry, and often close to some refreshment (for some a bar is an important element!). Unlike a snooker table, a pool table is easily transportable and can be set up quickly – It needs a lot less space too. As I have already mentioned, the game is very user-friendly – most people have had a go at some time and will be at the very least familiar with the idea of the game (if not it’s quick to pick up). It’s a game for everyone, regardless of age and gender.
Whatever corporate event you choose – pool based or not – it is not something to take lightly. Booking the right event can increase goodwill, team spirit & lead to more orders and business success.