Events are no more just office parties. In recent years corporate events have grown as a self-sufficient HR tool that helps businesses improve their workers’ morale and strengthen the relationships within a team.
Ekaterina Liseycheva, CEO of Mandarin Fox, an event agency, explains why your company may need in-person events in 2023 and how to make them efficient.
Events can tackle many problems and facilitate many internal processes, for example, increase team productivity, enlarge networking, provide smooth onboarding for newcomers, and bond workers (extremely crucial, when it comes to remote workforces).
During the pandemic online format quickly acquired all the spheres of our lives, including corporate one: teams now can easily cooperate with the help of online collaboration tools. For instance, WorkAdventure creates virtual workspaces inspired by video games where coworkers can discover an online office and get to know each other.
However, companies are still looking for the opportunities to gather their teams together in person as people are eager to get involved in real communications. Offline events aren’t always that cost-efficient as online and hybrid are, but there are several reasons why your company needs to choose this format of event.
- Your company has grown and you’ve hired a lot of employees.
Introducing colleagues to one another in person often helps to break the ice and foster horizontal connections.
- The majority of your team members are fully remote.
Despite many perks, remote work has an isolating effect, the statistics shows that up to 69% of home-based employees are facing burnout (TravelPerk). This means they may lose the strive to work and interest in the company they are working for. Cultivating corporate values and culture is an important, but time-consuming task. Offline events can be amongst the most efficient tools as they help sync with the team, transmit the key ideas and point the direction of further development.
- When you’ve completed a big project and think about an appreciation party.
Besides monetary incentive, people are motivated by being recognized and appreciated for their achievements. When the project is successfully over, an appreciation in-person party can be held in order to acknowledge employees’ efforts and reward them.
- Eliminating conflicts and miscommunications within a team
Friendly environment at work is vital for effective collaboration and team motivation. When communication issues occur, team-building or group mental practices may improve the situation and become a pivotal moment in recovering team relationships.
Formats of the offline events in 2023
In 2023, there is going to be a growth in the number of offline events. According to some forecasts, of all corporate events, only 10% will account for online or hybrid formats for remote teams. Outdoor events related to nature study, birdwatching, sports or meditation will be popular — for relaxation, restoring balance, getting new impressions and sharing experiences.
In addition, DIY-formats are to gain momentum – from gathering for making mugs or blankets to such altruistic events, when a team goes to a deep village and restores or creates a public space there.
Game formats, such as performances and immersive shows, will also appear. Such events brighten up working days, and also perfectly relax the team, positively affecting the mental state of employees. This can also include any games as a good option for escapism. In turbulent times, everyone wants their problems to be solved magically. And to give this feeling in the current circumstances seems to be the most important.
How to maximize the efficiency of event: 4 takeaways
Single event isn’t enough to deal with all team-building issues. Such corporate meetings require to be regular, however, if your coworkers are spread all over the world, frequent team gatherings may be complicated. In this case it makes sense to create a functional event that not only will be beneficial and feasible but also will cover several HR tasks.
- Combine the formats. When planning the event, try to integrate both team building and business activities into the program. This will make the event the most functional.
- Don’t forget about small gifts for the team. Everyone likes presents. Corporate merch will not only bring positive emotions, but also remind your coworkers about the company.
- Plan carefully. Take into consideration all the aspects of preparation – mail out the invitations to the event with a timetable. For example, if you are planning a retreat abroad, remind your team to bring the passports and give them all the directions on how to get to the location.
- Get feedback. To track the efficiency of the event, it’s better to carry out pre- and post-event surveys. When the main goal of the event is team building, it’s essential you track the productivity of the team and work environment after.
At the end of 2022 Mandarin Fox’s team successfully completed an inspiring and challenging task in Dubai. The event was for Tabby, a fintech platform that provides sellers and buyers with an alternative payment method using the BNPL (buy now pay later) model. Tabby operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and has a multilingual team living in different countries. The fintech startup came up with the idea of an in-person event because their team has grown rapidly and gradually – almost by four times. The purpose of the event was to organize a companywide off-site retreat and carry out a strategy session.
The event was divided into three parts: it was necessary to get acquainted, set up strategy and sum up the business results, and, last but not least, relax.
Since the participants arrived from different countries, they were welcomed them with a small gift – a set of stickers with team members’ quotes and branded passport covers. Also distributed was a special guilted pleasure package from McDonald’s for every team member.
The main program had several team-building activities, followed by strategic planning. The entertainment part (surprisingly for a team) appeared as a camp in the middle of desert. There are many opportunities for interesting activities: sandboarding, camel riding, a photo shoot in the sand dunes. All participantswere mailed out the reminders with timing in advance: the schedule for the day, key activities, a dress code taking into account the specifics of the country and references for it.
As a result, all team members expressed positive feedback. Some of the team members living in Dubai created a small community. It increased their productivity and allowed them to fulfil work tasks quicker.
Tabby is planning to enter the neighbouring markets.
Also published on Medium.