Thinking of throwing an epic summer party event for your staff when the warmer months arrive this year? Well, don’t send your invitations until you’ve thought carefully about what your events say about your brand. Tabatha Fabray investigates…
Corporate parties are about more than just your employees having fun and letting off steam (although obviously this is important!). They’re also the ideal platform to showcase your brand and what you stand for. From the outside world looking in – how do you want to appear?
Do you want to be known as the company that has a team whose first byword is creativity, and who is unafraid to be daring!? Do you want to be seen as intrepid changemakers, willing to push boundaries?
What better way to demonstrate that your business is unafraid to take risks than with a cutting-edge, bang-on-trend party this summer? Set the benchmark for all other seasonal soirées with seven of our favourite trends for 2018…
1. Pop-up parties
You’ve probably heard of pop-up restaurants (private supper clubs, anyone?) and pop-up bars (think Instagram-worthy rooftop settings). We’ve even seen a rise in pop-up shops, but this year we’re seeing a definite trend towards the pop-up party – particularly in unusual venues. Pop-up events are a great way for brands to push boundaries and stand out from the crowd. Why hire a venue when you can find a cool warehouse or empty shop? And don’t get us started on the creative content!
2. Hygge-inspired entertaining
OK so this one is definitely NOT just for winter. In case you’ve been on a desert island for the past five years and don’t know what this trend is about, Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish concept that integrates the feelings of comfort, cosiness and relaxation you experience when you’re content. This year sees the trend move to summer outdoor entertaining, with the focus very much on warmth and bonding. This could mean an outdoor dining area and kitchen for a chilled ‘home from home’ vibe, or an area with plenty of soft furnishings for ‘schlomping’ (thanks IKEA) round a warm fire with marshmallows. This type of party is ideal for smaller, more intimate events where you want your guests to be able to bond, share and become comfortable in each other’s company. Get cosy.
3. ‘Wow’ factor dining and drinks
Make a statement this summer with exciting food and drink that will tickle and your guests’ taste buds. Outdoor drink stations will be big news, with a shift away from traditional cocktails to more robust and fashionable options like brandy, bourbon and beer. If you’re feeling particularly experimental, why not enlist the services of a scientific bartender? Think exploding concoctions and foaming cocktails – all delicious, of course! Food-wise, Morocco is set to be this year’s culinary hotspot, with fashionable flavours to include cumin, coriander and cardamom. Expect big flavourful dishes that are rich with spice and heady aromas; perfect for those long summer afternoons.
4. Making a splash outside
Outdoor hot tubs, open-water swimming in lidos and lakes, rooftop swimming pools and beach parties by the sea – 2018 is all about daring to bare and making a splash al fresco. Showcase yourself and your company as a brand that leaves its inhibitions at the door and just wants to have fun. It’s easier than you’d think to create a temporary wet area for an event. Ask us about this and let’s create you a Café del Mar or Icelandic retreat with a wave of our watery wands.
5. Virtual and augmented reality
VR and AR has already started to really explode, and the beauty of is that it goes way beyond a must-have gimmick at parties. Obviously for events we think virtual reality games and live interactive content, such as the opportunity be immersed in an experiential sequence like flying a plane or being part of a basketball team! And in terms of augmented reality, using ideas like projections to create the event spaces of your wildest fantasies is starting to mean that props and 3D event content may end up taking a back foot as imagery can transform a blank space into absolutely anything – a bit like Star Trek’s Holodeck! But both VR and AR have far-reaching opportunities for events, such as creating user experience (#UX) activities, training people to understand new products, or understanding manufacturing process. Whatever the application, it’s clear we’ve only touched on the surface with this stuff so far.
6. Wellness and interactive events
On a more touchy-feely note, how about inspiring your guests’ creativity with interactive experiences, live competitions and bespoke workshops – all held in the open, of course (weather permitting). Exercise classes like yoga are ideal for the warmer months and will lift your guests’ moods, and we’re loving ideas like workshops that provide an opportunity to connect with the self, wellness and meditation. Also dream writing, model making and other creative outlets. Release the inner child!
7. Immersive technology
Not a million miles apart from augmented reality, but how about making your event exciting and engaging with technology around the actual experience. As an example, why not create a bespoke app so that teams from separate offices can interact and connect prior to the day? Issue your invitations and event information on a live platform and encourage engagement. Live hook-ups mean that no more old-school name badges are needed, as you’ll have created a full-on interactive experience, with regular updates and exciting preludes. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could try live streaming your event; imagine you’re rocking one of this season’s top summer themes like festival, circus or carnival, and streaming it straight to your company’s social media feeds – instant brand awareness. Create your own hashtags, make your own videos. Loads to think about here…
Do you dare to be different? Get in touch for more information and start planning your summer party event with a difference today.