From Conferences to Charity Galas: 23 Creative Corporate Event Experiences

Discover 23 corporate event inspirations that redefine professionalism by incorporating creativity at every turn.

From Conferences to Charity Galas: 23 Creative Corporate Event Experiences

A company sponsors a corporate event when focusing on a specific outcome for either its employees or clients. Companies don’t just want employees to work, they want them to upskill and enjoy on the side too! The same goes for clients—these occasions can be a way of celebrating & cementing longstanding relationships.

Some objectives for such an event can be:

  • Educating staff/the public about a concept promoted by an organization
  • Motivating employees through recognition
  • Celebrating company milestones with clients or employees
  • Publicizing a significant organizational change
  • Encouraging collaboration and networking

It’s safe to state that well-planned corporate events are integral to the success of diverse businesses, with varying cultures, values, & styles.

Looking for help to plan your own celebratory types of events? This guide comes complete with sample menus & party entertainment!

What is a Corporate Event?

Company gatherings that allow different business teams to come together in more relaxed settings can be invaluable for many reasons. Your attendees can have fun, network, collaborate, & take a break from the usual in-office surroundings.

Don’t know which type of corporate event your business will benefit from the most? Here are the main ones you can start with:

Type #1- Cultivating Professional Development

These are events to upskill and develop employees. From in-depth training, such as on-the-job skills to ensuring your team stays current, these sessions are ultimately good for both the business and the people involved with it.

Two examples of such a corporate event:

1. Industry Expert Seminars

Invite renowned speakers for insightful talks and discussions.

Or you can hold an event and invite people from around the world to learn from your expertise. For example, the ConFig 2023 is a fount of knowledge for companies using Figma—and other design & prototyping tools, such as:

  • Tech startups
  • Software companies
  • Web design agencies
  • Product design studios
  • In-house design teams at large enterprises

And while your company’s version of a similar event will have its specific objectives, most ConFig-like events can be a great way for it to:

  • Discuss the latest trends & tech in design & development
  • Show a sneak peek at what you’re working on next
  • Network with other professionals

2. Leadership Workshops

Enhance leadership skills through hands-on training and interactive sessions. For instance, Unspam hosts an unusual and exceptionally fun marketing conference.

An interactive, out-of-the-box, and hands-on leadership workshop like that can be highly beneficial for a company:

  • Wanting to develop its leaders
  • Going through change & needs its leaders to develop the skills and mindset for successful navigation through it
  • Wanting to create a more innovative and engaged workplace by focusing on employee empowerment, initiative, & creativity
  • Looking to improve employee engagement and retention rates via a positive work environment

Type #2- Networking Extravaganza

These corporate events can be internal (cross-departmental network building), such as holiday parties & after-hours gatherings, or external:

  • Arranging sessions with communities within the same industry, such as community networking events & membership drives
  • Locate new prospects and expand their audience reach via corporate open houses

Two examples of such events:

1. Business Mixer Mingle

Facilitate meaningful connections in a sophisticated networking event at a booked venue. For instance, SaaStock is a global meetup of SaaS founders.

Attending a SaaStock-like event will benefit SaaS companies that are trying to:

  • Learn about the latest marketing & sales trends/tools to acquire new customers
  • Network with other SaaS professionals
  • Raise capital by finding potential investors
  • Learn how to scale their operations
  • Enter new markets or meet potential partners

2. Speed Networking Sessions

Allow professionals to exchange ideas in quick, structured rounds—whether virtually or in-person where you invite industry experts, depending on your budget. Company events like Mystery Dinners can also double as speed networking sessions.

Such an occasion would be helpful for corporations that:

  • Look for ways to help employees connect with each other and with other professionals
  • Are undergoing transformation & want to open their employees to different perspectives to ease them through the change
  • Want to develop an innovative and engaged workplace, with employees sharing ideas about new products and services

Type #3- Recognition and Rewards

Recognition will always be among the most significant factors influencing job satisfaction levels for employees. Therefore, hosting a corporate event dedicated to this purpose, i.e., celebrating your employees & their accomplishments is crucial for continued engagement & retention.

You can conduct hour-long sessions each month or organize a full-fledged annual event with multiple activities, speeches, dinner, and more — hold an awards ceremony, have a company picnic, or plan a team appreciation day.

Two examples of this type of events:

1. Annual Awards Gala

Celebrate employee achievements with an elegant awards ceremony.

2. Employee Appreciation Luncheon

Show gratitude through a refined luncheon honoring staff contribution.

Type #4- Intellectual Symposia

Give employees more to ponder upon as they advance their careers.


Examples of this type of corporate events:

Panel Discussions

Organize expert panels to discuss industry trends and innovations if you’re a company:

  • With considerable expertise to share and position yourself as your industry’s thought leader
  • That’s Launching a new product or service to generate buzz
  • Trying to attract new customers/partners or want to learn more about their needs
  • Wanting to educate, share information, or answer employee/customer questions in an engaging way

Thought Leadership Conferences

Panel discussions & thought leadership conferences would be highly useful for:

  • Tech companies interested in the latest trends in AI
  • Healthcare companies projecting the future of healthcare delivery
  • Financial services companies vetting the best investment strategies for retirement
  • Non-profit organizations judging the best ways to support their causes

And so on.

Elevate your conferences with these corporate event management tips to help you pull it off successfully:

  • Ensure you pick topics of interest to your target audience
  • Try to invite well-known expert speakers
  • Promote the event through different channels, such as social media, email marketing, etc.
  • Incentivize early registrations with early bird discounts
  • Arrange for opportunities for attendees to network
  • Follow up to thank for attending and get attendees’ feedback.

Type #5- Formal Dinners

You can use this corporate event as a getaway treat to celebrate small achievements or to take a break from a hectic project that’s recently been closed.

Most companies host such formal dinners to achieve one of these objectives:

  • Get to know other executives & a relatively informal setting is perfect for that. It helps to learn about opportunities, potential partners, or the latest changes in your industry.
  • Find out about new-to-you markets, products, services, and ways of growing customer base.
  • Get insights & hear about others’ experiences from within your industry, who are facing similar challenges.

Following are two examples of these types of business events:

1. Executive Banquets

Host upscale dinners for executives to foster strategic conversations.

2. Client Appreciation Soiree

Strengthen client relationships in an elegant dinner setting geared towards appreciating their continued patronage towards you, your products or services, or your cause.

You can also host a client appreciation soiree to generate goodwill among your clients. By encouraging them to talk to their friends about what they most like about you, you can boost brand awareness & create more business.

Tips on how to host a killer formal dinner:

  • Choose a prestigious venue. The venue can set the tone for the evening and can make a big impression on your guests.
  • Invite a select group of guests. It's important to invite a group of executives who are relevant to your business and who you would like to build relationships with.
  • Create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. The goal is to create an environment where executives can feel comfortable networking and having conversations.
  • Serve delicious food and drinks. Upscale dinners are a great opportunity to showcase your company's culture and to provide your guests with a memorable experience.
  • Follow up with your guests after the corporate party. Thank them for attending and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them.

Type #6- Team Building Retreats

Events that allow teams to bond with each other – the chemistry can translate into improved work productivity. Some examples are:

  • Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, organizes Zapponian events, where employees participate in team-building activities, workshops, and explore their creative side. The company encourages innovation and camaraderie among employees through these events.
  • Google’s annual retreat, is packed with outdoor activities for its employees to enjoy. Besides those, they also attend workshops and hear from guest speakers. Google uses a natural setting to provide a day of fun, learning, and team-building.
  • Airbnb also has a Hometown Hangout at a different city every year. It gathers their employees from around the world so they can experience that place’s culture, take part in team-building exercises, & enjoy various Airbnb listings.

You can achieve your objective in one of the following two ways:

Strategic Planning Retreat

Forge cohesive strategies and goals in a serene off-site location, if you’re a company:

  • Going through a transformation. Plan how you intend to navigate the changing landscape & achieve your goals together.
  • Seeking to expand into a new-to-you market or have new products/services to launch.
  • Looking to identify areas of lagging performance & how to change that

Team Bonding Getaway

Combine team-building activities with relaxation to boost camaraderie for this corporate event through the following activities:

  • Escape rooms & scavenger hunts—activities designed to help teams gel together & develop trust in each others’ abilities.
  • Dinners & outings to local attractions—ideas to bring employees together where they can have fun & get to know each other better.
  • Yoga & spa treatments—opportunities for employees to relax, de-stress, & work on their wellness as a group.

Find more interesting ideas for team bonding here.

Type #7- Innovative Showcases

Considering holding events for business that show the world what you’ve made? Bring the team behind products into the limelight to give them their due fame? Engage with your industry but on a global scale!

Do it with an innovative showcase like SpaceX does annually with its "Hyperloop Pod Competition,” where students & engineers from everywhere arrive to construct & test their high-speed transportation pods.

Product Launch Gala

Introduce new products with a sophisticated and memorable launch event. You can also set up such an event when looking for new customers or partners. Finally, a product launch gala is also the perfect way to claim your throne as a leader in your industry.

Corporate events like these are usually roll out with the following activities:

  • Since this is when you’ll be introducing a new product or service, do it through a keynote address that highlights its best features and the pain points of your target audience it solves.
  • Prove your claims with a hands-on demo, but also be ready to answer guests’ questions.
  • Ensure your guests get more out of this event. Throw in a cocktail reception or a breakout session to ensure your attendees will get plenty of time for networking.

Tech Expo

Demonstrate innovations and solutions to industry professionals. In this case, you can skip the keynote address & replace it with:

  • A panel discussion. Just as they would have learned about a new product, your guests will get to find out about the latest trends & innovations in the industry.
  • Competitions or giveaways. If you offer prizes that will speak to your target audience, you can use this opportunity to generate buzz about your upcoming event!

Finally, companies wanting to attract new employees can also benefit from hosting/attending a tech expo.

Type #8- Diversity and Inclusion Forums

Let everyone feel valued, appreciated, and an integral part of the team.

D&I Symposium

Address diversity and inclusion in a thoughtful, educational symposium. It’s a great idea for corporations that want to:

  • Educate their employees about the issue.
  • Provide resources for more inclusive workplaces.
  • Make an ongoing transformation equitable.
  • Usher in more inclusivity to boost employee engagement and retention.

Don’t forget the following for a successful symposium:

  • Topic relevancy—to your organization & employees
  • Goal making—align them with your organizational goals
  • Expertise—in-field speakers & experts
  • Employee participation—genuine experiences are the most important!
  • Networking room
  • Post-event follow ups & feedback

Cultural Exchange Day

Celebrate differences through these cross-cultural sharing corporate events. These are especially useful for workplaces with highly diverse workforces or the need to boost in-company employee engagement.

If you’re considering hosting a Cultural Exchange Day, try including these as a part of the festivities:

  • Tasting food ****from different cultures—whether via catering or employee potluck contributions
  • Music, dance, & storytelling sessions to provide a peek into cultural heritage
  • Traditional art, artifacts, & clothing displays via exhibits
  • Trivia contests, cultural crafting sessions, & language lessons

Type #9- Formal Charity Galas

Stand up for a good cause!


Companies that desire to become a part of the local community or create one of their own benefit the most from events like these. There are other ways of achieving this objective besides fundraisers & seminars.

Holding resident events, such as wellness workshops & CPR training, can help the locals see your organization as part of the neighborhood.

The two main types of charity-based corporate events are:

Philanthropic Fundraiser

Host events like these to raise funds for a meaningful cause:

  • Silent auctions—donors bid on unique items/experiences
  • Raffles—donors win prizes
  • Gala dinners—more formal in nature
  • Walkathons—involve others in a healthy activity while also raising money
  • Car washes—fun & gets you involved in your community

Corporate Social Responsibility Summit

Discuss and strategize CSR initiatives with industry leaders. Raise the levels of involvement & engagement by following these ideas:

  • Focusing on team building and friendly competition
  • Tracking and sharing the impact of your company's efforts via actual data
  • Involving your consumers and clients
  • Picking causes relevant to your employees and customers
  • Committing to the cause over multiple years

Type #10- Educational Workshops

Upskill employees for their own good, like these well-known companies do:

  1. LinkedIn’s tradition, InDay, encourages its employees to take a day off from work. Instead, they’re to spend it exploring their passions or working on personal projects. LinkedIn considers its employees enrich the workplace with their unique skills and interests.
  2. IDEO is a design and innovation consultancy that regularly organizes Hackathons. These events consist of real-world challenges that its employees must solve in innovative ways. Through them, the company promotes both out-of-the-box thinking & brings together people from diverse backgrounds.
  3. It may not be the Burning Man of the corporate world, but Salesforce's Dreamforce Conference is unique its own way. It merges business-focused sessions with immersive and interactive activities, such as entertainment, music, and networking.

If you like the way those organizations are thinking, consider holding your own educational workshops with these tips:

  • Make the sessions comprehensive so that they’ll cover all topics necessary to gain command over a subject.
  • Mix different teaching approaches to ensure all types of learners can benefit from the sessions. Engage attendees with lectures, activities, & discussions.
  • When it comes to activities, it’s best to be as hands-on as possible. Therefore, incorporate case studies, practice tests, & simulations to make your sessions interactive & engaging.
  • Your workshops should have a backdrop supportive to learning. For instance, your employees should know it’s safe to ask questions & make mistakes!
  • Don’t forget to follow up with your employees about what they learned. Also ask them how you can improve future sessions.

These tips are most useful for businesses wanting to:

  • Develop their employees' repertoire of skills by adding to it, improving existing talent, finding better alternatives, & staying up to date.
  • Equip their staff with skills necessary to thrive in a new, changed workspace.
  • Improve employee engagement and retention.

The two main examples in this category of corporate events are:

Skill Enhancement Workshops

Offer specialized workshops to enhance employee skill sets in different domains.

Professional Certification Seminars

Provide opportunities for employees to gain industry-recognized certifications, such as PMP, CISSP, & CPA.

Type #11- Artistic Expression

Let employees bring out their creative sides!

Help showcase your employees’ artistic skills & expression in either of these two ways:

Corporate Art Exhibition

Showcase employee artwork in an elegant gallery setting. It’s usual for a corporate art exhibition program to have:

  • An opening reception full of introductions between guests & the artists, as well as good food & drinks.
  • In-depth sessions about the artists, their inspirations, &  their works.
  • Hands-on art workshops where the guests can participate.
  • In-depth sessions about art & culture beyond the artists on display

Go Beyond the Physical Art

Do you know what’s the best thing about shows like the X-Factor?

They draw huge audiences because these shows have something for everybody. They boast a wide variety of contestant, including singers, conjurors, jugglers, & dancers. Those are the very lines you’ll need to think along to pull off this next event type.

Find out hidden talents in your team by hosting different competitions. You can also tie up employees into teams of two or more to encourage the team working spirit.

Regardless of which option you go with, make sure you don’t forget to do these to ensure success:

  • Open the exhibition to everybody, including your employees, customers, partners, and the public.
  • Prepare educational material about the artwork on display & the people behind it.
  • Make visitors feel welcome & the performers/artists feel appreciated.
  • Post-event follow up to determine what attendees liked, disliked, & they think requires improvement.

Type #12- Fun Team Building

From virtual karaoke to gift-wrapping relay races, there are countless ways to help you bring your existing team members closer, put together new teams, & prove to your employees they belong. You’re probably already familiar with our suggestions—go here if not!

Just look at how much fun Geoff & his team had at the Company Scavenger Hunt:

Here’s what Geoff had to say about DropEvent:

"…it is, uh, it's rock solid. It works every time. I don't have any issues, errors. It doesn't drop on me. So it's been a, it's been a great, great experience."


So, to conclude, what is corporate event? It’s an opportunity to positively impact the company and its workforce.

Whether you set one up to train your employees, bring them together, or entrench yourself in the local community, it matters to the success of your company.

That said, corporate events also provide immense opportunities to capture your company’s culture from an employees’ POV. It is why we’d recommend using a platform like DropEvent to collect group photos employees take on these occasions & sharing them! It simplifies collecting high-quality group photos and does it in a matter of minutes. You can then use those images on social media, in-office reminiscing, & much more.

Planning an upcoming corporate event? Use DropEvent to gather photos from attendees, and publish them to let the world see your event from an employees’ perspective.


1. How to plan a corporate event?

To plan a corporate event:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Set a budget and date
  3. Choose a venue and develop a program
  4. Send out invitations and begin event promotion
  5. Follow up with attendees and sponsors post-event

2. What is a corporate event?

A corporate event is any gathering organized by a company for a specific purpose, such as a product launch, a team-building exercise, or a holiday party. They can be large or small, formal or informal & hosted by companies in all stages of growth.

3. What is a professional event?

A professional event is a gathering of people who work in the same field or industry. You can host one for networking (in-company & outside), learning (your staff or the public), or development (your staff or the organization).

4. How to get corporate sponsors for an event?

Get corporate sponsors for an event by:

  1. Identifying potentials aligned with your event
  2. Putting together a compelling sponsorship proposal
  3. Emphasizing on benefits and alignment with sponsor’s marketing goals
  4. Personalizing pitches to each
  5. Persistent follow ups
  6. Clear negotiation of terms & drawing up of a formal agreement