Corporate events are a great way to bring your team together from across the organization for informal networking, sharing of ideas, celebrating successes and building relationships. These can include Christmas parties, celebratory dinners and lunches, annual awards events, official launches and after-work cocktails and social functions.
Employers may require attendance by all employees at some of these events - whether they fall inside regular work hours or not. Other times, they will be optional. Regardless of which category an event falls into, it’s important that people actually know about the event in the first place so that they can attend!
According to a 2018 Event Manager survey, people who decide to attend corporate events do it for:
- Networking (82%)
- Learning opportunities (71%)
- Entertainment (38%)
- Self-improvement (37%)
- An opportunity to have time out of the office (16%)
We’ve made it even easier for you by preparing a sample invite and sample follow up survey questions, which you can access here.
Disadvantages of low attendance at corporate event
There are many disadvantages:
- Non-attendees will miss out on a valuable experience and possibly even finding out some new, important information (for example an announcement, information about a new product or service at a launch, insights from guest speakers etc.)
- Employees who don’t know about an event may feel as though they have been excluded, which can lead to resentment and lower morale.
- Continuation of information silos as employees from different parts of the organization don’t have an opportunity to mix with one another and build relationships.
- Wasted money - if you’ve paid for a venue to host 100 people and only 20 show up, you’ll still be footing the bill for more.
How to ensure people know about your event so they attend it
If you’ve sent an email to all employees about an upcoming corporate event, there is a high possibility most of them won’t even open the email.
In North America, for example, the open rate for emails is around 34%.
This trend has been ongoing for many years now, rendering email a problematic delivery channel for critical communications.
Therefore, it’s important to have a better tool for the job to ensure you get high attendance at your corporate events.
DeskAlerts is a tool that can be used to help drive higher attendance rates.
DeskAlerts is an internal communications software system with a range of features and channels that is highly visible and guaranteed to be seen. Channels include pop-up alerts, corporate wallpapers, screensavers and lockscreens, RSVP tools, a survey function, scrolling desktop tickers, video alerts and more.
Messages can be sent to computers and mobile devices, meaning you can reach your employees no matter where they are. Further features include the ability to customize your audiences, to schedule content in advance and an analytics tool that lets you determine who has seen your messages and interacted with them.
It will also enable you to send personalized messages, including:
- The name of the recipient
- The name of an internal department
- Any other personalized information.
The process of sending a corporate event invite via DeskAlerts
By following these steps, you can ensure that your corporate event is brought to the attention of your employees.
1. Survey your team to work out the best date
When it comes to functions like end-of-year holiday parties, it can be difficult to lock in a date that suits everyone as they’re so busy with other obligations at that time of year, particularly on weekends. With DeskAlerts, you can send out pop-up surveys to your employees to canvas suitable dates for the event and find a time that would suit the majority of participants before you begin booking venues.
2. Get your employees to save the date
Once you have a date, announce it as far in advance as possible so that your employees will know they are busy at that time. Again, end-of-year parties, in particular, can be problematic if people don’t know about a proposed date and their schedules start filling up with other events.
You can send the date via a pop-up alert to see how many people saw your message - they need to click OK after reading it (or you can use a less intrusive pop up).
Your announcement format can be creative. For example, you can include video, images, gifs, or make it look like a card. You should include the most important details, such as a date, location, type of event, dress code, and start and finish times.
3. Continue to promote your event
You can run a mini internal marketing campaign promoting the event, reminding employees that it is on and to save the date if they haven’t done so already.
A good way to do this is by using corporate screensavers, lockscreens or wallpapers with all the relevant details. Your wallpapers, for example, can include information about things like the dress code or date.
Screensavers and lockscreens can be colorful and eye-catching and don’t need to contain a lot of words - aim to use appealing images.
You can also send this type of content to any other screens in your organization, such as digital screens in an employee break room, to create a mini electronic billboard reinforcing the upcoming event.
4. Send the official invite
Two to three weeks before the event, send an official invite using the DeskAlerts RSVP tool, asking if they will be attending or not. Employees can respond to the invite from computers as well as their smartphones and tablets.
5. Gather feedback after the event
Once you’ve had your event, it’s useful to know whether or not people enjoyed the event and whether or not they would attend future events. Using the DeskAlerts survey tool is an excellent way to capture this information. You can also get recommendations about what could work better next time to improve for future events.
Other tips for your corporate party invitation
When sending your corporate event invite, you should aim to:
- Make it eye-catching
- Ensure you invite everyone
- Ensure you capture any dietary restrictions well in advance
- Personalize your invites, so people feel welcome and included.
As this year’s end-of-year event season is going to be unlike any we’ve experienced before, because of the pandemic, you should also include any relevant information about restrictions and other measures that will be in place to make the event a COVID-safe one. For example, will masks be required? Will social distancing be enforced? Remind employees not to attend if they are unwell.