Over 47% of organizers have stated that their events team has grown within the last year. Corporate gatherings account for a big chunk of any organization’s culture and success, but hosting an entertaining and memorable event isn’t possible without a compelling theme!
- C – Classic summertime BBQ
- A – Athletic sports day
- P – Party for the 80s
- T – Take a tropical trip
- I – Informal pizza party
- V – Villains versus heroes
- A – Amusing comedy night
- T – Terrorizing murder mystery party
- E – Elegant Hollywood themed-party
Whether you want to put together a wildly entrancing evening or a soothing relaxation retreat, treating your employees to a well-planned function can boost productivity, improve engagement, and encourage bonding.
Keep reading, and I’ll share nine of my favorite themes for corporate events that will truly CAPTIVATE your audience!
See Related: The Best Corporate Event Planning Checklist You Won’t Want To Miss Out On
#1. Classic summertime BBQ
There are countless reasons to host a killer company event. For starters, it gives employees a chance to get together outside of the office while reinforcing a positive company culture.
But that’s not all a great gathering is good for!
A fantastic corporate event is also an excellent way to give a hearty boost to workplace productivity, employee engagement, and overall satisfaction. Plus, giving your employees a chance to relax and bond outside of the office is likely just what they need right now.
Hire a fantastic corporate emcee to pull off an amazing company event
The key to a successful corporate event lies in hiring the right corporate emcee. Finding a relatable, hilarious, and funny speaker can ensure you reach your team on a more personal level.
With over 25 years as a master of ceremonies, I’ve learned a thing or two about hosting the perfect company gathering, which includes narrowing down the ideal corporate event theme.
Keep reading, and I’ll use the acronym CAPTIVATE to share with you nine great ideas for the best corporate event themes!
A timeless corporate event theme, regardless of the weather outside
When you think of a classic American barbeque, you might only associate it with the summer season. However, even if the sun isn’t shining, don’t be afraid to host an indoor food fest with plenty of mouth-watering BBQ options!
A classic summer BBQ is one of the best outdoor event ideas during the warmer seasons. Plus, an outdoor venue like a park, lake, or pool is casual and comfortable enough for employees to truly feel at peace.
Don’t underestimate the power of a laid-back function
Sometimes, less formal events are better. After all, your team is already required to put on business attire Monday through Friday, which might be a step down from the T-shirt and PJ pants when everyone is still working from home.
It’s hard to argue with the benefits of a casual event!
This type of event is pretty straightforward to pull off and easy for your team to fall in love with. After picking the perfect outdoor venue, all you need to do is get some decor, such as large white tents, picnic blankets, and tablecloths for the tables.
It should go without saying to incorporate plenty of BBQ food
And of course, you can’t forget the food.
The foundation of a summer BBQ is the grub!
Don’t overthink what you’ll serve. Keep it simple and classic with things like burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, beans, and more. And be sure to finish it off with refreshing beverages like lemonade or iced tea.
To add a bit more excitement to the event, fill the day with activities like cornhole, badminton, and other field games.
#2. Athletic sports day
Making your next corporate event sports-themed is another great way to create a laid-back and relaxed function. Plus, it’ll put your team at ease for any meeting or dinner with this theme!
Maybe your employees are all soccer fanatics, or they love watching a game of football. Play into what they’re into! You can even turn it into a watch party for a highly-anticipated game, such as the World Series or Super Bowl.
From the wings to ball games, this theme idea is a classic
Be sure to incorporate foods like hot wings, hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, and chips to go along with the sports theme. It’s easy to turn this party theme into something unique and personal to your team!
#3. Party for the 80s
Sometimes, nostalgia is a powerful weapon. If you want to truly host an event that your team loves, play into this factor.
For a corporate event theme that is sure to wow the guests, take a trip back to the 1980s. It’s time to bring out the big hair, OTT eyeliner, and shoulder pads!
Be sure to know your audience for this one
This idea is better for a middle-aged crowd, so if your team is primarily young adults in their twenties, it might not fly. But if you know your employees are sure to connect, go for it!
Incorporate any and everything that was once popular in the 80s. From retro decor to giant band posters, it’ll be easier than it seems to pull this off. If you want to make it into an 80s-styled rave, add plenty of lumo, including glow-stick bracelets, headbands, and necklaces.
It’s time to revisit an unforgettable era at a truly memorable event!
Bonus: What Does Corporate Hospitality Really Mean In 2023?
#4. Take a tropical trip
Your team is likely dying for a hefty vacation. Some time off is what many employees look forward to, even if they are head-over-heels about their careers.
After all, who could say “no” to some extra free time?
It’s time to take that much-needed vacation
However, you don’t need to give your team some extra days off to treat them to a tropical experience. Instead, bring a tropical, vacay-themed corporate event to them!
You can take this in any number of directions.
The festive and tropical experience your team deserves
For starters, try hosting a Caribbean cruise party theme, complete with green palm trees, rhythms of reggae, and coconuts. You can even take it a step further with flower leis, rum cocktails, and a Hawaain dancer group.
A luau theme is another great option. This is a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of your team or a company milestone in a laid-back and exciting manner.
Utilize festive decorations as well as tropical foods like fruits, chicken, pork sandwiches, and charcuterie. Don’t forget plenty of limbo and dancing!
#5. Informal pizza party
Sometimes, you don’t have time to pull off an extravagant corporate event. But even hosting a simplistic and ultra-casual event is better than none. Plus, there’ll be no pressure on your employees to dress up and impress – only to arrive with empty stomachs!
A nostalgic and simplistic event idea for any Friday afternoon
A pizza party is reminiscent of ones done in schools, but still offers a great chance for your team to release some stress. Plus, it’s perhaps the most budget-friendly idea out there.
#6. Villains versus heroes
Here’s a classic and entertaining corporate event theme that is both creative and unique: heroes versus villains!
To start with, pick a Marvel theme, and decorate your venue to match! Don’t forget plenty of balloons, colored lights, and even superhero stickers.
Then, be sure to encourage guests to dress like their favorite Marvel hero or villain. The sky is the limit! From Thanos to Superman, let your employees play into their extraordinary fantasies.
But don’t let the theme end there. You can even bring it to the food! From cupcakes with the faces of heroes and villains to a Marvel backdrop for a photo booth, there is plenty of fun and exciting ways to bring this creative theme to an unreal height.
#7. Amusing comedy night
The best corporate event themes are filled with fun and laughter. And the best way to do that is by bringing in a corporate comedian!
A comedy night is one of the best corporate event ideas out there, as it truly is the best way to help your employees let their hair down and indulge in some knee-slapping jokes. However, be sure to steer clear of traditional stand-up comedians.
For starters, classic stand-up comedians aren’t exactly agreeable with corporate events, as they likely aren’t clean. It’s important to find an entertainer who knows how to connect with a professional crowd, and that’s why a corporate emcee is so integral!
A comedic corporate emcee is the foundation of any hilarious event
A great emcee can guide your event to success while ensuring the crowd is entertained. By hiring a funny keynote speaker, you can put comedy and laughter at the forefront. It’s that simple!
#8. Terrorizing murder mystery party
Sometimes, bringing immersive games into the mix can take your corporate event to the next level. Plus, it makes for a great theme!
A murder mystery event is one of the best ways to show some employee appreciation while surprising your team. It’s deeper than a classic company gathering and interactive enough to keep everyone engaged and excited.
How to organize your own murder mystery event
To pull this off, start by sending out RSVPs. This will invite intrigue and ensure that you can better prepare for the event itself.
Then, find a venue that will suit your needs. If you need some extra facilities, be sure that they have this as well.
Next, pick your theme. From Christmas Killer to Mythical Monsters, there are plenty of ways to bring your corporate event to life in a terrorizing way!
You’ll then need to create a storyline. This might seem a little complicated at first, but it’s not as difficult as it looks. All you need is to think of an incident, namely the death of a fictional character, and then find ways to get all of your guests involved.
After this, you’ll need to assign characters to each of your employees. Give them specific characteristics and backgrounds so that they can feel better connected to the plot. Don’t forget to figure out who will be named the killer!
Then, you’ll need to send out a second invite to future attendees with information about their assigned characters. That way, they can dress according to their roles and be further prepared to play their part.
Once the day of the event comes, decorate your gathering to fit into the theme before the games begin. Don’t forget to cater food, and offer some signature drinks like Bloody Marys or Witch’s
The spookier, the better!
#9. Elegant Hollywood-themed party
Everyone loves movies, and sometimes, we can’t help but imagine what it would be like to walk the Hollywood red carpet. And with a glitzy, paparazzi-friendly event in the books, you can treat your team to a unique experience!
You can’t go wrong with a Hollywood-themed event. Let your guests dress as extravagant as they wish, and hire some photographers to welcome them as they arrive while capturing some memories.
Don’t forget the gold and silver decor, a swing band, and plenty of finger foods and bubbly drinks.
Finding the right corporate event theme to CAPTIVATE your team doesn’t need to be hard. With this list up your sleeve, you have plenty of inspiration to get started!
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.