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5 tips for setting the right tone at your corporate event

Set the right tone for your next corporate event. A face-to-face corporate event, such as a Summer garden party, Christmas party, corporate anniversary celebration or team-building function is all about bringing people together to relax and gel and helping to reenforce your corporate culture.

Afterall, we know that work relationships are extraordinarily important to employee well-being and corporate culture. But it’s important to ensure that there’s an air of professionalism during the occasion with behaviour grounded in the principles of the business world.

Read time: 5 minutes

Key takeaways:

— How to set the right tone for your event
— How to help build a positive culture in work-related event settings
— How to provide guidance to help put people at ease at your next corporate function
— How to smooth the way to a relaxed, yet professional company event

Set guidelines and expectations

While being mindful that the event is an opportunity to thank and reward or get to know your teams better, it’s important to set expectations early. Use your pre-event communications to highlight the guidelines and the behaviours expected of everyone in attendance.

That way, you can help keep the event informal, yet respectful, and help people avoid faux pas that could affect their professional relationships or even damage their career.

“A corporate social event is designed to be relaxing and fun, but it doesn’t hurt to set out guidelines and expectations to help make sure the event remains professional. When everyone knows what’s expected of them, it sets the right tone from the outset and helps people feel comfortable and get the most out of the event,” says Mike Walker, Managing Director, MGN events.

Here are five quick, easy-to-implement suggestions for helping you set the right tone at your next company function:

1. Set the right tone with guidance on appropriate attire

Depending on the nature of the event and the season, provide your teams with guidelines on how to turn themselves out for the occasion. Remind guests to err on the side of conservative and good taste.

— Business attire: suits and dresses.
— Black-tie or formal evening wear: full-length gowns, dressy trouser suits, sophisticated cocktail dresses.
— Business casual: trousers with long-sleeve shirts, blouses with blazers, casual trousers or knee-length skirts.
— Jackets and ties required: can be added to other guidelines such as business casual

2. Be clear about event timings

Whether or not you’re providing transport or inviting people to make their own way, highlight the expectations around arrivals for welcome reception drinks and departures at the event closure. Keynote speakers or representatives of the host may be asked to arrive in advance of the event.

3. Set out your expectations around alcohol consumption

When inviting feedback for dietary requirements, take the opportunity to highlight expectations around alcohol consumption. A generous host might want to provide an open or free bar, but that shouldn’t signify that you’ll welcome drinking games and rounds of shots.

You might prefer to offer a couple of bottles of wine or champagne per table and a limited drinks menu at the bar. With an increasing number of excellent low- or no-alcohol beers, wines and non-alcoholic spirits available on the market, you might want to set up an alcohol-free bar.

4. Outline guidance around proper and improper topics of conversation

Social psychologists understand that as a species, humans seek out contact and connections with others. Professional office relationships can positively and negatively affect an employee’s emotional wellness and productivity.

You may feel it necessary to highlight that your guests should avoid the use of foul language or certain types of slang, to help avoid causing offense. You may also want to highlight topics that should be avoided:

— Personal finance topics
— Personal health topics (yours and others)
— Divisive or sensitive topics such as politics, religion, or social conflicts
— Gossip

5. To set the right tone, lead by example

Your teams are much more likely to engage in positive behaviour when they see their employers behaving in a positive way. Reinforce your company culture by encouraging your leadership to model certain characteristics at all times, not forgetting during the event itself. Consider asking your leadership to reenforce certain behaviours, such as:

— Expressing gratitude
— Encourage positivity: smiling often, remaining optimistic and upbeat
— Fostering new social connections: Mingling with employees outside of their normal circles or teams
— Listening to employees: asking them about themselves and making sure employees feel valued and heard

planning employee events - MGN EventsPlanning employee events mobile - MGN Events

Let us help you create the right tone at your next corporate event

From event design and content production, to tech, venues and more. We can help you create an engaging, exciting and tailored event, especially for your teams. To walk-through our solutions and services or learn more about our fees, contact our team via the form below, on 01932 22 33 33 or by email hello@mgnevents.co.uk.

You can also get more help creating successful internal events that support employee well-being in our 5 step framework for event success.

Further reading:

Increase staff engagement with a personalised event
7 great ways to improve employee well-being at internal events
Building team culture in a work-from-anywhere world
People-first culture: 5 ways to spark and measure engagement at employee events




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