Finding the balance between professional and fun is one of the great challenges of holding a corporate event.

 If you tip the scales in favour of drinking, socialising and entertainment, you won’t kick your business goals. But when you lean too much towards formality, your event might lack the energy and excitement required to engage your guests.

So how can you find that all-important line between the two? Here are a few tips to help you stage a corporate event that entertains your guests, and delivers on its purpose.

Choose an interesting venue

A unique venue goes a long way towards injecting some fun and interest into a corporate event - without detracting from the message.

There’s nothing worse than walking into a bland room, with harsh lighting and seats lined up for a long string of lectures or a boring presentation. Instead, engage your guests with something a little different. Think outdoor garden space to entertain potential clients, a high-rise function room with spectacular views for networking or a trendy warehouse space for a product launch.

If your budget doesn’t allow for this type of venue, you can still make the most of what you have - even if it's just your conference room. Hire trendy ambient lighting for impact, and incorporate some extravagant floral arrangements and other decorative touches that engage the senses.

Make the most of interactive tools

You don’t need to bedazzle guests with fancy decor or showy entertainment that detracts from your purpose, but you do need to engage them.

Whether your aim is to promote a product, turn leads into clients, provide education or launch a new idea, think beyond PowerPoint presentations and lectures. In these cases, groans of boredom often proceed the first item on the agenda!

Instead, make your event interactive, and engage your guests while getting your message across. This might include audience participation through Q&A sessions, or a new product that guests can touch, experiment with and try for themselves.

The key to captivating your guests is to ensure they can actively participate, rather than just watch and listen.

Bring the fun with food

Food does so much more for a corporate event than simply fill empty tummies. It promotes socialising and networking, provides a break from formal proceedings and creates anticipation everyone looks forward to it.

Something different like a hot dog cart for example can inject excitement and a sense of fun into an event. It's a delicious alternative to the usual catering, and you can bring in an element of interactivity by allowing guests to customise their hotdog with a range of relishes. Take the catering up a notch by offering beverages with a twist. Rather than the normal beer, wine and spirits, create a signature cocktail that aligns with your brand.

With an interesting venue, interactive elements and food for fun, you’ll strike the right balance at your next corporate event - without losing your key message or audience's attention!