As we snowball towards the big C, the distractions of year-end and festive celebrations can make it hard to focus on 2023 priorities. In the back of our minds, we know that – along with resolutions and detoxes – January will bring with it the need to pin down objectives, hone marketing strategies and plan for a successful year ahead.
A robust 2023 events strategy can go a long way to support your business’s strategic goals for the year. In-person is back on the table and there’s a renewed appetite for meaningful face-to-face interactions with colleagues, clients, and peers. But don’t panic if you’ve not yet planned your 2023 events. At Octopus Events we’re here to guide you by sharing a few key considerations and top tips drawn from over 20 years of event management experience.
Why do events in 2023?
The logistics of planning and running an event can feel incredibly daunting but the rewards are powerful, and you can always use an experienced events agency like Octopus to arrange and deliver events for you.
In a world of video conferencing, inbox overwhelm, and remote working, bringing people together in the same room – with a sprinkle of the WOW factor – can have a hugely positive impact. A considered 2023 events strategy can support your key objectives, particularly when it comes to employee engagement. As well as an effective way of sharing company messages, events are fantastic for motivating, rewarding, and thanking employees and teams, helping to minimise staff turnover and boost productivity. Valued and appreciated staff always work harder.
Events are also a great way to build fantastic relationships with top clients, suppliers, and prospects, and to celebrate company successes – internally, externally and to the media. Your 2023 events could bring PR benefits, boosting positive associations with your brand and fostering loyalty within your sector.
What type of events are best for our business?
There are numerous types of events that you might consider integrating into your marketing strategy. The crucial thing is to ensure that they support your business goals for the year. Here are a few suggestions for 2023 events to kick off your brainstorming:
Company Kick-Off: Start the year as you mean to go on with a dynamic Q1 event that celebrates what went well in 2022 before announcing plans and objectives for 2023. Why not open with a fun team-building activity or finish with an awards dinner to get everyone in a positive mindset? Ensure the location is easy to get to and take advantage of competitive rates at this time of year, particularly towards the beginning of the working week.
For a recruitment client, Sarah organised a 24-hour company kick-off extravaganza. As well as presentations from the Senior Management Team and Department Heads, we had an African drumming workshop followed by a glittering awards dinner with dancing and a casino. Employees started the year feeling energised and excited about the 12 months that lay ahead.
Awards Ceremonies: Particularly popular in Spring and Autumn, awards ceremonies are fantastic for morale. Remember to factor in the time you’ll need to attract nominations in the run-up and prepare for the event. At Octopus Events, we had the pleasure of organising a glittering Staff Recognition Awards on behalf of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The awards ceremony took place in June 2022 at the historic Oxford Town Hall for 280 guests.
Company Conference: A brilliant opportunity to come together and share updates, announce new initiatives, and network face-to-face. Break up info-heavy sessions with a motivational speaker or a famous name to provide some memorable entertainment.
Product Launch: Make a splash and share your excitement about a new product or service. A product launch communicates confidence in your latest offering and is a chance to network with the press and investors.
Sales Incentives: Nurture your top talent with rewards and recognition. At Octopus Events we are tapped into a huge network of fantastic UK and overseas destinations. Employees feel hugely invested in the company if they know they can work towards an incredible trip, weekend away, or experience. There’s always the option to invite partners as well, to foster the feeling of being ‘one big family.
Client Events: Think about using corporate hospitality and luxury experiences to build relationships, learn more about your clients and thank them for past, current, or future business. At Octopus we like to help the organisations we work with make a BIG impression. We once organised a three-day circus-themed event for 900 guests to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Priors Court School, with guests that included VIPS, dignitaries, and HRH Princess Anne.
Senior Leadership Retreats: It can be invaluable for the senior management team to take time away from the daily distractions of the office in order to share best practice, develop strategies, and look ahead. Don’t go bland and boring with these events, investigate alternative and creative venues (think boats, barns, art galleries, studios, yurts, castles, the list goes on….) for an experience they won’t have had anywhere else. We’ve got lots of quirky ideas up our sleeves at Octopus Events.
Summer Parties: Show staff and their families how much you value their hard work by throwing a fun and fabulous summer party with great food and drink, plus an abundance of Instagram-friendly photo opportunities
Hit the ground running in the Near Year with 2023 event planning:
Now you’re mulling over some great event ideas, don’t hesitate to get the ball rolling in the new year. The one thing a successful event needs (as well as a superb event agency of course!) is a decent amount of time for planning to ensure it’s executed with the style and finesse that befits your brilliant business.
Start by considering your marketing strategy, successful events you have run in the past, objectives, and 2023 budget, and decide how events will fit within these. Events are all about how they make guests feel from start to finish. What are the messages you want to communicate and the desired outcomes afterward? Work with your HR and Marketing teams when you’re designing the agenda, especially for a conference, and considering subject areas. Popular topics have included sustainability; diversity, equality, and inclusion; company culture post-pandemic and future plans and goals.
In the planning stages it can be helpful to split your 2023 events into internal and external, then question whether you have the personnel resource to design, plan and deliver each one. Consider speaking to an events agency like us friendly folk at Octopus Events to take advantage of our experience, venue knowledge, and supplier relationships in the UK and abroad. A relatively small investment in external event organisers can save you and your team a lot of time, money, and undue stress.
Get in touch today to talk about your 2023 events strategy.
There’s no obligation. A discovery call is a chance to talk about your strategic goals and understand how we’ll use our event management experience to help you achieve them. If you decide to use Octopus to organise your events, we’ll bring the wow factor, maximise your budget and do it all with a smile on our faces.
Find out more about Octopus
Sarah Hopgood, Founder and MD, Octopus Events