The Most Common Types of Corporate Events Search the site Search. According to Meeting Professionals International, more than $122 billion is spent annually in the U.S. meetings industry. This money is most commonly spent at resort hotels, city hotels, suburban hotels, conference centers, restaurants, country clubs. And convention centers, but at the end of the day, some of that corporate meeting money is spent at nearly every unique venue imaginable. It’s no surprise then that corporate event planning and all that goes with it is big business. While some larger corporations and organizations have corporate event planners on staff or contract with an event planning agency, many others (particularly the smaller companies and organizations) simply pass along the job of planning corporate events to someone in HR or another department.

Whether at a corporate environment, association, non-profit, or government agency, the most popular corporate events typically fall into one of the following programs:

Seminars and Conferences

Purpose: Organizations plan and hold these meetings with targeted audiences, and provide them with relevant information.

Description: Seminars are usually shorter events, lasting a couple hours, ½ day, or even a whole workday. They have single or multiple speakers and generally keep all participants together in the same space. Conferences, on the other hand, typically have multiple sessions that occur concurrently that are geared toward different interests, different positions or roles, and even skill level. They are typically held at hotels, begin with a keynote session and then hold breakout sessions by topic. A conference is usually planned for at least half of a day though generally conferences span the course of one to two days or sometimes longer.

Trade Shows

Purpose: Organizations attend trade shows as a lead generation activity. They may also choose to host or sponsor a trade show to reinforce their image. As an industry leader among those who attend. Such as members, customers, prospects, and suppliers.

Description: Event planning for trade shows involves negotiating sponsorship rates for trade show booth space, advertising and promotion at the event, and sometimes speaking opportunities at the event for the leadership at your company to speak.

Executive Retreats and Incentive Programs

Purpose: This is where the big bucks are spent on a per person basis. Executive retreats and incentive programs are often held at luxury resorts in exclusive destinations. And they receive the most visibility in an organization. Business development and organizational planning are typically the topics of the agenda. But equal weight is given to enjoyable activities as part of the original incentive and reward.

Description: Executive retreats and incentive trips typically last between three and five days. And require attention to site selection, lodging, transportation, catering, business meetings, and golf and other activities. Negotiation skills must be sharp because these programs involve all aspects of event planning.

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