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11 Ways to Throw the Company Event of the Year

01/20/2016 10:59 am ET | Updated Jan 20, 2016

You may be able to run a killer business, but event planning isn't for everyone. Here are 11 stress-free ways to put on a true crowd-pleasing event.

A. Create an Inclusive Environment

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Whether at my company or events that we're invited to, we create a safe space for everyone to open up further and do more profound work while we are together. A safer cumulative space enables a freer flow of thoughts and inspires a deeper connection. - Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

A. Let the Team Put It Together

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Allow your team to put the company event together and spare little expense. You end up with "beautiful chaos" that every team member is invested in. - Ken Cauley, Advanced Media

A. Embrace Social Media

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Encourage attendees to take their phones out, appoint a live spokesperson for the digital audience and have a space in social media. Don't be afraid to publish a hashtag, use Twitter for Q&A or publish the speakers' Twitter handles. - Christopher Kelly, Convene

A. Be Present and Attentive

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It might not seem like a big deal, but being present and not "on the job" is a great way to think strictly about the event at hand. An easy way to do this is by untethering from your phone and email, and staying engaged in the experience and those around you. Get groups talking, mingling and enjoying each other's company instead of keeping it 100 percent work-oriented. - Kumar Arora, Aroridex, Ltd.

A. Provide Figurative and Literal "Takeaways"

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Your events should not only leave your employees with fresh ideas and goals but also give them something to physically take away with them. Whether these are items for their desk with your company's logo or giveaways that they can take home, takeaways and gift bags will make the event that much more memorable in your team member's minds, and they will create a fun company culture. - Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

A. Great Food

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We always try to get locally-made food that people rave about. Along with great craft beer, it really takes our events to the next level. -Thomas Cullen, LaunchPad Lab

A. Have a Great Use of Space

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A lot of people who host events don't effectively plan the space for the event. One misstep here can throw off an entire event. Haveplaces for people to sit down. Put a bar near the front as people tend to congregate there and are easily seen by people arriving at the event. Lastly, make sure you get a space that's easy to fill, yet doesn't feel overly crowded, which can be uncomfortable. - Andy Karuza, brandbuddee

A. Leverage Google Calendar

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At goBRANDgo!, we plan our events and send Google calendar invites to people oftentimes three months or more in advance, which drives attendance and helps to eliminate scheduling conflicts. You'd be amazed at how many people just show up simply because it's already on their calendar. - Brandon Dempsey, goBRANDgo!

A. Have Great Partners

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Mix in people with similar interests but factor in diversity. An eclectic mix of business leaders, colleagues, friends and press make a good event. It's also important to consider food, drink and entertainment because an appealing mix of these factors can make any event. We've had strategic partnerships with a handful of food and beverage partners. - Aron Susman, TheSquareFoot

A. Make It About Them, Not You or the Company

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A company event should really focus on leaders showing a vested interest in their team. Dig in and spend quality time with each employee, and plan for company-wide activities in such a way that you can show those team members that you were paying attention and listening during your one-on-ones. It's extremely gratifying knowing someone spent the time to listen and absorb. - Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker

A. Choreograph Happenstance

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I love hosting events and rumor has it people love my events. I attribute that to the fact that I generally have some sort of planned interaction. I don't always make it obvious; I may simply put a handful of guests in charge of finding people who look unsure and chatting them up. Or, I may incorporate an elegantly positioned ice-breaker or game. Whatever I do, I simply keep guests connecting. - Christie Kerner, Launch MiE

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's mostpromising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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