HR Conference Parties and Team Building

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lrhrevtootanLast week, I went to San Diego for a business trip and missed two conferences and several parties.

That’s okay. I don’t miss the alcohol or the cupcakes. (Oh wait. I do.)

When I worked at The Starr Conspiracy, I planned a ton of events and fun meetings. I don’t mean that I ordered napkins and talked to the DJ — although I wasn’t above drinking too much at an event and telling the DJ to play more booty shakin’ music. For the most part, I worked on the philosophy of events. (That’s right. I got paid for that.)

  • You throw a party to make a statement. You do it because you can afford to do it.
  • You throw a party to say thank you to a community that may or may not include customers.
  • You throw a party to tell people, “We are here, we see you and you matter to us as customers and members of this industry.”

And if you think through the mechanics of the party — goals, objectives, messaging strategies, WOM campaigns, email marketing campaigns, digital display advertising, influencer discussions, etc. — you can use the event to increase brand recognition, recall and awareness. Ultimately, a party is a great way to convert your targeted efforts towards awareness and interest in a company’s products and/or services. That’s part of something boring called demand generation.

Okay, are you out of your coma? Here’s where this matters to you:

  • HR parties are great templates for team building activities.

That is 100% true. No one likes forced fun. If the event is planned with a heavy hand, it will fail. And nobody likes to do team building with a small group of their peers. That’s called work. You have to get the successful, cool and important people in your office involved.

And never plan a team building event you wouldn’t attend yourself.

So if you are a Human Resources professional attending a conference, take a look at some of the networking events and parties. Try to figure out what works. Skip the stuff that leaves you bored, cold and disinterested.

And remember to drink an appletini and have a little fun!

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