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6 Types of Corporate Events and Why They're Essential

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

A large conference room perfect for hosting corporate events
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Corporate events are crucial for organizations to foster growth, enhance communication, and drive success. These events provide a unique opportunity for teams to come together, exchange ideas, and align their efforts toward common goals. As a destination management company, we specialize in creating shared experiences that strengthen team cohesion, boost morale, and cultivate a sense of belonging among employees. While there are a few key differences among the types of corporate events below, they have many similarities. For example, each encourages and facilitates individuals to broaden their horizons and gain valuable insights from industry experts. With careful planning and execution, corporate events can inspire innovation, facilitate knowledge sharing, and ultimately drive business outcomes, making them an essential and effective tool for organizational development and growth. Additionally, because of the Incentive Research Foundation, the industry has access to in-depth research and education focusing on non-cash incentives, recognition, and motivation in the workplace- ensuring your corporate event is set up for success and meets your company's objectives. ETHOS Event Collective is a proud Gold sponsor of IRF as their efforts to support the industry aligns with our mission.

Working with a DMC for your corporate events:

Now that we've laid the groundwork of what corporate events are and how data, research, and experience back the impact they create, it is important to note how DMCs play a pivotal role in the success of these events. The right DMC can take these "common" events and elevate them to be more meaningful, increase ROI, and possess extensive local knowledge of the destination where the event will take place. By establishing deep seeded relationships with local venues, suppliers, and service providers, DMC experts ensure seamless coordination. They will be your ally in choosing the right experiences for your event size, goals, and objectives. The value and assurance of having event professionals handle the logistics, such as transportation, accommodations, and event venues, with precision and efficiency far exceed the cost of the service. In this day and age, engaging and entertaining your guests is crucial, and it is a challenging task. DMCs bring creativity and innovation to the planning process, offering unique and tailored experiences that generate ROI, tell a story about your company, and weave your event into the community where the meeting takes place. Additionally, their on-site presence during the event enables them to provide immediate support, troubleshoot issues, and ensure you can enjoy the event without worry.

Trade shows

A corporate trade show is a specialized event where companies from various industries come together to showcase their products, services, and innovations. In addition, they offer a unique opportunity to create brand awareness, generate leads, and provide a centralized location for companies to demonstrate their expertise. Also, trade shows facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among participants, fostering a sense of community and driving business growth. The importance of corporate trade shows lies in their ability to create meaningful connections, enhance visibility, and propel business opportunities, making them a vital component of a company's marketing and growth strategy.  Some examples within the hospitality industry include IMEX or The Special Event/ Catersource.


A corporate conference is an organized event where individuals from a particular company or industry gather to exchange knowledge, ideas, and insights on various topics relevant to their professional field. It is a platform for professionals to learn from industry thought leaders and stay current on the latest trends and advancements. Corporate conferences often feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and presentations that offer invaluable knowledge we can take home with us. Corporate conferences inspire attendees to take their organizations to new heights by sharing best practices and successful strategies. They serve as catalysts for business advancement and provide a platform for professionals to connect, learn, and thrive in an ever-evolving corporate landscape. Some examples within the hospitality industry include FICP, ADMEI, and national sales meetings.

"Companies can be assured that offering incentive travel experiences is a great way to get the best possible sales performance from their employees"– Incentive Research Foundation


 A corporate networking event is a gathering designed for professionals to establish and strengthen connections within their industry. It provides a platform for individuals from various organizations to interact, exchange ideas, and build mutually beneficial relationships. By attending such events, professionals can meet potential clients, partners, mentors, and key individuals who can offer valuable insights, collaborations, and support. Additionally, these events often feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, or workshops, providing attendees with opportunities to enhance their skills, stay updated on industry trends, and gain valuable insights from industry leaders. Overall, corporate networking events are essential in fostering professional relationships, promoting collaboration, and opening doors to new opportunities within the corporate world. Some examples within the hospitality industry include SITE, MPI, and FICP.


A corporate team-building event fosters collaboration and enhances employee teamwork. These events aim to improve communication, boost morale, and create a sense of unity among team members in fun and engaging ways, such as outdoor adventures, problem-solving exercises, workshops, or sports activities. The critical elements of a successful team-building event are breaking down barriers, building trust, and improving overall team dynamics. By engaging in shared experiences outside of the typical work environment, employees can develop a deeper understanding of each other's strengths, weaknesses, and working styles. These team-building events can help employees feel valued and appreciated by their organization, leading to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity. Overall, corporate team-building events play a vital role in creating a positive work culture, strengthening relationships, and fostering a collaborative environment that contributes to a company's long-term success.

product launches

A product launch event is vital when introducing new products or services to the market to build anticipation and create memorable impressions among their target audience. By creating an environment where attendees can engage directly with the company, they can share their feedback and generate valuable insights to inform future marketing strategies. By effectively orchestrating a corporate product launch event, companies can generate buzz, drive sales, and successfully position their offerings in the market, setting the stage for long-term success.

Incentive Meeting

A corporate incentive meeting is a curated experience designed to motivate and reward employees for achieving specific goals or milestones outside of cash incentives. These meetings allow employees to unite, celebrate their accomplishments, and be recognized for their exceptional performance. Corporate incentive meetings include activities to foster camaraderie, promote collaboration, and enhance employee engagement. They reinforce the company's appreciation for its employees' hard work and dedication, leading to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and retention. There is no better way to inspire and incentivize employees to strive for excellence, exceed expectations, and contribute to the company's overall success. The purpose is to reward the team members, and the experience itself can include a combination of some of the events listed above, including awards, teambuilding and networking. An example of this would be when the ETHOS team reached a milestone goal and was rewarded with a team trip to the Grand Cayman Islands!

Giving Back

The best part about these corporate events is their influence on positive change- especially within the community where the event took place. From volunteer opportunities, fundraising, or group activities, the possibilities are endless to find areas within the community that could benefit from your presence. Working with a DMC that values giving back to the community will have in-depth knowledge about the community's pain points. Not only are givebacks a fantastic team-building and personal development opportunities by engaging in meaningful acts of service, but they also foster a sense of unity and purpose within the company. These activities and experiences make the event more meaningful by strengthening and supporting the community and people who made your event possible. At ETHOS, we call this integration Purposeful Planning, which is why we make using business as a force for good a part of ETHOS's primary business philosophies. Very quickly, it became clear that giving back during corporate events creates a domino effect and impacts the attendees long after the event has ended.


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