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Make These Top Corporate Event Ideas Shine

Corporate events are as diverse as the goals and branding behind them. From prestigious board meetings to fun team bonding outings, each type of event calls for a unique atmosphere, menu and entertainment. And because every aspect of your event is a reflection upon your company, every detail should shine a bright light on its most prized characteristics.

Let’s take a look at each type of company event and the venue, menu and activities that will make it an outstanding success.

Speaker at a corporate event at Galleria Marchetti
Photo Credit: Michelle Dokes Photography & Trevor Brody Photography

Creative Company Event Ideas

Imaginative and Elegant Board Meetings

Board meetings are incredibly professional gatherings, and also ones that embrace imagination and big dreams. To encourage open minds, look for a Chicago venue that has an open vibe—think glass double doors and glistening floors. You may even look for a space that can be made open-air. The idea is to let minds soar into great ideas while coming back to a distinguished grounding.

Beautiful and extensive lighting should be used inside and outside your venue. The gorgeous crystal chandeliers and outdoor landscape lighting make Galleria Marchetti a perfect location for board meetings.

Such esteemed meetings call for the finest food and drinks. We recommend Italian appetizer plates with soppressata, capicola, genoa salami, bresaola and prosciutto di parma, garnished with pepperoncini and olives paired with fine Tuscan wines like:

  • Chianti
  • Brunello di Montalcino
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
  • Ruffino Ducale Gold Label Chianti Classico
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano
  • Prosecco Rosé
  • Moscato d’Asti
  • Vin Santo

Tip: To inspire employees and create a captivating atmosphere, color wash the white ceiling of Il Padiglione (The Pavilion) or La Pergola in your company’s color.

Exceptional Networking Events

Make your corporate brand shine brighter than ever in an exciting venue that has guests talking. Customization is always important, but it is especially important at networking events. Start by designing a menu with signature cocktails and innovative hors d’oeuvres like:

  • Bacon & ricotta-stuffed date “sliders”: Ground bacon patties & ricotta cheese in a date “bun”
  • Caprese lollipops: Grape tomatoes, bocconcini & basil
  • Smoked salmon roses: English cucumbers stuffed with a cream cheese horseradish mixture, topped with a smoked salmon rose & dill sprig
  • Bacon-stuffed scallop “sliders”: Ground bacon patties & balsamic syrup in a sautéed scallop “bun”
Smoked Salmon Roses
Photo Credit: Michelle Dokes Photography & Trevor Brody Photography

Then add dynamic lighting and custom decorations to your immaculate event space. Some of our favorite company decoration ideas are:

  • Banners with logos/branding attached between the support posts of The Pavilion, La Pergola, or the retractable awning in II Cortile dell’Est (The East Courtyard)
  • Custom gobos that project lighted logos onto any surface such as floors, walls, or ceilings of The Pavilion or La Pergola
  • Custom glassware or plateware with company branding and logos
  • Custom linens in company colors
  • Spandex table covers with company logos on them
  • Ice sculptures of the company logo
  • Ice Sculpture of company logo
    Photo Credit: Duron Studio Photography

    Fun Company Picnics

    When your employees work so hard every day, sometimes you just want them to relax and feel appreciated. A company picnic with delicious food and fun lawn games is a great way to refresh and reward employees.

    The East Courtyard at Galleria Marchetti is a great place for employees to relax, play bocce ball and treat themselves with a trip or two to our deluxe ice cream sundae bar that includes:

    • Vanilla Gelato
    • Chocolate Gelato
    • Caramel Sauce
    • Hot Fudge Sauce
    • Strawberry Sauce
    • Espresso Brownies
    • Chocolate Chip Cookies
    • Lemon Ricotta Cookies
    • Chocolate Chips
    • White Chocolate Chips
    • Sliced Bananas
    • Quartered Strawberries
    • Sprinkles
    • Whipped Cream
    • Maraschino Cherries

    Employees will smile extra big when they step up to this ice cream sundae bar, especially if you ask our staff to wear custom branded shirts in your company’s colors and with your company logo.

    Outdoor event area
    Photo Credit: Jason Kaczorowski Photography

    Tip: Summer company picnics are incredibly popular, especially on the weekend. If you desire a Friday or Saturday evening date, be sure to book your picnic venue at least 12 months in advance.

    Unique Team Building Outings

    Trust is a cornerstone of great Chicago companies, and teambuilding activities are one of the best ways to develop it among employees. Outings that ask employees to use a completely different skillset—one that they have less experience with—also helps break down any barriers between departments. One of the most popular teambuilding event ideas is a cooking class. In the Lucca Room at Galleria Marchetti, employees can cook traditional Neapolitan pizza dough or pull fresh mozzarella to enjoy later.

    Tip: Think about which fun company outing ideas also provide time for employees to just hang out together. It is nice if they can work together on an unusual task and then savor their sense of accomplishment as a team.

    Dynamic Company Award Ceremonies

    Heartfelt recognition of employees’ hard work and dedication paired with playful celebrating—how will your Chicago venue and custom menu make these a perfect pair? Look for a formal setting that can transform into a big party space where guests find fun food stations like our caprese carving station—a playful mix of the traditional beef carving station and the colorful and refreshing caprese salad, and gnocchi with wild boar ragu.

    Food at a corporate event
    Photo Credit: Cristina G Photography

    Cheerful Company Holiday Parties

    Full of so much energy and good cheer, company holiday parties are one of our favorite events to host. We invite you to preview our holiday party menu and let us know how we can customize it to match your party’s theme. How about an Italian Christmas theme with red, white and green décor, a pasta action station, a Neapolitan pizza station and a cannoli filling station for dessert?

    We always love to hear from companies and organizations that are glad they chose Galleria Marchetti for their holiday party, and we look forward to bringing the same joyous experience to your employees.

    Thank you for your efforts to make our holiday party a success. It was by far the best we have ever had. Everyone enjoyed themselves, the ambience was special, and the food was wonderful. Please extend my thanks to your staff. Everyone was so attentive and helpful. – Colleen, Channeled Resources, Inc.

    Incredible Employee Recognition Celebrations

    If your company feels like a close-knit family, then bring it together to celebrate as one. A delicious family-style meal is a great way to recognize the effort each employee puts forth to create the success that comes from a cohesive team. An elevated menu presented in sharing bowls using marble Lazy Susans will reward and bond employees.

    Outdoor fire for events
    Photo Credit: Jason Kaczorowski Photography

    Whether you are inviting 10 or 12,000 employees, think warm and cozy when choosing your employee recognition venue. With the right staff, décor and activities, even the most expansive property can be intimate and personal. One of our favorite company event ideas is a s’mores station using our 85 linear feet of fire pits. As a final gesture of recognition, give employees individual s’mores kits handsomely tied in nice bags with corporate branding as take home gifts.

    Outstanding Company Fundraisers

    With Moroccan brass sconces and beautiful travertine flooring, we can’t think of a better place for company fundraisers and galas than La Pergola at Galleria Marchetti. Guests will feel as though they stepped into another time. Let them be whisked away by your company in this stunning space. They are sure to show greater support than you could have imagined—local companies can attest to this:

    Planning for this year’s event was a breeze with the team at Galleria Marchetti. JP and Corey treated us like family and really went above and beyond to make sure every detail was perfectly in place. Our guests had a wonderful time, and we raised more funds than we anticipated. We can’t wait for our next event under the stars at Galleria Marchetti. -Emily Smith, Executive Director of the ABC Foundation

    Outdoor corporate events
    Photo Credit: Jason Kaczorowski Photography

    To plan an event as great as your company, share your event goals and corporate vision with our experienced planners. They can help you find the right venue and design your exceptional custom menu.

    To bring decades of experience to your corporate event, contact us online or give us a call at 312.563.0495.

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