July 06, 2023
By Mike Fletcher

Are you being asked to organise more internal events than ever before? Maybe you’re struggling for new ways to bring people together, motivate, inspire and drive company culture.

According to American Express’s 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, internal events are now the fastest-growing meetings category and are expected to see the biggest increase in attendees.

Engaged staff who make deeper connections with their team members and colleagues are likelier to report higher employee satisfaction, productivity and creativity and are less likely to seek new job opportunities.

If it falls to you to stage more inspiring internal events in greater numbers, we’re here to help. Read on for some great ideas and tips to improve your internal meetings and events programme.


What is an internal event?

Internal event

Internal events are a crucial investment for your organisation. An internal event can be classed as anything from a company-wide conference to divisional team building, training or a sales kickoff.

They can be in-person, virtual or a mixture of the two (hybrid). You may be staging workshops, webinars, reward and recognition programmes, idea generation, and problem-solving meetings.

Internal corporate events benefit both staff and the wider organisation. They improve morale, create a more appealing place to work, and help companies drive change.

What is the goal of internal events?

Your internal events can have many goals including:

  • Staff retention. A workforce that feels valued, motivated and listened to is less likely to look for new job opportunities.
  • Employee engagement. By involving staff in your company’s values and mission statements, they’ll become advocates for what your brand stands for.
  • Communicating key corporate messaging. Internal events allow senior leaders to listen to feedback and answer questions, resulting in a more engaged audience.
  • Workforce wellbeing. Your internal events may include lunchtime yoga classes, meditation sessions or other activities to promote mental and physical health.
  • Company culture. Reinforce what your company stands for by celebrating cultural moments and religious holidays.
  • Making employees feel valued. Recognise and reward employee achievements with incentive travel or other motivational events such as an internal awards ceremony.

Benefits of internal events

The benefits of your internal events can be broken down into four Cs - Connection, Communication, Camaraderie and Culture.


Company-wide or cross-departmental internal events can help you break down silos and foster a sense of togetherness amongst remote or hybrid workforces.

By connecting senior leadership with more junior staff members and getting them all together in the same room for business updates, sales kickoffs or other forms of internal meetings, you’ll help build a more inclusive company culture and drive employee engagement.


Internal events are often held to communicate important corporate messages to staff. But you can also use them to problem-solve a particular business challenge, train teams or create safe spaces for staff to share their experiences and support each other.

By encouraging a culture of open and honest communication through internal events, you’ll help employees feel more valued and motivated.


Bringing employees together for a shared experience can help you to boost morale and strengthen working relationships.

Reward and recognition programmes, team-building events and incentive travel schemes can all help you to boost camaraderie while recognising the hard work of individuals and teams.


Your internal events can drive company culture by reinforcing values and helping staff connect and engage with corporate objectives across sustainability and social causes.

Use your internal events programme to build a culture of inclusivity by celebrating key occasions such as Black History Month, Pride Month, International Women’s Day and key religious holidays.

Types of internal events

Team bonding


Internal meetings and events that involve large numbers of employees, either in-person or virtually can include seminars, product launches, training days, team building or company conferences.

A blend of in-person and online attendance allows you to include larger numbers of employees who may be in different countries while cutting down on travel costs and carbon emissions.

These hybrid events benefit from adding additional attendee engagement features such as polling and gamification. Using an event platform can help you simplify managing these complex large-scale hybrid events.


Internal training events often fall under the remit of HR and include recruiting, onboarding, learning and development.

You can use them to develop staff expertise and knowledge or improve wellbeing policies by staging training days dedicated to first-aid, mental health awareness or DE&I policies.

Board meetings

Internal meetings for senior leaders or board members usually address policy issues, financial matters and new or unresolved business issues. You will need to stage them according to official rules and procedures, at regular intervals and ensure the attendance of a minimum number of members either in-person or virtually.

Leadership summits

Also known as executive retreats, leadership summits are small gatherings of your organisation’s C-suite or high-level employees. They are mostly held off-site and often used to brainstorm new ideas and build teams.

You’ll find that facilitating strategic discussion and shared ideas is best done in a face-to-face meeting format, in which ideas can quickly develop and evolve.

Sales kickoff

Sales kickoffs usually take place at the start of a company’s financial year. You can use them to reward those who succeeded in the previous year and re-energise your salesforce for the year ahead.

Consider hiring motivational speakers to present alongside company executives who will educate staff on new products and campaigns. Together, they can rally employees around a goal or sales target.

Hybrid events are ideal for sales kickoff meetings. Technology allows you to recognise high performers, no matter their physical location. Plus, a highly visual presentation translates exceptionally well to a hybrid meeting.

You’ll inspire everyone to achieve next year’s targets.

Incentive programmes

Also referred to as reward and recognition schemes, incentive programmes were once designed to motivate and reward team or individual performance. Top salespeople would compete to win a long-haul travel experience by exceeding their targets or by bringing in the most revenue.

However, today, you can also stage reward and recognition events to help your company demonstrate its values around employee wellbeing, with time-off excursions and access to wellness via gym memberships or yoga classes to counteract workplace loneliness, stress and burnout.   

10 creative ideas for internal meetings and events

Sack race

1. Learn over lunch

The Lunch and Learn event format is a creative way to mix internal networking with updating your attendees on the latest product knowledge, sales techniques or other types of in-house learning.

They’re a great way to break down department silos, bolster camaraderie and reward participation with some gourmet treats.

2. Responsible team building

Plan internal team building around CSR goals, sustainability and giving back to the local community.

Team building doesn't need to be forced fun or cheesy. Who doesn't feel good about yourself when you do good for others?

3. Company picnic and sports day

Make use of outdoor space by organising a company picnic and sports day.

Fire up the barbecue and get your employees competing against other departments in traditional ‘school sports day’ games such as the egg and spoon race, sack race and obstacle course.

4. Escape the meeting room

Transform a meeting room into a themed ‘Escape Room’ and have your employees find clues and solve puzzles together in order to avoid being locked in for eternity.

It’s a great way to encourage teamwork and camaraderie.

5. Employee appreciation awards

Recognise employee achievements by staging a glitzy awards ceremony.

You could roll out the red carpet, hand out trophies, invite a comedian to perform and send everyone home with a goody bag of locally sourced treats. 

A corporate-friendly drag queen could be the perfect host. They’re well-known for their wit and humour and they’ll encourage a culture of diversity and inclusion within your organisation.

6. Festivalise it

Hang the bunting, invite gourmet food trucks and then hire local bands or DJs to come to play and entertain your guests.

A festival at work will live long in the memories of employees and if you make it an annual event, it may even become a reason why people apply for job vacancies at your organisation.

7. Virtual Reality

Give staff a VR experience to remember. You can help inspire them with a guided tour around virtual worlds or get them competing against each other for virtual trophies.

Staff spectators can watch the action on big screens and have fun watching the participants in headsets trying to navigate their virtual surroundings.

8. Lunch-time karaoke club

Lunch-time clubs are a great way to break up the day, encourage teamwork and drive productivity for the afternoon.

Karaoke sing-alongs will energise staff. You may even discover a talented singer who would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

9. Company Crufts

When staff bring their four-legged friends into the office it boosts spirits and makes everyone smile so why not hold an annual dog show?

You could have different categories and set up a doggy obstacle course outside. Make sure you have treats for both dogs and employees at the ready.

10. Mindfulness

Encourage wellness in the workplace with mindfulness sessions. Invite a coach to teach meditation and enjoy the sense of calm that envelops your previously stressed-out workforce.

Top tips for running internal events

Standing meeting

Switch up the format 

Introduce different meeting formats to maximise the available meeting time.

For example, if you book recurring briefing meetings, rather than securing a meeting room for a full hour, why not suggest a 15-minute stand-up format where team members are standing as they report on what they’ve just done, what they’re doing next, and what problems they see ahead.

These short stand-ups can take place anywhere and serve to keep energy levels high and minds focused.

Use an event app

You may think that an event app is required only for large meetings. But that's not the case.

In fact, you can use your event app to encourage participant engagement and drive productivity, learning and development for all types of internal events.

With a mobile event app, you can use live Q&A to address the most relevant questions for all team members and address one-off questions from individuals.

Use the polling and quizzing features to get real-time insights into how well your attendees are grasping different topics. And use the in-app surveys to get feedback on company announcements, incentive schemes, or training.

Get creative with content

Most people have little patience for contrived activities. So it’s vital to keep re-inventing how your presenters deliver content more engaging and relevantly.

Don’t let your internal event attendees suffer ‘death by PowerPoint’. Encourage short, snappy presentations, fireside chats, interactive workshops, gamification (quizzes, competitions etc) and other ways to bring event content to life such as adding a live artist or cartoonist who can capture key takeaways and ideas.

Internal event solutions

Did you know that 90% of meeting and event professionals plan both internal and external events?

While it’s easy to think that internal events are more straightforward to prepare, over half of planners say that managing internal event programmes is more complex than external events.

That’s why it’s essential to have the right technology for your internal events. Event technology will give you total visibility and more personalised experiences while allowing you to track attendance and report on attendee engagement and event success.


The Ultimate Guide to Internal Events eBook CTA


Download this Ultimate Guide to Internal Events for more in-depth advice on how to create an internal events programme that will improve employee engagement and retention.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

The Ultimate Guide to Internal Events eBook CTA
The Ultimate Guide to Internal Events eBook CTA
Ultimate Guide to Internal Events
Create internal event programme that improves employee engagement and

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