Corporate Events Are Like Tacos
A BALANCED DIET IS A TACO IN EACH HAND.
– RYLEY DACOME
Taco Enthusiast, The B2Group
It’s no secret that our team at The B2Group loves tacos! As cliche as being a taco lover is these days, it truly is kind of an obsession around here. It didn’t take long for us to realize that each person has their favorite restaurant, their preferred kind, and their fave home recipe.
What if we considered the possibility that “events are like tacos”? Stay with me here as I launch into this comparison!
Why compare tacos to corporate events?
Like tacos, options for live corporate events can be diverse, customizable, and ultimately, pretty darn satisfying. Events can look deceptively simple, but a lot goes into them to make them work. So, hold onto your serapes – it’s time to get serious about tacos! Let’s just taco ’bout this analogy (sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one):
First, the holder: We start with a hard or soft tortilla. We’ll call this the venue. Large, medium, or small, this “holder” needs to fit the event components we have planned for it. Once you consider the next two steps, deciding the venue size will be easier.
Next, the base filling: Just about anything goes – pick a protein: Pork, beef, chicken, seafood…even cactus (aka nopales), or even lamb, goat or – ew, grasshoppers (yep, it’s a thing!). Preparation of this component is key. This we’ll call your event’s message, your event’s branding or the main objective/s for your event. Therefore, no matter what we add to this later, the base filling is…forgive me…the ‘meat’ of your event.
And finally, the toppings: This is the fun part! What will you do to add flavor? This depends upon your goals. Are you planning a gourmet taco? Spicy? Bursting with flavor? Simple? Align your options with your objectives. Your choices abound! However, they must integrate as seamlessly as possible. Are you encouraging interaction with your company/product/team? Information exchange? Networking? Brand engagement? Education? Ongoing buzz after the event has wrapped?
So, events really are like tacos. (At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) Let’s go over some of the events with which you may be involved and see if I can help you serve up a Corporate Event Chef’s Special Plate made to order.
The Street Taco
This one is simple and has just a few ingredients – typically, meat, onions, and cilantro, and not much room for extras. It’s the O.G. of traditional Mexican tacos, and easy to grab and go. They’re jam-packed with flavor and freshness. It was created with a smaller tortilla so that you can eat it while walking down the street, since you likely bought it from a street vendor or food truck. You’ll definitely want to eat more than one.
Type of event: Outdoor Events can be terrific, especially if the weather cooperates. Of course, it’s best to control as much as you are able. If you’re including audio/video, be sure your event producer or AV technical director knows how to optimize the experience. They’ll need to address the sound and lighting challenges that come with the outdoor environment. Keep it simple and effective! Add some extras, but make sure this one is carefully coordinated. What is your backup plan in the event of inclement weather or other external factors that could impede your event? What are the benefits and unique opportunities for having it outside? How will you make it impactful, controlled, and buzz-worthy?
This one is rolled up tight. The content is simple without a lot of ingredients, and you can’t add to it once you’ve closed it up. However, it can be dipped in sauces, guac, sour cream and salsa. It can be sprinkled with cheese, pico de gallo, or seasoning – the toppings depend on how many add-ons you want.
Type of event: Let’s talk about Digital/Virtual events! Once the event has wrapped, the recordings are rolled up tight and sealed, ready to deliver.
Of course, an online event can be live-streaming, but what about a less-risky, super impactful event that is curated in advance of the event date? So much can be done with a pre-recorded event so that it “appears” to be live, such as a count-down prior to the event (it will not launch until the countdown is done).
You can add engagement all around the event using your digital event platform (more about that to follow). Most of the planning and work for digital corporate events are done prior to the date of the event. It can be very interesting, informative, and exciting, with either a professional third-party moderator, a celebrity moderator, or a moderator from your company facilitating the event. The moderator would cut to engaging videos, presentation decks, and other speakers from anywhere in the world!
If pre-recording, once the recording is done, your event production company would deliver a link to the event platform of your choosing (again, more about event platforms later).
The Combo Plate
Now that you have an event that’s “rolled up tight”, we’ll need a sturdy, dependable plate that can handle the volume, and we’ll need toppings.
A Digital Event Platform is the online environment that will accommodate the size of your audience as well as the various pieces to create the vibe of a live, in-person event. Digital event platforms offer tools concurrent with your event such as Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, interactive workshops, audience polling, embedded surveys, social media contests, audience chats, handouts, and more.
Check out platforms like Hopin, ON24, or PheedLoop – there are quite a few, and most are willing to provide a live, online demo. Using the right platform, you’d be able to capture detailed audience engagement insights, cut down on the stress, and customize your viewers’ experience – so you can sit back and enjoy your company event.
The Super Taco
This one is prepared with the works. It is the loaded, overflowing kind that you absolutely must eat with both hands.
Type of Event: This is a full-featured corporate event that is large and meticulously planned with your production company and project manager. It is big, bold, and impactful. The stage is custom-designed, or possibly features rented stage props – either way, it complements your theme and event type. This event has several moving parts and innovative technology, integrated with fluidity and purpose. The videos that are weaved in before, during, and after the event should provide just the right engagement, entertainment, excitement and/or educational opportunities while landing your brand and event message.
So whatever you do, use the right precautions (think: experienced production team, talented project manager, weekly update meetings, excellent communication) to prevent this from falling apart while you’re preparing or experiencing it!
The Gourmet Taco
Ever had one of these? I personally think they’re delightful. Those I have enjoyed have plenty of carefully considered details, where each ingredient significantly adds to the whole experience. It features ingredients such as sliced avocado instead of guac, blackened shrimp instead of ground beef, smoky bacon, a stone-ground corn tortilla toasted with a blend of delicious cheeses, and a flavorful signature sauce. Squeeze a little lime or hot sauce on top of that magic and I’m all in!
These people are sitting at the Reservations Required VIP Table.
Type of Event: I’m going to call this one the Awards Banquet. This can also apply to Executive Retreats or a Winner’s Circle Sales Team Trip.) Each nominee is introduced with preparation, thoughtfulness, and respect. There’s a lot going on during this event, as you want to keep it exciting and interesting.
Although this VIP event can be small(ish), it is also exclusive – and customized to your brand and message. It is special. With everything focusing on excellent quality, you have crucial moving parts: You have the chance to include ideas to really make the attendees feel valued, to make it fun or interesting, and to satisfy their appetite – they will see this event was painstakingly and thoughtfully planned just for them.
Now that we’ve had some fun with this comparison, you’ll be able to save time in your event planning meetings.
While you’re all at the conference table deciding what type of event to plan for your national sales meeting, now you can simply jot “Gourmet Taco” in your notes. Once the person next to you peeks at your notepad, they’ll likely nod in your direction with a knowing look that says: “Great idea!” and after the meeting they’ll approach you with the invitation: “Let’s grab some tacos over lunch and discuss it!”.