While the back-to-school season is upon us, some are finding the sentiment extending to the office as well. Employees have adjusted to new working habits: some may be on hybrid schedules, some may be in office full time, while others may still be working from an Airbnb!

However for one of Kapow!’s clients, Leo Burnett, a hybrid work schedule doesn’t have to mean only getting to know coworkers over Zoom. We sat down with Kapow!’s very own Annie Kocur to learn a little bit more about our client’s most recent back-to-office lunch series across downtown Chicago. 

What did Leo Burnett originally ask for? Has the pandemic changed the kinds of events you see our clients asking for? 

AK: “Back in 2019, the client asked for a similar event series for the company’s anniversary. This time around in 2022 however, the client requested lunches in walking distance of their downtown Chicago office location. The lunches were meant to be a time for teams to reconnect, meet those who work in other areas of the agency, and, for new hires who started during the pandemic, provide an opportunity to meet their coworkers in-person for the first time over a delicious meal and drinks.”

Any initial concerns when the request came through? Were you intimidated at all by the scale? Or excited for the challenge?

AK: “Initially there were some slight concerns around finding restaurants all with the same date and times available, however with Kapow!’s large supplier network, there was no trouble accommodating. This request was an exciting one for us to see at Kapow!, as the nature of the events are a great sign that we may be returning to more normal in-person events, especially since clients want to get back out there and interact with each other face-to-face.”

What did the metrics end up looking like? (How many lunches over how many weeks? How many total attendees?) 

AK: “In total, we helped host 500 employees at 25 lunches in downtown Chicago over 3 weeks at 5 different restaurants. Each lunch had a different group of 20-25 employees; we were able to coordinate 5 different lunches running simultaneously across the 5 different restaurants each week.”

Do any highlights stand out from the series? 

AK: “This series really helped hone in on the importance of location! Events within walking distance of the office are a great way to increase attendance, especially since the commute doesn’t disrupt the workday. Focusing on ensuring convenience for your attendees is a surefire way to start your event on the right foot!”

What kinds of events or series would you recommend companies book for their clients just returning to the office or meeting their coworkers for the first time?

AK: “Small and more intimate events provide an opportunity for attendees to actually talk to each other and connect, whether for the first time ever or for the first time in a long time! Including an interactive portion, such as a cooking class, TopGolf, a scavenger hunt, etc. is a great way to get your guests talking, as it could be the first time everyone’s meeting in person. Given the circumstances of today, something outdoors with fresh air is also an excellent idea!”

Regardless of whether the event is a chance for internal coworkers to spend time together or a client-facing outing, it’s always a good idea to get a feel for your attendees’ expectations before you start putting together your event. What would they be interested in attending? Where would they like to go? Any kinds of activities they may enjoy? The best events are those that appeal to the audience, and Kapow! is here to help you bring your ideas to life.


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