Languages of Appreciation in Event Planning

After a fun-filled couple of days in Palm Springs for The Event Team’s annual Summer Retreat, we’re back, we’re bronze, and we’re ready to take on the rest of the year! One takeaway from this year’s retreat was a thought-provoking workshop, inspired by The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (Chapman/White), and facilitated by our Los Angeles General Manager Geraldine Caedo. Prior to the retreat, each employee took a small survey to identify which “languages” of appreciation resonated with them. The workshop demonstrated how to utilize each language as a tool to build better communication and help activate each team member’s engagement by giving thanks and praise in a way they best receive it.

This got us thinking…how can we take these languages and apply them toward our client’s corporate meetings and events? Since many of the programs we operate exist in the realm of recognizing and rewarding employees, we came up with a few sure-fire ways to “speak” each language at your next event! (Note: We omitted “Physical Touch,” as this is a language best explored in the context of personal/intimate relationships and not typically viewed as an appropriate way to engage in the workplace.)

Tangible Gifts

Our workshop emphasized that this language is most effective when the person/company giving the gift takes the time to find out what is most meaningful to the recipient. (You might recall how the folks at WestJet knock it out of the park, most recently with 2015’s 12,000 Mini Miracles campaign.)

How to include Tangible Gifts in your next event: Create welcome/swag bags that include one or two personalized items. It can be as simple as a copy of each attendee’s favorite magazine, or you can be a super-sleuth and investigate Pinterest boards, Amazon wishlists, etc. At the event itself, options are everything! Set up a “gift station” where guests can choose from a variety of tastes, colors, sizes, and/or textures. Our friends at BizBash have collected a wealth of information on personalized gifts, from Virtual Swag, to Name-Your-Own Nail Polish.

languages of appreciation tangible gifts

Quality Time

This language encompasses those who prefer to engage in focused or shared experiences with others. At The Event Team destination management company, providing such activities is our forte. Our top-notch Southern California tours and outings allow guests to spend quality time together in a variety of ways.

How to include Quality Time at your next event: Choose from relaxing bonding events such as local ballgames, kayaking excursions, sailing regattas, concerts, brewery tours, etc. For more focused attention, we offer VIP options like private surfing lessons, cooking demos, behind the scenes studio tours, and exclusive personal styling and shopping sessions. For catered events, we suggest a casual beach party decked out with several popular game options (cornhole, horseshoes, volleyball, etc.) that appeal to your guests’ natural inclination to engage and interact without feeling forced to network.

languages of appreciation quality time

Words of Affirmation

Sometimes employees just want to hear that they’re doing a great job. Seems simple enough, right? Keep in mind, however, that those who fall into this camp don’t necessarily require public fanfare. Words of Affirmation is a language that can be communicated in both public and private ways, even at corporate events.

How to include Words of Affirmation at your next event: Our go-to suggestion is the ever-popular awards gala. Roll out the red carpet with a fully produced black tie affair. Make sure awards announcements include thoughtful descriptions of each recipient’s specific achievements. Conversely, if your group is less interested in public recognition, try distributing personalized, handwritten Thank You cards to each attendee. Or for a fun themed twist, organize a game night event and place a Scrabble rack on each place-setting. Fill each one with a positive word (hand-picked by a superior/executive) that best describes each guest’s most valuable trait.

languages of appreciation words of affirmation

Acts of Service

This language means offering to help complete tasks in a way that feels productive to the recipient. This language is all about follow-through.

How to include Acts of Service at your next event: Sometimes attendees view corporate functions yet another task. Do your best to remove stressors from the event. Steer clear of holidays or deadlines, provide childcare or valet during the event, etc. In addition, invite attendees to participate in acts of service during your event. Chances are, if guests appreciate receiving help, they also value helping others. We offer many philanthropic options that benefit schools, military groups, hospitals, and more!

languages of appreciation csr

Languages of Appreciation – Need More Info?

If you want to show appreciation for your team during your next meeting, contact The Event Team today! We’ll help you determine the best “appreciation languages” and find creative ways to apply them to your event!