THE ART OF ANNIVERSARY EVENTS: SUCCESS WITH AUTHENTICITY AND DIGITIZATION
Anniversaries are a communicative gift for companies. But this potential should not be wasted. As event experts, we believe in the power of personal encounters, coupled with a thoughtful digital presence from the start. An anniversary offers a unique opportunity to convey corporate history and values throughout the year. Careful preparation and conceptual planning are essential to deliver the right messages to target audiences. A clear anniversary strategy defines goals, content and target groups before it is implemented in events and communication measures. This is the only way to ensure that an anniversary is not only celebrated but also used effectively in the long term.
THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESSFUL ANNIVERSARIES
Below, we will elaborate on the key ingredients for a successful corporate anniversary. As you'll come to realize, this recipe is most effective when you incorporate as many elements as possible into your planning, conception, and execution. However, even if you choose to focus on just a few elements, we are confident that these components will enhance the overall impact of the anniversary year, making it more effective, efficient, and sustainable.
The recipe consists of the elements authenticity, value orientation, digital activation and participation, which combined lead to the desired effect of the anniversary.
Successful anniversary communication is like looking in the mirror of a company. It should not only show the shining successes, but also the scars and corners that have made the company what it is. Still, many companies tend to fit into a predefined mold, especially when it comes to anniversary celebrations. For example, if a traditional family business is planning an elegant evening event, it might overlook its down-to-earth side. Authenticity means knowing yourself and also showing mistakes and lessons learned, rather than making yourself look bigger. A successful anniversary communication should take into account the entire corporate environment, fit with the values and imprints, highlight changes and challenges, and be transparent, even if the company is in a difficult situation. In short, it's about being honest and credible without pretending, creating genuine enthusiasm and a lasting impression.
Let's move on to the second element of our recipe for success: value orientation. This unfolds its full potential in conjunction with authenticity. In today's era of social media, the nature of communication has changed from purely goal-oriented to value-oriented. This is also evident in anniversaries, where participants* want to experience the lived values of the company. The story and the way it is told are crucial for the credibility and strength of the value orientation. It is important to note that values are only effective if they do not just exist on paper, but are lived out in reality.
Social media is now essential for anniversary events. But it's not just about posting – digital activation is the key. This means actively involving and motivating the target group. Using social media requires interaction and participation. Companies should exploit the full potential, be it through flash mob actions, hackathons, live broadcasts or the involvement of influencers*. Different formats should be offered to address different target groups. A well thought-out social media strategy is crucial to accompany the event from start to finish. This includes pre-event communication to build excitement, interaction during the event to engage with participants, and follow-up to keep the theme alive. The choice of format should also fit the brand and target audience. It is important to keep in mind: Every guest today is a real-time producer who shares what happens live on social media - both positives and mishaps.
Digitalization has changed our lives and also influenced the working environment. Agile working methods in particular have an impact on the behavior and expectations of target groups. In today's age, where participation and eye level count, anniversary celebrations have to be designed differently. The days when employees passively followed entertainment programs are over. Today, authenticity and identification are crucial. Involving employees as co-creators creates a larger communicative framework and promotes community building, a key element of anniversary communication. In the future, not only the involvement in the events, but also the active design of the content will be crucial. Companies that already actively involve their target groups at eye level achieve sustainable success. Successful anniversary communication allows target groups to have a say in content and formats, enabling them to make the anniversary their own event.
All these elements increase the communicative impact of anniversary events. However, all these success criteria have one thing in common: Taken on their own, they are helpful building blocks, but in interaction with each other, they reveal their full communicative power. After all, a company's anniversary is not only a reason to celebrate, but also a powerful tool for emphasizing the brand's long-standing success and consistency. It provides an opportunity to express appreciation to employees*, business partners* and customers who have made an important contribution to the company's success. In addition, a company anniversary can be used as an effective marketing tool to draw the public's attention to the company and strengthen its image.
The significance and pride conveyed by an anniversary will have a lasting impact on company perceptions, both internally and externally, and will shape the company for years to come. Celebrate your anniversary to properly honor your success story and send a strong, positive message to your audience.