More people than ever are looking for unique events to enjoy, giving a new lease of life to the event space. Innovation, quick-thinking, and adaptability are key in coming up with social event ideas that capture your audience’s attention.

See this challenge as an opportunity, either to rethink in-person events or go virtual to attract people from across the globe. And don’t be afraid to mix and match. For example, you can mix creativity with commerce by selling craft kits ahead of an art class, or combine corporate and consumer approaches with a conference that offers free expert consultations.

To help you get started, here are 50+ out-of-the-ordinary event theme ideas to try.

Corporate events

Corporate events are a great way to break the ice with your clients or encourage your team to get social. These events can work as an incentivising reward for employees or strengthen business relationships, while introducing individuals who might not otherwise have met. Try the following corporate event ideas:

  1. Team-building challenges such as quizzes or socially-distanced scavenger hunts
  2. Virtual job fairs to find new hires
  3. Tech conferences to encourage collaboration across industries
  4. Skills-based workshops to help employees boost strengths like public speaking
  5. Award ceremonies to reward high-performing team members
  6. Seminars to educate clients and staff about specific topics relevant to your business
  7. Charity auctions or volunteering days, such as sprucing up local green spaces

Outdoor events

Get people out and about with an outdoorsy event. Outdoor occasions allow people to mix in a socially-distanced way, while sporty themes are a great way to encourage healthy competition. Try these for some nature-filled event inspiration:

  1. Bike trips and workshops
  2. Nature walks or foraging expeditions
  3. Outdoor photography workshops
  4. Coastal trips and beach clean-ups
  5. Races or obstacle courses like zorbing

Foodie events

Food and drink events are always popular, and provide many great social event ideas. Light-hearted and fun, they’re also ideal for team-building and networking. Plus, demonstrations and cook-alongs can be easily followed at home. Consider these culinary concepts:

  1. Cocktail and mocktail-making
  2. Supper clubs
  3. Educational sessions delving into the history of specific cuisines
  4. Hands-on baking and bread-making workshops
  5. Pop-up dining events like street food festivals
  6. Cooking sessions with celebrities
  7. Whisky or wine tastings with expert guides

Quirky events

There are a variety of entertainment ideas that attendees may not have tried before, giving you an easy way to stand out in the event sphere. Experiences that require people to think carefully and solve puzzles will keep your audience engaged and excited. Many such events can also be held virtually – just ask participants to form teams with family and friends. Here are a few concepts to inspire you:

  1. Escape rooms
  2. Murder mystery nights where teams compete to solve a ‘crime’
  3. Haunted pub tours, uncovering the ghoulish history of some of Britain’s oldest pubs
  4. Scavenger and treasure hunts complete with prizes
  5. Virtual and augmented reality mazes
  6. Speed-dating events with a twist, such as unique activities like roller derbies or drinking Jenga

5. Arts events

Bring out your attendees’ creative sides with an arts or crafting event. Making something in a group helps create a sense of togetherness and achievement, and gives attendees a physical memento to take away. You can even hold crafting events online, sending out equipment packs ahead of time. Theatre performances and exhibition visits, meanwhile, are timeless classics – even when livestreamed. Here’s a little more inspiration:

  1. Creative writing workshops
  2. Live theatre shows
  3. Art museum tours
  4. Drive-in cinemas
  5. Online crafts sessions including seasonal specials like wreath-making

6. Health and wellness events

Whether it’s one-to-one make-up consultations with cosmetic experts or live classes attendees can take from the comfort of the own home, there are a range of events to boost wellbeing and relaxation. Plus, they can be held anywhere. Yoga sessions and dance workshops, for example, work outside or inside with the help of social distancing, or via livestream, and require little in the way of equipment. Try these easy setups:

  1. Exercise classes in unusual outdoor locations or virtual yoga retreats from home
  2. Burlesque classes, with beginner and advanced options
  3. Online beauty consultations
  4. Grief and healing workshops to help attendees cope with challenging emotions
  5. Meditation and relaxation sessions designed to support the LGBTQ+ communityand other groups
  6. Self-love clubs to boost self-confidence and positivity

Shopping events

If you own a small business, take advantage of the many opportunities for retail-focused events, particularly during key times of the year like Christmas. You can team up with other brands to create a pop-up marketplace or use livestreaming software to recreate an in-store atmosphere. Get creative with the following ideas:

  1. Pop-up markets, which can be held online or in-person
  2. Christmas-themed events like gift idea workshops
  3. Talks and seminars from influencers or stylists to the stars
  4. One-to-one consultations to offer style advice

Music events

Live concerts make good ideas for social events. And with a wide range of affordable video software and equipment on offer, it’s never been easier to create a rich, immersive experience both online and in-person. Experiment with the following:

  1. Online day festivals
  2. Intimate in-person or livestreamed gigs
  3. Open mic nights for emerging artists
  4. Karaoke sessions for amateur warblers
  5. Sing-along screenings of musicals

Gaming events

Take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the online space with a gaming event. With people at home and online more than ever, tournaments and competitions are an easily accessible and low-key way to socialise. Here are some specific events to organise:

  1. Virtual reality gaming competitions
  2. Role-player tournaments
  3. Conferences to build excitement around new releases
  4. Classic board game contests

Comedy events

Lighten the mood with a comedy event. Stand out in the stand-up space by hosting something fun and light-hearted that attendees can either watch or participate in themselves. Start with these engaging ideas:

  1. Open mic nights from well-known or up-and-coming comedians
  2. Engaging topical or social commentary shows
  3. Comedy game shows to encourage interactivity
  4. Improv and clown classes
  5. Fundraising events with auctions and performances

Hosting your next event

Hook attendees by mixing up your approach to event planning with unusual ideas. Remember that there’s no theme or event concept that can’t be turned into a successful and engaging reality. Organise your next unique event with us and start the journey to turning your audience into a strong community.

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