What Are The Most Common Types of Business Events

What Are The Most Common Types of Business Events?

The various types of business events are an essential pillar of the event planning industry. Compared to events like weddings or festivals designed for entertainment, business events serve a purpose. These important events must do more than provide a good time. For a business event to be successful, it has to conquer motives like generating sales, increasing brand awareness, and attracting new audiences. 

There are many types of business events that can accomplish these monetary and strategic goals. Here are some of the most common types of business events. We also share how to distinguish the differences between them and what to focus on when planning!

Pro Tip: When planning any event, use event planning software to stay organized. Professional reputations are at stake, and you should always keep detailed, reference-able notes.

Photo by Evangeline Shaw


The primary purpose of any conference is networking. Based around meetings and gatherings, conferences are usually industry-specific and attract large crowds of people united by a theme (or occupation!). Conferences allow attendees to mingle, expand their networks, discuss partnerships, and spark conversations about business opportunities.

In addition to networking, conferences provide education. Often industry leaders will host lectures, workshops, and seminars to teach attendees at conferences over the course of multiple days. 

Expos & Trade Shows

Similar to conferences, expos, and trade shows are also large gatherings lasting several days. But rather than networking and education, their focus is vendors and brands’ reputations. Expos and trade shows are known for their showrooms and large expo halls of vendor booths and exhibits. These small pop-ups allow brands to interact with attendees, attract new prospects, and gain brand awareness. It’s an ideal space for brands to launch a new product and create a sensory-driven, lifestyle experience for attendees.

Team Building & Executive Retreats

Image of types of business events
Photo by Erika Giraud

These relaxing – yet productive – events are typically internal within a company. Team building, corporate, and executive retreats get colleagues get away from the office. This type of business event focuses on strengthening relationships, conducting brainstorming sessions, and even rewarding themselves for a work accomplishment (like hitting a sales quota). By escaping the confinement of the office, teams find new inspiration and a reinvigorated sense of purpose. Many large corporations have annual retreats to boost team morale and reward employees.

Launch Parties

This business event may be fun, but it’s pivotal for a brand. A launch party is the first impression of a new company or a new product. Launch parties need to impress guests and generate excitement. Some parties focus their energies on raising capital from investors. Launch parties can be a make or break moment, so preparing a creative and innovative event is crucial!

Photo by Antenna

Anniversary Parties

On the flip side of a launch party, there are company anniversary parties. Rather than celebrating the beginning of a new chapter, anniversary parties honor a milestone. They serve as a great way to commemorate a company and its accomplishments. These humbling and celebratory events should focus on team building, boosting morale, and marking this moment in history for the company!

Board Meetings

The smallest of the common types of business events are board meetings. Some board meetings may only consist of a few members, but they equally serve a great purpose. Board meetings are precisely what the name suggests: meetings for board members, C-levels, and/or shareholders. These reunion meetings are professional settings designed for productivity.

Understand All Types of Business Events

As a professional event planner, it’s crucial to know each of these common business-related events’ nuances. By understanding each event’s main goal and purpose, you will deliver better, more successful results. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, so never forget the reason you are planning an event and prioritize that purpose. That foundation will build a great business event every time! 

Amanda Larson, CED, is a Certified Event Designer, marketer, and content creator. With a degree in journalism and special events management, Amanda has worked in marketing and events for both international startups and Fortune500 companies. She specializes in digital branding, copywriting, and graphic design freelancing for clients globally.

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