Lesson 2 – Types of Events

Types of Events

An event is a planned social occasion.  Events can be small intimate family gatherings, or huge galas.  You can have an event for charity, or for your babies’ first steps.  Because the spectrum is so vast, there are of course many different types of events.  In this section, we will review the most common types of events.

Our focus quote for this module:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin



An awards event, or an awards ceremony, is an event that gives out an award or awards, and awards ceremonies can vary in size and prestige. An example of an informal awards ceremony would be a group of co-workers gathering at a restaurant and awarding funny awards to each other like “worst tie in the office.” An example of a formal awards event would be the Oscars. An awards ceremony is a way to honor a person, or multiple people. You can utilize this type of event in any setting, such as a corporate function, social club, etc.



Charity events are events for a particular charity. These events can be geared towards awareness or fundraising. Like the other events they can be intimate, like a small dinner, or lavish. Some charity fundraising events could consist of having a carnival, a car wash, or a fancy 4-course meal. Relay for Life is a prime example of an informal charity fundraising event. At this event they raise awareness about cancer and raise money to fund cancer research. A formal event is a function that is usually a black-tie event. These can be dinners, dancing, celebrity auctions, and more. In 2012, George Clooney hosted the most successful dinner in the history of the American presidential campaigns for the re-election of Barack Obama. The event was held in George Clooney’s home and had 150 guests. The dinner was prepared by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. The price per plate was $40,000, and they were able to raise over $15 million dollars for the campaign according to CBS News.com.


Conferences and Seminars

Conferences and seminars are meetings for discussion or training. Usually, they are offered in a large setting, like an auditorium, and have speakers. These types of events can have singular or multiple speakers. They can incorporate an open forum or have a question-and-answer allotted time. A corporation can use this type of event to train new employees or share new techniques for the employees’ job. They can also use this forum to get feedback from their employees on new implemented policies. A group such as a club, or non-corporate organization, can use this type of event for giving information to its members, or getting feedback. An example would be Boy Scouts of America Troup Leaders collecting for a conference on new merit badges.



Holiday events are basically just social gatherings that relate to a specific holiday. This can include a corporate Christmas party, Cinco de Mayo celebration, or a New Year’s Eve masquerade gala. In most cases, these events are made to be fun occasions, and informal. Holiday parties usually use themes to make them more interesting. A great Christmas office party could be the highlight of the work year for many employees. These parties can also be coupled with awards ceremonies and charity events.


Practical Illustration

Jennifer feels like hosting a grand event will help her business gain recognition, and thus increase sales. Jennifer owns and runs the largest organic orchard in the county. On the orchard, they grow a variety of stone fruit and produce what she feels is the best cider in the state. She does a lot of business at the local farmer’s market, but she wants to expand. She believes in her product and wants her brand to be a household name. She tosses around a lot of different ideas and finally decides that a charity event would be great exposure for her company. She wants to find a local charity that does something relatable to her business. She does some research and finds a charity in her city that helps the elderly by providing groceries and hot meals. She contacts the charity and meets Lucy, who is just as excited about Jennifer’s proposition as Jennifer. Jennifer feels like this would be the best charity to help because she can also donate some of her products to the charity in addition to the money raised.