The Gatehouse Blog

Corporate events, rituals and culture

Here’s a great little blog post from one of my favourite management thinkers and authors Leandro Herrero – on why events are an important part of an organisation’s culture.

Responding to a post by US marketing guru and writer Seth Godin in which he urges corporations to axe big ‘set piece’ events, Leandro explains why events like the annual sales conference or office party are often much more than the sum of their parts – they are important corporate rituals.

Of course, events can be done well or they can be done badly. They can be efficient or inefficient and so getting the substance and the delivery right is absolutely critical (one of the reasons we set up an events business, Gasp!, last year).

But, as Leandro rightly points out, events are often about much more than sharing a set of messages or rallying the troops. They are social rituals. And rituals are an important component of organisational culture.

To quote Leandro: "[Events] serve the extra-functionality of any ritual: they create a glue, a link, a sense of belonging (even if temporary), a ‘reason d’être’, a door to get through, a point in the calendar that provides some sort of meaning, a punctuation in time, ‘something to go to’, or to ‘get through’”. 

I couldn’t agree more Leandro.

Lee, Gatehouse