Corporate Entertaining Ideas in Chicago

unique ideas for corporate events in chicago

One of the biggest challenges of planning a corporate event is finding a way to set it apart from the usual business gatherings. If you are in need of ideas for your upcoming events in Chicago, we’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a few ideas that you can use for client entertaining, group outings, team buildings and company events in Chicago. Here are a few.

Food stations

Ditch the formal dinner and spice up your event with food stations. With this set up, mini buffets or dining stations are scattered throughout the venue; thus, allowing guests to get up of their seats, enjoy great food and mingle with other guests. It is a popular approach for those who prefer a more casual, congenial atmosphere.

JOOJ Blow Dry

On November 9, 2015, JOOJ Blow Dry, a mobile salon company opened its shiny doors to the public. These chic air-stream trailers visits corporate offices, events sites and downtown streets to provide customers a convenient and accessible hair styling experience. Sleek blowouts, chic updos, bouncy curls and loose waves are all on the menu.

Treat your clients or employees to a luxurious and relaxing styling experience with this chic mobile salon.

Private painting parties

Add some fun to your team-building event or office party by holding a private painting party. Guests will leave with a one-of-a-kind creation and a new-found talent to explore.

Bottle and Bottega hosts private painting parties in their studio or at the location of your choice. They can accommodate a group of 10 to 100 persons.

unique ideas for corporate events in chicago

Chicago Chocolate Tours

Stroll through Chicago’s most decadent chocolatiers and dessert boutiques and sample something from each one. Here, you’ll be able to sample some of the city’s most delicious offerings such as truffles, warm donuts, pralines, cupcakes and chocolate drinks. This tour will not only provide a fun way to learn about the history of chocolates, it will also solve your clients’ and employees’ sweet cravings.

As always, should you find yourself planning a corporate event, don’t forget to consider G Thomas Ward Photography to document the occasion. With both extensive photography and video experience, your unique corporate event will be sure to be remembered.


Corporate Portrait Photography Tips You’ll Never Want to Forget

corporate headshots in chicago

Not every corporate photographer works with models. As photographers, we often face the challenge of posing our subjects. Our clients may not have any idea about how to pose in front of the camera. We are here to help you look your best in your professional headshot.
corporate headshots in chicago

Here are some tips for making your corporate headshot pop:

Lift the arm

When taking photos, most people would stand naturally and just place their arms on the side. No matter how relaxed the person is, he or she will look stiff and uncomfortable in these photos. Try to lift your arms slightly during your photo shoot.

Chin out and down

To hide a potential double chin, try to bring your chin forward and then down. Make sure, though, that the chin is not pressed closely against your neck.


Your hands are often a giveaway as to how your are feeling at the moment. You may look relaxed, but if your hands are clenched then you are going to look tensed. Make sure the hands are relaxed and do not overtake the shot.

If your hands are busy, try holding onto something. This provides a distraction to curb your anxiety. If you can’t seem to relax, your photographer should just focus on the face and upper body and not include the hands on the shots.

The relaxed look

Time and time again, we’ve encountered clients who would raise their chin and give some sort of blank expression. That’s how a model poses, right? Wrong!

Expression is important in portraits. A portrait without a real expression doesn’t connect with the viewer.  Try to relax as your portrait is being taken. The photos will not look natural if your don’t feel natural.

G. Thomas Ward in Action – Corporate Headshot Process

Last year I had the privilege to take business portraits at ChannelCon 2015. Take a look at the video we recorded of the headshot photography process and peruse through our gallery of the final product below!

Sample Professional Headshots from ChannelCon 2015


Annual Heartland Health Outreach Event

G. Thomas Ward Chicago portraits

Last month, I was honored to shoot an event by Heartland Health Outreach, an organization I wholeheartedly support, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. I’ve been hired to work this annual event several times times in the past and always enjoy the evening.

heartlandhealthoutreachevent event photography chicago

Heartland Health Outreach was formerly known as Vital Bridges until a few years ago when they merged with Heartland Alliance, an umbrella organization for many social services agencies. Heartland Health Outreach itself is the healthcare arm of Heartland Alliance with services ranging from primary care to treatments for immigrant and homeless populations throughout Chicago.

Here are some of my favorite images from the evening.

Unique and Creative Ideas for Your Next Corporate Event

Sick of a boring corporate event, check out these creative corporate event ideas

Corporate events can be quite boring. Most of these events have the same concepts and elements, making it difficult to differentiate one event from another. To really give your corporate event an edge, you need to think out of the box.

Today, it’s all about creating an event that will wow your guests. With that in mind, we picked out some fun and unique ideas that will entertain the masses and make your event a memorable one. Hopefully, these ideas will drive attendance to your next event.

Sick of a boring corporate event, check out these creative corporate event ideas

Shadow performers

As seen on several talent shows on TV, shadow shows will definitely impress audiences. This unique and exciting form of entertainment is ideal for product launches and other events. Some shows can be tailor-made for clients to make it more relevant to your event or company. This creates a memorable experience attendees will remember for a long time.


Hire an aerial performer on your next event. It is one way of introducing fun to a rather formal event. Very seldom do people get a chance to watch some talented acrobats while sipping their wine. You can also hire some jugglers, clowns and tumblers to walk around the event and entertain guests sporadically. If you do it right, guests and employees will be raving about it for the weeks to come.

Around the world theme

Take a trip around the world by naming each table after a country. Do a little research and try to incorporate some elements of different countries into the decor around the venue. Then, create a series of food stations offer a variety of cuisines and beverages served across the globe.

Aroma DJ

Smell triggers memories, they say. By hiring an aroma DJ, you can ensure that your guests remember your event. It is a unique act that combines tasteful aromas and upbeat club music to create a unique atmosphere. A happy, uplifted and energetic crowd is guaranteed within a few seconds.

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3 Tips for Creating an Eye-Catching Window Display

Eye Catching Window Display for retail store

Your window displays are like billboards for your store. It is the first things customers see when they pass by your store. A standout window display piques a shopper’s curiosity and lures them to enter your shop. However, most small businesses pay little to not attention to their window display due to limited resources. Others find it difficult to harness the creativity needed in creating an effective window display.

Eye Catching Window Display for retail store

If you want to capture attention and inspire prospective customers to step into your shop, then you need to make your storefront stand out. Here are some tips for creating a window display that turn heads and drive foot traffic.

1. Tell a story

Most people would start by creating a theme. But by doing so, you might be tempted to put together all your red and green merchandise and put them on display. That won’t make an impressive display. You want to create a story based on a theme. Instead of a Christmas-themed display, consider the Nut Cracker. Use your story-telling prowess to convey the message and then incorporate your products to the display.

2. Be bold

People’s attention spans are getting shorter these days. Add to that, they’re always in a hurry. Customers won’t even look at your shop as most of them are talking on the phone, texting someone or having a conversation with a friend as they pass by. Avoid the predictable if you want to get noticed. Use bold colors and shapes. Be bold in every way. You’ll want to pull all the stops just to make sure they notice your shop. When people stop to look at your window display, they will come inside your store.

3. Show off the wants

Most people respond to the things they want. If you’re running a shoe store, you wouldn’t want to display generic black-heeled shoes that women wear to work. Bring out those Jimmy Choo and Louboutin stilettos instead. Just because they are in need of black pumps, doesn’t mean they won’t treat themselves to those expensive shoes. Put your newest and most expensive shoes on the spotlight and you’ll definitely see an increase in foot traffic.


My years of experience include shooting for a wide variety of clients both corporate and personal, including Cartier, WTTW, The Chicago Reader, Northwestern University, Hartmarx, Music of the Baroque, Red Moon Theater, Theo Ubique, Third Coast Marketing and many, many more.

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