After a year living through a global health pandemic, the Sales Kickoff will be even more important this year than before. Celebrating the “2020 pivot” or planning for the “2021 Rebound” is exciting but comes with a challenge. How do we keep people (likely a remote audience) engaged during this year’s  Sales Kickoff? 

We recommend going all-in on a theme.

Benefits of a 2021 Sales Kickoff Theme

Maybe a theme sounds cheesy.

But, the reality is: the right theme will make a big difference.

Successful sales kickoff meetings will boost morale and set big goals to help your sales teams achieve those big wins. And, whether your sales meeting is in-person or virtual, a successful event can help your company get the edge on your competition as a powerful team-building experience. Your theme will help set goals and cement concepts and inspiration that could last the rest of the year.

Choosing a fitting theme will help make your sales kickoff meeting more effective and get the year started on a good foot. 

Businesswoman holding placard with we can do this text as support during virus epidemic.

Address the Challenges of 2021

The right sales kickoff theme can pinpoint what your new perspective is after a year of worldwide economic changes. Don’t skirt the issues caused by the pandemic—make them into a focal point by highlighting the solutions. As Jim Collins stresses in “Good to Great,”, you must confront the brutal facts and then pivot to optimism. 

Start by considering how your sales process has changed (or needs to change) by thinking about the following:

  • Innovation and embracing change
  • Motivation to gain back lost ground
  • Excellence in the face of challenges
  • Power to overcome obstacles
  • Adapting to new expectations
  • Digital migration and marketing strategies
  • Local outreach and community building

You can use this perspective to narrow down the scope of your catchy meeting theme, which should then help set expectations for 2021. It might directly tie into certain challenges or workflows, like cold calling or sales cycles, but it should still be positive with a can-do attitude.

Keep Your Message on Track

The theme will help keep your entire corporate event tied together. This is especially important if you have a guest keynote speaker. You want the meeting to flow—not feel like a disjointed series of quick trainings and updates. The theme will pull everything together and keep all participants focused on a primary goal.

In 2019, some of the major companies used these themes for their sales kickoff meetings:

  • Behr Paint: Playing to Win
  • Samsung: Activate
  • The Home Depot: All In
  • Pearson: Re!magine
  • Employers Insurance: The Future is Now

Make it Engaging and Memorable

The majority of reps forget information after their training. Research from Gartner found that 70% of reps forget information from training within a week and 87% of reps will forget within the month. You are going to have to kick it up a notch to hold focus AND make the message last. If not, you will squander this big investment. 

With the right theme, you have a unique opportunity to drive home your point in a fun way. A catchy theme is something the team can get behind. It can be plastered on t-shirts and promo times throughout the year, helping employees recall the lessons learned during your sales kickoff meeting.

To really drive home your theme and event, you can use a live sketch artist to illustrate the concepts discussed. Your sketch artist can help you come up with the right color scheme and engaging elements that will support visual learners. It’s hard to stop watching a visual sketch artist and people get excited to participate so they can see their ideas get added to the board.

After it’s done, lots of things can be done with the final event sketch. You might choose to display your sketch for a social media photo or video, keep it in the office for a visual reminder throughout the year, send in an email followup, or used as part of a condensed digital file on hand for onboarding new hires.

Set a Mantra

Use your theme as a mantra to motivate your team. The theme should become a sort of battle cry that you can rally your employees around. Using a simple phrase (or even just one word), you can immediately pull people back to the message of your meeting. You want a theme that is:

  • Catchy and positive
  • Easy to remember
  • Fits your company goals
  • Offers a clear message
  • Offers a lot of creative freedom

Meeting Ideas and Themes for 2021

Big kickoff meetings for sales and marketing has been a common way for companies to kickstart a new year with a strong focus.

When it comes to your own sales team meetings, there are so many ways to choose a theme.

Think about activities you want to include and the overarching goal you want to focus on. Popular songs and phrases (or variations of them) are commonly used because they are catchy. Keep it short, ideally under 5 words. Keep it motivational and positive to inspire action. Here are some great sales meeting theme examples for 2021:

  • Switch it On
  • Stronger. Better. Faster.
  • Brave New World
  • Don’t Stop Believing
  • Now or Never
  • Imagine That
  • Level Up
  • All In
  • Stand By Me
  • Together We Can
  • Run the World
  • Power of the Player
  • Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
  • My Time to Shine

Once you’ve chosen a theme, integrate it into your event with team building themed games, speaker topics, decorations, swag and more. The more you are able to incorporate your theme into the elements of your event, the more prominent your focus will be throughout the meeting.

Hire a sketch artist to illustrate the in-person meeting or virtual event live. As your attendees watch, the central theme and major points of the meeting will be illustrated into a cool thought graphic that captivates the direction of your event.

If you are looking for a way to make your sales kickoff a success for 2021, we can help.

The Sketch Effect offers professional artists, skilled at live-sketching events for companies like yours. This attention-grabbing meeting element is memorable and increases engagement. Connect with us today and let’s chat about your next corporate meeting!

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