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For many organisations, their annual conference may be the only time in the year that all staff get together.

It’s a great opportunity to share, learn, plan and bond, while everyone is in the same place at the same time.

Now because everyone is together, what cannot be underestimated is the impact the staff conference can have on culture.

It can actually help shape, change or even create the culture.

If you’re planning a conference for your business or team, it is important to always maximise the occasion to achieve a culture outcome.

Yes, you may want to use the conference to deliver new company information, to do strategic planning, to undertake company-wide training, but use the conference to have a culture breakthrough too.

Ultimately a conference is the opportunity to unite your team, reconnect them to a common goal and revisit the standard of behaviour to create success.

Here are three tried and proven ways to have a culture breakthrough at your next company conference.

1. Connect staff to the vision and values

There is no better time than when everyone is together to reinforce the vision and values of the company. And the best person for this is the leader!

A session on vision and values will create clarity and importantly help achieve ‘buy-in’ from staff.

Even if you think the vision and values are communicated widely and regularly already, they will have greater power coming from the leader to one and all.

All businesses have staff turnover so it can’t be assumed that everyone is on board too unless you are regularly reinforcing them.

In some circumstances, the staff conference may be the opportunity to create a new vision or set of values.

By engaging everyone in this process, there will be a greater chance of maximum ‘buy-in’ which, in itself, will be a culture breakthrough.

Anita Kropacsy’s blog on how to discover, dream and design the destiny of your company introduces a session called ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ which is great for vision and values setting.

2. Have some fun in a team building activity

Variety is the spice of life or, in this case, a conference. What I mean, is to break up the conference with a variety of sessions and topics to keep all staff invigorated and engaged.

Fun team building activities are great for bonding, for creating a positive spirit and to freshen everyone up for the next session.

These activities can range from short energisers to longer and more team outcome-focused programmes. Here is a selection of company team building games that can be tailored for any staff conference.

Another type of team building event at a staff conference that is great for a culture breakthrough is a gala dinner.

It provides another fun and social occasion for everyone to bond in a relaxed atmosphere whilst celebrating and rewarding staff and company achievements of the past year.

3. Hold a session focused on team culture

Whether your organisation needs a culture change or just a culture boost, it is worth including a session on team culture in your staff conference.

A training programme like FISH! is perfect for this as it will enlighten everyone on the importance of a positive team culture and provide professional development on how everyone can contribute to a positive team culture.

FISH! will give all members of a team tools and practices to help them choose how they are going to be in every moment of every day.

Like the session of vision and values, holding a culture session will engage all staff so there is maximum ‘buy-in’ into the culture of the organisation.

So, they are three simple ways to have a culture breakthrough at a staff conference – one will provide a boost while all three will provide a transformation.

Dwain Richardson, Managing Director, Corporate Challenge Events, and author of free eBook ‘How to create a positive team culture for success