Do you need help planning a corporate event?
It can seem like such a daunting task at first. This is especially the case if you expect dozens of VIP guests or thousands of attendees. It’s simply overwhelming and you might not know where to start.
Fortunately, we’ve got a list right here to break down the process for you. It’s not as difficult once you know what you’re doing.
Learn how to plan an event with these ten tips below:
- Have a Clear Goal
List down the corporate events you attended in the past and then single out the memorable ones. Did you find a recurring pattern?
The best corporate event has a defined goal. There’s always a central vision and mission that the event needs to achieve.
A clear goal ensures you don’t waste time. You won’t invest in activities that don’t contribute to that goal. Otherwise, your corporate event will be all over the place with nothing setting it apart from others.
Look at events like the annual E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). Every year, this major event allows video game publishers and hardware developers to showcase upcoming projects. This is the event to announce new games.
When Apple announces a new WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), people expect the company to reveal new hardware. The goal is to showcase a new iPhone, for example.
- Realistic Budget
It’s no secret that corporate event planning is a logistics nightmare. There are simply too many things to track at all times. The most crucial factor, however, is the financial cost of the event.
Start by setting a definitive budget. This should encompass all of your expenses, from the moment you begin holding meetings to the day of the event. Include expenses for utility bills, hiring guest speakers, catering, decorations, and all the marketing fees.
Don’t bloat your budget. This will give you an impulsive need to use every cent even when you don’t need to. Don’t restrict yourself to a small budget either as this might cause you to cut too many corners.
Stick with a realistic budget. Know your limits but have room for adjustments.
- Assign Tasks
You can’t get everything done on your own. Right from the beginning, assign roles to people and build different teams for different goals.
Planning an event requires more than one person due to all the moving pieces. You’ll have runners, a financial team, floor managers, and the people in charge of each presentation. If you’ll also run a merchandise section or trade booths, you’ll need people for that too.
- Communication Funnel
The key to successful events for businesses is to maintain steady communication between all these people and departments. A good way is to have a tool that lets everyone stay informed. You can use something like Zoom, Slack, or Discord to get this done.
Slack and Discord work wonders because you can create multiple channels and discussion threads in one server. This allows you to compartmentalize people according to their roles and tasks. Organizing your communication funnel eliminates miscommunication when setting up a major business event.
- Know Your Guests
Right from the start, establish who your guests are. Knowing your audience can alter every aspect of your business event. You have to make adjustments to make sure they feel comfortable and that you send the right message to them.
At the same time, identifying your guests can alter what kind of events or amenities you need to prepare.
For example, you should focus on formal video presentations and professional guest talks if you intend to invite high-level businessmen. If you aim to run a corporate event for small business owners, prioritize their comfort so they don’t feel intimidated.
- Follow a Checklist
Break down everything you need to accomplish and make a checklist. This should include all the goals you have to achieve, all the appointments, canvassing, and tasks to finish. This should include scouting for a location, securing VIP guest speakers, and figuring out how to set up booths.
Once you have a detailed checklist, the next step is to break it down into a schedule. If you can, schedule everything two months ahead of the event. This should give you enough time for everyone to complete their tasks.
Get specific with your schedule too. Don’t settle with writing something general, such as “find a venue by Friday.” Go as specific as possible, like “visit Venue A by Wednesday, Venue B by Thursday, and Venue C by Friday.”
- Follow a Template
Don’t hesitate to look online and check out other corporate events. Look at what they did and see if there are a few elements you can do as well. Taking cues from other successful corporate events is a good way to keep you focused and to develop a solid plan.
- Hire Expert Help
It’s no secret that organizing corporate events is a difficult task to manage. You might not even have the time to do it. This can be the case if the event celebrates a new product launch or something similarly big.
A good solution is to ask for professional help.
Event organizers already have a good list of venues. They already know where to go for marketing, catering, and decorations. Professional organizers know who to hire for labor when it comes to setting up booths and other rigs for your event.
Professionals, like the folks handling event styling at Events Fantastic, also let you do what you do best: running your business. You won’t have to split resources and people to simultaneously prepare the event and get everyday work done. They can also provide great event planning tips thanks to their experience and skills.
- Themes Matter
Regardless of the type of corporate event, it’s important to pick a theme. The theme sets the tone and can affect every other choice you make.
If your theme is about going green and eco-friendly business decisions, you’ll want to highlight this with the venue, decorations, and even your choice of tools for the event. For example, you might want to pick a venue that utilizes solar power.
Make sure to run with a theme that makes sense and synergizes with your goals. The theme has to help achieve the goals you listed. You shouldn’t come up with new goals simply to match the theme.
Establish this right away because it also affects the aesthetics of your corporate event. You don’t want to finalize a venue, decorations, and trade booth ideas only to scrap them because they don’t match the theme you took too long to pick.
- Location Scouting
One of the first things you need to establish early is the venue for your event. Picking the venue early allows you to plan where to hold major conferences, where to set up booths, how to handle catering, and what kind of equipment you still need. Your choice of venue determines what sort of amenities you have and what you lack.
Check if the venue has enough entrances and exits. Make sure it has space for the expected number of guests. Do the managers offer enough amenities and do the costs fit in your budget?
Make sure your venue is also a place people can easily find. It has to be an accessible location, especially if you have people from outside of town coming in.
- Catering Is a Priority
Most corporate events don’t need catering but this isn’t an excuse to keep it off your list of priorities. You might not need to serve a full meal to attendees, there could be hundreds or even thousands of people. However, you should still have a corner for food and drinks.
- Emergency Exits and Backup Plans
The safety of every guest and attendee should be on the top of your list. Always have a backup plan in case the worse possible scenario happens.
Is your event outdoors? Make sure to rent tents and have them at the ready in case it begins to rain. Make sure there are enough portable restrooms as well and you have a first aid team in case someone passes out or suffers from a heat stroke.
Will you hold the event indoors? Look for emergency exits in case of a fire or earthquake. Look for rooms you can guide people to rest in and where you can keep a first aid team at the ready.
- Marketing and Promotion
Don’t forget to market and promote your corporate event! If it’s an event solely for people within the company, use the tools available to spread the word. Make sure employees know about the upcoming event!
If your event involves other people, such as potential clients, customers, or other small businesses, then take advantage of every digital marketing tactic available. Don’t ignore social media ads either. TikTok alone has nearly a billion active users, which makes it a good platform to spread out an announcement.
Start Planning a Corporate Event Today
Now you know every step necessary when planning a corporate event. Have a checklist, follow a schedule, keep a budget, pick a venue, and promote it with everything you’ve got. Don’t hesitate to work with a professional either, as this can ease your load.
But why stop here with this guide on corporate event planning? If you’re looking for more business guides or if you want to read up on health and fitness, entertainment, or more, we’ve got your back. Keep reading our content today and pick up all the great lists and tips you need!