Planning a corporate event can seem like an overwhelming task. It’s an important activity that can aid in discussing various topics such as company growth, product launch discussions, significant company changes, employee rewards, and more. Although it seems challenging, proper planning will help you pull off your event with ease. The below guide will help you decide how to plan a successful corporate event.
The intended outcome of a corporate event can vary quite a bit from client-centric to company-centric or employee-centric. Since the event’s topic is open depending on the company’s needs, this can alter the necessary events and selected speakers for a corporate event. Thus, it is essential to plan accordingly for a successful corporate event. Knowing what your objectives are and what you are hoping to accomplish with the event will provide you with the best outcome.
What Is a Corporate Event?
Corporate events help companies discuss essential topics, from company restructuring to employee incentives. They’re a vital aspect of corporate culture that allows employees and employers to engage in an informative environment while connecting in person. By creating an educational environment between the employee and the employer, there’s a higher chance that both parties will achieve the intended goal of the corporate event. Hosting a corporate event also provides the company an opportunity to alert staff or members or even the public, of concepts promoted by the organization. It is a time when companies have the attention of all members in one meeting place. This is especially crucial to companies that do not have the opportunity to strategize or meet with other stakeholders due to different locations or work schedules.
There are some necessary items to consider when corporate event planning, from the number of attendees to costs.
What Is Corporate Event Planning?
Understanding the meaning behind corporate event planning is essential to planning the affair. Corporate event planning is the process of organizing and executing events for businesses and organizations. Knowing that a corporate event requires more time, effort, and resources than a typical meeting is vital. Hosting a corporate event is crucial to building team relationships and strengthening bonds to create genuine connections that will help grow the company and its staff members.
These events can range from small group sizes to very large ones. This number depends on how large the company is and who should be in attendance. Coordinating larger groups takes planning to the next level, which is why it’s essential to understand how to plan a corporate event before undertaking such a task.
If you’re planning a large corporate event or even on a smaller scale, consider working as a team where each member is responsible for their share or task. Create a spreadsheet to stay organized with each category such as venue, guest speakers, agenda, and schedule. This way each person will know their expectations and the deadlines. Here is a list of free options to help you stay organized.
How to Plan a Corporate Event
The steps below will guide you through planning a corporate event from beginning to end. After reading this article, you’ll be equipped to plan any number of future corporate events.
1 Consider the Intention of the Event
The initial step is deciding what message you want to send to the event attendees. Typically, the message is already decided when the company requests you to plan the event. However, there may be multiple messages that need to be relayed to the attendees, and it can be essential to decipher which message is primary and which is the secondary message.
When the intention and message are decided, it’s vital to consider the event’s goal. Perhaps the goal is to bring employees together or provide a welcoming environment for potential investors. Considering this objective will aid in planning the event.
Remember, the event is focused on the attendees. So, it is essential to consider how the event will affect them and what they hope to gather from the event. Put yourself in their shoes and decide what the event should accomplish. Is team building what you hope to achieve? Or is it brand recognition and loyalty? Is it educational for your employees? Whatever your needs may be, planning will create a smooth, enjoyable, and successful event for all.
2 Budget for the Event
Budgeting is essential to planning any upcoming event, especially in the corporate world. If the budget doesn’t support the event, it cannot occur. It’s necessary to sit down and consider an appropriate event budget, then ensure you stay under that budget.
If you’re not sure how to budget for a larger-scale event, take time to research past company events and their costs to help you get a ballpark range. Once you determine your budget, ensure you don’t cross that threshold. When working with a budget, remember that you want to allocate funds appropriately. Spending too much on decorations will leave you with less for guest speakers or food and beverages. You do not want hungry guests!
3 Create a Guest List
Now that you’ve determined the budget, you can create the guest list of potential attendees. First, start with how many people the available venues can hold. If you’re looking at venues within the budget that can only hold 1,000 people, creating a guest list with 10,000 names does not make sense.
Consider who would most benefit from the event (investors, employees, etc.) and start crafting the guest list. It is always better to invite many people rather than too few.
4 Decide on the Location
Location is an essential aspect of the event if not the most important decision. You want to ensure it’s an easily accessible venue for your attendees. Keep in mind travel needs for your guests as well. You want to ensure that if you have out-of-town guests attending, they have ample time to plan arrangements.
5 Consider Booking a Venue that has an Event Planner
If you’re still overwhelmed when thinking about how to plan a corporate event, it may be best to select an option that is nearly thoroughly planned for you. Many venues or locations will plan out the food, entertainment, drinks, and more for you. This will help save you time in the planning process. Most people assume that hiring an event planner will be costly. It may surprise you that event planners can often be cost-effective considering they have connections through a network of vendors. They are aware of fair rates and can negotiate on your behalf. They are knowledgeable and realistic about budgets and can help with determining a final budget, so you know the exact costs. Not only will they most likely save you money but more importantly time.
You can elect to book a corporate event on the water to provide attendees with beautiful views of nearly any major city. For example, if you’re seeking to create an event in Chicago, there are yachts that will allow you to offer an unforgettable event. When considering working with an event company, Chicago corporate events on the water are a great place to start. City Cruises also offers company event venues in:
- NYC Corporate Events
- Boston Corporate Events
- Philadelphia Corporate Events
- San Francisco Corporate Events
- Long Beach Corporate Events
- Marina del Rey Corporate Events
- Newport Beach Corporate Events
- Washington DC Corporate Events
- San Diego Corporate Events
6 Send Invitations and Market the Corporate Event
Once you’ve determined whether you’re working with a corporate event company or planning the event yourself, it’s necessary to consider the best way to market the event. If people don’t know about the event, they can’t attend. Event marketing has shifted online recently, making it much easier (and cheaper) to market. You can market the event via emails, social media announcements, etc. Make sure to update these as needed and to be consistent with messaging so that the information is clear to all. You can begin by emailing invitations, adding your event to corporate newsletters, and having your Salesforce team get the word out to clients and partners. Make sure that you have a streamlined method for delivering details about the event.
7 Make the Final Decisions and Book the Arrangements
The final step in planning a successful event is confirming the arrangements and booking the event venue, catering company, etc. Since you’re the corporate event planner, you’ll also want to consider any gifts or handouts you wish to include. Perhaps your company wants each participant to receive branded t-shirts or water bottles. These items will ensure the attendees feel like they’re part of the company and provide a pleasant experience. It’s also a great marketing tool.
This is also the time to finalize any activities you want to include in the event. Once you’ve made all the arrangements and run through a corporate event planning checklist with your event planning team, your event can go off without a hitch. All that’s left to do is enjoy the event when it rolls around.
Now that you have celebrated your event, make sure to get feedback from your guests. This will help determine if you have met your objectives for the meeting and can help you better prepare for next time. You can survey attendees using an event planning app or another survey method. It is important to understand that you may not get all positive feedback, which is part of making it even better for the next event.
Original Post Date: August 9, 2022