While it’s an honor to be assigned the head of planning a huge corporate event, it is an extremely high-stress task. The success of it all not only reflects on your own performance and abilities but on the company's as a whole. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to plan a successful corporate event.
Set an Objective
The first step is to find a reason for the event and to set an objective. What is the purpose of the event? Is it a seminar, convention, charity gala, networking opportunity, or a team-building exercise? All these are excellent ideas for corporate events, but each has their own individual purposes and ways to plan them.
Create a Budget
Regardless of the type of event you are planning, creating a budget is one of the most important steps. It’s a good idea to project your expenses above your initial estimations, in case there are any unexpected changes to the event or prices fluxes. In the best-case scenario, if you’re hosting a ticketed event, you might end up selling more tickets than predicted. In these cases, a budget with more room for extra expenses can save the whole event.
Make sure your budget is specific to each area of the event such as invites, decoration, food, alcohol and bar, activities, entertainment, etc. The percentage of your budget that is dedicated to each area will fluctuate depending on what type of event you are hosting, so make sure your budget reflects the needs and expectations of your event.
Choose a Precise Audience
The next step is to choose your audience. In some cases, corporate events will be limited to company employees only, such as a team building event. But in most cases, your invite list and audience are going to extend beyond that.
For example, if you are hosting a charity gala, you’re going to invite local businesses and other businesses in your area with similar values as your charity case. You’ll also want to consider inviting people within your community who have a high stake or priority. If you’re hosting a seminar or convention, the invite list is going to be much longer than other corporate events and specific to people with your event focus.
Create a Checklist
Before you step foot into the chaos of planning your corporate event, create a checklist and precise timeline for your planning. This will keep your mind on track and prevent you from forgetting any details of the planning process and stick to your budget.
Create weekly goals for yourself of what needs to be set in stone and what research and planning need to begin. Keep a record of everything that happens, including plans, phone calls, confirmations, and expenses.
Create a Schedule
It’s also important to create a schedule or time guideline for the event itself. Plan what time entertainment will be featured and exactly what entertainment is happening and at what time it is happening.
If you have any guest speakers or speeches by company employees, it’s crucial to set a window of time for the speech, so the speaker can prepare properly and be ready to speak on time.
It’s also important to give updated schedules to entertainers, servers, bartenders, coworkers, etc., so they are aware of where they need to be and when.
Give Out Some Swag
Giving your attendees some swag is a great way to get noticed and to be remembered. For corporate events, branded items like promotional pens from Printkick are a great form of swag that also work as subtle advertising. Promotional pens typically follow their guests home and make their way into their purse, office desk, kitchen counter, or home office. Every time they use the pen to jot down a note or sign a document, they will be reminded of your event.
Although planning a corporate event is stressful and high-maintenance, once you pull off the event and meet your goals, it will all be worth it in the end. Just keep in mind that it’s important to set a specific budget and schedule for your event, and it’s even more important to stick to the budget that you create.
Published by Sarah Williams