19 Apr 10 Tips for Planning a Successful Corporate Event
Hosting a successful corporate event is an important way to connect with your clients and employees, build and foster relationships and maybe even promote a new product or service. Depending on the purpose of the event, it can be fun and entertaining, or more serious and informative. Regardless, the organisation is crucial to having a successful corporate event.
Here are 10 corporate event planning tips to help make a success of your next event.
Define the purpose of the event
Start by analysing why you are hosting the event and what you expect from it. Once you’ve identified your goals and expectations, you can then determine what kind of event will resonate with your intended audience.
There are plenty of reasons why you would need to organise a corporate event, from a Christmas party to launching a new product or for a team building exercise. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand why the corporate event is being organised, so you can plan the rest of the event accordingly.
Set a Budget
When planning a corporate event, you should start with a realistic budget and work with your suppliers to stick to it. Calculate what return on investment your event may have. Make a definitive list of every single element and cost out each item, getting competitive quotes where appropriate. Create a payment schedule and a running account of the costs you incur.
It is recommended as a starting point, to stay within 90% of your budget and keep the other 10% for contingency. You never know what may come up when planning your event.
Decide on your audience
Understanding the corporate culture, style, and specific needs of your guests is crucial to planning a successful event. Increasingly, companies expect their events to match their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and sustainability targets. Pay close attention to your target audience as you plan, to ensure your event speaks to them personally while getting your own message across.
Choose a theme
Choosing a unique, creative, thought-provoking theme will both entertain guests and create lasting memories. Make sure the theme has meaning and is connected to your message and your company’s image. Come up with a name for your event, and a strategy for promoting it to the attendees, whether through teaser campaigns, competitions, or straightforward “Save the Date” messages.
Finding the perfect venue
First, you need to think about where you want to hold your event. Are you interested in a city environment or somewhere more local and easily accessible?
Once you know the area where you want to hold your event you should consider what type of venue would suit your event, the number of guests, and your budget.
You also need to think about the necessities. Do you need space for a projector, a table, or alternatively, a dance floor, or a dining hall? Have you asked your guests on the invitation if they have any special requirements? Making a list of your requirements will help ensure you remember the essentials, as well as negotiate with venues.
Organising an event may mean some attendees will have to travel. Therefore, ensuring there is suitable accommodation onsite or nearby as well as local transport, is key. But whether you have to just take this factor into consideration or arrange it, entirely depends on your budget.
Will your organization manage the travel arrangements or will attendees be required to make their own way to the event? Make sure it is clear to your attendees by producing an Information Pack that covers everything they need to know about the local and travel arrangements/options.
The type of catering you choose will depend on different factors. For example, what kind of event you are hosting, what your theme is going to be, your venue, your budget, and if there are any special dietary requirements.
A lot of venues will provide in-house catering services, which tend to be affordable and more convenient, as it means less planning on your part.
You also need to think about the type of food you will be serving. Will it be a set menu, or will your guests need to choose their food beforehand? Or will your event best suit a buffet?
And you can’t forget about the drinks! There are different options when it comes to providing drinks at a corporate event. You can provide each guest with drinks vouchers,
have a set number of bottles per table (or per person e.g. half a bottle of wine per person)
or have drinks served by waiters, with a limited number per person behind the bar.
Plan Immersive, Interactive Experiences
Corporate events often aren’t just about work. They should also entertain, inspire, build team spirit, and evoke positive thoughts and actions. Plan immersive activities involving soft adventure, food, cultural discovery, and problem-solving that your corporate group will love and remember. If you’re running an incentive program, make sure the reward element shines and motivates.
Paying attention to detail is important but it’s not helpful if every minute of the day is scheduled. A useful corporate event tip is to go for quality, not quantity when it comes to activities, workshops, and meals. Also, be sure to leave ample time for your guests to enjoy things; too many attendees, the whole point of a corporate event is networking.
Sometimes, it’s about reward and relaxation, not necessarily as part of a group. If there are too many items on the agenda, it can burn your guests out and that may lead them to lose focus.
Provide Meaningful Gifts and Giveaways
Find unique gifts, gift bags, and prizes that are also useful to the crowd you’re hosting. Memorable gifts are a great way to brand, too. If your guests find the gifts inspiring and useful, they will remember them as a successful highlight of your event. Bear in mind that sustainability is an important element of corporate events nowadays, and this includes gifts, too.
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