11 Steps To Plan The Perfect Corporate Event: A Complete Guide
About 84% of the leaders at enterprise-level companies across the world feel that corporate events are the key to a company’s growth. A little hard to believe, right? Especially when we see how companies chop off their corporate events with an interest to save some money. Well, that’s the irony, what can we say!
A corporate event, no matter how big or small, is not just about attending seminars, it’s a way of engaging your audience in a way they want to listen. Such events are critical to build a company culture, create a focused environment, improve collaborations, connect with your customers, and, not to mention, create a brand image. We could go on–but you get the gist, right? Bottom line: there are plenty of reasons why corporate events matter.
You are probably wondering, “Do I need to hold an event to introduce some new technology/idea? Or “Do I need one to reward my company’s exceptional and dedicated employees for their performance?”
Frankly, could be either, both of them are a type of corporate event.
You should rather be concerned about the staging of your corporate event. How do you conduct it? First of all, don’t jump right into noting down the topic of the event, booking a venue, or choosing a date. You need to have a thorough plan ready.
That’s why we are here with a super guide that will help you understand how to plan a corporate event without much hustle. Ready? Let’s begin.
How to plan a corporate event?
Source: Michigan Tech
Step 1: Do your planning research
You have an idea of what event are you going to present but do you know what people actually want? Your pre-plan research is a study that helps you look at the bizarre, the trends, and the needs and wants of your target audience.
You should be able to figure out what people want. A good way to know: ask the people directly. Here are some ideas to know what you must offer to your audience.
- Create an FAQ form and share it on your social media
- Conduct market surveys
- Send messages or call people to collect the information you are expecting
One of the best ways to get what your audience wants is to think like an attendee. This will make you understand what all you should or should not plan at a corporate event. Another great thing is to consider the ‘What if’ part. While we’re all in for thinking out of the box and going all out with your idea, make sure it fits well with audience expectations.
Step 2: Define your objective
You have decided to plan a corporate event for the company but have you thought about what will be the agenda of the event? Don’t be clueless on the event day and plan the goals beforehand.
To define your objective, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you want to share something?
- Do you want to discuss appraisals with superiors?
- Do you just want to motivate your colleagues for a better future performance?
- Do you want to bond well with your team or with your customers?
- Do you need to network or do you want to connect with your investors?
Ask yourself these questions and see how smoothly everything falls into place. One more thing, you need to take note of your expectations, motives, and overall scope of the event. Also, don’t forget to add things that could go wrong if you are moving along with your defined objective.
Step 3: First talk money, always!
Here comes the main part–the budget (However, everything here is main but we care about money, you know). You need to figure out all the expenses for the event.
Whether your event will last for half-day, full-day, or a few days? What budget will you set aside for your vendors and contractors? Do you need a keynote speaker? Some of your attendees might be coming from abroad or from different states. Are they going to stay at a hotel? Write about that expense too. How much would the marketing cost be?
Do you see? It’s not just about the catering, decoration, or venue of the event–there’s a lot you need to take care of. You seriously need the help of your finance department to decide on the budget that is right for your coming company event. If something goes out of budget, find an alternative. Having a laid out budget, helps you streamline your decisions and prioritize what matters.
Source: Event Mobi
Step 4: Get the venue sorted
To decide on a venue, you first need to lay down the venue criteria. Some key deciding factors when it comes to the venue are:
- Number of attendees
- Parking capacity
- Distance from airport or stations and common landmarks
- Location of the venue
- Facilities provided
- Hospitality standard
While this may not be an exhaustive list, these are some of the most common things you’d have to consider. Establishing venue criteria allows you to shortlist your options faster and more efficiently– be it via online websites or through contractors.
Narrowing down your choice to the top 5 would be ideal. Thereafter, contact people and pay a visit before finalizing (something that many people don’t go for!).
Step 5: Prepare your guest list
Your event guest list depends on all the factors we just talked about. The event goal, your budget, the venue size, and the traveling, you need to keep all this in mind while jotting down the names of everyone you might expect at the event.
For instance, the objective of your team will help you decide if you should invite just the sales department, the IT executives, or want the entire company workforce to participate. Once you have that list ready, it becomes a lot easier to manage the event accordingly. You can then go ahead and arrange equipment and services as per the number.
Step 6: Don’t ignore the design
Two things that no one forgets after an event–the food and the feel. The look of your event builds the first impression of your event, thereby building the first impression of your brand, so you’ve got to get it right. Designing and presenting your event is all about your audience. It has nothing to do with you–though you’d have to match it with your company’s branding. Start with design innovative and creative invitation cards. That’s where the first impression begins. Every collateral, every panel, every standee should be well-thought, designed, and placed at the event.
Source: Eventfully Angela
What else? Plan where the stage is going to be, how it is going to look, where you will have the catering, where are your FAQ and photo booths, and other designing details. You can always take suggestions from the venue owner and see what best can you have out of your venue.
Step 7: Get set for marketing and promotion
How are you going to get that ‘Upcoming Event’ news out there in the market? There are plenty of options to try out. To name a few, you can email, share posts on your social media, have a web page, send out bulk messages, do the phone call, and more. That being said, don’t go overboard and bombard people from all channels–you’ll drive them away. Use your discretion to figure out which channels are the most feasible and will deliver the highest impact, go for those. A mix of 2-3 channels should be more than enough.
Marketing is imperative because you need to get the word out so that people can register and block their calendars in advance. By the way, inform people about all the compelling offerings of the event. Evoke excitement among people at the venue for the D-Day.
Lastly, promotions take time, effort, and money. So, if you ask us, about 20% of your event budget must be just right to invest in promotions. Yes, that’s how important they are!
Step 8: Keep a track of your progress
While planning the event (and till the event is over), you also have to take care of everything is going as per the plan or not. This is what we mean when we say to be on track.
Now, what falls under this track? To give you some idea, you must know where your money is going so that you can acknowledge if everything is under budget. See if people have received their invitations on time and whether the venue will be ready on time, among the rest.
Step 9: The F&B department
That’s true people come to attend because of the value of the event. However, that doesn’t mean you can underestimate refreshments. You have the number of people who would be attending the event. With that number, you can decide what varieties and quantities you would be needing and make sure no one goes back with an empty stomach. Hangry people won’t have good reviews about your event and your brand!
In fact, branding through food and beverages is a leading trend in the market. You can openly use food and drinks to reach out to your audience–that too without sounding pushy. Here are some awesome ideas to do that:
- Use customized drinks designed around the company’s motive.
- Put on the company branding on the serving plates and glasses.
- Use healthy and sustainable items on the menu.
Step 10: The D-Day coordination
All said and done, how much ever you plan, how much every you allocate, you would be fighting a lot of fires on the D-Day. Be prepared for that.
The best way to deal with the event day hassles is to take care of as much as you can in advance, keep panic at bay, and be prepared with Plan B for things that might go wrong. That way, you’re less likely to be surprised. Most importantly, don’t keep everything for yourself. To get things right on the event day, it is best to coordinate with different teams and assign them individual tasks. Make everything flow smoothly.
Step 11: Wrap it up (post-event)
When somebody leaves your event and if they remember you, the event went successful. However, how do you know that you’ve been able to create an impact? You can have post-event surveys and feedback forms to let your audience pen down what they like and what they dislike in the event.
One thing to keep in mind is to keep the process as quick as possible because not everyone has the time to fill out this feedback form. Also, don’t leave the feedback for another date. This is a common mistake many organizations make. Let people fill forms or submit inputs right there or as they’re leaving. Once out, no matter how many calls you make and how many emails you send, you’d not be able to get feedback from all the participants.
Nonetheless, the feedback will help you understand the scope of improvement and see what are all the takeaways from this event. The impact is always valuable.
Ready to plan your next corporate event?
Planning a corporate event may seem like an amalgam of exhausting tasks but it is quite fun and easy if executed well. All you need to do is take care of everything that needs to be done and go with the plan. With small efforts, your event will turn into a big success.
Hope this checklist to plan a corporate event motivates you to start staging your event. Put all the factors in the list to good use and see how these small steps will lead to something great for your company.