The Comprehensive Guide to Planning a Corporate Event

If you want to build lasting relationships for your business, you’ll have to know how to produce professional events. Regardless of the size of the event, business events are crucial to business networking. To help you plan the best corporate event, we’ve broken the planning process into several manageable stages:

1.Determine the purpose of the event

When planning a corporate event, you need to start by deciding why you want to host an event and what you expect from it. Once you have defined what you hope to accomplish, you can then move to the next step.

2.Set the date

Remember that during the end-of-year season, venues tend to fill up quickly . So, the first thing you need to do is choose a date. While you want to avoid busy days like Fridays and Saturdays, remember to keep your guests in mind. You can send an email with a link to a poll. That way you are sure to pick a date that’s convenient for most guests.

3.Decide on the budget

You can’t start the real planning process of your event without first knowing how much money you have to work with. You need to know early on how much you can afford to spend.

4.Create a checklist

Make a list thing you’ll have to do. Lists will not only break down the planning process into manageable tasks, but they will also help you to keep track of how much you have already achieved and how much more is left to do.

You can create a spreadsheet and use individual tabs for each event category to better organize your lists. Or you can choose to use the Eisenhower Matrix (Not Urgent but Important, Urgent but Not Important, Urgent and Important and Neither Urgent Nor Important).

5.Create an events team

Now would be a good time to create an events team if your company doesn’t have one. You cannot expect to stay on top of every activity pertaining to the party planning. Having people with different skills from across the company will not only alleviate your workload, but it will also ensure that a specific task is being handled by the best people.

6.Prepare your guest list

Define your target audience. Will you invite the company’s executives, managers, business partners, longtime clients, or a combination of a few of these or other groups? Defining your audience makes catering the program to their needs and interests simpler.

7.Choose a theme and format

Now that you know your audience, you can start working on the theme and topic of the party. The theme will also determine whether you need to establish a dress code.

8.Select an appropriate location

The next thing on your list should be finding a venue that allows you to bring your vision to life. Do not just book a venue that you know is an up-and-coming hot spot. Even if location matters, you want to find a venue that fits all the specs you need for success.

9.Look at the food you’ll be serving

Once you’ve decided on the venue, you can start to think about food. You’ll have to choose between using in-house catering (which will work out much cheaper) or hiring external caterers. Also, consider the following: Do you want to have a set menu? Or will there be a buffet? Or would you rather have the guests choose beforehand?

10.Organize drinks

You do not want to skimp on drinks. But at the same time, you need to find ways to keep control over your budget. Hence, pre-ordering drinks are generally better than paying for what is consumed on the night. You can go one step further and ensure that drinks are distributed fairly by giving drink vouchers to your guest, have a set of bottles for each table or have a waiting staff serving drinks, topping up when needed.

11.Speeches and Awards

Decide if you want to have speeches and an award ceremony in the event. These will have to be planned in advance. Just remember to keep them short so you don’t disrupt the party for too long.

12.Music and entertainment

When choosing entertainment, pick one that suits both your theme and your venue. When it comes to music, you can choose to hire a DJ or live band or put together a playlist.

13.Go the extra mile

Think of your guests and try to find something extra that you can add to the event. From a free cloakroom to special drinks on arrival, these little additional details will make your party more special, and, hence, memorable.

14.Plan the logistics

Regardless of the size of your party, ensure that all equipment needed will be available on the D-day and that they are all working properly. Ensure that awards and prizes are stored safely. Also, decide whether you need to organize transport to and from your event.

15.Promote your event

The last and final detail: ensure that people know about your event. If they don’t, no one will show up. You can send invitations by post, send emails or create posters. Be creative!

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