Planning a corporate event is a complex task. It can take months of research, negotiating, and organizing. While you can't avoid all the headaches all the time, it is possible to streamline the event planning process - if you go into it prepared.
Here are a few tips to simplify your life when you're planning your next corporate event.
First, figure out the crucial aspects of the event.
You should be starting the planning stage about six months in advance. In the earliest stages of your planning, you should be nailing down the most essential aspects of your event. Budgets should be worked out, goals should be set and you should have a good idea of the event's schedule.
Confirm a venue as soon as you can, and determine who's invited. If you're booking speakers or emcees, now is the time to contact them. Confirm the guest list and send out your "save-the-date" announcements.
Do you want to offer personalized gifts, special welcomes or anything else that will make the event memorable for your guests? Branded gifts are a great opportunity to make people feel welcome and part of the team.
Finally, if you're looking to hire any special booths, performers or any other sort of entertainment, you need to look into your options as early as possible, companies such as popevents can take care of this part for you. Make sure you discuss these features with everyone involved in the planning to determine what's right for your event.
Get final approvals for the budget.
At about three to six months ahead of the event, make sure that corporate (or whoever is funding the event) is on board with the budget. Now is the time to go ahead and book vendors, such as caterers, floral designers, musicians, keynote speakers, security and so on. Hopefully you'll have done your research on these and know exactly who you're booking!
About two months before the event, you should tour the venue to confirm its size, location, and other logistical information.Walk through the venue and inspect it to be sure you're not missing anything.
Make sure people know about the event.
As the event approaches, your next task is to build awareness. Whether your event is employee-based, community-based or customer-based, you will want to ensure that everyone knows what it involves. Did you book an amazing comedy act? Make sure people know about it!
Whether your event is focused on team building, providing family fun or raising money for a charitable cause, let everyone know what they're in for.
Even if people don't attend, raising awareness of your event (especially if it involves a charitable cause) is essential. Maybe they will donate to the cause anyway! This is where social media is crucial.
On the day of the event, be prepared.
Make sure you have a list of logistical information handy, from schedules to contacts. Be ready to troubleshoot if needed. Have seating charts and any other information on hand. You can still enjoy the event while making sure it runs smoothly.
After it's all over, send thank-you notes to special people and follow up on what improvements could be made in planning future events - feedback is essential!Take note of which vendors and entertainers were a hit with your guests (you'll be calling them again next time), and enjoy the feeling of a job well done.