Corporate events can often be high-stakes events. Whether you are planning an event for employees, potential clients, or as a thank you to past clients, the company is putting its reputation on the line. That’s why the employees in charge of putting the event together spend a lot of time preparing for it. So, if you’re thinking about hosting a corporate event, we have put together a must-have checklist just for you. Remember that these are just a few of the steps needed to host that successful event for your audience to remember.
Yes, you may think you already know what the purpose of your event is, but this needs to be clear right from the beginning. Will this be strictly a training session for new hires or are you bringing in some of your top clients from out of town for a combined event of informational sessions and casual gatherings? Narrowing down the purpose of your event will help you determine a variety of things from the theme of your event to your main audience. If you need help with this, speak with your department or other executives.
Any business person knows how important it is to set a budget. Before you begin planning your event, now’s the time to look at your finances or talk with your accountant to set a maximum spending amount. Depending on the length and time of day when the event takes place, you might need to include food and beverages into the budget. Don’t forget the little things for your coworkers- do they want a coffee station, cookies, etc.? Add a safe cushion to that budget, almost expecting the unexpected, so you will not stress as the event comes closer. Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not this event has been done in the past. If so, you may already have a set budget.
Determining your audience can be tricky and is crucial as you begin planning your event. Are you hosting a small event for your employees doing training sessions? Or are you inviting company executives and large clients for a seminar and casual gathering? Like we mentioned earlier, determining your event objective will make this process easier. When it comes to the number of attendees, it’s better to have too many people than hardly any. As a business, you would rather see more people attend your event than none. Remember, if you are holding it in a small venue, check with them on their capacity. Let more people enjoy your event!
Now that you have your audience and budget set, you can dig deeper into the theme of your event. We will use two examples; one is a seminar for clients and executives and another as a training seminar for employees.
If you’re hosting a large event for some of your large clients and executives within the company, it may not be a bad idea to bring in a guest speaker. Finding a guest speaker either with knowledge of the industry or ability to connect with your entire audience will let your clients see you care and build more trust with them. If your clients are also looking for more information on your products or services, let some of your most trained and knowledgeable executives give a short presentation to them. This type of event is about building trust and relationships.
A smaller event like a training session for employees doesn’t require high-cost speakers but should have your most knowledgeable employees to do presentations and questions and answers. Your goal during these sessions is to help your employees and let them know the company is there to help them. Build that employee and company relationship.
The best way to properly pick the right venue is to determine the budget, audience, and theme. Select a venue that will make your guests comfortable, is easy to locate, and has ample free parking. If you are getting tight on your budget, some venues cost less at less popular times of the day or in an off-season such as late winter.
Like anything in business, planning a successful corporate event means paying attention to the details and thinking of how others will respond. You can’t anticipate every need, but it’s important to put your best foot forward and make the meetings run smoothly and efficiently.