30 Mar The Top 5 Tips to Planning a Corporate Event
Planning your companies next Corporate Event? Whether you’ve been selected or you’ve volunteered, there inevitably is pressure on you to execute an event that successfully represents your Companies mission and tends to all of your guests expectations , clients and coworkers alike.
1.Create an Event Checklist. Once you’ve determined what needs to be accomplished by the event, prioritize the elements that must be present and what can be left out if you need to trim the fat. Location, food, bar, entertainment, & audio/visual needs are some of the most common needs. To compliment your checklist, create a realistic budget. It may sound silly but a little “Google” never hurt anyone. Websites like Evite.com can also give you some really good advice about creating a budget. Don’t rule out partnering with an event planner. You will need to have a general understanding about what you can get for your investment.
2.Research on locations. If this event is not on Company property, find 4-5 Venues that can accommodate your proposed Guest Count. After aesthetics are identified, begin your checklist: is there ample parking or can you arrange for a valet, do they have any exclusive relationships (Caterers, Bar Companies, Rental Companies), exit time, & general rules and regulations. The answers to these questions must be balanced with your overall vision and budget. For example, you’re a technology complany and decide to create your event at a science museum. The venue fee is acceptable and then you start looking at some of the other elements of your event. They have an exclusive bar Service (consider this a part of the venue fee) because you are locked in to use them. Get a realistic quote to see if the bar will be within your overall budget and then secure the venue. Additionally, if you’re not flexible on your date, plan at least 1 year out
3. Make a list & check it twice. Create a spreadsheet or Google Doc to keep track of your research. This will help you keep on top of information and the people your considering to partner with for your event. Side note: check reviews! Some websites might be biased so check more then one and don’t be shy about requesting references.. Most location book at least 12 months out and the competetion to secure a space is high.
4. Food & Beverage is huge. Come on, you know that many of us are lured to events with the promise of trying delightful food & drinks we may not normally enjoy. Check in to a few companies and get the same information to each so that you are comparing apples to apples. For example, keep the guest count consistant and err on the high expectation so worst case, as you get closer to your day, the numbers go to your favor. The Abbey doesn’t require a final guest count until 10 days out. Your guest count directly correlates to : per person on food, bar, rentals , staffing, & service charge. If your Venue allows outside bar, find out how many beverages you will need and remember to include soft drinks, cups, ice, bartenders, ect. This way you can determine if this is the best direction or if you should use a bar service. A really popular bar related tip is to create a specialty cocktail that either represents your company or your event’s mission.
5. Entertainment can make or break your night. I recently partnered with an organization planning a 10th Anniversay that was to blow their guests out of the water with entertainment. After some brainstorming, it was decided to create a cocktail hour with a piano man style pianist, a DJ to execute dinner music and assist with MC’ing and av, & the night was ended with a high energy Blues band to thank the guests for their attendence & patronage.
6. I lied, there’s one last tip. After the research is done, your selections have been made, your fantastic night has come to fruition, you must rate your success. Analyze what worked and what you may improve on. Create a system in your checklist that grades all of the elements to the night. This way you can begin to generate a list of partners you can rely on for future events. This will make next year even more successful.
Check back to gain some additional tips on planning your organizations next event or feel free to call. We can work together through the process to ensure you’re your company’s or organization’s “Hero” for the night. I can work with you from budget & checklist creation to securing all aspects necessary for your event. Happy Planning!