Whether you are hosting a big anniversary party for 500 people or a training event for 20 of your employees, you need to know how to throw a successful corporate event, or you’re just wasting time and money. The key to approaching corporate event planning is understanding these five priorities: research, design, planning, coordination, and evaluation. You have to meet certain criteria and reasonable output to call the event a success. When setting a goal, make sure that they are realistic enough since some managers tend to set too-lofty goals that are impossible to meet.
Purpose of the Event
Is your purpose brand awareness? Is it to reach out to past clients and reorient them about the new products and services you have now? Start asking yourself why you’re hosting the event in the first place. Your purpose has to resonate with the core mission and values of the company. It’s not just an event. You’re also delivering your brand to your stakeholders.
The money you have will determine the kind of event you can organize. Sure, everyone wants a big bash for a corporate event, but should you spend your remaining savings on that? If you do have the money, look into pampering your clients, employees, and investors with a nice holiday party next month. You can hire a boat for an NYE party and welcome 2022 with a bang. But remember that the last thing you want to do is skimp on food and beverages. People will remember your event based on how much fun they had with the band, food, people, and drinks.
Like any other project, you need to meet certain milestones when planning a corporate event. Depending on when you plan to hold it, you can divide such milestones in six- or nine-month increments. As the event gets closer, you have to reach milestones every week. This will help you determine if you will have everything you need at the scheduled event.
The most important part of planning an event is defining your audience. Who are they? Will you include your company executives, rank-and-file employees, community members, investors, clients, and other stakeholders? A combination of these will saturate the message of the event. Is it to introduce a new line of products? Is it to show appreciation for the employees? Once you determine who your audience is going to be, that’s when you can also design the program to cater to their interests.
Theme and Format
Once you know the audience and understand the goals of the company, that’s when you can choose the design and format of the event. For example, if you want to be known as an expert in the industry, you have to invite speakers and panelists for a more formal event. If you want it to be an event for something fun and memorable, then invite stand-up comedians or organize a round of golf for your stakeholders. A successful event is immersive, educational, and entertaining.
As was mentioned above, the budget you have will determine where you can hold the event. Can you afford to hire a yacht or a hotel ballroom? It’s safe to say that for smaller events, your office’s conference room or meeting area is good enough. Remember, however, to choose an event place with a vibrant atmosphere.
A corporate event isn’t just about the participants, location, food, and theme. It is about a myriad of logistics such as the florists, caterers, printers, stylists, photographers, and security personnel. Do they understand their roles in the event? Each of them should have a task board so that they can check the appropriate assignments. Create a balance between micromanaging and letting them work independently.
If no one knows about your event, no one will attend it. No matter how big of a company you are, remember that promotion is at the core of the success of your event. Promote the event through traditional and modern methods such as social media. Reach out to influencers if possible. Make a noise. The most successful events are those that attract people with their bravado.
Admittedly, it is hard to keep track of planning the event and executing the plan without technology. Use apps and programs to monitor the tasks assigned to each person in the team. Communicate through a variety of means—video calls, text messages, and audio calls. Make sure there’s a board accessible for everyone to check the progress in each component of the event.
No matter how successful you think the event is, you still can’t call it a success unless you absolutely know through important metrics such as the number of attendees and post-event feedback. Knowing what they liked and didn’t like about the event will empower you to improve the next one.
Organizing and executing a corporate event is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts to take on a role as big as this one. So, make sure you have a very organized way of planning, executing, and evaluating the event.