The Ultimate Guide: How to Plan a Successful Corporate Event

April 13, 2022
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Corporate events are not only opportunities to build a company’s network. It is a crucial step for any kind of business as well. In fact, 95 percent of mid- to senior-level marketers believe in-person events contribute significantly to achieving business goals.

Whether it’s for a new product launch, a trade show, or a team-building activity, corporate events inspire new ideas and opportunities in the workplace. But what does it take to launch a successful one?

This ultimate guide will help company leaders and marketers plan and execute a corporate event that ticks all the right boxes.

The Pre-Event Planning

1.   Set Event Goals and Objectives

The first step when planning an event is identifying its purpose. The following questions will help business owners and marketers set goals and objectives to know what needs to be accomplished:

  • Why are you hosting the event?
  • What results do you expect from the event?
  • What will the audience expect from the event?
  • What are the wants and needs of the people attending it?

By knowing what the main focus is, organizers will be able to plan the event with ease and with high chances of success.

2.   Consider the Budget

Holding corporate gatherings can be costly, but with the proper planning, it shouldn’t have to be. Organizers need to first set a realistic budget to determine what type of event they can execute.

But it pays to have a cushion for unexpected expenses that may pop up. Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions suggests spending at least 10 percent more than the allotted budget.

Once an amount is settled, the next step is to allocate the resources accordingly. A smart tip is to spend more money on substance rather than the fancy-schmancy stuff. Instead of going all out on decors, they can enhance the guests’ experience by getting personable speakers on board.

3.   Create a Realistic Timeline

 Create a Realistic Timeline

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Organizing an event involves a series of tasks that can be hard to track. Creating a project timeline to avoid delays and streamline the deliverables is essential.

Think of this timeline as a detailed master checklist of all tasks involved in planning the event, from deciding on the guest list to sourcing the corporate giveaways.

To prepare everything on time, organizers should develop their master list 12 months before the launch date. Then they can check their progress at nine months, three months, and weekly one month from the day of the event.

4.   Decide on the Guestlist

Knowing the target audience is crucial in planning a corporate event. After all, the goal is to identify their wants and needs and meet their expectations.

The target audience can vary depending on the event’s goals and objectives. They can be as follows:

  • Company executives or managers
  • Current or potential clients
  • Business partners
  • All company employees
  • Community members

Once the audience is determined, it will be easier for organizers to create the program. The next step is to decide how many guests to invite. Another tip is to invite too many people than too few. The sight of empty seats can discourage others and are a waste of resources.

5.   Choose a Theme 

Once the above steps are done, event planners can now focus on choosing a suitable theme for the gathering. It also pays to sign off on the best format for the event and how it will be presented to the audience.

For example, launching an event for potential clients for an online solutions company can benefit from keynotes highlighting the benefits of having an online presence. But hosts can amp it up by incorporating breakout sessions where guests can choose to attend specific topics they’re interested in.

Deciding on a theme also helps organizers plan out the minute details, such as the corporate giveaways. For example, they can loosen up a stressful all-execs meeting by giving away customized wine gift baskets to the attendees.

6.   Scout for the Right Location

 Scout for the Right Location

Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

The venue should also resonate with the event being held. The key is to choose a location that will appeal to the theme and the target audience. It should reflect the event’s goals and objectives. 

Book the venue months before the event to avoid any last-minute hiccups, especially when it falls on weekends or the holidays.

7.   Market the Event

An estimated 83 percent of brands say that event marketing is a significant factor in increasing their sales.

Even if it’s an internal event, organizers should not skip time and money in marketing it. Marketing the event builds excitement among the attendees and will likely increase their engagement on launch day.

There are several ways to promote a corporate event, including the following:

  • Spreading the word on social media
  • Sending emails to existing clients or customers
  • Placing ads in relevant newsletters
  • Posting event listings on industry directories
  • Hiring marketing agencies to help promote or manage the event
  • Sending unique invites months before the event

On-the-Day To-Dos

8.   Be on Top of the Event 

The day of the event can be overwhelming for organizers, but not if they’ve mapped out a detailed plan or program. Creating an itinerary for the day ensures a smooth-sailing event and helps them avoid last-minute blunders.

Aside from keeping track of the event flow, hosts also need to evaluate the event’s success by determining the guests’ satisfaction. Ask the attendees for feedback from time to time and attend to their needs as much as possible.

Of course, the organizing team should also dress the part. If it’s a formal corporate event, hosts and ushers can wear sleek designer clothing that shows they mean business. Otherwise, potential clients or investors wouldn’t know who to ask for assistance from.

9.   Gather Relevant Ideas

 Gather Relevant Ideas

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Corporate events are opportunities to share and learn great ideas with other names in the industry. Organizers should be able to collate these ideas and use these points to improve their offerings or the company itself.

There are several ways to do this, either by conducting a survey or interviewing attendees during the event. Besides generating methods for improvement, marketers can use this pool of information for future blog posts or other forms of marketing content.

Post-Event Essential

10.   Evaluate the Event

The event may be over, but it’s not yet over for the event organizers. After the post-event celebrations, it’s time to evaluate its success. Wrap up loose ends, such as pending vendor payments, following up invoices, and most importantly, gathering feedback from guests.

Hosts can ask for comments and suggestions via the event-planning app used or any other relevant channel, whether that’s email, social media, or SMS. Gathering feedback will determine if the company’s original goals have been met.

They can then share this information with the stakeholders and use it to improve follow-up events or future ones. Plus, it’s also an opportunity to follow up on potential sales and partnerships that were pre-formed during the event.

The Takeaway

Planning a corporate event requires attention to detail and perseverance. But it can also be a fun and enjoyable task for the host, especially if everything is planned accordingly. 

First, determine the goals and objectives of the event and start planning the audience, venue, and theme from there. Of course, it’s important to evaluate how the event paid off in the end. Then, pop the champagne and celebrate a job well done!

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