Dummy’s Guide to Corporate Event Planning

coffee, watch, paper clips and paper in the table


Dummy's Guide to Corporate Event Planning 1

Corporate events are essential for a variety of occasions. They bring the company’s staff together and support broader sales and marketing initiatives. Top management uses these events to communicate their strategy, launch products, or to incentivize team achievements. A ton of planning goes into each of these events. This is because a sound corporate event strategy will go beyond your typical conference and meetings. Companies increasingly take multifaceted approaches to events, covering functions such as corporate hospitality, entertainment, and employee events. Planning for any one of these is no simple task, which is why we have compiled a dummy’s guide to help you navigate corporate event planning.

The first question that you have to ask if for the event’s objective. Having an idea of their expectations will let you understand what you need to deliver. That is necessary for you to plan more effectively. More importantly, it allows you to speak on the same page with your paymasters. Next, set goals and place key metrics in place. Track it religiously to make sure you are reaching out to the right attendees, and meeting their expectations.

Dummy's Guide to Corporate Event Planning 2

When you know what you need to deliver, you can then ask for the right budget. Start by getting a clear idea of the scale you are working on. Instead of asking for a large sum of money for your event, look at the value you would be delivered to each individual. By knowing the scale, you can apply a budget strategy called “bracketing”. $50 per head sounds much more palatable than $5,000 per event, assuming a 100 pax cover. You can also use the past budget to determine if the figure you are asking for is reasonable. Looking at past numbers always helps you to ensure you are not being over-charged when you reach out for initial quotes. Be aware and flexible, however, as unanticipated expenditure is typical. Instead of cutting it close, have a contingency fund in place. You can also consider using a dedicated event budget management tool to ensure easy tracking of expenses.

With a clearly defined objective and budget, you then have to select the best venue. There are several factors to consider when making this decision. This could include variables such as capacity, location, availability, and logistics. Don’t be fixated on just a few options. Have a wide shortlist in mind, then send out requests for written proposals and arrange for site visits. In your request for proposals (RFP), clearly define what the event requires and hopes to achieve. Be as detailed as possible. Be strict with your deadlines; you don’t want to end up being held ransom for an exorbitant venue charge just because you closed your RFP too late. There are many venue sourcing tools on the market, so make use of those.

Dummy's Guide to Corporate Event Planning 3

When planning your event flow, make sure you dedicate enough time for engagement. The human attention span is significantly reduced in this digital era, so you need to move towards more innovative session formats that your attendees can digest. Use event technology tools like live polls to garner feedback and reconcile goals to expectations. There are four significant types of attendee engagement, and you would do well to check all of them. Engage with your content by giving attendees the right activities and presentations to maximize their learning. Help them engage with each other by creating networking opportunities as well, instead of delegating that to alcohol and live bands. Make sure your sponsors get to engage with the right demographics too; signages don’t cut it anymore. Lastly, make sure you get to communicate with your attendees too effectively.

With this dummy guide, you might not get all the answers. However, it should give you an excellent idea of what you don’t know, so you can start working on it. Corporate events are essential and highly effective, but they don’t come cheap. Make sure you check all the boxes above to get enough bang for your buck.


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