8 Tips for a Successful Corporate Event
Planning a corporate event takes time, organization and sharp multitasking skills. Whether you’re hosting an office party, a conference, a team building retreat or a networking event, there are several elements to check to guarantee success.
To ensure you cover your bases, you first and foremost need to develop a checklist. Your checklist is the core of your planning strategy and will help guide you through the whole process. Here are 8 items you should be including on your list.
1: Venue & Date
The venue should be your priority.You should choose a venue according to the type of event you’re holding. For example, if you’re organizing a retreat, consider a hotel or resort that is secluded from the downtown core so you and your coworkers can focus on the content of your meetings and activities.
If you’re hosting a networking event or conference, it’s best that you pick a venue that is easily accessible to maximize the number of attendees.
You also must determine the date of the event and whether your desired venue can accommodate you. Budget is another element that will influence your choice, so make sure you have a clear idea of how much your company is willing to spend.
Another thing you should be looking for in a venue is whether they offer built in services or provide inhouse personel and equipment. If so, you should take advantage of these options as it relieves the burden of managing everything from A to Z. Imagine if you could take items off your checklist and use that time to focus on the content of your event instead. These amenities and on-site assistance from your venue boost the odds that your event goes as planned, without any hiccups or bumps in the road.
2: Equipment & Technical Support
What kind of equipment will you be needing for your event? Notepads, projectors, widescreens, microphones, televisions, computers… the list is endless when it comes to organizing a corporate event. Ensure you make a detailed list of everything you need and whether Internet access will be required.
In addition to having audiovisual equipment on site, some venues will help you with set up and provide technical support. Don’t forget to inquire whether this is a possibility and make sure to test the equipment prior to your event, so you can focus on other important tasks on the day of the event.
3: Food & Refreshments
Believe it or not, food is a crucial part of the event’s overall success. If your attendees are hungry, chances are they’ll be distracted. In-house catering is always the best option for meals as your venue already has the personnel and equipment required to prepare fresh, quality food. From snacks to buffet-style menus and full course meals, many options are available. Keep in mind that you should be serving several meals if you’re planning an all-day event.
Providing easily accessible refreshments such as coffee, water, and juice is another important element. Will alcohol be served? If so, determine what type, the quantities and when it will be served. You don’t want guests to lose their focus during important day meetings or seminars. Alcohol is best suited for evening mix-and-mingle type activities.
You also should take into consideration your guest’s food restrictions and allergies. When sending out your invitations, make sure you ask your invitees if they have special dietary needs. Healthy vegetarian options should always be included in your menu since some non-vegetarians prefer to eat lighter, wholesome food during the day.
4: Floor Plan
Your floorplan inevitably influences your venue choice. Once you’ve ensured your venue fits your layout requirements, determine a floorplan that works best for your event. How many tables will you be needing? Do you need a separate space for eating or will it be a luncheon type of event?
Team building exercises work best if everyone faces each other, whereas presentations and seminars should have a traditional classroom-type layout. If you’re planning a networking event with a “speed dating” activity, rows of separate tables with two chairs facing each other are preferable.
After determining your floorplan, don’t forget to communicate it to your venue so they can prepare the space accordingly.
5: Guest speakers
Your corporate event plan should also include booking guest speakers. Although some events don’t require them, it’s always a good idea to have an industry professional share their knowledge, motivational guidance or other relevant expertise to inspire your attendees.
Your speaker’s tone and style is incredibly important. Ensure he or she has the appropriate personality for your event. As for many items on this checklist, adequate planning is key. Highly sought-out speakers can be booked months in advance, so if there’s someone specific you’d like to invite, plan ahead!
6: Activities & Entertainment
Entertaining your guests with various activities and music is a great idea if you want your corporate event to be memorable. If you’re only allocating time for seminars, meetings or speakers, your guests could easily get bored or worse… leave the event altogether. Activity ideas include icebreakers, mixers, virtual reality booths, and workshops.
If your budget permits, allocate some money for paid entertainment. If your event extends until the evening, it’s always a good idea to hire a DJ, a live band, an impersonator or even a comedian to amuse your guests. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue if they have a list of DJs or bands they recommend. Your venue most likely has an established relationship with several entertainers that already know the ins and outs of their equipment. Keep in mind that the entertainer should fit well with the type of event you’re hosting.
7: Itinerary of Events
Identify the start and end time of the event, including meal times, breaks and activities. Don’t forget to forward the information to your venue to ensure food is served on time. Any key personnel, hired entertainment and keynote speakers should also receive the itinerary of events to ensure the schedule goes according to plan.
A successful event relies heavily on seamless execution. Ensure your corporate event is one of them.
8: Event Sponsors
If you’re planning a product launch or an industry conference, chances are you’ll have event sponsors. If this is the case, you need to determine how you will be showcasing their brand. Will you be including their logos on event banners, invitations, and promotional material – or will there be an allocated booth for these companies?
Goodie bags are another clever marketing tool to represent a brand, and most people love receiving free stuff.
With these tips in mind, planning your corporate event shouldn’t be complicated. Remember: one of the most important elements is to secure a venue. Once you’ve done that, the rest should fall into place.
Looking for the perfect venue to host your corporate event? Please don’t hesitate to contact L’Ambroisie to inquire about our special events packages and turnkey solutions.