How to plan a Corporate Event
1 – What is the point? Seems an obvious question but it really should be the first one you ask yourself, What am I looking to achieve when the event has taken place? Do I want to impress my customers, reward my staff or simply throw a party where everyone has a great time? Answer that question and you’ll start out in the right direction.
2 – What sort of an event will it be? Having answered question one, you will have ruled some kinds of events in or out but still leave yourself with plenty of choice. You may want to entertain your guests to dinner, take them to a sporting event, theatre show or another set piece, or you may want throw a full scale party with dancing and entertainment. Whatever you decide, in answering these first two questions, you can now start to set your plans in motion.
3 - Where should the event take place? In some cases, this will answer itself, particularly if you choose a sporting or theatre event but if it’s a dinner or a party, you have some more thinking to do! Some people prefer a venue they know in their own location and if your guests are all based locally this will make a lot of sense. If your company has multiple bases however, you will have to think about the best location for all concerned. Try to narrow this down to a specific geographical area, then look for an appropriate venue. There are agencies who can help with this such as First Choice Conferences and Events in Cheltenham who offer a free venue finding service.
4 – Budget! In some ways the most important question of all. No matter which event you choose to host, there are a myriad of options for every element. From getting all the guests to the venue (do they make their own way, or do you provide transport – do you fly them in?) through to the food they eat, the entertainment and the accommodation, if any, there are so many choices and a wide range of budget options. It pays to look at your overall budget, then decide on how much to allocate to each element, in order to get the best value and give your guests the best possible experience
5 – Choose the date for your event. Arguably, this question could be further up the priority list! You may wish to choose a date that fits with the majority of your staff, if it’s an event that’s a reward for them but if it’s a client entertainment event or some other type, then more often than not you have to choose a date that best suits you and go for it. It may seem obvious but a glance a school calendars and taking note of festivals and bank holidays are sensible precautions.
6 – Choose the entertainment for your event. It is surprising how many people leave this to point 10, or even 11, on their list. So long as you choose a good venue, nice menu and are reasonably generous (but sensible) with your drinks, then the one thing everyone will remember and be impressed by, is the entertainment. At a sporting or theatre event, this is central of course but at other events, it is so often the element the guests will remember for days, months and even years after. Think about how often you hear these phrases – “do you remember that band?”, “that magician”,” those dancers” but how about “that lamb cutlet”?
7 – Choose the menu. Chef these days are wonderfully creative people, so take plenty of time to meet with your venue, talk to the banqueting manager and the chef, so you come up with a menu that will work well for your event, be suitable for all your guests and fi within your budget!
8 – Get your invitations out in plenty of time. There is an optimal time to do this of course, too early and people will not know what they are doing that far ahead but leave it too late and their plans are already made. Most people seem to think that somewhere around 3- 4 months makes the most sense but if circumstances dictate otherwise, perhaps your company has won an award that should be celebrated, then needs must!
9 – Get organised, make lists! It is really important that you establish the time line and make a list of what needs to be done by when. There is always the scope for variance of course but if everything is on the list, you can tick them off as you go along and you are less likely to forget what may appear to be small things but to some guests could be important. Also ensure you have a team to help you and they all know their responsibilities. The timeline should make reference to who is responsible for each element and when it must be done – no-one will be in any doubt!
10 – On the day of your event. That’s when all the planning and preparation becomes worth it. The team know their duties and all that is left is for the guests to arrive, have a great time and congratulate you on organising an amazing corporate event. Well done you – same time next year?