corporate event

a short guide to corporate event planning

What is corporate event planning?

There comes a time in every company’s story when it’s time to bring people together, either to celebrate what was accomplished or to meet new prospects and partners. Corporate events are designed to help companies grow and thrive through networking, training, recognition, and team-building activities. Having a corporate event is the best way to celebrate business milestones, and different occasions and shake hands on lucrative deals. With so many new introductions every year, it grows difficult to organize business events in an organized manner. So make your business event a memorable one by flaunting your presence at the best possible level with marcem event managers

Types of corporate events

Corporate events can range from company conferences and internal training seminars to team away-days and client hospitality. When planning for any type of corporate event, therefore, it’s best to assess them in terms of their size.

Simple events (otherwise known as ‘micro events’) are planned for up to 100 delegates and often take the form of meetings or more intimate training sessions. The planning requirements for these micro-events may simply involve room booking, presentation facilities, break-out refreshments, and registration. However, referring to them as ‘simple events’ can be misleading, as an away-day or hospitality for 50 senior managers can be as complicated as planning a conference for 500 attendees.

Small events are classed as between 100 and 250 delegates. They could be seminars, training days, or departmental conferences. Planners may need to manage a main stage itinerary and several break-out sessions, along with lunch, refreshments, audio-visual facilities, online registration, and transport.

Midsize events rely more on technology. They could be company-wide conferences for up to 1,000 delegates or leadership summits for important client customers to meet with senior leaders. A branded website, pre-event communications, and an event mobile app should all form part of the budgetary considerations. Delegates may require hotel accommodation, plus transport that takes attendees to and from the venue. While a pre-or post-event reception or evening entertainment may be required as part of a complex multi-stream conference itinerary.

Large-scale events often require enterprise technology tools to manage elements such as hotel room bookings, delegate flights, budgets, and online registration. These may be multi-day events so you could need offsite activities, dinners, partner programs, an awards ceremony or other complex itinerary planning. Staffing, catering, registration, speaker, and delegate management will all need to be carefully planned at scale. Conventions, for example, can attract anything up to around 10,000 attendees and can last a few days.

Event objective

‘What is the event’s objective?’ This should be the first question you ask when a corporate event is requested. Gaining a deep understanding of the deliverables that key stakeholders are hoping to achieve, it’ll allow you to plan more effectively and communicate your ideas in a language your bosses will understand.

Once you’ve understood whether the event’s aim is, for example, to build brand awareness, communicate business strategy, reward and motivate, or launch a new product or service, you can then set goals, put the right metrics in place to track results, and determine who the attendees will be, along with their expectations.

When you have well-defined goals and objectives for your event, planning, promoting, and sticking to your budget all become much easier.

corporate events

Corporate Event Planning Checklist

Use these 21 action steps, together with the aforementioned best practice advice, to ensure effective and successful corporate event planning.

  1. Determine the overarching goal and the primary objectives you intend to meet by holding this event.
  2. Identify the audience to determine the event’s tone of voice and what takeaways they’ll expect.
  3. Agree on how the event fits into the overall company strategy. What are its long-term objectives?
  4. Make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle.
  5. Appoint a planning team and allocate responsibilities.
  6. Establish a schedule for planning meetings.
  7. Decide on the date(s) when the event will take place.
  8. Prepare a preliminary budget based on historic costings and supplier quotes.
  9. Create a list of venue requirements.
  10. Compare venues and negotiate.
  11. Plan the event layout.
  12. Secure speakers.
  13. Develop and activate an event marketing plan.
  14. Prepare an event timeline allowing adequate time between sessions and activities for transitioning, as well as for any potential delays or technical difficulties.
  15. Reserve accommodation and transport requirements.
  16. Plan menus for meals and refreshments, taking dietary needs into consideration.
  17. Prepare and print event collateral.
  18. Confirm or recruit event staffing.
  19. Rehearse speakers if required.
  20. Follow-up with speakers and attendees post-event to thank them for attending and provide key takeaways.
  21. Conduct surveys, secure feedback and collate final costings for future reference.

Event budget

The amount of available budget can impact every aspect of corporate event planning, from the choice of venue and speakers to the levels of catering, entertainment, technology, and staffing.

Decide if your budget has outgoings only, or will you be able to supplement it with income from exhibitors, sponsors, or other forms of external revenue?

Has this event happened in the past? If so, use the previous budget to establish a baseline but ensure that inflation and evolving needs are taken into consideration.

Figures from past budgets are useful in providing a clearer picture of how much certain suppliers will charge. Use these to ensure you are not being over-charged when you reach out to suppliers for initial quotes.

Every event budget, however, needs built-in flexibility. Unanticipated expenditure is common and supplier costs are often provided as estimates, rather than fixed prices, so it’s vital that an overall budget is managed accordingly, and a contingency fund is in place.

Once you’ve sourced supplier costings, make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle, including venue hire, AV, food, and beverage, accommodation and travel, speaker fees, staffing costs, and marketing and service fees.

For larger or more complex budget planning, look into corporate event management software suites, which include a dedicated event budget management tool. This will ensure accurate collection of your budgetary information, help you track expenses easily, generate budget reports, and demonstrate the ROI of your event.

Event management is a complex process that goes beyond the identification and implementation of an idea or objective. There are many things to consider, including the pre-planning of the event activity and event management in the actual delivery. In this article, we have discussed the basic steps for event planning and corporate events management. Check back regularly to stay updated on all matters relating to corporate events management.

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