Hosting a Successful Corporate Event: A Comprehensive Planning Guide

It might surprise you to learn that approximately 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. This can occur due to a variety of causes, such as poor leadership or insufficient market need.

Another major factor can be improperly promoting your business. Hosting a corporate event is an amazing way to connect with new clients and show employee appreciation. However, not everyone understands the nuances of corporate event planning.

Handling these appropriately can dictate whether the occasion meets your needs. Let’s explore the key information you should keep in mind when moving forward.

Decide What Success Looks Like

This is one of the most important tips to keep in mind, as it will decide your course of action. Do you want your corporate event to be as entertaining as possible, or would you prefer it to be more informative? What does the ideal occasion look like?

Is there anything unique you need that you wouldn’t normally find at a corporate event? The answers to questions like these will help you get started on the right track. The better you envision success, the easier it will be for you to strive toward it.

Ask People What They Want

You can streamline your planning by asking your attendees what they want to see at your event. This also prevents you from wasting money on something nobody will enjoy.

Spending money on uninteresting speakers, for example, could detract from the overall experience people have. Send out surveys well in advance so you have time to accommodate their needs.

You should also ask if they’d be willing to attend events in various locations. You can use these responses to eliminate unsuitable options.

Set a Date

It’s imperative to establish a precise time for your corporate event. The last thing you want is to have schedule conflicts prevent your attendees from occurring.

This will also help you reduce your costs. Providing this information will also make it easier for guests to organize transportation.

The more details you provide, the less opportunity you’ll experience complications. When setting a date, avoid peak travel times of the year. This specifically includes holidays.

Choose a Memorable Concept

The last thing you want is to put in all the work and be unable to make a lasting impact on your attendees. Choosing a theme or concept can breathe life into your event and make it far more engaging. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t think of a theme, though.

Not all corporate events need them, so don’t feel pressured to use one if an idea doesn’t come naturally. Keep this information in mind so you can avoid major complications.

Assess Costs and Source Vendors

The cost of corporate events can quickly add up without the right level of oversight. It’s best to minimize miscellaneous costs to determine what you need for the core of your event. You can then assess whether you have the budget to make additional purchases.

Amenities, for example, are great to have but can quickly add up in cost. You’ll need to source vendors early so you can establish everything with plenty of time beforehand. This also gives you more room to negotiate their terms if you’re dissatisfied with the initial agreement.

Choose the Perfect Venue

The location you choose is by far the most important detail of planning your event. It’s sometimes best to choose options other than highly popular corporate event spaces so you can have an easier time finding availability.

There’s no shortage of available opportunities that won’t stretch your budget. Get in touch with the venue’s staff so you can assess how accommodating they are. No matter how enticing the event venue may seem, you won’t get the right results if its employees aren’t willing to meet your needs.

Decide on Keynotes, Sessions, and Entertainment

Entertainment is also crucial for keeping your audience engaged. There’s nothing wrong with organizing an informative event, but guests can quickly become bored.

This is especially true for longer events. There’s no shortage of opportunities for entertainment, such as celebrities or public figures.

Your entertainment also doesn’t have to be related to your event, so feel free to get creative. Clearly define your event’s sessions so you can offer your guests an accurate schedule. This isn’t imperative, but it’s a nice touch that can help your guests feel more welcome.

Craft a Promotional Plan

No matter how much planning you put into your corporate event, you’ll still need to promote it. When marketing your event, emphasize its most unique qualities.

This could be your event’s theme, the keynote speakers you’ve booked, vendors, etc. Leverage online ads and social media to get your promotional materials in front of the right people.

You should aim to make your promotional materials shareable, as well. The right digital marketing strategy can quickly improve awareness of your event.

Create Meaningful Experiences

Not every part of your event has to amaze your audience. However, there should be meaningful experiences sprinkled in. These will likely stem from your keynote speakers and special guests.

You should also take time to showcase your company’s key members during the event. Don’t forget to acknowledge the team that helped plan the event, as well. This will illustrate your gratitude and also convey that your company cares about its employees.

Use Event Management Software

Imagine having to log into multiple platforms and organize your event’s details from different accounts. This can quickly become frustrating, and it’s often overwhelming. Event management software can help you streamline your planning obligations.

It allows you to handle key details from a single location. This can both improve efficiency and decrease the chance of error.

This type of software often isn’t expensive, either. Choose software that has abundant positive reviews from previous users. Look for feedback that mentions learning curves.

Teaching yourself difficult software often isn’t worth the trouble. Easy-to-use, affordable software is the best solution in most scenarios. Search available options until you find one so you can save time and money.

Invite Attendees Early

As soon as you secure a venue and establish key parts of your schedule, invite your guests. Without the proper notice, they might not be able to attend. It’s not uncommon to send invitations months beforehand.

Don’t worry about providing info too early. Some companies send invitations for their events over six months in advance.

You should also require your event audience to RSVP so you can get an accurate headcount. This prevents a large number of problems, such as having a shortage of food. Getting early RSVPs also helps you organize other aspects of your event.

Plan the Menu

Your guests will no doubt get hungry at the event, and many people won’t want to leave the venue to find meals. Event catering is a great way to keep everyone full and engaged.

However, you’ll need to choose the right menu options. These should both be enticing and inclusive. To clarify, you shouldn’t exclude guests who are vegan or vegetarian.

The same can be said about those who have food allergies. Don’t skimp on the food you purchase, either. If your meals are dissatisfying, people will likely remember that attribute of the event over how good the occasion was.

Consider All Potentialities

Without the proper contingency plan in place, you risk dealing with issues you could’ve avoided. Make a list of the issues that are most likely to occur and develop the appropriate course of action.

You can then examine situations that aren’t as likely to occur. The more you prepare, the easier it will be for you to overcome issues that manifest.

It’s not a bad idea to develop multiple plans for each issue. Being caught off guard can lead to an even larger number of complications.

Do Final Walkthroughs

Once everything’s been planned and organized, you can take a final walkthrough through the event to ensure everything is accounted for. Take your time during this process so you can ensure you don’t miss anything. If you discover areas of concern, contact the appropriate party as soon as possible so you can make the necessary adjustments.

While this might seem inconvenient at first, it’s one of the most important steps for ensuring a quality experience. If you plan everything early, you shouldn’t have problems.

Survey Participants to Measure Success

One of the best ways to learn how much people enjoyed your event is by asking them. You can send a link to a survey via email with key questions, such as what they think you could have improved. It will likely take a week or so for people to respond to this message, so don’t worry if you don’t get immediate responses.

Offering incentives is a great way to encourage people to answer promptly. You have plenty of room for creativity here, such as providing discounts on future services.

Consider this feedback in the future so you can make the appropriate changes. Your guests won’t want to see the same issues across multiple events.

Evaluate Your Performance

After the event concludes, you can discuss its performance with stakeholders. This allows you to have objective insight into how everything played out. You can also determine if your target metrics were reached.

It’s best to document key points about the event while it’s ongoing so you can reference them during this conversation. Key metrics to consider include:

  • Guest turnout
  • Survey responses
  • Major issues that occurred

This info will help you make better decisions for your next event, as well.

Work with a Professional

A professional event planner can substantially improve how effectively you organize your occasion. This can also reduce the overall burden and make it easier for you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

When searching for someone to hire, consider their past reputation. See what other people have to say about what it was like working with the company.

Pay attention to how they respond to criticism, as well. Never work with a firm that gets defensive or aggressive when faced with negative feedback. Keep an eye out for fake reviews, as well.

These are often posted in batches and contain many of the same keywords. Is the company communicative?

Getting left in the dark can be highly frustrating. In many cases, you won’t be able to overcome issues on your own.

You can gauge their level of communication by assessing their customer support policy. They should be enthusiastic about helping clients resolve problems as soon as they arise. Examine their pricing structure before moving forward.

This will provide insight into what you’ll need to budget for. It’s worth noting you should avoid the cheapest options you encounter. These are unlikely to meet your needs, causing you to get subpar results.

You don’t have to spend as much money as possible, though. Somewhere in the middle of the price range can help you meet your needs without stretching your budget. With enough due diligence, you shouldn’t have issues finding the ideal choice for your situation.

How Emporium Arcade Bar Can Help

This venue offers a unique combination of bar atmosphere, arcade games, and live events. We have no struggle accommodating large gatherings and go out of our way to ensure each of our clients has everything they need for their occasion. Due to demand, it’s recommended to get in touch with us as soon as possible.

This will help avoid scheduling conflicts and allow you to easily accommodate your guests. You can check out this resource to learn more about what we have to offer.

Plan Your Corporate Event Diligently

The more time you dedicate to planning your corporate event, the better results you get. The information in this guide will help you get started on the right track. From here, you’ll have no trouble leaving a lasting impact on your attendees.

Emporium Arcade Bar prides itself on being an ideal location for hosting events. Between our professional sound system pride and ample space, you’ll have no issue creating an unforgettable occasion. You’ll learn more about the many benefits we can provide when you contact us today.

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