Corporate events can be stressful to plan. There are a lot of moving parts to take into account. But the rewards of a successful event can help your business grow in ways you could not have possibly dreamed.
Digital technology has greatly limited our person-to-person contact. But a corporate event provides the perfect opportunity to restore those interpersonal bonds. Particularly in a corporate structure, such networking is vital.
These events can strengthen the working relationships between colleagues. Or they can help you forge a direct line to your target audience. So if you’re interested in making the very best out of your corporate event, follow these tips below.
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#1. Formulate your event’s objectives
No event can happen without a clear intention or idea in mind. So before the planning process even begins, you will want to define what exactly you hope to accomplish.
This is where the group or marketing team in charge of planning can brainstorm. Make sure that the environment remains a professional space of innovation.
And make it a space where all ideas are welcome. Start to come up with ideas on how to create the experience for the guests in question.
Then you can start to create a list. This list might include questions you want to address through meetings or conferences. Or, it might be clear-cut goals that you hope to gain from the event overall.
Once you have determined your objective, keep your target audience in mind. The delivery of your objectives will greatly impact those relationships. So keeping abreast of these elements will make for a more successful corporate event.
Below are a couple of common goals to keep in mind for corporate events. If you’re having trouble coming up with any, try some of these to inform your event planning.
Common Objectives for Corporate Events
- Connect with clients and change their perceptions of the company
- Motivate the marketing and sales teams
- Devise strategies and ideas for the upcoming year
- Maximize social media coverage
- Implement better training for new staff
- Entertain executives and management
- Provide networking opportunities between companies
- Address mainstream issues within the industry and provide tips for improvement
- Serve as an example to other companies
#2. Set an appropriate budget
Budget can sound like a restricting word. But for event and meeting planners, the budget provides the perfect constraints to foster creativity. After all, problem-solving requires problems to occur in the first place, right?
There are many different ways to strategize a budget. But a good rule of thumb is to anticipate spending 10% more of the budget you have determined. Things change, so having that cushion will help you out in the long term.
Start by allocating your resources towards the substance of your event. Don’t opt for over-the-top decorations or venues out of your price range. Focus on how your event can promote engagement.
This is not to say that the venue is unimportant. It is just to remind the planners of the event to recognize that the space in question is there to foster professional networking.
Besides, there’s nothing worse than showing up to corporate events and feeling like you haven’t been thought of. So really put yourself in the guests’ shoes.
Make sure that catering and food provided. And schedule time for attendees to mingle amongst themselves. This might seem like it doesn’t matter, but the attendee experience is what will speak volumes about the event.
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#3. Create a timeline and schedule
Attendees like to feel secure in their host. So having a clear plan in mind will help guests feel more at ease. This means you will need to start planning well in advance.
Event management is no joke. So breaking down tasks into smaller increments will help the overall project feel less daunting. As much as corporate events might feel like a party, they still require a great amount of work and organization.
Start by securing the hotel or venue early. Then gather your team to determine the details of the event. Ensure that your live or virtual speakers have ample time to give their talk.
And budget out enough time in the schedule should they go over. Similarly, plan for meetings or a conference to go over their allotted time as well. Having that cushion will help you stay either on schedule or ahead of schedule.
If you think ahead of the details, any issues that come up last minute won’t feel as scary. And event attendees will feel like they are being well taken care of.
Additionally, ensure that there is a clear line of communication and contact between planners. Events can only flourish with a good group of individuals behind them.
Ensure that the group dynamic is flexible and hard-working. This will be integral for the event’s success.
Such promptness and communication will also do wonders for your brand. A professional event planner knows that any event should feel effortless to a client. So be sure to think ahead and work in groups to make the task more manageable.
A company is made up of a great number of individuals. So capitalize on each individual’s strength. Event planning is never a one-person job, so be sure that you can rely on your team members.
#4. Hire a comedian
By the time you get to the event itself, you might be a little tired – and rightly so! But a great way to take off some of that pressure off is to hire a funny clean comic for the event.
Nothing gets a group feeling relaxed like laughing together. And a featured comedian as host or featured act will ensure that the event starts off feeling like a party but still provides valuable need-to-know information.
Conferences and corporate events also tend to feel stuffy as is. But hiring a comedian is the perfect example of how to lighten such events up.
Corporate events such as these rely on establishing a good group dynamic. So if clients are shy to network with one another, a comedian can help them come out of their shell. And with an opening act, guests won’t have to search for conversation starters.
Another great tip for event planners is to depend on their clients as marketing. Each client in attendance is a potential brand ambassador. So their experience could be the very way that others hear about your company, business, or industry.
This mindset should help you market the experience to your clients. Ensure that they feel your support throughout the evening. And find that perfect balance of a professional party feel.
#5. Select a prime location
Location and desirable venues are one of the biggest draws of any event. Attendees like the idea of getting away for a weekend. So make sure your location and venue are fit for the client experience.
When you search for space, also make sure to factor in the local community. You might find a catering connection with a local restaurant. Or another small business that will supply you with any number of tables for the event.
You never know just how many business connections you can make. So be sure to keep an eye out for any opportunities to network.
These local businesses will act as yet another client to your corporate event. As featured contributors, they will market the event to drum up their own business.
So playing host to a number of local establishments will only strengthen your event overall. And you’ll have the opportunity to help out other businesses too.
Partnering with locals will also give your corporate feel a more down-to-earth vibe. Sometimes, the term “corporate” can feel a little stuffy. So demonstrating your willingness to network in any way will only enhance your brand.
But also be sure that the venues you look at can comfortably satisfy the needs of your corporate event. The allure of location and venues can be overwhelming and intoxicating.
But remember that the substance of the event is just as important as its image. Don’t oversell the promise without delivering the product.
You might be in love with a hotel that looks amazing in pictures. But it might not have enough rooms for the number of breakout meetings you’re planning to have.
Just remember to keep your perspective throughout. The attendee experience will rely on that fine balance you straddle between picture-perfect and intellectually stimulating.
#6. Utilize social media and technology
Nowadays, it’s a given to use social media to drum up attendance for your event. But don’t just stop there. Try developing a website or online platform to further promote the event.
This will allow your guests to find all relevant and related information in one place. Include information on the hotel, venue, team, or food you are using. Or, use your website to post about meeting reminders or how to make corporate connections.
Developing a website seems like a lot of work. But it will ensure that your one-time corporate event lives longer than just a weekend. A client who was unable to attend might have access to certain information through the website.
And this will only make your event feel more accessible. When you’re not limited to venues, your digital footprint helps to proliferate your business. And a website can help market the other services you are partnering with too.
Other companies in the same industry might contact the same local businesses you used. Or maybe your event can boost the reputation of the venue or hotel. Your online presence has the power to be mutually beneficial to the groups and partners you use.
So use your technology wisely. And make it factor advantageously into your event planning overall.
Also, be sure to encourage companies and attendees to post about their experiences of the company events in question. These online interactions can act as free marketing. And your corporate image will only benefit from a stronger digital footprint.
Ask them to tag the venue or hotel in their pictures. Or give a shoutout to the company or business hosting.
You’ve already worked so hard to make this corporate event a success. So why not let the guests be a part of that success too?
#7. Celebrate your success and evaluate the events
Now that your corporate event has ended, you can take a breath! But only a quick one. A post-event debrief is the perfect time to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t.
Communicate with your team members. Get their input on how the corporate events unfolded in their eyes.
With any big endeavor, it is likely that you only had time to focus on certain elements of the whole. So remaining communicative with the group will be integral for future events’ success.
Ask those who worked with the hotel or venue directly if they would return to the said hotel again. Ask communications team members if the business or company image positively increased in response to the events as a whole.
And welcome constructive feedback on how to improve future corporate events. This feedback might come from team members. Or, you might invite clients to submit their own experience.
This is where you can utilize technology once again. If you developed a website, consider sending out a survey to guests to rate their experience overall. And asks them if they have any additional ideas on how to better future corporate events.
The only way to grow and improve such events as these will be to start a conversation. So acknowledge when certain things could have been better managed. And always keep an eye out for opportunities to improve.
Corporate events rely on all individuals who participate. This means staff, caterers, business partners, and clients alike. So be sure to do your due diligence and pinpoint how your corporate event was a success and what areas it might be best to improve.
Corporate events might seem daunting to begin with. But always recognize that your colleagues and event planners are there to help you every step of the way.
Events such as these could not be accomplished by a single person. So be sure to pull upon every resource you can.
Always start with a clear objective in mind. This will help throughout the planning tenfold. And make sure that all expectations you are setting are realistic and serve to enhance the event as a whole.
It can be easy to get carried away with corporate events. But finding that sweet spot is the very magic that makes these events stick.
So try out these tips to make your corporate event stand out from the rest. And be sure to let us know if these tips helped you in your execution.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC for hire, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular virtual comedian, magician, and virtual speakers.