Corporate events are an incredibly useful and valuable tool in the world of business. Not only do they present opportunities for professional development, but they also provide networking opportunities and access to prospective customers that translate into increased sales. You can host your own event, for instance, a product launch, or take part in a larger event that brings together consumers and other brands. But, planning a corporate event has a lot of moving parts that must come together seamlessly to ensure a successful event that meets your goals.
If you are responsible for planning such an event in the near future, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the task. This is particularly true if the event you are planning is a large event with other brands and lots of consumers. Everything from catering to speakers to the clean-up after your event requires careful planning to ensure it fits your budget and achieves your goals. The fact of the matter is that there are many things to consider and account for when planning a corporate event.
Even though you might already have a decent handle on the big-ticket items involved, like venue and speakers, there are many small details that combine to help make your event truly memorable and enjoyable for your attendees. Moreover, there are some details that are easily overlooked in the planning process that you certainly won’t want to forget.
With that in mind, here are a few things that you must ensure are covered when planning a corporate event.
Planning a corporate event
The key to planning a corporate event is determining your goal for attending the event and performing a cost/ benefit analysis to ensure sufficient ROI (return on investment) is expected from the event. For larger events, sometimes firms contract with the event organizers to guarantee a minimum number of attendees or other factors that contribute significantly to the potential ROI from the event.
Once an event satisfies your goals and reaches your minimum ROI expectations, you must get into the nitty-gritty of planning the event.
Provide Takeaway Information
Corporate events are often filled with industry information and insights that the attendees benefit from. Because such information can end up being useful after the event as well, it is a good idea to make sure you have measures in place to allow for transcription of the lectures and talks to allow access later as well as to share with those who couldn’t attend the event in its original location/ time slot.
The good news is that having your event transcribed doesn’t mean you need someone typing away as each speaker presents their information. Rather, you can use CART transcription software to capture everything that you want to later share from your event.
The bonus of using software like this is that it can also provide captions in real-time at your event to make things more accessible for each of your attendees, whether differently-abled or to overcome a noise venue.
Another benefit of going this route for your event transcription is that your attendees have something to remember your event as well as key takeaways long after it ended. If your attendees aren’t strictly employees of your company but rather potential and current clients, keeping your business at the forefront of their minds is your goal no matter what your events calendar entails.
It might sound like a given, and maybe we should have mentioned this critical aspect earlier in this post, but it is easy to let spending for your event get out of control in the planning process. You have plenty of things that you must pay for in the days leading up to the event, including marketing for the event, transportation of your people and any materials needed, swag to hand out to attendees, and even elements for your booth such as tablecloths and displays. With so much that you must include in your event, it is important to bear in mind the fact that this event should serve to benefit your company, not as a drain on your yearly budget.
Take the time to run through the numbers thoroughly so that you know what you can afford to spend on each item. It can be helpful to make as detailed a list as possible and then come up with realistic estimates for each item. If you have a team working with you to plan your event, you should also make sure they understand the limitations of your budget. Creating a detailed action plan helps with both budgeting and implementing the event successfully. As an example, you can modify the social media action plan template below to fit your event.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors in order to get the price you want. Being able to compare prices from different vendors can also help you to keep your budget under control without having to compromise on the quality of your event. This is what you should be doing for any event you hold, whether for business or personal purposes.
Throughout the course of your event, you will have a significant number of people trying to access and utilize the internet. Your presenters and speakers might need to use the internet for their presentations, while those in attendance will most likely need to keep an eye on their email, share your meeting on social platforms, and interact with people back home. As the event organizer, you also need full internet access throughout the day to keep things on track.
If your internet connection is unreliable or can’t effectively handle the number of people trying to access it, especially for your speakers, your event can come to a grinding halt. This could end up being a particularly embarrassing scenario for you as the event organizer. You have enough on your plate on the day of your event without technical failures. You won’t have the time or capacity to run around trying to resolve a faulty internet connection. If attendees can’t share your event on social media, you lose out on a valuable source of networking available otherwise.
Of course, the internet isn’t the only technical detail that might derail your event. Ensure you test any technology you plan to use, including microphones, lighting, or other staging elements needed to ensure your presentation makes a bang with attendees. Even electricity isn’t guaranteed in the booths at a trade show and you must often hire electricians to run any power lines you require.
Check in with the venue to see what sort of bandwidth they have available. If you need to boost the Wi-Fi for the venue, it is better to know ahead of time than to find yourself scrambling to manage things on the day of the event. This is one of the most important things for you to remember so that you can ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible.
Food and Beverages
If your corporate event involves being there over an extended period or at mealtimes, you should plan to offer some food and drink options. After all, you are the host of the event and these are your guests; providing hospitality options, like food and drink, enables you to bring everyone together to make connections in a slightly more relaxed atmosphere. It gives people the chance to have conversations with you and the others taking part in the event. Besides, forcing attendees to leave in order to eat means you may lose them for the remainder of the event.
However, as important as it is to consider the food options, you need to remember that eating isn’t the main event. This is where budgeting can come in handy.
These are but a few of the many issues involved in planning a corporate event and ensuring you achieve your goals. In addition, consider elements such as your invitation list, marketing the event, providing swag and other handouts at the event, having sufficient personnel available, and scheduling speakers at the event to attract the maximum number of attendees.
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