The Nine-Step Guide for a perfect coroporate event
You've been put in charge of organizing your company's event. Whether it be a conference, day of training or conferences, a Christmas party or promo fair, the key to success remains the same: PLANNING!
Yes, it seems like a huge feat. Yes, there's a lot to think about. Yes, the task comes with a lot of stress. But it's also a rewarding challenge! We're familiar with all the ins and outs of the job, so we've prepared a few tips that are sure to lighten the load and help you throw a stellar event!
Ready, set, go!
- FIRST CONSIDERATIONS
Whatever the purpose or theme of your event, most event organizers suggest not only considering goals and target audience, but also establishing a theme, concept, or central idea before getting started. Your vision for the event will guide most of your choices and actions throughout the planning process. This is therefore a crucial step, and one that's too often overlooked. The details are what participants are sure to notice, so having a clear direction to follow will guarantee your success.
One of the first steps of successfully implementing your project is, of course, choosing your team. Get your company's best on board and entrust them with tasks suited to their skills (and their interests!). Your cohort's efforts and know-how will pave the way to success. Work with your event committee to make a list of the various of tasks to complete and then assign them to the various team members. At this stage, we also recommend designating an event coordinator, who will be THE resource person on event day. Or, you can take on this role yourself.
- BUDGET AND BREAKDOWN
You may have been given a budget to work with, or you may have been asked to submit one. When making decisions, research prices with different vendors to get an idea of how much each aspect of your event will cost. This will give you a better idea of the overall budget needed for the project. Set out how much money will be spent for each part of the event. Don't forget to prepare contracts.
- FIRST DECISIONS: DATE, TIME AND VENUE
The event you're planning might be recurring or have a fixed date. You might even have the luxury of deciding what time of year you'll be holding it. Obviously, unless you're organizing a company Christmas party, it's best to avoid the holiday season and other holiday periods, evenings before stat holidays, etc. Before making the final call on a day and time, first confirm that the people needed for the event (speaker, trainer, DJ, etc.) are available. We recommend contracting their services well in advance.
The size of your event will, of course, influence which venue you choose. Keeping in mind the number of guests expected or needed, visit the sites on your list. Accessibility is another key point to consider when deciding on the venue (public transportation, parking, etc.).
- AMBIANCE, ATMOSPHERE AND DECOR
You've chosen the site—now comes the decor! Working with the concept you've chosen, how can you bring the space to life and create a real wow factor? Will you need extra furnishings (tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc.) or special setups (lectern, screen, stage, projector, board, etc.)? Will you be ordering flowers? Will there be music? Special lighting? Decorations? Banners with the company logo? Make sketches and discuss the setup with your team.
- SOURCING AND HIRING PROFESSIONALS
At this stage, find the professionals you need to make the event happen. This can include a host or presenter, photographer, speaker, graphic designer, DJ, florist, caterer, etc. Ask your contacts for references, get quotes, compare, ask for samples, and don't forget to have everyone you hire sign a contract!
The event participants will expect something to eat; don't leave them hungry! Many banquet halls offer a catering service. Check out the menus and see whether you're allowed to make changes. When setting the menu, remember that some participants might have allergies. Will this be an all-day event? If so, you'll have to provide snacks. If you hire your own caterer, contact several companies first.
- PREPARING AND SENDING INVITATIONS
Create or buy invitations that can be sent by mail, email or even as an online registration form, according to what is most appropriate for your event. If participants must pay to attend, keep in mind that they will likely want a receipt.
- THE EVENT
Together with your team, establish a rough timeline for the day (or evening). This schedule will help you stay on top of the order of activities and anticipate any possible hiccups. If you decided on a resource person at the start of the process, this person needs to know the event inside out, so that they're able to act and react as effectively as possible! Trust your resource person to do their job.
One of the main objectives of organizing an event is to leave a good impression on attendees. The hope is that they're proud to have attended, come away with positive memories and, all in all, they have had an amazing experience. Make sure this is the case by asking for feedback. With all the hard work you and your team have put into the event, you'll want to know what attendees thought. Set up a guest book for comments, send out a quick survey the week after the event or make assessment cards available at the event. These comments, which are usually constructive, will help you fine-tune your strategy for future projects and push you to the top of your game!
We hope this guide has been helpful and if you have more questions don't hesitate to contact us.