6 Top Tips for Planning Your Next Corporate Event
Have you been asked to plan your next Company party but don’t know where to start? Event planning can be fun and rewarding but it can also be stressful and time consuming. Following our simple tips below can help get you going in the right direction and hopefully allow you to enjoy the process and the event itself!
Top 6 Tips for Planning a Successful Corporate Event
1 – Come Up With a Plan
Who is coming? What is your budget? When will the event be? Where will the event take place? Why is the event being held? How many people will be there?
Don’t skip the “planning” part of your event! Answering some basic questions like these before getting into any discussions or details of your event will help you make decisions down the road and will avoid having to make the big decisions after the little ones have already been made and implemented – this can only result in disaster!
And remember, as soon as you have made some of these big decisions, get the event on the calendar so that everyone (venue, caterers, hotels, etc.) is on the same page!
2 – Location, Location, Location
Aside from the event date, one of the biggest and most important decisions is where you will hold your event. Your venue should
reflect your business, audience, and purpose of the event itself. Consider things like venue size, cost, proximity to public transportation, etc as well as the overall vibe. Check out some of our favorite downtown Austin venues here and our favorite new unique venue here.
3 – Invite Your Guests
Giving yourself at least 8 weeks to plan an event is critical to ensuring you can plan your guest list and give everyone enough notice so that they can make plans to attend. (Keep in mind, the more time the better – venues, caterers, rental companies, and entertainers get booked up early!)
Once your guest list has been developed, invites should be sent out roughly 4 weeks before the event. This means, Save the Dates need to be sent 6 weeks before and a reminder of the event 2 weeks prior to the event date. Keep in mind, you can expect about 30% of invitees to decline the invitation so be sure to beef up your list to get the numbers you are planning for.
When sending out your invitations, make sure to include helpful information for your guests so that they feel welcome and well informed. Make sure they can provide any dietary restrictions, let them know whether they can bring a partner or business associate, let them know where they can park, where they can stay, etc. The more information you can provide up front, the less work for you down the line.
4 – Event Flow
How will the event flow on the day? Will there be an open bar? What will the menu be? Will there be activities? When will these take place? It is important to have a schedule of events to ensure that everyone gets what they are looking for out of the event and has a good time. This flow should be shared with the venue, caterers, rental companies, service providers, entertainers, and potentially even with the guests themselves!
5 – Welcome Your Guests
Making guests feel welcome from the moment they enter the room will go a long way to help ensure that everyone has a good time. Just as you would in your own home, welcome the guests at the door (and if you can’t do it, assign someone else this task). Make sure you have space for a welcome table with information on seating, nametags, program for the event, etc. If you are going to do an ice breaker, provide rules or materials for that as well. Consider ahead of time guests who may not know anyone or may need an introduction and make that a point from the beginning. The worst outcome would be for guests to come and leave too soon!
Don’t forget to enjoy the event yourself. There is nothing worse than working really hard to plan a party and then working so hard during the party that you don’t get to enjoy it. Make sure you have enough help and have assigned enough responsibilities to others so that you can take time to enjoy the event.
6 – Follow Up
When the event is done, breathe a sigh of relief and then, follow up! Be sure to thank your guests for attending and send out a survey to gather feedback to help you plan for the next event!
Consider whether you will be planning this event or another one like it again. If so (and even if not), it’s good to keep a record of what you did. What Companies did you work with? What venue did you use? What did your final budget/spend look like? Keep your notes and any invoices or other information so that you can refer back to it when planning in the future.
And finally, it’s time to relax!