Planning a large corporate event can be a daunting process. There are so many details to cover and many aspects of it that may seem beyond control. To simplify things, we’ve broken the planning process into the five core components that will help you focus on the main tasks at hand.
Step 1: Detailed planning is the key to smooth execution
- Determine what the goal of your event is and define it specifically, whether it’s soliciting donations, building client relationships, increasing sales or any number of metrics. Make sure that you quantify what your objectives are, for example– to sell x amount of sponsorships or to receive $100,000 in donations.
- With your budget in mind, brainstorm a theme or tone that you want to set for the party itself. This also will help guide your selection process when you research potential venue sites. Perhaps you want to consider a keynote speaker or host to emcee the party or maybe hire a band or DJ. It’s important to see video samples or even live performances of the entertainers that you are considering before making your final decision.
Step 2: Book your venue and vendors.
- Confirm the date and time of your event and the party site itself, plus book any other vendors that you plan on using, like caterers, a photographer or entertainers. Make sure that you are clear about the specific details of each contract before you sign-off on them. Each vendor has individual terms for his or her deposit amount, cancellation policies, performance arrangements and more, so review these carefully now to avoid any surprises later.
- This is the time to send out a save-the-date notice to your guests while ordering your printed invites. Finalize your theme and order any decorations, flowers, furniture or other décor that will really bring your theme to life. Negotiate hotel arrangements if you will be hosting many out-of-town guests for the party.
Step 3: Review and confirm all arrangements while creating a backup plan.
- Send out your printed invitations and ask guests to confirm their attendance by a specific date, typically about a month in advance. Go over all of the hotel, venue, entertainment and food vendor information that you’ve already booked to ensure that you have every contingency covered.
- Think about a back-up plan in the event that the weather may affect your event. Meet with the venue manager to review how the tables and décor should be staged and to assign/confirm responsibilities to all event staff.
Step 4: It’s Show Time–the day of your event.
- Call an early staff meeting to review responsibilities and timing to each person involved. Conduct a walk-through of your event at the venue site itself. In the morning, check-in with the food and entertainment vendors one last time.
Step 5: Follow-up after the event.
- Host a casual staff meeting to thank all of your employees for their support. Ask them to share their thoughts on what worked and what didn’t with respect to the event and the outcome. Make sure to save all of your notes and budget information for future use.
- Put together a visual ‘case-study’ of your event with photos and videos that can be showcased on your company blog and social media.
- Send out notes to thank your guests and vendors.
If you need help planning your next corporate event, please contact us for a free consultation. We’ll show you how to make it a truly Grand Event.