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Holding a special corporate event extends beyond vapid hotels and sleepy seminars. There are many reasons for doing it these days. And you can use them for networking, team-building and celebrating an achievement. So, here are some tips for making your next event memorable.
Get Everyone Involved with Tech
When you hold an event, you are no longer limited by location these days. So if you have more than one office in different cities or countries, you can still get everyone involved. Modern technology means you can live stream and broadcast your events. Of course, your office webcam won’t be enough. But you can convert smaller cameras into a live cinematic multicam with more function and definition. So dust off the old projector and get them set up ASAP.
Have a Clear Goal for It
The details will make or break your event. And from the very beginning, you need to have a clear goal for your event. Knowing what the event is for and what you hope to achieve makes it easier to steer your plans in that direction. So, before you commit, ask yourself about these:
- Are you celebrating something, holding a conference or hoping to boost sales?
- Maybe you are setting up an event to show off your latest investments for a trade show.
- Company events are excellent for recognizing and rewarding hard work.
- You can use a special event to have all teams meet each other for a Christmas party.
- Some of the best events are used to boost networking and engagement in a niche.
Your guests are also vital for your event. So it helps to meet their expectations. For example, shop floor staff won’t expect anything fancy, while CEOs and senior staff almost certainly will. So you need to consider these during your initial planning phase and allocate the budget.
List What You Need for a Special Corporate Event
Knowing what you want to hold is a great start. But there’s much more to it than simply saying, “I want to host a team-building session”. Each type of event has different and unique challenges, expectations and things you need. For instance, if you are holding a special team-building event, you need food and drinks, accommodations, transportation, entertainment and even a ticket system to prevent party crashers. You can break these down into smaller logistical tasks.
Make Sure You Have the Funds
Of course, nothing is free. So you need to ensure you have the funds for the scope, scale and type of event you want to hold. As a planner for a company, you may not have direct access to the money. So it always helps to make a detailed estimate for a proposal to your superiors or client. Always be realistic with the budget without expecting too much. But make sure your client also knows that you need a 10% cushion. You can then begin getting quotes for what you need.
Try To Pick a Special Date
You may or may not be able to choose the date of the event. If you can, this can be a great bonus because you can take other things into account. These include seasonal events, religious holidays, and of course, the weather. It also helps to have a cushion for the date as far as possible. Making sure the date isn’t fixed for a while helps you make adjustments as things change, such as venues changing their mind about it or changes in attendance numbers.
Plan a Schedule for Getting Things Done
You should know by now that you can’t get anything done without a plan of action. However, this can be as detailed or vague as you need. For corporate events expecting dignitaries or CEO-level guests, it helps to pinpoint specific details. But for a short team-building vacation, you can almost wing it using itineraries of activities. Either way, a plan is still a plan, and you need a set of deadlines to make sure you have what you need. Sticking to a project timeline will help.
Plan for Unforeseen Events
A guy named Murphy once said that things will go wrong if they can, or something to that effect. And this is no different when planning your event. In fact, you always need to factor in unforeseen events when planning something like this. Some common things often include:
- Delays are caused by caterers and other hospitality services.
- Any arranged transport, such as coaches, can break down.
- Company literature, such as names and logos, could have printing mistakes.
- Decorative items you planned on buying are suddenly out of stock.
- The venue you were to use could end up being double-booked.
- Double-booking or issues can also arise with any arranged accommodation.
- World events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can have an effect.
You never know what will happen when holding an event. Of course, it will probably go well without a hitch. But even the best planning and resources can’t account for everything. It helps to make a list of what you think can go wrong and work in a contingency plan to address them.
Enlist Help from Talented Staff
It’s hard to pull off something like a corporate event doing everything yourself. You will need help, no matter the size and scope. And this is where you get the chance to assemble a small dream team that will spring into action for you. Of course, this could eat into your budget if you need to hire outside help. But you can really make a connection with employees or teams from other departments if you reach out and ask for help with planning the event and some tasks.
Choose the Right Place
The right venue is essential for a great event. Of course, it needs to be large enough to hold enough people safely. But it also must not be too big, or it can look empty. So the room needs to be just the right size. However, you also need to consider the features of the venue, such as audio and video equipment, internet resources, and even the costs of cancellation and deposits. Additionally, it helps to book somewhere easy to get to without having to pay for transport for all.
Get the Word Out to Build Excitement
Depending on the event you are holding, you may or may not need to promote it. If the event is a closed and invite-only one, then it may not be the best idea to plaster it all over the web. Of course, you can still use social media to send out messages to invited guests and build excitement. You can gradually inform people of what they can expect. For example, each week, you can announce something like the catering, activities and any special guests that will attend.
Check the Special Corporate Event Electronics
Some events require more technology than others. For instance, you need high-quality lighting, sound and projectors if your event is to include seminars. Of course, this could also apply to motivational speeches and even certain types of informal parties. Larger events with special guest speakers might also need extra equipment such as multi-speaker arrangements, live broadcasting systems and even autocue systems so they have access to their prepared copy.
Plan Some Outdoor Activities
No one likes being cooped up all day. And some corporate events can become stuffy and cramped if people are inside for too long. Your event should feel fun and not like being back in school. So getting outside always helps. Some ideas for outdoor activities include the following:
- Hire a special caterer, such as a BBQ pit, for some great outdoor dining experiences.
- Include physical activities for team-building and fun, such as sports and paintballing.
- Maybe open a cocktail bar for late afternoon and evening after the day’s seminars.
- Outdoors is a great place to plan some break-out sessions during speeches.
- Even simple lawn chairs and tables help your guests enjoy the fresh air and outdoors.
Making use of outdoor space for your event helps it feel fresh and open while giving people a chance to spread their legs. Of course, this depends on the place you initially booked, and some of the extra costs can also be high. So always plan for this according to your available budget.
Keep It as Fun as Possible
No one likes attending boring events. They make people feel undervalued, overworked and like they are wasting their time. But making it fun is a surefire way to make your next event unforgettable. Often to the point where guests cannot wait for the next one. You can increase networking and engagement with fun activities such as live entertainment. This is also a great opportunity to invite others from your sector for a huge networking event to work together.
It is hard to plan and create a great, special corporate event. But you can do it. It helps to get others involved when it kicks off. Live cams and other tech will help with this. But you must also plan for mistakes. And, of course, try to keep the focus on your event being fun and engaging.