Corporate events are unlike any other. Planning, managing, and organizing a successful corporate event means requires the right tools, the right team, and plenty of courageous confidence. Whether it’s your first event or one of many, here are some tips and tools to help you pull of your next successful soiree.
Define Your Purpose
Events are one of many marketing tools. And like any marketing campaign, corporate event planning should begin with a clearly defined objective.
From there, you can begin to map out who your prospective audience is, what type of event would most appeal to your audience, what size/ type of venue would be appropriate, and which presenters or entertainers would be appropriate. Then you can estimate costs and start outlining your budget.
Defining your objective, or purpose, will help you stay focused as you move forward with planning. If a speaker, venue, or any small detail doesn’t align with your event objective -- ditch it.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Create a timeline and give yourself plenty of time to select and book your venue and speakers or entertainment. The best of the best won’t be available on short-notice, you may have to book months in advance (or longer). Even if you think you can pull an event off in no time at all, give yourself some extra breathing room in case things start to go awry.
Bring the Team Together
When you’re working in a group towards a common goal, organization and project management is imperative. Be sure that your group has clearly defined roles and responsibilities -- with one single leader. Communication is essential to avoid overlaps and confusion. Even if you’re planning an event by yourself, you most likely still have a team of volunteers to help bring the whole thing together. Be sure everyone is on the same page and knows what their specific duties are.
Many of the challenges of corporate event planning can be solved with the right apps and software solutions.
Project Management Tools
Stay organized and lead your team with project management programs such as Teamwork or Asana to help keep the event planning team on track, on task, and on time. And Google Docs allows you to share documents and spreadsheets with your team, while allowing collaborators to update, make edits, suggestions, and leave comments in real time.
Event Management Tools
Specialized event management platforms like EventBrite, Splash, and Whova offer online tools such as invitation management, RSVP collection, ticketing services, registration, and onsite check-in services. Allseated can help you design floor plans, manage guest lists, and create visual seating charts.
Utilize social media to help promote your event, build a buzz, and ensure registered guests show up. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all free to use. You can use social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer to pre-schedule out posts in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your event.
Prepare for the Unexpected
If there’s one thing that almost every corporate event has in common, it’s this: something inevitably will go off-plan.
Have a backup plan in the event a speaker or entertainer cancels or no-shows at the last minute, such as a produced video segment. Collect all presentations and slideshows in advance and create a master slide deck on a single laptop. Then have a backup laptop charged and at the ready with a backup copy of the master slide deck, just in case.
Use event liability insurance to help you recover from the biggest disruptions and disasters. If your event depended on the appearance of a specific speaker or performer, event insurance offers cancellation coverage from the financial loss of a non-appearance. And event liability coverage can protect you and your vendors against claims for injuries or medical expenses if a stage collapsed or a fire broke out.
Corporate event planning requires a special set of skills, but you can definitely succeed with the right tools in place. Whether that’s project management software, event management apps, social media, or the right insurance coverage, you can arm yourself with everything you need to plan and manage even the biggest of events -- no matter what hurdles come your way.