What do I need to know to plan a successful corporate event or conference?
Successful events start out with clearly defined objectives. They also measure the results. With budgets as tight as ever, you need to be able to support your decision to host a corporate event or conference with measurable outcomes showing a return on your event budget. We recommend that you have three written objectives for your event. Usually these objectives are centered on outcomes such as increasing sales or customers, but you can also define non-monetary targets such as product knowledge, company morale or public outreach. We work with our clients to determine their objectives, create ways to measure those goals, and engage and debrief afterwards to assess the results.
It is a full-time job to arrange even a medium-sized corporate event, so expecting staff to handle events
in addition to their regular duties sometimes is unrealistic and stressful. We believe it’s just as cost-effective to hire an event professional, but do understand that in some cases the event must be produced in house.
Here are 5 tips if you are producing your event in house:
Tip #1. Choose a venue that is transit friendly and has ample parking. There is nothing worse than guests driving around trying to find parking. It starts the event on a negative note.
Tip #2. Plan an event time frame that works well with your guests. Hosting a Client Appreciation Event downtown for your clients at 8:00pm is not a good idea when their work day finishes at 5pm. Consider moving the event start time to capture them when they leave work. Most people won’t wait around for three hours to attend an event. They will go home and stay home.
Tip #3. Create an agenda that makes sense. Having the President speak early on in the event is not a good idea as guests typically arrive late. List the major highlights of the event and group them together mid way through your event. This way the majority of your guests will be in attendance and you will only be interrupting your guests once to get their attention.
Tip #4. Incorporate food selections based on the venue and the event agenda. Food stations are becoming more and more popular as they offer guests the opportunity to enjoy food when they have a free moment. It also creates movement and avoids lineups at a buffet when everyone is forced to eat at a specific time.
Tip #5. Include appropriate entertainment. Consider the event objectives and if one of them is networking, don’t have a loud band playing all night. If chosen correctly (and this is difficult) entertainment can complement the event and enhance your guests experience.
Good luck and most importantly, HAVE FUN! If you are not having fun planning your event, best to hire a professional like Bright Ideas Events!
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