Almost half of corporate meeting planners expect to have bigger budgets this year. How can your corporate event compete? What does it take to keep employees from letting out a collective sigh when corporate events are announced?
Read on to discover eight corporate event planning tips that will make your event nothing short of buzzworthy. Let’s get participants marking the date on their calendars, counting down the days!
1. Consider Alternative Venues
The easiest way to get people excited? An exciting venue! Fun locations will keep events in line with these trends in 2019.
Group games are a great way to promote team-building and problem-solving. An escape room is a fresh, thrilling example of this.
Or, if it’s in your budget, plan a retreat. Seeing each other outside of a professional setting can help coworkers get to know each other on a more personal level, and therefore foster closer relationships.
2. Lists Are Your Friends
Do not be afraid of lists! Used effectively, lists are an extremely important tool. Different kinds of lists you might find useful include:
- List of attendees
- Contacts for each service
- Times for deliveries/arrivals
- Wrap-up list
Seriously, you can never have too many lists. Compile the smaller lists into one master list, if possible. Create digital copies and physical copies to be distributed wherever applicable.
Just kidding, because there is no such thing as over-communication.
It doesn’t matter how prepared and organized you are if everyone else involved is not just as prepared and organized.
Disseminate information in a manner that makes sense for your company. If you know that everyone checks the bulletin board, post a flier. If your employees are diligent about checking their emails, send one out.
Better yet: do both.
Check out this article for more tips on improving communication in the workplace.
4. Be Conscious of Your Budget
You must consider all elements of the budget.
For example, if you’re planning on hiring a band, remember that (in addition to paying the band) there may also be costs related to lighting, the stage, speakers, etc.
Sticking to your budget is one of the most important aspects. If you spend lavishly on the first half of your to-do list, then the last half may end up leaving a lot to be desired.
A tropical destination may seem like the best venue, but will your employees still be happy if the food is inedible because there was nothing left in the budget?
Try using a budget spreadsheet to help keep track of the spending on your corporate event.
5. Channel Your Inner Data Analyst
Data is a foolproof way to know what does and doesn’t work.
That’s why keeping track of your budget is a good idea; use that to know whether you need a bigger or smaller budget in the future.
Surveys can also be a fruitful tool when it comes to collecting data. Create a short survey that is comprised of only the important questions.
These can include questions like:
- Do you have any event planning tips for us?
- Would you participate in this event again?
- Do you feel that this event accomplished what it set out to do?
Don’t be afraid to be more specific if you hosted a unique event.
6. Let Your Creativity Shine
This is the fun part. Take some time (if you haven’t already) to get to know your employees.
What do they like to do? What do they like to eat? Do they dance? Sing?
There are so many options out there. The world is your oyster when it comes to corporate events. If you’re working within some constraints, that’s okay too. You can even get creative with the catering.
Food trucks, anyone? Build-your-own parfaits? Or incorporate some healthy competition with a pizza-decorating contest.
7. Encourage Social Media Posts
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.
Social media creates FOMO. If your employees are posting fun photos from their corporate event, it will look good for your brand and possibly even inspire others to want to participate.
It can foster trust between consumers and potential employees, as well. People want to know they will be taken care of – and yes, sometimes thrown a party.
If you want to kick it up a notch, create a clever hashtag. This will make it easier for you to track the posts being made. With permission, you could even create a gallery of these posts for your website.
8. Expect the Unexpected
Prepare for the good and the bad.
Set an expectation for the number of guests. Then, create a plan for half that amount and double that amount. Be prepared for positive feedback and negative feedback. Receive them both gracefully.
It’s not enough to have one backup plan. Create multiple.
Draft up a list of nearby caterers in case your first choice falls through. Make sure the speakers are capable of connecting with someone’s phone in case the DJ never shows up.
Plan for problems with transportation. Plan for the event to go later than scheduled. Plan.
The bottom line: Don’t get caught saying, “I didn’t expect this.”
Now You’re Ready
Congratulations! Now you’ve learned how to plan a corporate event. It may not be easy; it may even require some trial and error.
But stick to these tips and your event will be on its way to Event of the Year. If you need more help, check out this post for some specific corporate event ideas.