Event Planning Tips
If you want to organize a memorable event for your company, be ready to do some serious planning. Corporate events are among the hardest events to plan and whether you have a month to plan or an entire year, you need to pay attention to the details. It might be helpful to take the following tips into consideration:
- Plan ahead – For a successful event it is important to take as much time as possible to plan in advance. Large-scale events usually need at least four to five months of planning. The proper timing means finalizing all large contracts such as venue and vendors a month before the scheduled date. If you need to rent a special venue, book it as early as possible and place your deposit to ensure that you get the wanted venue.
- Make a list of details – This list should be all inclusive – from program content and music to transportation and guests list. Making a list and checking it on a regular basis will help you to avoid overlook things. This list should contain every task that needs to happen, a firm deadline for all tasks and persons who are responsible for them.
- Set the budget – While planning a corporate event it’s necessary to determine a very strict budget. Besides the planned budget, you have to ensure extra cash that will cover the unexpected costs.
- Negotiate with Vendors – Before negotiations with vendors, you should create a list of things you need and make a budget. Because of the large amount of substitutes in the industry, event planners can typically leverage their buying power to negotiate lower rates on vendor offerings such as decorations and catering. Since vendors typically have a lot of similar competitors, they are going to be willing to give you a discount.
- Be flexible – Sometimes your event may change in location, size, or in some other ways than you have envisioned. In the event planning industry, flexibility is absolutely necessary.
- Be careful in scheduling – To make sure that you achieve maximum occupancy at your event, you should schedule it earlier in the week and some time away from major holidays. People usually go on vacation during holidays. Weekends are also bad choice for business gatherings. While this seems logical and obvious, many novice event planners overlook this and do not achieve the number they hope for.
- Send invitations on time – Invitations should be sent at least 3 to 4 weeks before the event, and farther in advance if at all possible. It’s a good idea to ask your guests to RSVP. This way you will know how many people will come to the event.
- Think about the theme – Some events will be suitable for a theme, others are not. Think about when to use a theme and what kind of theme it should be. Your theme might be based on thoughtfully used colors for instance. See our Corporate Event Themes post for more information on themes.
- Think about food – For an event that is going to be longer than couple of hours it’s necessary to plan the meals, or at least a snack. While food is optional, water and coffee should always be available to your guests, regardless of the type of event.
- Think about fun – While planning a business event it’s important to choose the music and other amusing content that everyone can enjoy. Give the attendees something to do to break up the monotonous nature of typical events.
- Make sure that you think of technology – Corporate events will almost always require equipment like microphones, speakers, projectors, a video camera, etc… It’s a good idea to create a list of the things you will need. Many event planners will hire the in-house production team to take care of this. However, you can usually find outside vendors to take care of AV needs for much less than in-house teams. You should also have a person who will be available to fix any technical problems which may occur.
- Have a plan B – When you organize a large event it’s inevitable that something will go wrong – deliveries may be late, something won’t arrive at all, a piece of technology will malfunction, etc. The best thing to counter this is to make backup plans for things that will largely affect your event if gone wrong.
- Have an emergency plan – Plans for a large event should include some emergency and contingency plans. These are necessary in case of disaster, illness or any other emergency.
- Send the recap the next day – Stay in touch with your guests the day after your event and put together the post-event brief. Get some photos from your photographer upload them to a website or post-event resource immediately to make use of the well-executed event. And make sure that you thank your guests for coming.
While many of these tips seem logical and like a no-brainer, novice event planners will oftentimes get caught up in the stress of planning the event and make mistakes. Our list of event planning tips will give you an idea of how to make your event better, making sure that you don’t make these obvious mistakes. Hopefully these tips help you during your next event!