In 2022, the United States party and event planning market was estimated to be worth an immense $3.2 billion. Organizing a killer corporate event will give you the perfect opportunity to promote a positive company culture while fostering a sense of purpose within your team. But without the right guide, it can be nearly impossible to pull it off.
- Define the goals and objectives for your event
- Set a date for when it will take place
- Decide on the type of event you will be hosting
- Define your ideal target audience
- Establish a realistic and inclusive budget
- Source the perfect venue
- Book an experienced and entertaining corporate emcee
- Organize food and beverage options
- Market your event successfully
From picking the perfect date to cooperating with vendors, there are plenty of things to do before your guests arrive. Though creating an all-inclusive planning checklist might seem overwhelming at first, I’ll let in on any and everything you should do in order to host a successful event.
See Related: 5 Fun Ways To Welcome Employees Back To The Office
#1. Define the goals and objectives for your event
Whether you’re a team leader, corporate professional, or event planner, facilitating a corporate event is a big task.
There are seemingly countless tasks to complete before the big day, and it can be hard to keep track of it all!
Corporate events can bring along plenty of benefits, regardless of what your goals are. Whether you’re seeking to promote a product launch or give your employees a much-needed break from day-to-day norms, there are endless reasons to put one together.
And that takes us to the first item on our corporate event planning checklist.
Setting clear event goals helps set your event up for success from day one
If you want your event to truly take off, you need to prepare ahead of time. And one of the first things you should do is establish clear, precise, and achievable goals and objectives for your event.
After all, you can’t shoot for the stars if you don’t know where those stars are.
Be sure to start with establishing your primary goal. Use the SMART goal framework to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
In order to set clear event objectives, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions:
What will success look like for you and your team?
What is the overall purpose of your event?
What are the ideal outcomes for your event?
The eight integral aspects of corporate event PLANNING
A checklist can only get you so far when planning an event. You also need to manifest certain crucial aspects and ideals in order for your function to truly be successful.
Let me break down eight features of any fantastic corporate event that you need to take into account when corporate event PLANNING.
P – Professionalism
Your event should be professional.
Be sure that all event materials, from invitations to signage, reflect a cohesive and polished brand image. Even the staff members you hire should be well-trained and courteous, providing a seamless experience for attendees. After all, they’re representing your event, company, or image!
During the planning process, consider hiring professionals who specialize in corporate events. That way, the more intricate details will be handled with care and a high level of professionalism throughout.
L – Logistics
Thoroughly plan all parts of the event, from transportation to accommodations. Be sure that your attendees won’t need to worry about figuring these minor details out themselves!
You should also select an event venue that is easily accessible and equipped with the necessary facilities, including capabilities for your event technology.
A – Audience engagement
Your event guests want to be wowed. You can’t host a mediocre or boring function and expect it to end successfully.
Design sessions and workshops that encourage active participation. Interactive activities like brainstorming sessions, group discussions, and hands-on workshops can help stimulate engagement among the guests.
N – Networking opportunities
A major part of corporate events is networking.
You should design your event to help encourage networking and collaboration between event participants.
Set up designated networking areas within the event space where attendees can comfortably mingle and connect or fill the schedule with icebreaker activities and themed breakout sessions.
To encourage lasting connections, provide digital business card exchanges or networking apps that allow people to easily share their information with one another!
N – Nourishment options
The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Don’t forget to provide plenty of food and drink for your guests to indulge in at the event!
These sorts of details will often make or break your event. When picking out a catering service, be sure to find one that offers a variety of options, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices.
Throughout the event, plan for regular meal breaks and provide tasty snacks to keep everyone energized. Don’t forget to ensure that the dining experience aligns with the overall atmosphere and event goals.
I – Innovative technology
Nowadays, no event can be successful without the integration of technology. And especially for virtual events, this is all the more important!
Utilize things like interactive displays, touchscreens, or augmented reality elements to convey information and interact with the audience in dynamic ways.
And, above all, make sure your technology works ahead of time. There’s nothing more tasteless than technology cutting out on you in the midst of the event.
N – Noteworthy speakers
If you want your event to thrive, you need an experienced speaker to run the show.
The right corporate emcee will help guide the evening to success while facilitating interactive sessions and other elements designed to encourage audience interaction.
Finding other speakers who are experts in their fields can help you deliver a captivating experience to the audience. Consider inviting a mix of industry thought leaders, keynote speakers, and on-stage motivators to provide a well-rounded perspective.
G – Great entertainment
As I said, your guests want to be wowed. And the best way to do this is with fantastic entertainment!
Whether you hire a corporate comedian or a tasteful musician, the right on-stage entertainer can help to add an element of surprise and excitement.
Other elements like interactive games or team-building challenges can further the experience by helping to foster camaraderie among attendees. Make sure the entertainment is both enjoyable and contributes to the overall goals of the event!
Bonus: How An MC Can Make Your Office Space More Inviting
#2. Set a date for when it will take place
The months before your event (depending on the extent of it all) will be largely dedicated to the overall organizing and planning process.
However, you can’t plan your event without knowing the date!
This seemingly simple number can determine a lot
This is one of the most important things you’ll do. Be sure to set an event date well in advance so that you can have time to confirm with vendors.
Keep in mind holidays, the time of year, and other factors. Try not to host your event the same weekend as other events, conferences, or meetings in the area; otherwise, you might end up fighting for vendors or paying premiums.
#3. Decide on the type of event you will be hosting
Not all events are created equally. And it’s important to take a unique approach to your own.
Early on, you should figure out the type of event you’ll be hosting.
Are you looking to inform the public of a new product launch? Perhaps your corporate event is primarily to boost employee engagement?
#4. Define your ideal target audience
The vast majority of your event should be planned with your audience in mind. It’s important to cater to their wants and needs while keeping in mind the demographics of those who will be in attendance.
Consider that every event will have a unique crowd
Firstly, you need to establish your desired audience size. This will play a big role in a lot of your event planning.
After all, an event for thousands of people from around the globe will look much more different than an event for a handful of locals.
#5. Establish a realistic and inclusive budget
Though creating a realistic budget is arguably one of the more boring parts of the event planning process, it’s still immensely critical.
Your goal here should be to make the most of your budget. Maximizing your event while staying within your monetary confines might seem challenging, but it’s so important!
Be sure to save some for those “what ifs”
Don’t forget to set some of your funds aside for emergencies. You never know what might go wrong, and it’s better to have some of your event budget saved for a “what if” than to be left high and dry if something does go wrong.
#6. Source the perfect venue
Now, it’s time to get a bit more specific. You’ll need a place to host your event!
Find prospective venues that have the facilities you need, and reach out to them. Make sure they align with your brand and vision.
When it comes to virtual corporate events
Depending on your event, you might not need a designated physical event location at all. Sometimes, smaller-scaled virtual events can be done without one.
However, even if your event is taking place online, it’s important not to overlook the possibility of needing a venue.
#7. Book an entertaining and experienced corporate emcee
You need a reliable corporate emcee to guide your event to success.
The right speaker will know how to infuse things like audience interaction and genuine entertainment into your event while perfectly embodying your event’s brand and image.
Don’t underestimate the immense importance of an experienced master of ceremonies. That’s how you’ll make your event unforgettable!
#8. Organize food and beverage options
When planning a successful corporate event, you need to take into account even minor details.
Though food and beverage might seem like a minuscule aspect of your event’s success at first, keeping your guests fed and watered is actually amazingly important!
Use a caterer to be sure that delicious eats are available for your guests to indulge in.
#9. Market your event successfully
Depending on your event type, you’ll need to create a promotional plan.
An integral part of the corporate event planning process is creating a marketing strategy for your event. You need to effectively promote your event if you want to drive interest and meet your attendance goals!
Work closely with the marketing teams involved in your event planning. Don’t forget to include other integral event members, like speakers or sponsors, if needed.
When it comes to planning your event, this list will be sure to help you. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a be-all and end-all. Your event will need a unique approach in order for it to succeed.
There’s no such thing as the “ultimate corporate event planning checklist” because each function will always be one-of-a-kind. What’s important is that you check off the essentials and then let your creativity flow when designing the rest.
That way, you can include all the details you want and need while working towards creating a fun, entertaining, and enlightening experience for your attendees!
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.