Hosting is all about making it look easy. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy thing to do!
- H – Have a clear plan for the event
- O – Offer hospitality and encourage attendees to feel at home
- S – Show leadership and take charge
- T – Tailor the event to the audience
- I – Introduce attendees and encourage networking
- N – Navigate unexpected issues and problem-solve accordingly
- G – Give thanks and show appreciation to the attendees
Here are seven tips for HOSTING to help ensure your corporate event will be a success.
See Related: 8 Fun Office Party Ideas From A Corporate Emcee
Hosting A Successful Event
All of us have likely experienced a great corporate event as a guest. You walk into the perfectly-chosen venue, and you leave with a dash of inspiration and a bunch of newfound knowledge. You probably made a few new friends along the way as well!
But great corporate events don’t just happen. They’re the result of careful planning and preparation, from choosing vendors to executing a marketing strategy.
If you’ve ever had a hand in hosting an event, you know how hectic it can get behind the scenes. Countless moving pieces need to fit together seamlessly in order for the end result to be a success.
As a corporate emcee, I know how many people work together tirelessly in order to put on a wonderful and memorable event for attendees. And one of the most underrated but highly critical roles is that of the event host.
Hosting an event can look easy, but that doesn’t mean it is. I’ve had years of experience as a corporate emcee, so I’ve learned what it takes to host a corporate event in the right way.
To help you become a better host, I’ve come up with seven great tips to help you out. So, let’s take a look at the acronym HOSTING.
#1. Have A Clear Plan In Mind
As I said, great corporate events don’t just happen. It takes time and effort from different individuals and parties. And everything must be carefully planned and articulated, from the largest elements to the tiniest details.
The host is the one that plans, configures, and sees through the majority of the event. Perhaps the entire function was their idea, or maybe they were just hired to bring someone else’s vision to life.
Regardless, the event host has plenty of responsibilities for the upcoming event. And one of their biggest jobs is aiding in the planning and preparation.
Before putting on a corporate event, it’s important to have a clear plan and purpose. This includes setting goals for the event, deciding on a theme, creating an agenda or schedule, and coordinating vendors.
Depending on the type and extent of the event, the planning process will usually look a bit different. But, in the end, the goal is always the same: to host an event that will leave the attendees entertained and happy!
#2. Offer Hospitality
Being a host is about being hospitable. Whether it’s a quaint dinner party or a massive corporate event, a host’s primary role is to ensure people feel at ease and comfortable.
A great way to be a hospitable host is to put yourself in the shoes of the attendees. This is especially helpful in the planning process.
Imagine you’re walking into the event you have been carefully planning. What would make you uncomfortable? How would you want to be greeted?
This is where the details can really play a big role. From the food and drinks to the seating arrangements, a host keeps everything and anything in mind in order to help the attendees feel satisfied.
Hosts know how to make people feel at home, regardless of where they are. So even if your event is taking place in a huge rented venue, there’s still an excellent opportunity to have your guests feel at home.
After all, no one would like to attend an event where they feel on edge or uncomfortable. Anyone attending an event is going there in hopes of being entertained and enjoying an evening full of relaxing fun!
#3. Show Leadership
An event needs someone to take charge. It’s not like it can run smoothly without anyone behind the wheel. There needs to be someone to show true leadership.
If you’re the event’s host, you’ve likely already had a major hand in planning everything. And if that’s the case, you’re probably very familiar with what the event will be all about.
So, as the host of a corporate event, it’s important to show leadership and take charge of the event. Especially since you’re familiar with the entire going-ons of the function, you’re more than able to take control.
You’ll likely be in charge of things like announcements and ensuring things run smoothly. In addition, things like event activities will also be under your rule.
If you’re someone who shies away from leadership positions, don’t be afraid! The audience is merely looking for someone to show them how to have fun. They’re there for entertainment!
So, let your hair loose, and the attendees will be sure to follow suit. That’s what will make for a great event!
Bonus: 8 Ways A Corporate Emcee Can Help You Manage Conflict In The Workplace
#4. Tailor The Event To The Audience
Any event is a unique occurrence. From the theme to the attendees themselves, all aspects of an event should be distinctive and memorable enough to leave a lasting impression.
No one likes generic things, especially not the attendees arriving at your event expecting something extraordinary.
Sometimes, it can feel like there’s a massive order you need to feel. But it’s not as daunting as it may sound.
As the host, there are a few simple things you need to do in order for the attendees to be left feeling special and entertained. To start, it’s important to keep your specific audience in mind during the planning phase.
For example, if you’re planning an event for a group of software engineers, it wouldn’t make much sense to reuse the same event plan you had utilized for a crowd of fashion designers. Simply put, know your audience!
#5. Introduce Attendees To Networking
Events can be all about humorous entertainment and silly antics, or they can also be about something a bit more serious. But, still, serious is a relative term here.
Everyone knows that events are the perfect opportunity for networking. Any professional likely takes advantage of having industry experts, company big-wigs, and outside interests all gathered in one place.
So, your attendees are likely to use time during the event to converse and interact with others there. And you can help them on this journey!
Hosts should always take the time to introduce themselves and other speakers to their guests. They can also take time to network with them and foster connections.
This can help build relationships and create opportunities for future collaborations or business ventures.
Keep in mind you can also have a more laidback approach to event networking. Simply by giving your attendees a chance to mingle with each other, you are encouraging them to get networking!
#6. Navigate Unexpected Issues
Even the most perfectly planned events can experience hiccups. And that’s just part of putting on an event.
Hosts play a key role in navigating issues or changes at the event. What’s important is to stay calm and find innovative ways to work whatever hiccups into the preexisting itinerary.
Any changes or issues should be addressed promptly. It does no good to ignore them. Fix problems quickly and ensure it doesn’t cause any disruption to the event.
Stay on your toes and be ready to think fast!
#7. Give Thanks!
As the event winds down, it’s time for people to return to reality. Events can give attendees an exciting break from their daily lives and help them feel a bit more engaged with their company. But all good things must come to an end!
Great hosts always need to show appreciation toward the attendees and those who helped make the event a reality. Gratitude is one of those things we could all benefit from expressing more of in our lives, and even just a little gratitude can become contagious.
Give thanks to attendees as they depart, and don’t forget to give them a little parting token. Shake hands, say “thank you,” and get ready for the next event!
Keep Reading: 9 Creative Corporate Event Ideas Your Office Will Love
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.