How to plan a corporate event

If you've never planned a corporate event before the task can seem daunting. A short read of this guide can save you a lot of headaches.

Corporate events are held for a number of reasons. Your company might need a morale boost, some education to get all the salesmen on the same page or a weekend of training and team building for management. Regardless of the reasons, there are distinct steps for planning a corporate event. Following the template will involve far less stress than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Corporate Event Planning

If the burden of planning a corporate event has fallen into your lap you are no doubt stressed out. Event planning is difficult, particularly for amateurs and those who have never planned an event before. Planning your company’s event involves little more than following a series of steps common among professional corporate event planners. Follow these steps closely and no one will know that your company’s event wasn’t planned by the pros.

  1. 1. Come up with a theme. Regardless of what the event is for -- training, morale, team building -- there needs to be a theme holding the event together. Deciding on what your event’s theme is will guide all other aspects of planning.
  2. 2. Set a rough budget. You won’t need to line item every single point on the budget. You should, however, have a vague idea of how much will be spent all told. In addition, you should have vague estimates of how much different aspects of the budget will cost, such as food, lodging, hall rental, entertainment and other major parts of the event.
  3. 3. Look into venues and vendors. You need a space for your event at the very least. Other things that you might need are food, furniture and audio-visual equipment. Make meetings with vendors to get prices for services offered. Get a wide number of quotes so that you have different options to balance against one another.
  4. 4. Finalize the menu with your caterer. Make sure to have options for every dietary requirement that may be in attendance -- vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halaal, or anything else.
  5. 5. Get decorations that are appropriate for the theme. Do this after you have decided on a final venue, as the décor will have to go with the venue.
  6. 6. Send out invitations. You can do this through snail mail or electronic mail, but both together is the best method. You can also use email alerts to ensure that people RSVP in time.
  7. 7. Create an extensive to-do list. Create a master list of everything that needs to be done before the event happens. Include the deadline for when these tasks must be completed. Make notes of who, if anyone, tasks have been delegated to. Follow up on tasks and make sure that everyone is taking responsibility for his assigned duties. One week before and one day before go through the list and double check to make sure that everything has been done.
  8. 8. Designate an event runner. This is a position far less glamorous than the name would have you believe. An event runner is a glorified gopher who does everything that needs to be done on the day of the event. You may need more than one even runner if the event in question is large.

A Successful Event

While the lead up to the event may be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, you will be the hero of the day during the event. When everyone sees how well the event was pulled off they will remember that you are the one responsible. Remember to share the credit with everyone who has helped you execute the perfect corporate event.

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