Industry presence plays a significant role in the success or failure of any business, regardless of its size. Without a strong existence in the industry, it can be challenging to build brand awareness and cultivate relationships with potential customers. According to a 2022 Salsify Consumer Research report, 46 percent of consumers pay more for a brand they recognize and trust.
And while many businesses rely on digital marketing strategies to reach audiences, corporate events are also an effective way of providing visibility in the marketplace. But hosting a successful corporate event takes careful planning, organization, and effort.
Here’s your guide to corporate event planning and how to do it right.
What’s a Corporate Event?
A corporate event is a function hosted and funded by an organization to promote the company, its services, or its products. The concept is simple: let potential customers and the public at large get to know your brand in an exciting and engaging way. These events are often used as networking opportunities to launch a campaign, showcase customer success stories, demonstrate new technology and celebrate an anniversary.
What are the Different Types of Corporate Events?
If you have an upcoming event, it’s essential to consider the event type and design the event around it. There are various corporate event options, each with different planning requirements.
This event involves several companies exhibiting their products and services in an exhibition. Trade shows are usually one-stop shops for customers who want to learn more about different brands and products.
A fundraising event is specifically designed to raise money for a cause or charity. They generally involve activities such as auctions and raffles, which create an opportunity to engage with customers.
This internal event celebrates a company’s success, anniversary, or other milestones. It’s usually used to honor company employees and thank them for their hard work and dedication.
A conference is a big event with several speakers, sessions, topics, or tracks. They can be held to inform customers and potential clients about the company’s products or services.
What Makes Corporate Events Different from Usual Events?
Since corporate events involve attendees in a professional setting, the planning process needs to be more detailed and organized. Unlike other events hosted for personal entertainment, corporate events require a set of specific objectives to secure the desired outcome.
That means you must clearly understand what needs to be communicated and how it will be delivered. Corporate events are also unique in that they require more security, as attendees often come from multiple companies and organizations.
Additionally, most corporate events have a budget cap for planning and execution, which requires an efficient approach to ensure success.
How Does a Corporate Event Affect Business?
Corporate events allow businesses to reach new customers, build relationships with existing ones and create a positive customer experience. These events can spread brand awareness and strengthen customer loyalty, helping businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Furthermore, corporate events provide entrepreneurs with an avenue to meet potential business partners and investors. They also create a platform to showcase products or services, allowing businesses to gain valuable feedback.
What are the Important Steps in Event Planning?
A corporate event planner is essential to run a successful event. But there are several steps you can take to ensure your event is a success.
Below are the five things to do when planning your next corporate event:
Create Your Checklist
A corporate event planning checklist is the best way to stay organized and on track. It should include details like budget, timeline, venue, catering, decorations, speakers, entertainment and other relevant concerns. You can also use this checklist to track tasks, set deadlines and assign responsibilities.
Many digital applications offer checklists that you can adjust or customize according to your event. But if you want to go the traditional route, you can create a physical checklist with pen and paper.
Before you get started, decide what the event should accomplish and define measurable goals. Determine who your target audience is and how you plan on engaging them. Your event requires a purpose, and by identifying objectives and setting expectations, you can make sure you achieve them.
If you’re unsure how to start, you can brainstorm ideas with your team or use online resources for inspiration. You can also research similar events to get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Doing so will give you a better understanding of what you can expect from your event.
Choose a Venue
Selecting the right venue can make or break your event, so choose carefully. Consider a potential venue’s size, location and amenities to ensure it meets all your needs. Depending on the event, you may want to choose a venue that offers audio-visual equipment or has enough room for networking and mingling.
It’s also best to visit the venue in person to ensure it matches your expectations. This way, you can avoid surprises and make the necessary arrangements. It would help if you could book the venue as soon as possible to ensure it’s available on the event date.
The right venue is also crucial if you’re planning a virtual event for your corporate gathering.
Once the venue is booked, it’s time to get organized. Develop a timeline and assign tasks to your team to ensure all details are taken care of on time.
You can also hire a professional event planning company to help you with the organization and execution of your event. Their expertise can be invaluable in making sure everything runs smoothly.
Be careful not to underestimate the time you need to plan your event. It’s best to start early and give yourself plenty of time to make sure everything is in order.
Promote Your Event
Create a marketing strategy to get the word out about your event and start building excitement. Utilize social media marketing and other digital channels to spread the word. Many platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, offer paid advertising options that can reach a wider audience.
You can also send email invitations to your target market or promote the event through traditional channels like flyers and posters. Whichever method you choose, make sure it’s consistent and engaging to attract potential attendees.
What’s a Corporate Event Coordinator?
As an event organizer, you might find managing all the tasks involved in the event challenging. That’s where a corporate event coordinator can help. They provide guidance and expertise, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture.
An experienced event coordinator is well-versed in the corporate event planning process and oversees all aspects of your event — from budgeting to scheduling. They are also responsible for handling the different branches of event operations, including the following:
Event Planning Team
This arm of the event coordinator’s team is responsible for overall event planning. Corporate event planners take charge of the creative aspects of the event, which includes researching the event venue, creating themes, and preparing decorations. They are also in charge of organizing the event’s activities, such as conferences and entertainment.
Event Marketing Team
Event branding and marketing also play a significant role in every event. They handle the promotion of your event through various channels and know all the details about the intended audience. During the event, they guide guests through the registration process and gather feedback following the event.
Event Budget Team
The budget team is in charge of estimating costs and allocating funds for different activities. They also manage the event’s finances and monitor progress to ensure it stays on track with the budget. These people are vital to avoid unexpected expenses that may arise during the event.
How Do I Plan a Successful Corporate Event?
There is no single formula for running a corporate event. However, there are some best practices that you can follow to make your event as organized, efficient, and well-executed as possible.
Prioritize your audience
You have to ensure all your attendees get the most memorable event experience. Prioritize their needs and preferences to make sure the event meets their expectations.
Business events can quickly become stale and mundane. So, be creative in designing activities and add unexpected touches to your event. For example, you can prepare breakout sessions or team-building activities that your guests can enjoy.
Have a backup plan
No matter how well you plan, there will be times when something goes wrong. Have a contingency plan to deal with any unexpected glitches or obstacles.
Your backup plan should cover all the essential aspects of the event, such as problem-solving strategies and alternative vendors. If you are ready for any eventuality, you can handle any challenges and be confident that your event runs smoothly.
Develop a project management system
Especially today, event management software is readily available to help you organize and coordinate your event’s details. This tool allows you to save time, streamline processes and stay on top of every task. It can also help you track event progress and monitor task deadlines.
Use technology to your advantage
You can take advantage of modern technology and use it to your benefit. Use event apps to interact with attendees in real time and provide them with up-to-date news and updates. You can also create an event website to give guests an early view of what to expect from the event.
Virtual technology for businesses has come a long way and can help you bring your events online. A virtual event can come in the form of a webinar, live streaming events, or video conferences.
Virtual environments can help you reach more people and make your event accessible to everyone. This strategy has been helpful to mitigate the impact of the pandemic during the COVID-19 surge, which is why more and more companies are taking advantage of this option.
Choose your team wisely
Your event team is the key to a successful event. Choose experienced professionals who have been in the industry for years and have proven track records of successful events. They can help you understand the ins and outs of event planning, manage logistics, and ensure everything goes as planned.
Track your progress
A follow-up plan is crucial to determine how well the event went. It allows you to measure your success and get feedback from attendees to improve the next event. Identify if you are able to reach your event objective and analyze the data to make necessary changes and adjustments.
Corporate events planning is no easy feat. But with a solid plan and the right team, you can manage to pull off an unforgettable event that your guests will remember for years to come. By understanding the fundamentals of event planning and following the best practices, you can ensure that your next event is successful. So start planning your next event with the above tips and be confident that you will be able to deliver a fun, inspiring and successful corporate event.