Organizing a corporate event can be a massive undertaking. Even professional event organizers know that many things can go wrong even if you’re fully prepared. The good news is that there are ways to say good bye to these common event worries.
Another factor that worries event organizers are the surprises that tend to crop up before, during and even after the event. For example, malfunctioning equipment can give organizers a big headache especially if they have no contingency plan.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid mishaps for corporate events. Knowing the proper way to organize an event can help you and your team be prepared for surprises along the way. Unfortunately, events rarely go off without a hitch, many of which are stressful.
Here are common event planning worries and how you can laugh at them by following this simple plan.
Common Event Planning Worries
Overspending Or Not Having Enough Funds
Let’s face it money has a big impact on any corporate event. Sadly, not all business meetings are small and take place inside the office’s conference room. Money is important because it affects many of the decisions you need to make. Even if it’s just a conference room meeting, having appropriate budget can help you figure out what you can serve for meals or snacks who you can invite and the number of people that can attend.
When it comes to money, there are usually 2 problems that arise: overspending and not having enough money. Both of these circumstances can be problematic but we choose the former as being a bigger headache.
Overspending is a bigger problem because it can compromise certain items in the budget. For instance, you overspent on entertainment. This means that funding for catering, marketing and other items can get compromised. A good way to avoid overspending is to stick to the budget.
Not having enough funds is an easier problem to deal with because there are many ways to cut cost on a corporate event. For instance, instead of an expensive venue, you can settle for a 3-star hotel or rent a more affordable setting. Another area to cut cost is the decoration or to serve finger-foods instead of full course meals and to hire local entertainment.
No Plan B
We all know that being prepared even for the tiniest detail is one of the key factors for organizing successful business meetings. But we also know that many things can go wrong before and even during the event. One of the worst ways of ruining attendee participation is not being prepared.
Malfunctioning equipment is one of the most common surprises during an event. For example, a malfunctioning projector can compromise presentations which can cause poor attendee information retention. If you don’t have a Plan B for your malfunction equipment, it can greatly impact how attendees perceive the event. Many of them might think the event was pointless because they couldn’t grasp the presentation properly due to the projector. Therefore having a standby unit can prevent this kind of worry from happening.
Aside from equipment, you should also have a backup plan for uncooperative weather (if it’s outdoors), menu options for religious and dietary restrictions, entertainment options, etc. Always remember it’s better to have a backup plan and not need it than to need it but not have one.
Too Many Attendees
As a general rule, only people that need to be at the event should be there. Attendees who don’t need to be in the meeting leave frustrated and feel that it is a waste of time. To avoid this, only invite people who absolutely need to be there.
Having too many people can affect attendee experience; it can also impact catering costs, logistics and other factors.
Not Enough Time
This is probably the biggest worrier for event organizers. If events are many months away, planners would usually think that they have all the time in the world. However, many of them also end up thinking why they didn’t prepare sooner.
Therefore, it is always advisable to start planning soonest. As soon as you receive word that there is going to be a corporate event, start preparing immediately. You don’t need to go all out instantly. Knowing what the event is for, the company’s requirements and requests and the time is a good place to start.
When you have this generally idea, you can begin crafting an action plan or checklist. Here is a sample timeline:
- 1 year before – define goals, schedule and budget.
- 8 months before – make sure of venue, speakers and topics. Revisit goals.
- 6 months before – revisit budget, messaging and purpose. Reconfirm with attendees.
- 4 months before – finalize invitation strategy and attendance.
- 2 months before – begin with invitations and external messaging.
- 1 month before – reconfirm attendee list. Begin sending reminder to guests so that they know the event’s purpose.
- 1 week after event – debriefing with organizing team to discuss failures and success and if goals were met. This is important because it can help you develop plans for the next event.
Simple Plan For Organizing A Corporate Event
When it comes to planning a corporate event, having an organized strategy is one of the most important keys to success. Even if you’ve organized many company events before, having a sound plan can prevent you from forgetting things and keep you stay on track.
Below is a simple plan that can help you set up a successful corporate event.
· Purpose Of The Event & Format
As soon as you receive word that you will be organizing a corporate event, ask management about the purpose of the event and their preferred format. You need to define goals as soon as possible because goals have a big impact on the success of the event.
For example, is the event for training of a new product or service? Is it a product launch or a merger between companies? Is the company conducting a fund raiser? Knowing the purpose of the event will help you plan accordingly.
Format is also important because it affects the success of the even and experience of the attendees. Don’t just stick to the traditional event format of usual business events like having it in a hotel or a hall. Try to explore new ideas such as hosting events in theaters or parks, having finger foods instead of a full buffet, brunches or open-air events. The important part to remember when choosing a format is how it will impact the purpose of the event.
· Spend Time For Planning
We all know by now that having a plan for a corporate event is important. This is why you need to spend time in planning. Pay special attention to the small details can help prevent disasters and keep surprises from happening.
Speaking of details, they are easy to miss. In this instance, having a team to help you plan is important. They can help with suggestions as well as the actual planning. Having a document of what needs to be accomplished will keep everyone on track.
First prepare the main task and then break it down to the smallest detail in order to make sure that everything is covered. After you’ve fleshed this out turn the tasks and details into steps that need to be accomplished. You also need to designate the time frame for every task as well as monitor it for completion. Many novice planners often underestimate the time needed to complete a task.
Scheduling tools like Asana, Google Calendar and Trello can keep everyone updated and on track.
· Draft Your Budget
Now that you have an idea of the purpose of the event, you should begin drafting a budget. This is especially handy when management does not assign one.
As you go through the items in your budget, allocate funds for unforeseeable situations too. For example, the weather might be uncooperative during your open-air event. Changing location as well as transporting equipment costs money and having an “emergency” fund is a good contingency for this type of situation.
It is always to think of these kinds of situations in advance and budget for them.
· Try To Think Of The Smallest Details
Don’t forget to think about the smallest details. For example, how do attendees register? Who are the participants? What kind of music should be playing? Is there a food option for attendees with dietary restrictions? How are the participants getting to the venue?
You can be surprised at how attendees will appreciate the attention you paid even on the smallest details. Planning for everything can be very tedious but it can also greatly improve attendee experience.
· Check The Location & Have A Plan B
Always personally check the chosen venue for your corporate event. Even during the selection process where you are still choosing between several locations, visiting them in person will give you an idea of how it will feel like should the event be held there.
An ocular inspection will also give you an idea for your logistics. For instance, is the venue accessible for all attendees, will equipment fit through the doors? Is the venue cool enough for the number of attendees for the event? Do they have backup audio/visual equipment in case the main one fails?
Getting to know the venue will also give you time to come up with Plan B and other contingencies that can help make the event successful.
· Allocate Responsibilities
No man is an island so you can’t do the whole planning by yourself even if you’re a pro. You need a team to make a corporate event successful so it’s time to delegate responsibilities.
You can allocate responsibilities by zone. For example you can have a sub-unit in-charge of registration, another one for catering, one for location, a different one for logistics and so on. Every person in the team needs to have a zone they are responsible for the entire event.
· Tell Your Attendees
Now it’s time to start inviting attendees or marketing the event. If you plan on having a big event with external attendees, you need an effective marketing channel. When choosing a media partner, make sure that they can reach your target audience.
Create a key message that can be broadcasted across all channels. Make sure that it’s short and conveys the idea of what the event is about.
· Pay Attention To Service
At the end of the day, people will remember how they were treated. This is why you need to pay attention to service. As a general rule, be friendly to all participants and speakers. As much as possible, try to address all their concerns and questions.
· 24-Hour Check Before The Event
It’s almost D-Day so it’s now time to check if all materials are ready for the event. Make sure that the decoration committee is on schedule, invitees are reminded and speakers have all confirmed their attendance.
Create a checklist that covers all the important points of the event and make sure that every item is checked 24 hours before. This way if something goes wrong, you still have time to correct any mishaps. Incidentally, this is where your Plan B comes in handy.
· Feedback Is Important
After the event, you will probably feel very accomplished. However, now is not the time to rest on your laurels. You need to give an objective assessment as to how the event turned out. Feedback not only from your team but from the attendees is important because it will help you prepare better in the future.
Assessing whether the event is a failure or success and which areas need improvements will help you avoid mistakes in the future and improve the quality of your service. Record all feedback because it will come in handy for the next big corporate event.
Corporate events are very important especially for the company so it is natural for event organizers to worry. However, having a good solid plan can help you achieve your ultimate goal. Aside from this, it helps you stay focused, meet deadlines and measure success.
Read also these blog posts: