As with any topic that’s being researched or under consideration, you’ll want to consider the 5 W’s. The five W’s will provide beginning answers to help you begin to research the possibilities of your corporate event planning. Once you delve into the possibilities, the creative juices will begin to flow. Tapping into all your available resources to find just the right mix of answers for the 5 W’s – Who, What, Where, When and Why will help you create a momentous event that will be remembered by every attendee. Delving deep into each of these provides answers you need to make any corporate event planning a huge success.
Corporate Event Planning - The Basics
Setting Your Goals
First, why are you having the event? Reasons for corporate events may go deeper than you realize. For example, let’s say you want to have a supplier appreciation event. Obviously, you want to let your suppliers know they are appreciated, and keep up the public relations with each company. Delve a bit deeper and also consider other reasons for the event.
Other reasons can be defined by determining exactly what you want to accomplish. Along with showing supplier appreciation, perhaps you want to be able to casually discuss future plans and opportunities with your suppliers. Or maybe you want to announce to all your suppliers that you will be opening a larger facility within the next year. By identifying these types of underlying reasons, you can use corporate event planning methods to structure the atmosphere to facilitate the results you desire.
Identifying primary and secondary reasons will help you choose locations, themes, agendas, and even timing for your event. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to throw a large event. Carefully planning your corporate events makes sure you gain all you can from each event.
Begin to plan
Once you have set your goals for the corporate event planning, then it is time to begin to work with the specifics. Things like location, food and beverage, speakers, entertainment, activities, and date and time must all come together to create the best of corporate events.
Even if you use a professional planner for your corporate events, you still need to devise a basic list of what you expect in each area of the event. The more information you can provide to your corporate planner the more successful your corporate events are likely to be.
Another important key to corporate event planning is to make a list of every thing you want to happen at the event. Speakers, presentations, awards, meals, open discussions, whatever communication tools that are necessary to get the results you want should be included. Creating this list before you continue with your planning ensures that the specifics of the event revolve totally around your goals.
Once you know the agenda of the event, you can then begin to consider where the event will take place. Choosing the location after you know the agenda helps to ensure that you only consider locations that can provide everything you need to make your event successful.
Activities and entertainment are an important part of all successful corporate events. Making sure the attendees get the information you are providing is only a part of the planning. You want attendees to enjoy presentations and activities. Remember, even though you are planning a business event, emotions still rule reactions. Make sure your activities and entertainment evokes the desired emotions.
Food and beverages are another important part of corporate event planning. The choices will depend upon the type of event you’re planning. For example, appetizers and drinks are the standard at cocktail receptions, but might not be what you need at a family oriented company picnic.
Sometimes, the theme of corporate events is obvious. For example, if you are planning an event for a product launch, you know theme is structured around the specifics of the new product. Or if the event is a holiday party, the creations of the theme is based upon the holiday at hand. Other times choosing the theme requires creativity and planning. Corporate picnics, company outings, and incentive programs are typical corporate events that will require creativity and planning.
Attendees of events also contribute to determining agendas and other specifics. A convention open to the public would require different levels of corporate event planning than would an employee recognition event. The image your corporation presents is important with each type of event. The structure and agendas relating to each of these corporate events must match the image you desire to portray. Again, considering the who, what, where, when and why goes a long way to make sure you are providing just the right mix to attendees of corporate events.
The Final Step of Corporate Event Planning- Implementing Your Plans
Once you get the basics of your corporate event planning on paper you can then being to schedule and implement your plans to make sure everything goes as the plans state. Planning and implementing corporate events takes a lot of time and effort. Most planners of corporate events recommend you begin planning at least six months to one year before the event. You want to make sure you have time to contact, interview, and contract every provider you need for your event.
Coordination between providers is crucial. Make sure you give each of the providers you contact a schedule of the events as well as pertinent information about your chosen location. This helps each provider to plan and make sure they can provide their services as your contract specifies. At least two weeks prior to your corporate event, make sure to contact each provider to confirm that everything is going as the schedule dictates. Checking with each provider well before the event gives you plenty of time to make changes if something is not going as planned.
Using these tips for your corporate event planning will make the task flow and generate the results you desire. Make corporate event planning a regular part of your business and you’ll see the rewards.
Larry Klein owns and operates one of Southern California's premier event production companies, Team Play Events and one of the largest day camps, Camp Keystone. A graduate of CSU Northridge (BA) and Pepperdine University (MBA) he has over 25 years experience creating company picnics and corporate events. In addition to growing his companies, Larry has taught university level classes on entrepreneurship. Visit www.teamplayevents.com to take advantage of his expertise with company picnics, team building, corporate events and catering.