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The 8 step guide to planning a corporate event

September 27th, 2017

People planning

Planning a successful corporate event is a unique challenge. There are a variety of stakeholders involved and the event plan needs to be geared towards meeting the specific goals of the organisation, as well as providing a valuable experience for the guests.

A corporate event needs to facilitate networking, socialising, learning, inspiration and more. Whilst it might sound simple, it’s no mean feat and a lot of the success of any event comes down to planning.

One of the biggest risks many corporate event planners must deal with is creating the perfect atmosphere. Although it may feel like a bit of an abstract goal to be focusing on the feel of the event, this is what will resonate with your guests the most.

We are going to give you a simple and effective 8 step guide to help you and your team with planning an engaging event that doesn’t feel like work.

1 Establish a purpose for your event

An event for an event’s sake will make your guests feel like the work day has been dragged out unnecessarily. Before any planning takes place, consider why the event is needed. What purpose is it serving?

Once you have clarity around the purpose for the event, document it, keep it visible and use it to help you answer other questions that inevitably pop up along the way.

2 Get buy in from your attendees

Inviting your intended audience to provide input allows you to have a direct line to the kinds of experiences that will make the event a success.

Experiment with casual and more formal methods of collecting opinions to see how people respond best. Try a quick chat over lunch, a brief agenda item in a team meeting, or an anonymous suggestion box can all work wonders.

3 Use feedback from past events

Be open to ideas from everyone. You might find that people have a difficult time articulating exactly what they do want from a corporate event, but they are much more comfortable explaining what they don’t want.

This is still valuable information to help engineer the perfect experience this time around.

4  Plan for participation

Corporate events can feel a little stuffy when the whole show feels like a perfectly rehearsed stage production.

Rather than settle for a passive audience of information consumers, try to create an environment where they become actively engaged in the event.

This can be as simple as allowing time for a Q&A session with one of your guest speakers, or by promoting an event specific hashtag on social media to get people contributing. Remember, interactivity sparks conversation and interest.

5  Choose a suitable event venue

The physical environment will have a significant impact on the overall atmosphere. Compare your work environment to the proposed venue and try to identify the key similarities and differences.

Is the function room unique?

Does the venue have flexible conference rooms

Make sure you are upfront with your needs and communicate them early.

6 Ditch the status quo

If you want to create a corporate event that doesn’t feel like work, you need to leave the office vibe where it belongs.

Try mixing up seating plans so departments and employees with different levels of experiences, and seniority can intermingle. Why not allow a junior employee to have a chance at introducing the speakers, rather than letting the CEO take all the glory?

By shaking up the social norms of office culture, you can clearly demonstrate your corporate event is a whole new ball game!

7 Be flexible

Allow some breathing space in your corporate event planning. Remember, your guests aren’t on the clock so allow some flexibility for organic interactions. Forcing a schedule that goes down to the minute can feel restrictive.

By all means map out the structure of the event, but don’t feel like you need to treat your corporate event like it’s a quarterly sales forecast!

8 Socialise

The best (and easiest) way to make your next corporate event not feel like another day in the office is to make it social! Plan every aspect around social aspects and ensure everyone has an opportunity to get out of their seat and mingle.

Little things like hiring a photo booth, having a live band or having a theme for the event can all be fantastic conversation starters.

‘Corporate’ and ‘fun’ don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

Ready to put your corporate event plan into action? Contact the Hunter294 team today to discuss our corporate events packages on (02) 49 03 3824

Image source: Pixabay