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Corporate Event Planning in 6 Steps

January 6, 2014 by In House Marketing

Elegant yesteryear dinner party

So you’ve been placed with the honour of planning the next corporate event or party, but you have no experience in event planning. Never fear, follow our six steps to success – from initial meetings, to event hire, to negotiations – we’ve got it all covered.

Corporate Event Planning: Basic Responsibilities

So you know what going to a corporate event or party is like, but do you know how many things you need to do to organise one yourself? Here’s a basic checklist, for some corporate events there may be fewer elements, some will have more.

  • Venue selection
  • Travel and hotel arrangements
  • Catering
  • Speakers and entertainment
  • Audiovisual equipment hire
  • Decorations and furniture hire
  • Marquee hire (if your corporate event is outdoors)
  • Printing
  • Gifts, awards
  • On-day staff and personnel

Corporate Event Planning: Organisation, Preparation

Even if you weren’t born blessed with the natural skills to pull off a corporate event with ease, you can definitely fake it til you make it by ensuring you are organised and prepared from the very beginning. Cover all the basics – no matter how obvious or small they may seem – during planning meetings to ensure that everyone involved stays informed.

  • Set clear and concise meeting objectives.
  • Based on these objectives, determine whether it’s necessary to meet at all, or whether you can accomplish your objectives in other ways. For example, if there is not a great deal of decision making to be done or it is difficult to travel to the meeting spot, then perhaps conversation can remain on email or on Google Hangouts.
  • Gather all necessary contact information for everyone involved in the planning of the event.
  • Evaluate the meeting once it’s over and email notes to everyone involved within the next few days following the meeting.

Corporate Event Planning: Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

The second most important quality to have after meticulous planning skills is the ability to negotiate with hire companies. This is also something that can be faked during the planning process. The basic rules of negotiation involve the following:

  • Go in knowing exactly what you want.
  • Do your homework so that you don’t get caught unawares.
  • Always read the fine print!
  • Assume nothing
  • Exercise silence. You’ll never get anywhere always being the loudest person in the room.

Corporate Event Planning: Choosing a Venue

Above all, choosing the right venue for your corporate event is vital. Consider the number of people you have invited, the type of event it is, and ease of travel to and from the venue. You may consider organising a courtesy bus or taxi service for your guests, especially if the party includes a bar.

Corporate Event Planning: Vendor Hire

After choosing a venue, the next most important thing to do is to select vendors to hire goods and services from. These hires may come in the form of food and beverages, tables and chairs, entertainment, temporary structures such as marquees and much more. Here are a few tips on how to source the best hiring companies for your corporate event:

  • Observe the vendors at other corporate parties and events. Take note of the good ones.
  • Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.
  • Ask staff at your venue for a list of approved or affiliated hire companies.
  • Google. This is a great way to do a bit of preliminary research, as most hire companies will have a list of services and costs which will help you narrow down your choices.
  • Check out trade/industry publications for resources. Again, this may help you narrow down your hire choices.

Corporate Event Planning: Staying Under Budget

The budget is the most difficult aspect of corporate event planning to keep under control. However, stick to these tips and tricks to stay under budget and keep your bosses happy:

  • Stay organised and avoid surprised by getting all agreements in writing from your venue and hire companies.
  • Following from above, check all invoices against written quotes.
  • Incorporate a 10 per cent contingency into the budget to accommodate unexpected expenses.
  • Limit the number of people authorised to charge to the corporate credit card.
  • Keep an eye on possible hidden expenses such as overnight shipping, taxes or overtime charges.

Liked this post? Check out our post on whether or not you should host a corporate event for your customers here: Hosting corporate event customers worth