How to Plan an Outstanding Corporate Event – Part 2
In the first part of this guide, we started talking about the important steps to follow to ensure the success of your corporate event.
This second part will carry you through the other points I consider to be very essential for the planning process. Please, do note that these are not the only things you have to do when it comes to event planning. My main aim here is to cover the most important ones, the ones you should never miss.
If you haven’t read the first part of How To Plan an Outstanding Corporate Event, I highly recommend you first of all do so, then come back here when you are done.
Now that we are all on the same path, enough of this chit-chat and let’s dive right into business.
Step 5: Choose your event date & venue
At this point of the planning process, you already know the purpose of your event, your dream team is ready and your budget is outlined (I can only hope you are a good student and that you were smart enough to follow these important steps mentionned in part one).
The next thing you have to do is decide WHEN and WHERE : when will you make your magic happen and where will it take place ?
To set the date of your event, I highly recommend you apply two simple rules :
- ALWAYS give yourself enough time for the planning process (depending on the size of the event -and your resources-, the planning can take up to 6 months or even years)
- Make sure to check dates with key participants (speakers and presenters for example if you are setting up a conference).
Once you have the date pinned down, you can go ahead and book your venue.
#Tip: You might want to have some flexibility around your date in order to be opened up to a wider variety of venues.
Some important points to consider when choosing your venue are the size, the accessibility, the parking and the features that come with it (Catering for example).
With the date and location nailed down, it is time to start advertising your corporate event.
Step 6: Deploy your event marketing campaign
Now that you have found the appropriate location for your corporate event, you need to draw people to it.
Didn’t see that one coming? Well, just think about it: if no one knows you are holding an event, who do you think will attend to it? This is where event marketing kicks in.
Actually, if a marketer reads this, chances are he/she will probably slap me in the face because event marketing is so much more than a simple event announcement.
Not only do you want to tell people that your big day is coming, but you also want them to know why the event will happen in the first place and what benefits they will reap out of it. As a matter of fact, your campaign should make them count down the days to your event.
So the first thing to do is to create an editorial charter. It will allow you to manage the communication before, during and after the event. Your approach must be clear about:
- what you want to share (the message);
- where you want to share (the channels);
- how you want your event to be seen;
- who your target audience is;
- what your strategy’s end goal is (e.g. more exposure, more registrations on the event page…).
Here, your communications committee is mainly in charge of producing useful content for the selected channels, cover the highlights of the event, respect the corporate graphic charter for all the advertising elements produced.
Your D-Day shouldn’t just be marked on the attendees’ calendar but it should be deeply etched in the collective memory. That’s how you know you have got a killer marketing strategy!
Step 7: Identify and hire vendors
Your aim is not just to plan an event. Above all, you want to create an exceptional moment. I know you do. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post if that were not the case.
Let’s be clear on something : there is no way you can make magic happen if you don’t select your vendors carefully. A single mistake by a vendor can ruin the perfect job you have been doing at managing your event. My top advice here? Be demanding.
Track all your vendors’ past achievements in order to pick the best supplier. Yes, always sign for nothing but the best. Just imagine your disappointment if your super crowded conference is ruined by a faulty sound system. You don’t want that.
There are many types of vendors but you don’t need them all at the same time. They vary based on the event you are planning but here are the key vendors that are usually hired :
- Caterers to tailor and serve the perfect menu for your guests
- Photographers to capture the key moments of the event
- Decorators to help you creatively use the venue.
Step 8: Event’s Final preparations
You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, but do not chill yet. There are still some things left to do.
In the week prior to your event, take the time to consider the following :
- make sure the participating vendors have all the information they require;
- confirm with the venue owners/managers the date and time everything will be ready to begin setup;
- prepare swag bags with suppliers’ material;
- test your equipment as it arrives at the venue…
The devil is in the details so prepare a checklist and take your time to review every single point. Also, be mentally prepared to face any unplanned event scenario without going crazy. No matter how well organized you are, something might come up so be ready for it.
And now, you are all set up !
This guide makes you full equipped to plan your next corporate event. Have fun playing with it and let me know the outcome.
Think you might need some help to create an amazing experience for your company ? Drop a comment below or reach out through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s create magic!