Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tips for Successful Corporate Event Planning

By Kathryn Dawson

Have you been selected to plan your company's next conference? Have you just volunteered to organize the next party? It is understandable if you are a bundle of nerves. Relax! Corporate event planning need not be the tortuous ordeal you think it is. Here are some tips for making the next event smooth and successful.

Initial Considerations for Corporate Event Planning
Corporate event planning begins with a consideration of the look and feel you wish the event to have. Think about what kind of event you are holding, what the reason for the event or celebration is and what you wish to accomplish. Is it just conference management  or do you have to deal with arranging the business accommodation as well? Keep in mind that a relaxed state of mind can help you make better decisions and plan more effectively.

Planning Your Event
The actual process of corporate event planning becomes easier once you have defined the basic parameters.

Make a checklist -- Create a checklist to provide a step-by-step guide to organizing and executing a special event.

Make a budget -- If you are organizing a corporate event, you may have already been given the budget for it. Ensure that the budget is specific, and include revenue opportunities (sponsorship, ticket sales, donations, etc.) as well as expenses (printing, permits, insurance, speakers, food, supplies, security, etc.).

Maintain a record -- This is important not only for the expenses, but for each activity you have undertaken. This will help you keep track of all the various elements you need to consider and the progress you are making with them.

Conference facilities -- The location and site of the event are critical to its success. Selecting a site is more than just finding out available rooms. The factors that you may need to consider are room capacity, purpose of event, need for ramps, podium and stage, special equipment and furniture.

Have plenty of food and drinks -- A critical factor for corporate event planning is the catering. The kind of food you will serve and careful decisions of whether it will be lunch, snack foods, dinner, buffet or a sit down, make a huge difference in conference management. If you intend to serve alcohol, you will have to ensure that there are designed drivers to transport those who may be drinking during the event.

Plan publicity and marketing -- Great publicity and marketing are critical in successful corporate event planning. There are many different methods you can use. You can consider supplementing paid advertising with inexpensive fliers, handouts, email messages and word of mouth.

Speaker or entertainer -- Booking a speaker or entertainer can be tricky and add to the cost. However, this can also make your event extremely successful. Weigh the pros and cons of having a speaker or entertainer.

Arrange for parking -- All major events require ample parking space that is easily accessible from the event site. Ensure that the parking is convenient and that people do not have to walk too far to the venue site. If you have delivery trucks, caterers or special equipment being brought to the event, you will need to make sure everyone knows the best location for unloading.

Evaluate the event -- An often ignored but important element of corporate event planning is evaluation. Create an evaluation form to hand out at the end of the event. Make it anonymous and short. You may even ask for direct verbal feedback.

Finally, once your event is over, take time to reflect back on it. Consider the entire corporate event planning process and the feedback you received. Were the guests who were provided with business accommodation comfortable? Did your conference management ensure a truly successful business event? Retrospection can help you continuously improve your planning and organizing skills.

Kathryn Dawson writes articles about Keele Conference and Events, providing complete conference management and corporate event planning, as well as a selection of en-suite business accommodation designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

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