Organising any event or activity can be resource intensive, between chasing up attendees to arranging for a large group of people to move between locations or break for lunch, there’s always something to be checked, caught up on and maintained to ensure your corporate event goes off without a hitch.
Planning an event requires a keen eye for detail, a calm composure to ensure stress levels don’t get out of control and great organisation skills. While it can be overwhelming for a first-time planner, the exhilaration you feel when your event is going smoothly, and everyone is enjoying themselves, makes the effort all worthwhile.
If you’ve been tasked with organising a corporate event for your business, here are some guidelines to reduce the workload and help your occasion go to plan.
Decide on the type of event you are going to be running, is it a conference, team building event, corporate or gala dinner or simply a meeting between different offices or branches? With the basics decided on, you can start outlining the expectations of the event by making notes under the following headers;
Location – Where do you plan on holding the event, do you have venues you have used before, do you need a venue finding service or recommendations?
Accommodation – If your guests will be travelling long distances, will accommodation need to be available, will this need to be included in the event budget or will it be expected for guests to sort themselves out? You can always arrange for a dedicated company to handle the overnight stay requests, usually offering discounted rates for your event for one or two nights stay in connected or nearby accommodation.
Transportation – Do you plan you are taking the whole office or staff to an event will you be providing the transportation, or will you be supplying details for staff to make their way to the event?
Catering – Is food and drink required? What sort of food and drink, open bar, tea and coffee facilities only, three-course meal or a buffet spread for guests to help themselves.
Guest Fees – Are you planning to have any speakers or guest presenters and hosts for your event, don’t forget to research their fees and what you need to provide, i.e. private break out space, food, drink and accommodation, transportation costs.
Activities – What sort of activities will you be holding during your event, will you need extra space, to hire in a dedicated service team, will you require resources and a schedule for your activities or are they easy ice breakers that can be worked in to the regular breaks? If you aren’t sure on what activities will be suitable for your group, check out this event finder to narrow down your options dependent on the number of attendees, available space and preferred time length.
Marketing – If your event is going to be ticketed, what sort of marketing will you need to budget for? Will you require external or internal marketing and when should your marketing campaigns kick off?
Attendees – Approximately how many attendees or guests are you anticipating? How many do you require to make the event successful, do you require a minimum amount of ticket sales? Don’t forget to put an estimation on the number of no-shows you should expect with no notice.
Deciding a Budget
Once you have decided on the areas that need organising and focus, you can decide on the budget for the overall event and how that will be divided between the various requirements. At this time, you might find that it is more important to offer your attendees and potential guests’ accommodation rather than a guest host, or if you are trying to impress, you can choose to up your catering budget while reducing the amount of marketing.
If you find your event is continuously going over budget and the quality of your event will dramatically reduce with the smaller budget, you may need to change the type of occasion or raise funds before going ahead. It’s always advantageous to overestimate which each requirement is going to cost you, especially when it comes to catering and accommodation as costs can quickly rise with only a few extra additions.
Once you have decided on your initial plans and outcomes and confirmed the budget for your event, get some volunteers or enlist a team to give you a hand by taking care of the admin and marketing aspects to free up more of your own time to organise activities and attendees. With more hands-on deck, you will feel less stressed and your event will be easier to manage, just ensure to work with people you can trust, especially if you are the direct point of contact for the event. Good luck and happy organising!