Unlike a social event, planning a corporate event comes with additional responsibilities. It is not only your reputation but also company’s image at stake on the success of the event. Managing MICE events like an annual general meeting, boardroom meeting, conference, client party etc is a different ballgame in itself. The key to success is planning, organisation, and analysing the expected problems for the given event in advance. And if you are new to this arena, organising a corporate event may seem to be a herculean task. We understand the importance of an effective corporate event planning and hence, we have put together a concise checklist for you to follow. It will help you plan and organise your tasks in order of priority. Irrespective of the nature and size of the corporate event, this checklist can be customized and ensure that your event goes off with a real bang!
Determine The Event Specifics
Apart from the obvious details like date, type of event, location etc of the event, there are some other crucial details that you should understand before planning the event. This includes the event goal, event objective and target audience. The reason for hosting the event will define your event goal. It can be anything like a product launch, a sales meet, a fundraiser etc. Based on the goal of the event, you should be able to measure the objective of the event. For example, if it is a product launch then an objective might be being covered by at least top 10 media channels or reaching out to a specific number of target customers. Every event will be target audience oriented. You have to know the audience and their expectations of the event.
When these attributes are correctly defined and understood, you are a step closer towards achieving a successful MICE event. You have to incorporate this information in every stage to filter out options that don’t meet these attributes. By doing so, you are steering the audience towards the desired action.
Determine The Event Budget
Building an event budget that documents the anticipated expenses is important. Booking a luxury venue or a premium decorator is not possible unless the budget allocated for the event permits you to do so! List down the main expense areas like the venue, caterer, decor, stationery etc. and allocate budget for each category and sub-categories. Make sure there is an allocation for contingency or miscellaneous expenses. This document stays with you till the end and will encourage you to revisit all aspects of the event until it is as cost-effective as required!
Choose An Appropriate Venue
The location is crucial for ensuring a successful corporate event. Needless to say, you must select a venue that fits your budget, provides the necessary equipment and has the desired layout. If you are expecting outstation guests for the event, pick a venue that is conveniently located. Book a venue which offers the relevant ambience to the event and makes the attendees feel comfortable. For example, expectations of a venue for a board meeting are different from a corporate team building event!
Confirm Speakers And Attendees
Most corporate events will need key-note speakers. It can be from within the organization like the head or department or a guest speaker. You will have to confirm the speakers in advance to block the schedule. If you want to book a specific speaker, then it is better to check his/her availability before booking the venue for a particular date. Otherwise, after the date and venue are fixed, you can confirm the speakers based on their availability. This also means the particular requirements of the VIP guests and speakers have to be taken care of. Schedule appointments and private meeting spaces during the conference.
Confirm Vendor Arrangement
While hosting a corporate event it is important as to where you invest the money. So based on a thorough assessment of essential requirements for the event, choose the vendors. A fancy decor may be important for one type of event but having a robust technology system may be for the other!
As soon as the venue is blocked, sign off the vendor contracts. This includes decorators, photographers etc. The venue decor is not just to doll up the place. It is required to set the tone for the event. This will include the welcome board, stage backdrop, banners etc. Make arrangements for event staff like for registration booth, welcome kit distributors, etc. Outsource the printing job for customized event stationary, event itinerary etc that you intend to distribute to the attendees. Any requisite deposits should be made well in advance to avoid hassles later.
Create Event Timing and Procedures
Ensure proper scheduling for every aspect of the event leaving some additional timing for potential delays. Also, consider the ticketing/registration process, seating procedures, and time allotted for announcements or speeches. Create a minute by minute logistics timeline for the event. This should include everything from the arrival of the vendor and set-up to event mains and also the post-event breakdown. There will be several things happening on the event day including the unexpected situations and unless you don’t have the full details of the event outlined, there are chances to miss something. A handy checklist will help you to take charge and monitor if everything is under control from time-to-time.
Assign Staff Responsibilities
If any staff members are involved in the event deliverables, plan the responsibilities with them. With proper guidance, these staff members will be able to help to put up an impressive event!
Promote The Event
You have to promote your event to the target audience. It can be for your external customers, channel partners or internal employees. Unless the intended audience attends, the event will be of no use. Promote your event through emails, advertisements, social media etc. A number of promotion channels are available to generate attendance. Pick the ones that will reach out to your audience.
Expect The Unexpected
The little details will make a huge difference in the end. Hence, keeping track of every minute aspect of the event can affect the guest experience. For example, quick turnout at the registration table, good wi-fi access etc. Try to have backups and arrangements for contingencies like a medical emergency.
Post Event Review And Follow-Up
After the event, follow up with the attendees and speakers. By doing this you get an opportunity to reinforce the event message and get feedback, as well as prompt guests to take action to meet event objectives. Devise your post-event communication method in advance like sending a thank you note/email or sharing event pictures etc.
There will also be several invoices to be expensed. Reconcile the finances, not only in terms of these event invoices but also to make a budget-expense and expense-profit analysis. After reviewing and analysing the event, make the necessary revisions, if any, for the next one!
Use the above checklist to visualize the event from all pertinent perspectives like the event team, vendors, guests. A professional event planner will by default take care of every detail. But if you have to plan and coordinate the corporate event yourself, these tips come in handy
Planning a corporate event is no joke but with BigFday by your side, we promise to make it fun! Talk to us to book venues with exclusive packages or to pick top vendors from our well-curated list for photographers, decorators, planners etc.
Also published on Medium.