How to Plan for a Corporate Event


Managing a corporate event can be tricky, and if you’ve been tasked with planning one you’re probably shaking in your boots!
But it’s not all doom and gloom. As professional event planners, we’ve had lots of experience planning and managing corporate events.

Here are six simple techniques you can use to create an impressive and memorable event…

1. Understand the True Objective

Corporate events rarely have a single focus. As the event manager, it’s up to you to understand the true objective (or “deeper why”) behind the event and use it to help you create something amazing and unique.
For example, an awards dinner isn’t just an excuse to hand out a bunch of awards. It’s a way to celebrate company culture, reinforce company values, and encourage staff to achieve their best.
A product launch does more than just introduce a new product. It’s a platform for promoting the values and vision of an organisation to the media and potential new clients.
Think about the real reason behind your corporate event, and you’ll be planning a winner in no time!

2. Appoint an Official Planner

We all know the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth” – and that is definitely true when you’re organising an event.
You can hire a professional corporate event manager, or you can appoint someone (such as yourself or a staff member) to be the official organiser.
The official organiser should be great at time management, approachable, proactive, and confident enough to talk to all stakeholders and consider their requests when putting all pieces of your event together.

3. Choose a Theme

A theme provides context for the planning of the event. It helps draw together all of the decisions you make about the venue, food, decorations, entertainment and the order of events on the big day.
There is an infinite number of themes to choose from, but try to choose something that complements your “deeper why”.
For example, a company that values “fun” or “individualism” might benefit from the 70s or acrobatic theme. If the company has Japanese origins, you could create a Japanese theme. If the company sells toys you might decide on a “Barbie” theme. If the company makes luxurious furniture or is releasing a luxurious product, you might have a “luxurious pamper” theme.

4. Create a proper To-Do list, and then allocate tasks and set deadlines

There are many moving parts in a corporate event, which is why corporate event planners are often booked well in advance.
Make a list of everything you can foresee that needs to be completed. From invitations to booking a place to hold your event, catering, decorations, the sequence of events, speakers, music, table settings, technological requirements and more. Imagine yourself as a guest at the event (from beginning to end). What do you need? What are you doing? What are your expectations?
Once you have a proper to do list, allocate tasks to your team and set strong deadlines.

5. Send invites and set expectations

Invites are more than just an opportunity to invite attendees. They’re an opportunity to set expectations. And a great invite will lead to more acceptance…which ultimately leads to a better event!
Your invite should include the basics such as the why, what, when, and where. It should also help people understand the theme – both in the way it is laid out (i.e. a fun, sparkly invitation or an elegant, formal one) and in the words that you use.
But it’s also a great way to intrigue people and excite them into attending.
For example:
Tim’s Retirement Dinner.
6:30 pm Saturday at XYZ Restaurant, Canberra.
Dress: 70s. RSVP 20th September 2016.
Get your groove on at Tim’s psychedelic retirement dinner, and help us celebrate over 15 years of service from a great team player who has always been willing to lend a hand.
Tha funk starts at 6:30 pm with drinks and cool canapés at XYZ Restaurant, Canberra.
Totally awesome dinner will be served at 7:30 pm before we boogie the night away or chillax at the open bar.
Wear your best bangin’ 70s outfit and join the party!
RSVP asap. Be there or be square.
Which one would you go to?

6. Be prepared to stay on your toes

The event planner rarely gets to enjoy the actual event, so be prepared. They are too busy making sure everything goes smoothly and everyone around them has a great time! Realising this in advance will make the event easier for you.
You should also try to pre-empt disasters and have a backup plan in case things go pear-shaped.
At the event, keep an eye on how people are reacting. You might not be able to change much, but if it does go south it’s always good to have a few tricks to pull out of your hat.
And remember, event management gets easier with experience. So once you get your first one out of the way, your future events will be that much easier.
If you need help planning your next corporate event contact End2End Events or drop in their event showroom located Unit 3/13 Townsville Street, Fyshwick for a friendly chat. They can get started on your next corporate event straight up and you can sit back and relax while your event is looked after from start to end…