How to Plan a Corporate Event

Corporate event planning is a complex and multi-faceted process. From choosing the right venue to coordinating catering and entertainment, there are a lot of factors to consider. And that's not even taking into account the logistics of event management, which can include everything from transportation to security.

Corporate events are a great way for businesses to strengthen their reputation while also boosting networking growth. The key to a successful corporate event is staying on top of your corporate event planning checklist.

Corporate event planners have to be experts in time management, budgeting, and project management in order to pull off a successful event. Although it might seem overwhelming, it’s easier than you think when you are supported by the right corporate event management software. No two events are alike, so each one presents its own unique challenges. But with careful planning and attention to detail, you can consistently reach your event objectives. In this short guide to corporate event planning, we will walk you through some of the most important considerations so that you can make all your future corporate events a success!

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It all Starts With the Right Event Management Software

For a corporate event planner, the single most important investment you can make is making sure you have the right event management software. The right software tools can streamline the event planning process and ensure that the event planning team is always on the same page.

Online booking systems save time for guests, as they can review availability at a glance and see price points for different room options. The amount of manpower and labor saved from an online booking system can be significant for hotel companies. Instead of dedicating an in-person reservations department to answer phones, property reservations can be managed by just a small team. In fact, managing online bookings can even be executed by a remote online reservation system supervisor for the entire chain.

Get Comfortable with the Event Planning Process

To start your corporate event planning process, you need to be clear about its purpose and your goals. You cannot start any type of event marketing or the planning process in general until you define what you hope to gain from exposure in the corporate world.

For some business events, the only goal is event branding. Other businesses or non-profit organizations use corporate events as fundraising events. The event's purpose will dictate everything else about the corporate event, from defining who your intended audience is to choosing event technology and marketing the event.

Define Your Target Audience

Now that you have an event objective to work with, you need to find your audience. Small events should still have large event goals that include mingling with potential business partners and creating post event buzz. With that in mind, you need to define the audience you want to attend your next event and then start social media marketing to make it a reality.

Set Your Event Budget

Of course, small and large scale events all have to work within a budget. Creating a budget is a key part of planning corporate events to ensure that the event runs smoothly and you can afford everything necessary throughout the night.

It is important to be realistic during this stage. It is best to set a reasonable limit early on in the process and then plan on spending about 10% more because there will always be unexpected expenses that pop up along the way.

Choose an Event Venue or Opt for a Virtual Event

Your event budget, the intended outcome of the event, and the total event lifecycle will help you determine if your event should be held in person, virtually, or as a hybrid event.

If you opt to go virtual or host a hybrid corporate event, hosting your event on a dedicated event website or via an event app might be a great way to incorporate seamless internal branding.

Conversely, if you opt for an event venue, you need to ensure it matches your event's theme and desired outcome. There are many types of corporate events, and they are not all evenly suited to each other.

Create the Event Schedule

Once you have a venue, a budget, it is time to craft your event schedule. This is a relatively simple process when you use conference management software because it provides everything you need to plan out the event from start to finish, listing times for breakout sessions, awards, demos, and anything else you deem of high value.

Start Heavily Marketing Your Corporate Event

At the same time that you are building your corporate event, you need to start marketing the event to generate buzz. Remember that the best events also market heavily after they are over as well to remind all your attendees of your brand and company.

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