No matter what kind of corporate event you’re planning: a seminar, training, sponsor event, trade show, shareholder meeting, or a networking event, there are similar event planning steps you can take now to ensure that your event runs better later.
Choose your location carefully.
Take the common real estate advice to heart when planning your corporate event. Choose a venue for your event that is centrally located, has accommodations for parking, adequate room for all your guests, and spaces for each part of your agenda. If you have a preferred caterer for your event, research venues with an open vendor policy that allows any licensed professional caterer on-site. Prepare a list of entertainment needs, such as audiovisual and staff, and contact the staff at your potential venues with those questions before you sign a contract.
Draft a highly targeted promotion plan.
Set a calendar in advance that details your promotional efforts: social media posts, emails to your target audience, mail pieces, etc. Know who your targeted audience is, and use your network and marketing channels to reach them through channels that fit their demographic.
This tip goes without saying. Create organized lists of guests, deadlines, and items that need to be purchased or get done. Check, check, and double check your lists throughout the event planning process. Don’t overlook one detail. If you need assistance, or someone to coordinate all the details, book your event at a venue with an event planner on staff. This arrangement benefits you in two ways: 1) it gives you a professional event planner with knowledge of local, excellent vendors for your event 2) an on-site event planner has knowledge of the venue before and during your event.
Set a strong agenda.
Even if you are hosting an event that doesn’t need to be managed minute-by-minute, set a strong agenda that plays to your guests’ expectations. If your guests are attending a networking event, allow plenty of time for socializing. For annual, monthly, or other recurring event, use feedback from your past events to shape your event. Share your agenda with your venue staff for optimal results.
Say thank you.
Just because your event is over doesn’t mean your efforts are done. Make a special effort to thank your guests at the event, and after with notes and emails. If your venue staff and vendors have performed to your expectations (or above your expectations), add them to your list to thank as well.