HOW TO PLAN YOUR NEXT SUCCESSFUL CORPORATE EVENT

Organizing a successful corporate event requires careful planning, regardless of how large or small it is. Some events can be planned in as little as a few months, others can take nearly two years to plan. So much is involved, from budgeting to selecting a venue, scheduling the agenda, booking travel arrangements, and promoting the event.

HERE’s everything you need to know
to plan your next wildly successful corporate event

Before you can organize anything when it comes to your next corporate event, you have to determine the budget. Everything relies on this figure, including:

• Location & venue
• Number of guests
• Guest speakers
• Airfare/lodging

When you fail to develop – and stick to – an event budget, you’re likelihood of planning a successful event is lowered dramatically.

Tip #1: Use Google Sheets to securely track and share your budget with the team in real time. It’s more efficient and can be exported to an Excel or printed anytime it’s needed!

Your success is determined by the objectives you set for your event. Think about the purpose of the event and how that should translate into ROI once the event is over.

• Do you hope to sell a certain number of products or services?
• Should you see a spike in customer referrals?
• What else are you using as a measure of ROI?

This is an important part of event planning, whether it’s a new product/service launch, a networking event, or a corporate training. Once you know what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to tie it to metrics and revenue and measure its success.

When possible, use metrics you gathered from any previous events to guide you. Sales conversion rates, attendance, website visits, downloads, and other figures can help you predict where you need to be to match the performance of that event or improve your ROI this time around.

 

 

The best venue for your next corporate event is not necessarily the most expensive. You must consider a variety of factors to select the perfect venue, including:

• Type of event (i.e. conference, meeting, trade show)
• Number of guests
• Location of audience
• Size & style of space

Providing enough space for any activities you may have planned and considering the type of space required for those activities are particularly important considerations.

Is your audience located primarily in one area or dispersed centrally around one location? Will they require accommodations? Are they able to bring guests? Do you need access to audio visual equipment, tables, chairs, etc.?

These are just a few examples of questions to ask and answer before selecting your venue.

Tip #2: If you don’t have time to handle all of the finer details, consider hiring someone to help you. Event coordinators are affordable resources that ensure your event runs smoothly.

Pre-planning and booking travel arrangements is the biggest headache that comes with corporate event planning. You need to coordinate a lot of moving parts, including:

• Booking flights
• Securing hotel blocks
• Organizing car services
• Confirming venue parking

Not to mention developing contingency plans when things go wrong. What if the hotel is fully booked and there are no hotels within walking distance of your event, for example? Or if a flight is canceled last minute due to inclement weather?

Do you have a backup plan, or could you pull one together quick enough to avoid a potential disaster?

 

This is where a travel management company comes in handy. Even if you are an event planner or used to booking travel yourself, leaving this piece to an expert who can guarantee your travel bookings will run smoothly provides peace of mind and allows you to manage the more important details of your event.

Planning the time, date, and agenda of your event is just the start of the scheduling process. You also have to cover the following scheduling items:

• Arrange group travel
• Organize food and beverage
• Coordinate breaks and social/networking events
• Plan speaking engagements based on individual schedules

Remember to always plan ahead for the unexpected. Creating checklists to monitor your travel arrangements, confirm any ordered goods or services, and confirm reservations in advance will help keep you on track.

Tip #3: Set a calendar reminder to confirm everything is ready 3 days prior to the event, so All About Scheduling you have time to fix any issues or fill any scheduling gaps before the event begins.

To give you an idea of what & how to plan your next corporate event, we’ve put together a typical checklist for events booking 18 months out to give you an idea of what you’ll need.

18 Months Out

• Determine budget
• Define event objectives
• Identify possible dates
• Shortlist & call top venues
• Prepare a preliminary agenda
• Establish a list of guests & speakers
• Create a website or landing page
• Develop a promotion plan

15 Months Out

• Conduct site visits & book venue
• Negotiate room rates & blocks
• Produce tentative floor plan
• Start promoting the event
• Invite keynote speakers
• Negotiate catering prices
• Prepare marketing materials
• Review hotel contract deadlines

12 Months Out

• Arrange travel & accommodations
• Prepare event calendar/schedule
• Finalize food/beverage selections
• Mail first promotional materials
• Confirm event agenda
• Create list of event registrants
• Assign staff responsibilities

9 Months Out

• Conduct site visits & book venue
• Negotiate room rates & blocks
• Produce tentative floor plan
• Start promoting the event
• Invite keynote speakers
• Negotiate catering prices
• Prepare marketing materials
• Review hotel contract deadlines

3 Months Out

• Review event schedule
• Confirm room assignments
• Follow-up with exhibitors
• Order decorations, food, A/V, etc.
• Prepare & print evaluation forms
• Check on-site hardware & software
• Print any remaining materials

Day Prior to Event

• Inventory all shipments
• Review any VIP arrangements
• Set-up/check set-up of rooms
• Review staff responsibilities
• Confirm order deliveries
• Perform venue check/walk through
• Print registration list & badges

Wondering what should happen after the event?

Day After Event

• Inventory remaining materials
• Arrange for any return shipments
• Reconcile all invoices
• Prepare & mail thank you letters
• Perform post-event review
• Review all evaluation forms
• Make notes for your next event

Other Considerations

• Event Coordinator
• Caterer/Bartender
• Decorations
• Giveaways/Gifts
• Photographer
• Furniture/Equipment
• Entertainment/DJ

About Travelers Q

Travelers Q is a full service B2B travel and event management company.

We partner with event planners, small business owners, corporations, and non-profit
organizations to manage their travel and other event-related tasks. We also integrate with 3rd party vendors at no additional cost. Our services include group travel management, event management, payment processing, registration services, and more.