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A Must-Know Guide To Corporate Event Planning
Events in a corporate environment are often staged to communicate company strategy, change internal company behavior, launch a product or service, motivate, train or reward staff, or influence the external behavior of customers towards the brand.
In many instances, they bring company employees together, support wider marketing or sales initiatives, incentivize team achievements, or entertain senior leaders.
What is corporate event planning?
Yet, corporate event planning goes beyond meeting planning. Although conferences and meetings may form the lion’s share of the workload, other events you may be asked to organize include corporate hospitality, client entertaining, conventions, exhibitions, and employees events—such as incentive travel reward programs, team building, motivational events, receptions, parties, and charity fundraising days.
Planning and executing a successful corporate event is no simple task. It’s typically a months-long process consisting of several stages and a variety of organizational steps.
To help you navigate the business of corporate event planning, here is everything you need to know:
- Types of Corporate Events
Event objective, venue sourcing, event marketing, attendee engagement.
- Corporate event planning checklist
Types of corporate events
As outlined above, corporate events can range from company conferences and internal training seminars to team away-days and client hospitality. When planning for any type of corporate event therefore, it’s best to assess them in terms of their size.
Micro events (otherwise known as ‘simple events’) are planned for up to 100 delegates and often take the form of meetings or more intimate training sessions.
The planning requirements for these micro-events may simply involve a room booking, presentation facilities, break-out refreshments, and registration. However, referring to them as ‘simple events’ can be misleading, as an away-day or hospitality for 50 senior managers can be as complicated as planning a conference for 500 attendees.
Small events are classed as between 100 and 250 delegates. They could be seminars, training days or departmental conferences.
Planners may need to manage a main stage itinerary and several break-out sessions, along with lunch, refreshments, audio-visual facilities, online registration , and transport.
Midsize events rely more on technology. They could be company-wide conferences for up to 1,000 delegates or leadership summits for important client customers to meet with senior leaders.
A branded website, pre-event communications, and an event mobile app should all form part of the budgetary considerations. Delegates may require hotel accommodation, plus transport which takes attendees to and from the venue. While a pre- or post-event reception or evening entertainment may be required as part of a complex multi-stream conference itinerary.
Large-scale events often require enterprise technology tools to manage elements such as hotel room bookings, delegate flights, budgets, and online registration.
These may be multi-day events so you could need offsite activities, dinners, partner programs, an awards ceremony or other complex itinerary planning.
Staffing, catering, registration, speaker and delegate management will all need to be carefully planned at scale. Conventions, for example, can attract anything up to around 10,000 attendees and can last a few days.
The amount of available budget can impact every aspect of corporate event planning, from the choice of venue and speakers to the levels of catering, entertainment, technology, and staffing.
Decide if your budget has outgoings only, or will you be able to supplement it with income from exhibitors, sponsors or other forms of external revenue?
Has this event happened in the past? If so, use the previous budget to establish a baseline but ensure that inflation and evolving needs are taking into consideration.
Figures from past budgets are useful in providing a clearer picture of how much certain suppliers will charge. Use these to ensure you are not being over-charged when you reach out to suppliers for initial quotes.
Every event budget, however, needs built-in flexibility. Unanticipated expenditure is common and supplier costs are often provided as estimates, rather than fixed prices, so it’s vital that an overall budget is managed accordingly, and a contingency fund is in place.
Once you’ve sourced supplier costings, make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle, including venue hire, AV, food, and beverage, accommodation and travel, speaker fees, staffing costs, marketing and service fees.
For larger or more complex budget planning, look into corporate event management software suites, which include a dedicated event budget management tool. This will ensure accurate collection of your budgetary information, help you track expenses easily, generate budget reports, and demonstrate the ROI of your event.
‘What is the event’s objective?’ This should be the first question you ask when a corporate event is requested. By gaining a deep understanding of the deliverables that key stakeholders are hoping to achieve, it’ll allow you to plan more effectively and communicate your ideas in a language your bosses will understand.
Once you’ve understood whether the event’s aim is, for example, to build brand awareness, communicate business strategy, reward and motivate, or launch a new product or service, you can then set goals, put the right metrics in place to track results, and determine who the attendees will be, along with their expectations.
When you have well-defined goals and objectives for your event, planning, promoting, and sticking to your budget all become much easier.
Event objectives should be SMART
- S pecific: What is the desired outcome and when does it need to be achieved by?
- M easurable: Return on Investment or Return on Objectives… or both?
- A chievable: Ensure that the event objective is something that can actually be achieved otherwise senior leaders will consider it a failure.
- R elevant: The overall objective needs to remain something that relates back to the company’s goals throughout the entire planning process.
- T imebound: Plan for the event objective to have been achieved between two time periods. This may require subsequent training seminars or a follow-up event to assess the outcomes of the first.
The event’s objectives may also determine your choice of venue. If stakeholders are looking to leave a lasting impression on valued or prospective clients, for example, the venue will need to play its part and deliver a memorable wow factor.
Other factors that will influence your venue choice include budget, capacity, location, availability, and logistics. Having a clear understanding of these event requirements will allow you to shortlist a number of venues, send out requests for written proposals (RFPs) and arrange site visits.
Some venues offer seasonal pricing, so the hire cost may be lower during certain times of the year. Find out what the costs are for your venue of choice on your desired date. If your dates are flexible, you may be able to secure a better deal at your preferred venue.
If your event has a short-lead time, keep an eye out for last-minute venue offers as there are often great deals to be found. If you’re planning an event that’s a long way off, consider those venues undergoing refurbishment or not yet opened. They’ll be eager to secure your business and may be able to negotiate more favorably.
Three steps to venue sourcing
Step One: Find Venues
- Know the meeting objectives and requirements. By determining these at the outset, you’ll decrease the search process.
- Take into account feedback from attendees. Is this an annual event? If attendees ranked the venue from the previous year poorly, look at the feedback to pick a venue that will resonate better.
- Don’t feel alone. Reach out to your team, or others that have a stake in the event to brainstorm what factors are most important.
Step Two: Write the perfect RFP
- You already know general objectives and requirements – now define your purpose. Make it clear what this event requires and hopes to achieve.
- Get detailed. Give as much information about the event as you can.
- No one likes to discuss money, but you need to share your budget requirements. The venue is one of the largest costs of an event and can make or break your budget.
- Make your deadlines clear. Give a date and time that provide venues enough time to respond.
- Don’t start from scratch. Pull a template the internet.
- Be ready to answer any questions venues may have about the proposal or event.
Step Three: Send and evaluate proposals
- Using a venue sourcing tool , you can search and filter venues and send one RFP to multiple venues at once.
- Assess proposals via the chosen venue sourcing tool or by manually importing data into a spreadsheet
- Create a list of any factors that are less concrete – the qualitative factors.
- Pay close attention to meeting rooms – do the sizes and layouts make sense for your event?
- Compare how responsive and helpful the venues are to help figure out how helpful they’ll be if you choose them.
Now go on some site visits. You should be in great shape at this point. You have proposals, you know that the spaces you’re looking at are within budget and have the spaces you need, now you can look in person .
By building a marketing campaign around your event, attendees and stakeholders will feel more invested and involved. It will also allow you to communicate key instructions and announcements, safe in the knowledge that your audience is already engaged.
Event marketing assets include teaser emails, social media channels, a branded website, and a mobile event app . You may also wish to design and create posters, flyers, pin-badges, and other accessories to keep the event front-of-mind and anticipation high.
A customized pre-event website will showcase event highlights and build on the notion of ‘experience’ before attendees arrive. A website can also be used to streamline the registration process and create a one-stop-shop for accommodation or transport booking.
The design and usability of your event website will be crucial to the success of your event, so make sure you pay special attention to how it is designed and built .
With the latest corporate event management software solutions, creating a custom event website has become easier than ever. There is no technical expertise required, and you certainly don’t need to learn HTML. With a simple drag-and-drop tool, you can build a complete website from scratch .
A branded mobile event app meanwhile will allow attendees to view the agenda, receive notifications of scheduling updates and plan networking. It will also enable you to signpost attendees to important information like the venue Wi-Fi password, sponsor information, local hotel details, or session sign-up pages.
On-site advertising should also be included in your marketing plan, which includes signage, banners, flyers and brochures, and other event collateral.
According to a survey by Cvent and Edelman Intelligence , attendee expectations and needs differ significantly on the basis of their persona, age, and region.
For example, the event expectations for a Millennial from the UK could be entirely different from a Baby Boomer from Germany. To deliver a unique and engaging experience for every attendee, you need to have a solid event management plan in place, supported by a strong digital strategy.
If a corporate event cannot generate engagement, it will impact the attendees’ ability to retain information.
The human attention span has reduced significantly in this mobile-first, digital era. As a result, event planners have needed to move away from ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations to more innovative session formats that avoid information overload.
Using the right event technology tools, implementing feedback strategies like live polls, reconciling goals and expectations, and staying authentic should all be top priorities.
Plenary sessions should be designed for delegate participation. To do this, find more engaging speakers, use live polling, real-time Q&As, table discussions, and other methods of keeping engagement high and attendee attention focused.
Conference breakouts should be designed to provide targeted and truly interactive content for your audience. A common event planning pitfall is to turn them into mini keynotes.
Two popular formats for breakouts are:
Breakout sessions: This format is generally used for conferences or sales rallies and offers participants an opportunity to delve deep and explore a topic of interest.
Breakout groups: Pairs, trios or small groups of up to 12 participants work together to brainstorm, complete a business exercise or analyze a specific business issue. Breakout groups are also used for skill practice during training and development programs, as well as projects during team building sessions.
Coffee and lunch breaks meanwhile should be designed for networking. So, consider ice-breakers, buffet stations and other free-flowing formats and activities to get people talking.
A strong digital strategy will build a sense of community before and after the event. Online communities can be formed via social media platforms or by ensuring that your event app is available well in advance and includes built-in social features.
The week before your event is crucial for building attendee engagement for your event.
In order to keep the energy and excitement going, create a unique countdown in the form of emails or website updates, with engaging content such as quiz contests with attractive awards, a preview of the main keynote speakers or any number of other possibilities.
The big four types of attendee engagement
1) Engaging with content: This means giving attendees the right sessions, exhibits and other activities to maximize learning and the value of their attendance.
2) Engaging with each other: For many, networking is the primary reason for attending an event. By creating networking opportunities — whether face-to-face or virtual, one-on-one or in groups — planners can encourage and facilitate networking and create a more valuable experience for attendees.
3) Engaging with sponsors: If you’ve sold sponsorship at your event, then those paying customers will be looking for real connections with the right kind of attendee — rather than just signage.
4) Engaging with you: Communication is a two-way street, and as the event organizer you’ve got to effectively communicate with your attendees — whether for promotional, consultative or logistical purposes.
Virtual Meeting and Event Planning
Not all corporate events need to be in-person. Virtual meeting and event planning is a great choice for these types of events. If you decide on a virtual event , you will need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you planning on a more collaborative environment? Does your technology allow you to do this? And if it's a virtual event, do you want it to be casual or formal? Is the content engaging? And does your technology support networking opportunities? While the planning process doesn't vary much from in-person to virtual, the main difference will be in the production and presentation of your content, as well as the virtual technology used.
Corporate Event Planning Checklist
Use these 21 action steps, together with the aforementioned best practice advice, to ensure effective and successful corporate event planning.
- Determine the overarching goal and the primary objectives you intend to meet by holding this event.
- Identify the audience to determine the event’s tone of voice and what takeaways they’ll expect.
- Agree on how the event fits into the overall company strategy. What are its long-term objectives?
- Make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle.
- Appoint a planning team and allocate responsibilities.
- Establish a schedule for planning meetings.
- Decide on the date(s) when the event will take place.
- Prepare a preliminary budget based on historic costings and supplier quotes.
- Create a list of venue requirements.
- Compare venues and negotiate.
- Plan the event layout.
- Secure speakers.
- Develop and activate an event marketing plan .
- Prepare an event timeline allowing adequate time between sessions and activities for transitioning, as well as for any potential delays or technical difficulties.
- Reserve accommodation and transport requirements.
- Plan menus for meals and refreshments, taking dietary needs into consideration.
- Prepare and print event collateral.
- Confirm or recruit event staffing.
- Rehearse speakers if required.
- Follow-up with speakers and attendees post-event to thank them for attending and provide key takeaways.
- Conduct surveys, secure feedback and collate final costings for future reference.
Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.
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Your Guide on How to Plan a Corporate Event
Table of contents.
Any business that wants to build lasting relationships , which is crucial for your company’s growth, needs to know how to produce professional events. Hosting a corporate affair allows you to strengthen bonds with current clients and partners, while developing genuine connections and attracting future ones.
“Events provide businesses a personal way to build relationships with their target audiences [as well as] build brand recognition and loyalty,” said Myke Nahorniak, co-founder and CEO of Localist. “LinkedIn messages, Facebook status updates and tweets cannot replace the meaningful connections made through in-person communication.”
Whether you’re hosting a product launch for 300 people or an employee training for 15, it’s key to approach each gathering with an understanding of the basic elements of event management: research, design, planning, coordination and evaluation. Once an event is broken up into these manageable stages, it is much easier to conceptualize it and pull together the many moving pieces needed to bring it to life. Here are 10 tips on how to plan an event that your attendees won’t soon forget.
1. Understand the purpose of your event.
Once you decide you want to host an event, your first step is to define what you hope to accomplish.
“It is important to know the goals and objectives of the event you are trying to produce before you can do anything else,” said Brian Worley, creative director and owner of B. Worley Productions.
Start by asking yourself why you are hosting the event and what you expect from it. Once you’ve identified your goals and expectations, you can then determine what kind of event will resonate with your intended audience.
“Rather than thinking of it as just a corporate event, think about it like you’re delivering an interactive brand experience,” said Serena Holmes, CEO of Tigris Events. “You want it to be meaningful and engaging.”
2. Decide on your audience.
An important part of the planning process is defining your target audience. Is it your company’s executives and upper management, business partners, or community members? Is it for longtime clients or potential clients? Maybe it’s a combination of some or all the above. Figuring out your target audience and understanding how to reach them is essential to a successful event. Once you can name your audience, you can cater the program to their needs and interests.
It’s always stressful to determine how many guests to invite to these events. However, according to Julian Jost, CEO and co-founder of Spacebase, it’s better to invite too many people than too few.
“For small businesses, empty seats and uneaten snacks look bad and are a waste of money,” he said. “In most situations, having too many people show up isn’t really going to spoil an event – with some exceptions, like venues with very limited space or where a three-course meal is planned. If too many people turn up, it’s also great marketing. You’re sure to create a buzz the next day, and it will add to anticipation about your next event.”
Regardless of how small or large the guest list is, what people will remember is how they were treated. “Every person attending the event is a potential brand ambassador or word-of-mouth spokesperson for … your business,” said Valerie Gernhauser, owner and principal planner of Sapphire Events. “It is important to make a significant impact on the guest experience by not overlooking the finer details that each attendee will appreciate firsthand.”
3. Set a realistic budget.
You need to know how much money you have to work with to determine what sort of event you can produce. According to Worley, decide early on how much you want to spend, and then plan on spending at least 10% more.
“Things are always changing, and you should have a cushion for added and unexpected expenses that pop up,” he said.
Once you have a budget, knowing where to allocate most of your resources is essential. For example, if you spend more on fancy decorations than you do on a skilled tech crew or personable speakers, your event might be lacking in substance.
Additionally, don’t skimp on food or beverages, and take into account attendees with dietary restrictions. Though this may not seem as important as other aspects of your event planning, audiences are more forgiving of missteps when they aren’t hungry or thirsty.
4. Choose a theme and format.
Once you have set your objectives and defined the audience, it’s time to choose a theme or topic for the event and determine the best format for presenting it to your guests.
For example, coordinating a client event with an industry expert, such as a guest speaker, can position your company as a trusted advisor, instead of just a vendor. Peer-to-peer learning with client panels, keynotes, roundtables and breakout session speakers are other popular options.
“Always offer opportunities for attendees to do something fun, memorable and entertaining that they wouldn’t typically do anywhere or anytime else,” said J.J. Barnes, chief marketing officer at enVista. “This might include hearing from a famous speaker, comedian or band; playing on an incredible golf course; or trying something new, thrilling or exclusive for the first time.”
A successful corporate event is both immersive and educational, according to Worley.
“The ones that are interactive – rather than sitting in a ballroom watching a speaker all day – are more successful, informative and fun,” he said. “We really try to create experiences these days that go beyond theater-style seating, and put the attendees in situations and in front of the right people for networking and learning.
“Determine what you are going to do to make this an ‘out of the box’ event,” Worley added. “Spend the time now to figure out what will differentiate your event from similar ones in your industry or even ones you’ve previously produced.”
5. Establish a project timeline.
Designing the event requires you to keep track of a broad range of tasks. This can be facilitated by creating a master detailed checklist. Online project management software can streamline all of the tiny details and help you stay organized.
“The overall planning checklist serves as a tool for the duration of the planning process,” Gernhauser said. She said her team starts with a list for 12 months out and works in checklist increments at nine months out, six months out, four months out, two months out, the month of, two weeks out, the week of and the day of the event. “Breaking down the task list like this helps our team foresee the schedule of milestones we need to target.”
Even without dedicated software, you can keep track of your checklist by creating a spreadsheet and using individual tabs for each event category, such as venue, speakers, schedule, agenda and travel. This way, you can list each activity or task, the people responsible for each part of the process, and all the relevant deadlines. Though Microsoft Excel is usually the go-to spreadsheet program, there are other options. We compiled a list of free alternatives to Microsoft Office for you.
Your project timeline is linked to your budget. If you are working with a tight budget, giving yourself more time to put together the event will help with costs and services. If you have a bigger budget, you can have a truncated project timeline.
6. Select an appropriate location.
Once you’ve determined the type of event you’d like to create and outlined a budget, it’s time to find a venue that allows you to bring your vision to life. It’s tempting, at times, to jump ahead and book a venue you’ve heard good things about or that you know is an up-and-coming hot spot, even if you haven’t quite honed in on the mission of your event. This is a mistake, according to Worley.
“It is always hard to fit a round peg in a square hole, so the same goes for an event,” he said. “Build the event architecture first, and then find the venue that fits all the specs you need to have for success.”
According to Barnes, “location is key to attendance.” She recommends booking a venue in a convenient area with a vibrant atmosphere so that attendees feel comfortable and willing to make the commute.
If you have a tight budget, Jost suggests reducing your costs by holding the event at a less popular time when the venue is more likely to be available, such as hosting a media breakfast on a Monday morning.
“Be sure to involve the local community as much as possible,” said Gina Argento, president and CEO of Broadway Stages. “We always use local vendors for catering needs, various rentals and many other crucial aspects. By doing this, we are supporting the local community and giving them the opportunity to network and expand their businesses.”
7. Plan the logistics of the day.
To have a successful event, you will have to identify, vet and contract all the necessary event specialists. This may include caterers, audiovisual technicians, printers, decorators, photographers, florists and security personnel, to name just a few. Of course, you must also book speakers and presenters, including prominent figures, experts or influencers, who can best communicate the ideas you’d like to circulate throughout the gathering.
To assure everything goes according to your plan, determine an agenda for the event, and make sure everyone on your team knows what aspects of the day they are responsible for managing.
You have to work intentionally to create a balance between keeping attendees engaged and giving them some freedom in their schedule. “People get bored easily,” said Jonathan Chan, former head of marketing at Insane Growth. “If there isn’t enough variety to keep them interested, then you’ve basically spent a lot of money on a vanity event.”
However, you don’t want to jam-pack the schedule either. There needs to be leeway in the itinerary to deal with unexpected occurrences that may arise. Additionally, your attendees need time to themselves to process what they are learning, recharge and connect with other attendees.
When deciding how to wrap up your day, skip the typical promotional giveaways with the company logo, and think of gifts that have a big impact with a small footprint. A much better idea is a digital take-home, according to Jost.
“That could be a promotional code, which gives guests a discount, or it could give access to online content from the event, like photos and videos,” he said. “It could also include the chance to register in advance for the next event. Give guests an incentive to stay in contact.”
8. Make use of technology.
Gone are the days of cumbersome mile-long lists to track all the moving parts of an event. Today, there are tons of event management software platforms and apps (some of which offer a free base product) that do everything from providing seamless on-site check-in of attendees to enhancing the appeal of workshops and presentations with simulations and virtual reality games.
The use of event apps can help you significantly streamline planning and increase engagement among attendees, according to Nick Jackson, Digital Marketing Manager at BrandX Agency.
“Event details can be populated quickly via spreadsheet templates and published instantly into an existing event container app, or event teams can create their own custom-branded event app to use for multiple events and conferences throughout the year,” said Jackson. “Most event apps have features that keep attendees up to date with all the info they need leading up to the event and during it, and it allows them to provide feedback to the speakers and organizers.”
Interactive features, such as live polling and session Q&A, can be easily displayed on large screens in the venue, and some apps have gamification features, such as scavenger hunts. You can make speaker slides available to attendees, as long as they are in the correct format, by simply uploading them to the event app.
Event management software keeps your affair on track, but it also makes it easier to work collaboratively with vendors and other creative partners.
“Streamlining communication among all the parties by using a project management system we can all collaborate on has been tremendously helpful in cutting down the frustrations of relying on email communication alone,” said Gernhauser, who uses Basecamp, a popular cloud-based project management system, and Social Tables, another web-based event planning platform known for its event-diagramming and seating capabilities.
In the planning and execution of your corporate event, you can use a plethora of software, apps and services to streamline the whole process.
9. Promote your event.
If people don’t know about your event, no one will show up, so it’s imperative to find creative ways to get the word out. For a small event with a limited guest list, you can simply send out invitations, but you need to be bolder for larger events.
“In today’s digital age, a variety of promotional methods are required to generate attendance,” Barnes said. “We typically start by emailing our database, placing ads in industry newsletters, adding our event to industry listings and directories, and encouraging our sales teams to promote [our conference] when visiting clients or partners on-site.”
For your event and its timeline, you want to treat the promotion of your corporate event as if you are making a marketing plan. Granted, marketing plans are typically done on a more general/macro scale to help drive your resources to bring awareness. Applying this to your specific event can be beneficial to its success. We laid out tips on how to create a great business marketing plan to give you a reference on how to translate these skills on a more micro level.
From there, you can promote on social media and have your team spread the word. Create an event website or, at a minimum, a new landing page on your current site. Your social media marketing can also include promo videos, guest blog posts, and Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter updates. Maintain uniformity by using the same handle and hashtag across platforms and consistent messaging so it’s always clear that the buzz is about one particular event.
You can also explore possible sponsorship opportunities for your event. Sponsors can fund a portion of the event, which helps you defray the costs. More importantly, sponsors have a vested interest in promoting your affair. Brainstorm a list of ideal sponsors whose brand, mission or services complement your event in some way. You can develop a range of sponsorship packages and reach out to them about potential partnership opportunities. This works best if you focus your pitch to highlight the value of attendees to potential sponsors.
“We partner with media sponsors to speak at our events,” Barnes said. “It’s a win-win situation, as they receive ‘free’ publicity and mindshare in return for publicizing our event.”
10. Celebrate and evaluate your event planning success.
If your event went off without a hitch, congratulations! You aren’t done yet, though. Now is the time to wrap up any loose ends, such as sending final payments to vendors, reconciling your finances and conducting a post-event debrief with your team.
Most importantly, you want to gather feedback from guests. If you used an event-planning app with a feedback option, you can use it to ask attendees questions. This information will help you determine if the event met your original goals and what impact, if any, it had on the attendees. You can then share this information with all the relevant stakeholders so an appropriate follow-up can be planned. The lessons you learn will help you refine your planning for the next event.
If you are managing or are a part of a team in the process of making these events, some of the feedback you get may not be positive. It’s important to understand how to give or take this type of feedback, and we broke down how important giving and accepting constructive criticism is .
Bassam Kaado, Sammi Caramela and Nicole Fallon contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
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The Complete Guide to Corporate Event Planning in 2022
Does the word ‘corporate’ scare you? How about ‘corporate event planning?’ Are there visions of clipboards or dull keynotes dancing in your head?
While anything dubbed ‘corporate’ might conjure images of pantsuits and cubicles, fight the urge to equate it with ‘stiff’ and ‘boring’ –– especially when it comes to corporate event planning.
After all, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series –– or any Red Bull event for that matter –– is a corporate event. And we can probably all agree planning that experience was anything but boring.
In simple terms, corporate event planning is the process of organizing events for a brand or business to achieve business goals.
Here are a few examples of areas a business might be looking to make progress in by hosting a corporate event:
- Brand awareness : A branded pop-up or conference session can make a splash. Take Bala’s Disco event for SXSW 2022 . The workout brand hosted a party with exercise classes, cocktails, and dancing to capture attention and increase brand recognition.
- Thought leadership : Gatherings like The Atlantic Festival are designed to position event hosts as experts, leaders, and shapers in their field.
- Lead generation or customer retention : Ever been to a car show like the North American International Auto Show ? Big companies like Ford and Toyota use those spaces to reimagine the sales process, reach new customers, and retain current ones.
- Employee engagement : Whether you’re reinforcing company values or fostering collaboration, internal corporate events can go a long way in making your company a stand-out place to work. Holiday parties, milestone celebrations, and team offsites are all corporate events.
Ready to start planning? We’ve outlined a corporate event planning roadmap and a free checklist to help guide you through the process. But first, let’s do a deeper dive on different types of corporate events and how to think about your planning timeline.
In this guide:
The many faces of corporate events, how to make sure time is on your side, how to plan a successful corporate event, your corporate event planning checklist, how technology can uplevel your corporate events.
Before looking at the planning process, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives so you understand what type of corporate event might be right for your business needs.
Corporate events, like the corporations they’re associated with, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. They can be internal, geared toward employees or internal stakeholders, or external, delivered to a broader audience or the general public. They can also be in person, hybrid, or virtual –– the format largely depends on the goal of the event.
Let’s run through some common types of corporate events:
- Conferences : These experiences typically happen annually and they’re big-name, big-effort events that can take months to plan. They often involve sponsors , and usually include packed agendas featuring thought leaders and expert commentary. As an example, check out how the World Wide Fund for Nature chose a virtual conference format to bring debates on ecological issues, expert presentations, and a sponsor expo to their international audience.
- Product launches : If you’re introducing a new product or service, a launch event can help build excitement and drive adoption or sales. That’s what marketing agency N6A found when they helped their client launch a product — a cannabis-focused careers platform — via a virtual event.
- Trade shows : These tend to work best when companies want to demo products, meet prospects, and network with peers all at once.
- Internal meetings : Internal company meetings can be focused on specific teams –– think training sessions or offsites. But they also include company-wide experiences (an all-hands meeting, for example) and events designed for a company’s key stakeholders, like board meetings or investor updates. They can happen at scale: GitHub’s company-wide event featured more than 1,100 virtual attendees around the world.
- Training workshops : From internal security trainings to external product workshops, training events are often designed to be hands-on and participatory. The Flemish Department of Education and Training , for example, runs cultural education training events for students and teachers.
- Fundraising events : With galas, benefits, danceathons, silent auctions, food drives, and more, the corporate events side of charitable giving or fundraising can take many forms.
- Webinars : These events are focused on conveying information to an audience, whether it’s a presentation, walk-through, demo, or video.
- Team-building events : These events typically focus on building morale and positive rapport across a team — from scavenger hunts to talent shows, there’s no shortage of ways to bring employees together to help build bonds.
- Customer Advisory Board events: Customer Advisory Board events (also known as CABs) — and other kinds of focus group-centric gatherings — bring consumers together to give feedback, perspective, and advice to a company.
When planning any corporate event, there’s one thing you’ll want to make sure you have enough of: time.
When do you need to start planning your corporate event?
That depends entirely on how complex it’s going to be, the amount of people you’re expecting, the size of your team, and the format of your event. Note that completely virtual corporate events won’t require physical spaces, travel arrangements, and other logistics specific to in-person experiences, so they can take less time to plan.
Consider the below as broad guidance:
And this breakdown of key components you’ll need to tackle:
- Getting universal buy-in : Stakeholders will need to be on the same page about the goals of your event, which can take time.
- Marketing your event: From email campaigns and social media messaging to paid advertisements and beyond — even if it’s an internal event — you’ll want to build excitement and rack up registrations for the big day.
- Sourcing speakers . Need a big name that can live up to the expectations of your 100,000 attendees? Start planning early. Even for small events, subject matter experts are in high demand and need quite a bit of notice.
- Landing sponsors : Sponsors don’t just fill out an expo hall; they can make events profitable . But finding good ones takes time, especially considering that companies often have limited budgets for sponsorship. Seek to secure sponsors as early as possible.
- Locking in your technical setup : You don’t want to be dealing with technical difficulties on event day . So, you’ll want to work through your setup long before showtime — everything from how you’ll handle audio and video for speakers to how you’ll respond to audience tech issues.
- Branding your event : Event branding makes it clear to would-be attendees what your event stands for. For virtual events, key branding elements will be entirely digital, like designs for your virtual event platform . In-person event branding will require even more time, as you’ll need to consider things like signage and other physical materials. No matter what type of corporate event you’re producing, make sure your brand shines on your event website .
- Planning food and beverage : Food and beverage , especially at an in-person or hybrid event, takes time to organize as there are multiple factors to consider: menu, pricing, catering company, sustainability, health and wellness, and more.
Remember, the amount of time it takes to bring your event to life also depends on the size of your team. If it’s just you, aim to give yourself the gift of plenty of buffer room.
If there are a few dozen corporate event planners and organizers working with you, it’s possible you’ll find yourself speeding through your timeline.
Now that you’ve moved through some prep, you’re ready to start planning in earnest. Let this step-by-step tutorial help you conquer corporate event planning.
Step 1: Define success
You can’t know the right format for your corporate event until you know what your desired outcome is.
So, ask yourself a few questions: What’s the intended outcome of this event? What business objective are we driving toward?
Write your goals in the S.M.A.R.T. framework :
- Specific : A specific goal narrows down the type of success an event organizer seeks.
- Measurable : A measurable goal typically relates to how you’ll evaluate the goal in a quantitative way.
- Achievable : Once a goal can be measured, you’ll be able to define what will indicate the goal has been achieved.
- Relevant : A relevant goal ensures buy-in from your various stakeholders.
- Time-bound : Setting a time-bound goal means that the goal is aligned with a specific timeframe so anyone reviewing it or acting upon it knows the deadline.“
Step 2: Develop your budget
Once you’ve nailed down the results you’re aiming to achieve, it’s time to build out your event budget .
An event budget helps you determine if you have the financial resources needed to bring your event to life and achieve the goals you’ve outlined.
You’ll break your budget into expenses and revenue.
Primary expenses will include:
- Venue (whether virtual, via a tech platform, or physical)
- Food and beverage
- Speakers and entertainment
And your main sources of revenue will usually come from:
- Ticket sales
- Product sales
Before you finalize your budget, add a contingency cost buffer (10-15% of the total is usually advised) for unexpected expenses.
Use a free event budget template to collect all your numbers in one place, then send the final draft off to your stakeholders for final approval.
Step 3: Do a deep dive on what your audience wants
An event is almost always about the audience.
Whether your audience is primarily prospects, customers, employees, or industry peers, it’s full of people looking for value. That value could be emotional, social, educational, or something else altogether. And the success of an event is often determined by how much value it drove for its audience.
So, first you need to figure out what your audience really cares about.
If you can, go directly to the source by sending surveys to your email lists, asking for feedback on social media, and hosting focus groups with would-be attendees.
Or take a more quantitative approach and build a picture of your audience’s motivations, needs, values, and goals using platforms like Google Analytics , Facebook Audience Insights , and Nielsen .
Consider questions like:
- What motivates your audience members?
- What problems do they need help solving?
- What kind of people are they interested in learning from or connecting with?
- Are there community leaders who could bring them together?
- What’s most relevant for your audience right now?
Add an audience demographics layer, too. Look at:
- Geography : Where does your audience come from? Consider countries, cultures, and languages.
- Career : What industry does your audience work in? What experience levels do they have? What do they already know and what’s most relevant to their learning?
- Gender : What is the gender breakdown? Do you have equal representation?
Constantly ask yourself: Are there things you can do to make sure everyone who’s part of your audience feels comfortable and included? Consider how you’ll make your event as accessible as possible.
Step 4: Design for engagement
Events are experiences.
Think of the most magical events you’ve been to: maybe it was a wedding that felt like a fairytale, a championship game where you were swept up in the collective energy, a product launch party where you met your new business partner.
Events become magical when they are grounded in the audience’s values, and when they’re designed to engage people .
When designing your event, think about:
- Theme : Tie your event together with a fun event theme that will resonate with your audience.
- Stand-out content : If your content falls flat, so will the rest of your corporate event. Focus on providing the very best event content so all your attendees are passively engaged during less active sessions.
- Participation : What opportunities are you giving your audience to interact with your content? Can you add in workshops, breakout Q&A sections, or even get people started with some thought-provoking pre-written questions?
- Community : How will your attendees get to know one another? Consider adding a networking session in the middle of your event to encourage conversation and debate on your first set of topics.
- Co-creation : You want your audience to feel like they are owning the success of your event right along with you. According to industry experts, a key trend for successful events in 2022 and beyond is giving attendees the chance to make something they can take home with them — whether literally or figuratively.
- Technology : You have no shortage of tech options at your fingertips to make your event something folks will remember. Will you add a virtual reality expo space to explore? A digital photobooth? Artificial intelligence-enabled matchmaking for networking?
Step 5: Choose the right venue
You want people to feel welcome at your event. So choose a space that conveys that message.
In-person space considerations include size and cost, as well as:
- Wi-Fi and technical support : Do you have what you need to make sure the technical side of your event runs smoothly, and that attendees will be able to stay connected throughout the experience?
- Food and beverage options : What can you offer attendees and how does it meet dietary, wellness, and sustainability expectations?
- Health and safety : Returning to in-person events requires a lot of forethought, and a key consideration is the level of health and safety policies required and desired.
- Location : How easily will attendees be able to get to your event?
Virtual and hybrid venues have their own set of considerations:
- Capacity: How many attendees can participate at once?
- Customization : A virtual venue should be easier to customize than an in-person one (no architects or interior designers needed). Can you add custom graphics? Names? Spaces?
- Tech : Are live-streaming capabilities built into the platform of your choice? What about networking options? Live chats and polls?
- App integrations : Can you combine your marketing software with your virtual event management software? What about gamification tools, data analysis, and more?
Virtual events tend to open up possibilities for attendees and speakers since the potential audience becomes anyone with an internet connection. You can bring together a diverse audience and give them multiple ways to interact with one another and your content, including:
- Networking spaces
- Virtual expos and fairs
- Games and challenges
- Options to rewatch content after the event
Step 6: Promote your experience
Effective event marketing and branding can play a big role when it comes to filling up your registration list and getting attendees excited for your live event. These tools help illustrate what your event will be about and convince audience members of the value it will deliver.
When marketing to your audience, call on the knowledge you uncovered about their values, motivations, and goals.
For example, if you’re promoting a fun employee event like Greenhouse’s employee offsite , you might do a text-heavy drip campaign of emails explaining the various games that await participants: in this case, Zombie Battle, Salty Telephone, and Beg, Barter, Solve.
But if you’re promoting a more serious event, like the UN Climate Change Conference , you might lean on sparse graphics with provocative messaging to create eye-catching advertisements.
It’s not just emails and advertisements, either. Event promotion often requires an integrated, layered effort featuring an event website, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer engagement, and more.
However you decide to approach event marketing, get started early. You’ll want attendees to have time to plan –– and you’ll want to give yourself some runway in case you need to tweak your approach along the way.
Step 7: Tackle logistics for the live show
It’s all in the details.
Running through potential scenarios could be the difference between your audience struggling to hear a speaker whose microphone died, and said speaker delivering the most engaging presentation of your corporate event.
While event promotions continue running to drive registrations, it’s time to coordinate the rest of the event’s logistics.
Logistical to-dos might include:
- Finalizing your event’s agenda
- Creating your run-of-show document
- Setting up your virtual event environment
- Coordinating presentations with speakers
- Completing your on-site venue coordination
- Confirming and organizing audio/visual (A/V) production needs
- Doing dry runs and tech checks with presenters and hosts
- Nailing down any remaining experiential elements and things that might need to be mailed out to attendees, like swag
The list goes on.
Step 8: Put on a memorable experience
This is where it all comes together. Months of hard work, planning, and coordinating all culminate in attendees gathering for your experience.
Day of, you’ll want to make sure your team members are on the same page regarding their roles and responsibilities. Make sure you talk to:
- On-site staff , including event producers, emcees, hosts, reception workers, speaker liaisons, lead event managers, A/V technicians, guest relations coordinators, sponsor coordinators, and more
- Virtual staff , including producers, emcees and moderators, speaker liaisons, technical support, and chat managers
- Hybrid staff , including anyone supporting the coordination between experiences
Make sure the lines of communication stay open as your event is happening in case anything goes awry and needs to be addressed in the moment. Coordinating through software such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, or Walkie Talkies (for those in a physical venue), will make sure you’re on top of any issue.
Step 9: Evaluate your event’s results
As you celebrate a successful corporate event, remember to debrief with your team and complete post-event reporting for your stakeholders. Take a look at data and analytics to measure your event’s performance.
Look at event data like:
- Attendance : The percentage of registrants who actually attended the event
- Average time spent in the event : How long participants stayed at your event
- Visitor numbers : Unique visitors to different areas of the virtual venue, like keynotes and sponsor expos
- Connections made : How many participants connected with one another
- Event Net Promoter Score (NPS) : A number from 1-10 that tracks how satisfied attendees were with an event and how likely they are to refer that event to others or attend again
If you use a virtual event platform , the above data should be easy to pull together. Once you have your data, collect it in a post-event report to help you — and importantly, your stakeholders — evaluate how well your event performed relative to its goals and objectives.
Follow up with thank you notes and surveys to make sure you get feedback on what your participants enjoyed –– and what you can improve next time.
A corporate event planning checklist is a simple tool that can help you keep track of all the details in front of you, and make sure you’re ahead of the game when it comes to organizing your next corporate event. Consider these tasks as you navigate the process:
6-12 months out
- Determine your event’s goals and objectives
- Set your objectives, key results, and metrics
- Decide what type of event would best meet those goals
- Decide on theme and creative direction
- Create a budget and get approval from your stakeholders
- Set a date and time
- Start planning your location or venue
5-6 months out
- Finalize venue and vendors
- Identify speakers and start reaching out to them
- Start looking for sponsors and reach out to them
- Kick off your event branding, create a style guide, and start designing assets
3-5 months out
- Build event website
- Start event marketing and promotions to drive registration
- Finalize speakers
- Finalize sponsors
- Update your budget
1-3 months out
- Finalize details and logistics
- Source physical and virtual swag
- Update safety protocols, if necessary
0-1 month out
- Do final run-of-show rehearsals
- Get in sync with your event team on roles and responsibilities during the event
- Communicate final details to attendees
- Run final teaser campaigns
- Run last-minute promotions to fill any unclaimed spots
- Send attendee survey and thank you notes
- Send speaker gifts and thank you notes
- Schedule debrief with stakeholders on event performance against goals
- Update budgets, run-of-show, and processes for your next event
- Use event content to fuel marketing activities and branding campaigns
Want to learn more about hosting and marketing events? Read other Event Marketing Guides from Hopin.
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to planning corporate events.
The right event technology can simplify the corporate event planning process and support you as you create the best attendee experience possible.
See how Hopin’s leading event platform can help you achieve success with every type of corporate event –– whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in person. Contact our team of corporate event experts today to learn more.
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A Simplified Guide To Corporate Event Planning
Are you thinking about planning an event for your company? Do you know where to start? What are the essentials when planning a corporate event? I will answer these questions and guide you through the corporate event planning process in this article.
What is a corporate event?
A new product launch, an event celebrating the achievements of your marketing or sales team, or a team picnic out in the countryside are all examples of corporate events.
When organized by a company, a corporate event can focus on its employees ( team building activities , corporate meetings) or its clients (trade shows, client appreciation events, product launches). The former is a great way to appreciate your employees and let them know that they are valued in the organization. After all, employees are the most valuable resource for any company.
Corporate events are significant for companies as they provide opportunities for the inception of new ideas within the workplace. Also, they can be fun while being informative simultaneously, helping to build employee morale and facilitate team building .
When planning a corporate event, be prepared to face specific challenges such as budget constraints, low attendance, etc.
Planning A Successful Corporate Event
Before planning a corporate event, it is essential to map out everything that needs to be done. Here are the things to understand and take care of before organizing a corporate event -
1. Set Goals and Objectives
The first and foremost thing you need to take care of is setting a type and objective for your event.
Figure out what your corporate event will be about and what its objective will be. Whether it is a team picnic, a team meeting, or anything else, having a proper goal will help you run everything smoothly.
The main focus should be the people who attend it, so you should keep their wants and expectations in mind. Make a list of the things your guests would expect and ensure to include them in your event.
2. Set the Event's Budget
After you have set an objective for your event, it's time to determine your budget.
When deciding your budget, you have to consider each possible expense that the event will incur. Put limitations on your budget to restrict yourself from overspending.
Minimize your costs and negotiate prices wherever possible. This will help you save a lot when you are allocating resources.
3. Make a List of Guests
After planning the budget and setting the objective, it's time to make a list of guests you want to invite (if it's a client-specific event) or create an attractive invitation card for your employees (if it's an internal event).
Determining your audience pre-event will help you choose the required equipment and services appropriately.
Create unique and innovative cards which look incredible and send them out to your attendees. If your objective is to attain or entertain clients, send the invitations one or two weeks before the event.
4. Choose a Location
Now that you are done with the guest list choosing a location is the next task. The key is to choose a place that makes the event a memorable one.
While doing this, keep your budget in mind. Choose a venue that will appeal to your target audience, one which your employees will appreciate. Moreover, your venue should have a theme that reflects the objective of the event.
Choose a valid date by avoiding significant holidays and book the venue days beforehand to avoid any last-minute complications.
5. Spend Time on Marketing
If your event is an external one, you need to spend time and money on marketing and advertising it. But that doesn't mean that you don't need to market it if your event is an internal one. It is essential to incite excitement in all your attendees building up to the day it is held to create a hit event.
Use social media to promote your event and use channels like content creation and email marketing to build excitement among attendees until the day of the event. There are numerous free email marketing services available, as well as a variety of social media automation tools for managing your social media accounts.
You can also hire corporate event planners to help you promote your event and help you in the event management process.
Events with consistent marketing campaigns will always be unique and more attractive.
6. Make all the Arrangements
After getting all of the above done, it is now time to make all the arrangements you need for the upcoming event.
Choose a name and theme for your event and arrange all the equipment and things you will need. If you plan an award ceremony, items like gifts, prizes, souvenirs, and certificates should be made ready beforehand. Also, don't forget to make a proper arrangement of necessary things like speakers, microphones, cameras, chairs, tables, projectors, etc.
Decide what activities you will include in your event and inform your staff and management about them. It is essential to have activities which involve all your employees.
Taking care of all these will ensure that your event runs smoothly without any hassles.
On the Day of the Event
7. Keep Track and Evaluate
Keep track of your event's budget, goals, venue, and other factors related to it, and ensure that everything is taken care of. You also need to keep track of all the expenses which have been incurred during the event. This is one of the most important aspects of organizing a corporate event.
Also, evaluate your event's success by determining if your attendees are enjoying it or not. If not, take feedback and make necessary arrangements to uplift the mood of the attendees.
8. Collect and Share Ideas
A corporate event is a perfect platform to collect and share great ideas.
During the event, find ways to collect ideas from your attendees, improving your company or your products.
Some of your employees can conduct a survey or interview attendees during the event to find out what they think about it. Create digital business cards with survey form links to facilitate easy sharing with attendees. However, you can also use the best digital business card software to generate your cards. This will help you to include innovative ideas in future blog posts or other content.
9. Encourage Participation
Promote participation among your attendees and encourage them to have fun and relax. When your attendees are happy, your event is bound to be a success.
If it is a product launch, then make sure every attendee takes part in the demo. If it is a team event such as a picnic, make sure every employee participates in the activities conducted.
To make sure everyone is engaged, you have to conduct an event that is innovative and exciting. Also, if it is an internal corporate event, you should take out time to appreciate your employees.
10. Network and Make Connections
Have a dedicated person to greet every guest at the door. A corporate event is a perfect place to meet potential clients and make connections with people.
Introduce your employees to your guests and make everyone acquainted. Doing so will bring up opportunities for new relationships and connections.
Also, make sure that your attendees have a good time, and remember to have a good time yourself.
Post-Event Touch Up
11. Follow-Up After the Event
The best way to close out a successful corporate event is to conduct a follow-up after it is over.
Thank all the people for attending your event by sending emails. If you are very busy, use pre-made content and send emails using email automation software . Also, post-event emails are a good way to market new products and services.
Make connections on social media to build company reputation and attract clients. Conduct surveys among your attendees to gather their input about the event. This will help you to throw a better event next time around.
Though it may seem to be a tall order, planning a corporate event can be a fun and easy task if you understand what needs to be done and take care of them accordingly. If everything is mapped out beforehand, the planning process becomes more straightforward, and everything will pan out smoothly.
You have to be creative, organized, and innovative while planning a corporate event. Keep track of all finances and resources and make sure there are no shortcomings in your event. Your event has to create excitement among attendees so that they all attend it.
Following all the steps given in this article, including the follow-up process, will help you create a rocking corporate event. So, use this corporate event planning guide and organize a corporate event that is bound to succeed.
Besides working as a content marketer at Vantage Circle , Shah Alif Ahmed is also an internationally certified nutrition specialist, competitive bodybuilder and a musician. For any queries reach out to [email protected]
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An event manager’s guide to corporate event planning
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Corporate events by size
Corporate events by type.
- The challenges
- A checklist
- Event manager skills
- What is event management software
- Do I need to use software
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- Top 20 event management tools
- 10 Best corporate event management companies in the UK
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Corporate event planning is a huge undertaking.
You want to inspire internal and external stakeholders while leaving a lasting, positive impression. Successful events efficiently manage people, dates, ideas, numbers, and more—but, how do you ensure you don’t miss a thing?
Spoiler alert: it’s with a comprehensive approach to corporate event management.
If you’re creating an event roadmap, or simply exploring where to begin for the next business event, this corporate event planning guide is for you.
You’ll learn to navigate everyday challenges, implement best practices, create must-have checklists, and even manage post-event engagement strategies—everything you need to create show-stopping events.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at:
What is corporate event planning?
The challenges of corporate event planning.
- The 5C’s of corporate event planning
- 6 steps for seamless corporate events
Corporate event planning: a checklist for success
Let’s dive in and explore what it takes to make corporate events successful.
Corporate event planning involves organizing business events to engage with customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Common reasons for hosting corporate events include:
- To educate employees or the public about new initiatives and offerings
- To reward staff for their contribution to the company’s growth and success
- To celebrate milestones with clients, employees, and other members
- To announce organizational changes and potential impacts
- To facilitate collaboration and networking among different business teams
Be it a client hospitality event or an internal training seminar–the ultimate aim is to bring people together and help them develop business relationships.
Booming businesses usually have several events on the horizon. You can categorize them into the following types, depending on their size.
1. Small events
Small events host smaller groups of up to 250 people and are flexible with venues or activities. Common examples include training days, seminars, or departmental conferences.
Small event planning requirements:
- Lunch : depending on your needs, this could be ordering food or bringing in a caterer.
- Transport : you need to ensure attendees are able to get to and from the event, especially when entertaining external stakeholders.
- Refreshments : keep everyone hydrated and alert throughout the day.
- Online registration : make sure attendees can easily access event information, such as timings and location.
- Breakout sessions : you’ll need to organize space–be it online or in-person—to host breakout sessions.
- Audio-visual facilities : find a space that can accommodate your tech needs for presentations and speakers.
- Main stage itinerary planning : enable attendees to keep track of the main events, such as speaker timings and Q&As.
Some small events could be twenty people on a training day, or it could be 150 people attending a company mixer. Either way, event planners need to prepare and accommodate all attendees.
2. Midsize events
Midsize events include conferences or leadership summits for up to 1,000 attendees. Such events rely on technology to create and execute well-oiled plans and bring together employees from all over the organization, valuable customers, and senior leaders.
In addition to the requirements for smaller events, midsize event planning requirements include:
- Pre-event orientation : get everyone settled with event onboarding and orientation.
- Post-event entertainment : corporate events are often a mix of business and pleasure—ensure guests are kept entertained throughout their time at your event.
- Pre-event communications: whether this is with sponsors or attendees, you want a way to communicate event-related changes and updates quickly and easily.
- Hotel accommodation and transport: if you’ve got guests coming from far and wide, you’ll need to organize accommodation and event transport.
- Event mobile app : an event application enables you to keep guests informed on any updates, and manage guest lists and ticketing.
3. Large events
Large corporate events are complex and can be incredibly tricky to handle. These events often take place over multiple days and attract thousands of attendees.
Comprehensive event planning is vital for successfully managing these events. Typical examples are multi-day conventions, business conferences, award ceremonies, and trade shows.
In addition to the requirements of a small and midsize event, large event planning requirements include:
- Speaker management: effectively find, book, and manage keynote speakers for your corporate event.
- Delegate management: keep stakeholders happy by providing a top-notch experience to delegates.
- Event registration: for big events, you’ll need a streamlined way to accept and manage event registration.
- Staffing: you’ll need to keep a close eye on your staffing capabilities to ensure you’re never run off your feet.
- Flight and hotel room reservations: big events can often mean reserving full hotel floors for the expected guests. You need a way to manage these bookings and ensure a smooth experience.
Large events require months of planning and precise coordination. You’ll need to approach these events with ample time to plan and execute your ideas—or you risk things going wrong.
Now we’ve looked into the different-sized events you can host, let's take a look at the different types of corporate events.
There are many different types of corporate events—some more common than others. Here are some of the types of events you can expect to encounter in the corporate world:
- Trade shows: reinforce a company’s image as an industry leader and help them generate leads. Trade shows are a great way to gather key players in your industry to discuss industry trends and figures.
- Product launches: release new products to create buzz among customers and the media. A great example of this is Apple Events, where the company gathers industry leaders and press to learn about new products and features.
- Appreciation events: celebrate employees with events to motivate and appreciate employees.
- Team-building events: organize indoor and outdoor activities to boost employee confidence and morale. This can be a large offsite event or a smaller on-site team-building session.
- Seminars and conferences : invite speakers to enhance employees’ or internal stakeholders’ knowledge on specific topics. This can be a great way to engage employees around a certain topic.
- Board and shareholder meetings: bring together board members and shareholders to review business performance and make crucial decisions. A professional event helps reassure your higher-ups that everything’s running smoothly.
- Organizational milestone celebrations: celebrate major milestones or anniversaries, such as financial accomplishments and company milestones. For example, you might want to celebrate ten years of your company’s existence with a fancy event for all stakeholders.
Corporate event planning takes your events to the next level—but it doesn't come without its fair share of challenges.
Your event can fail despite your super-human organizational skills. That’s why corporate event managers need to expect the unexpected and prepare accordingly.
Let’s look at the common corporate event planning challenges you want to avoid running into.
There’s no bigger problem than having too few staff for an event. Understaffing increases work pressure on the event day and leaves your team scrambling to meet attendee expectations.
Consider your event and the expected numbers, and how many members of staff are required to ensure you’re never run off your feet. Be clear on roles and responsibilities—managing your events should be similar to managing your company.
You want to err on the side of caution when it comes to staffing—if you’re unsure, be generous. If you’ve run past events, look back on how they were staffed—did you have too few or too many staff on the event? Get in touch with an events company to source staff for your event—they can advise on the optimum staffing levels.
Sticking to your event budget
Event budgeting can set you up for success—or failure—when planning an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event. Budget is an issue that troubles even the most experienced event planners—costs quickly add up and, before you know it, you’ve blown the budget.
Things change all the time, and you may have additional requirements just before the event. For example, supplier costs may go up based on the actuals or you may encounter an unanticipated expenditure. That’s why it’s wise to keep your expenses modest and ensure you budget a contingency fund.
You can even analyze previous research and data to identify the specific spending on each occasion. For example, compare event lifecycle budget line items—such as venue, food, beverage, travel, accommodation, speaker fees, staffing, and marketing—with those from your previous events.
You can also use dedicated corporate event management software to plan event budgets, create budget reports, and uncover the total return on investment (ROI). These tools will help you track spending, and help ensure you’re making budget-friendly decisions.
Event budgeting made easy
Download our free event budget template to get you started.
Finding the right venue
Pinning down the right venue is crucial for event success.
You want your venue to fit the event, but you often need to secure a location before starting to plan. Venues require a lot of advanced notice, which is why it’s essential you’re organized from the get-go.
You want to consider multiple factors before choosing a venue, such as:
- Location: can attendees conveniently reach the venue? Is it accessible for all employees?
- Availability: is the venue available on the dates you’re planning? Can it be booked for the entirety of your event?
- Capacity: will the venue fit the number of attendees you’re expecting?
- Budget: does the venue cost fit your event budget? Do they offer any special rates for large-scale events?
- Safety and security: does the venue maintain standard safety and security protocols? Will guests be safe during the event?
There is no easy way to source the perfect venue—but there are a couple of ways you can make sure you’re not scrambling to find a venue at the last minute:
- Prepare a list of venues once you understand what type of event you’re looking to host, and what type of venue you need to do it. Consider what other events venues have hosted, and what attendees have to say about the experience.
- Write requests for proposals (RFPs) based on your understanding of event objectives and requirements. Don’t forget to add budget requirements and RFP submission deadlines. You can also use a venue sourcing tool to filter venues and send them RFP requests one by one. You’ll get lots more information directly from the source than you will online. Plus, venues want your business—they might offer additional services to win you over.
- Evaluate RFPs based on how well they meet your requirements. Consider venue layouts and venue managers’ responsiveness too. If some venues take weeks to reply, you’ll likely also encounter communication issues further down the line.
If you’re flexible with event dates, look for venues with seasonal pricing. You might get a better deal since some venues offer lower prices during certain times of the year.
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Attendee engagement and communication
A solid attendee engagement plan is key to exceeding attendee expectations. That’s why it’s vital to consider your prospective audience and understand their preferences.
You also need to avoid information overload, which can quickly disengage participants. Here are a couple of ways to ensure that your attendees remain engaged throughout an event.
- Organize plenary sessions with engaging speakers to ensure delegate participation and high attendee engagement. You can also arrange table discussions or real-time Q&As to keep attendees involved in the event.
- Create interactive content for conference breakouts with targeted and interactive content to help keep everyone on their toes.
- Create networking opportunities to make sure there are enough ways for attendees to connect. Connecting with others in their field is a top benefit for employees when it comes to corporate events.
You want to learn from feedback— use technology tools to run live polls and gather data that’ll help you adjust priorities. That way, you can continue to learn as you organize more and more events.
These are the common problems you’ll face regardless of the type of event you’re hosting. Even smaller events can run into these issues—so, how do you avoid them?
Let’s look at the five C’s of corporate event management for tips on how to ensure your events are a success—from attendee registration to post-event reporting.
The 5C’s of corporate event management
Let’s explore the 5C’s of event management before discussing best practices for organizing show-stopping corporate events. These 5C’s will help ensure your event runs smoothly from start to finish .
- Concept: make sure you’ve got clear event objectives to ensure both stakeholders and the event planning team have a good idea of what’s going on.
- Coordination: consider how you’ll plan your event, including logistics, strategy, plans, and budget. Event planning requires precise plans and coordinated efforts, so starting sooner rather than later is a must.
- Control: assign roles to the members of your team to ensure all bases are covered. Establish a hierarchy for approval—event management software can speed this process up and simply assign responsibilities.
- Culmination: all your hard work leading up to the event day is worth nothing if you’re unable to execute your plans. Ensure everything's in place for a seamless event when the day arrives.
- Closing: measure your event success to improve on future event planning. Consider aspects such as attendee engagement, attendee satisfaction, and event KPIs for measuring event success.
Keeping track of the 5C’s of corporate event planning enables you to break your event up into stages, and seamlessly manage your event management process.
Having trouble mapping out your corporate event? Try TravelPerk’s Event Management Solution to find out how you could speed-up your event-based business trips by managing attendees, booking travel, scheduling meetings, and choosing a location—all on one platform.
Corporate event management best practices: 6 steps for seamless corporate events
Now, onto the dos and don’ts of event planning. Whether you’re a new or a pro event manager, follow these steps when planning your next big corporate event.
1. Outline event objectives
You can’t create a compelling event plan without knowing what you’re looking to achieve. Discuss even objectives with your senior leadership team and develop a solid understanding of why this event matters.
Consider the following when setting your event objectives:
- Research the target audience and understand what they want from events.
- Decide whether you want to educate, motivate, or inspire with your content.
- Have a clear purpose to align your event with organizational objectives from the outset.
- Zero in on the metrics that you want to measure for determining event success.
Once you identify the focus of an event, you’ll be in a better position to tackle the event budget.
2. Set your event budget
Budgeting is one of the top challenges of planning and executing events. It’s essential to map event costs beforehand to ensure you don’t overspend.
Here are some event budgeting best practices to create a successful corporate event.
- Make a list of everything you’ll need throughout the event lifecycle to estimate event expenses, including taxes and overheads.
- Research event budget costs for estimated pricing close to the actual cost.
- Look back on previous events for an idea of costs.
You can manage the event budget on a simple Google spreadsheet, or use event management software for added capabilities.
You’ll often have a set budget for your event—you need to make it work. Don’t hesitate to ask vendors for several quotes and choose those that fit your vision.
3. Develop an event marketing plan
For your public events you’ll need to allow time to market your event—all your planning is for nothing if nobody attends, after all.
Ask these questions to better understand your audience:
- What are the demographic trends of your attendees?
- What social media channels do they use?
- Which digital touchpoints are necessary for reaching them?
- Does the event solve a specific problem?
- When are your attendees usually online?
These answers will help you lay the foundations of your event marketing strategy. Think of every touchpoint you can use to reach attendees throughout the event lifecycle—be it with in-office displays or company-wide emails.
4. Consider sponsors and how you’ll find them
Finding the right sponsors for your public events can be a win-win for both you and your chosen sponsor. Event sponsors provide you with key event resources in return for promotion—you can have more than one sponsor at a time, especially for bigger events
Here’s how you can go about finding a sponsor for your event:
- Identify a list of target sponsors capable of providing the resources you need.
- Align sponsor interest with event objectives to gain interest.
- Create different sponsorship levels to cater to sponsors of all sizes.
Building relationships with sponsors helps your long-term corporate events plan—one successful event could easily turn into a dozen.
5. Monitor attendee experience
Once you’ve taken care of the event goals, budget, marketing, and sponsors—take time to think about attendees.
How can you ensure all attendees enjoy the experience? The answer lies in personalizing the attendee experience with mobile experiences and engaging content.
Here’s what you can do to ensure interaction among your audience:
- Drive audience engagement with interactive maps, quizzes, feedback surveys, polls, and other forms of gamification.
- Use mobile apps to send last-minute event change notifications or discounts.
- Allow attendees to personalize schedules and attend different networking sessions.
Lots of these features are made a whole lot easier with event management software. Many event management solutions offer a mobile app to facilitate the experience for attendees.
6. Post-event engagement strategies
Your event isn’t over once the last guest exits the venue—there’s still lots of work to be done. This is where the post-event engagement phase begins. It’s a key stage for gathering feedback to improve future events.
Consider these post-event engagement strategies to provide a great post-event experience for your attendees:
- Create a post-event survey: to measure attendee satisfaction and offer an incentive to increase participation.
- Set up a follow-up networking event: to create a community and facilitate conversations among returning guests.
- Create text and video blogs: to repurpose valuable conference content. You’ve likely gathered ample information, both from speakers and attendees.
- Send a thank you gift: to appreciate attendees’ time and participation. This can also be a great way to promote sponsors and satisfy agreements.
- Host a social media contest: to generate buzz and get more user-generated content by getting attendees to share their experience.
- Offer discounts and deals: to promote products in the days following your event, when attendees are most engaged.
Planning corporate events can be overwhelming even when you know what it takes to bring events to life.
We’ve put together this corporate event checklist to take the guesswork out of planning and free up your headspace. When planning your event, make sure you:
- Develop event objectives that align with organizational goals.
- Develop and stick to a corporate event budget that accounts for all aspects of your event.
- Source venues months in advance to secure your ideal location.
- Talk with sponsors about how you can work together on your corporate events.
- Consider food and beverage, transport, and accommodation for attendees. If this requires making arrangements with third parties, make sure to do so in advance.
- Organize a multichannel approach to event marketing materials.
- Use an app or website to communicate event details with attendees.
- Gather post-event data through surveys, follow-up calls, and social media activity.
Our number one item on any event planning checklist, however, is to ensure you’ve got a powerful corporate event planning tool on your side. This makes every step of the corporate event planning process a whole lot easier.
TravelPerk’s event management solution can help you take your corporate event to the next level. It allows you to get all your attendees and employees from wherever they are right to your event–safely, fast, and seamlessly.
With TravelPerk’s event solution you can manage everything you need from the same platform:
- Manage invites: invite attendees and track their responses and status of their bookings.
- Keep everyone in the loop: share trip details like attendee names, logistics, agendas, and everything needed for the event to run smoothly.
- Every detail matter: keep attendees and participants updates with real-time information and changes to the plan.
- Visibility and tracking: view attendees’ travel plans, including arrival and departure times and accommodation details.
Forget the constant back and forths, and rest easy knowing your event-based business trips are under control. Get in touch with the TravelPerk team today to find out how you can start mastering your corporate event planning process and more.
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Corporate Event Planning: How To Host a Memorable Event
We all know that feeling that comes with attending an amazing corporate event. You walk away knowing you’ve learned something new, discovered a must-have product, or found a partner for a project.
Great corporate events don’t happen by accident, though. Corporate event planning requires a detailed process and lots of creativity.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics of corporate event planning and cover how the process works. We’ll also share our best tips for making your event a success and increasing attendee engagement.
What Is Corporate Event Planning?
Corporate event planning is all about organizing, overseeing, and evaluating events for a business. It’s like personal event planning but with bigger stakes — if your event is a success, it could help drive new business inquiries, recruit future employees, and attract investors.
While many event managers plan meetings, corporate event planning goes beyond that. There are so many different types of events, including:
- Trade shows
- Influencer events
- New product launches
- Fundraising events
- Team building events
- Holiday parties
- Virtual parties
- Virtual lunch and learns
Each event has its own unique goals, requirements, audience, and KPIs. And to hit the mark, you need to be well versed in the five stages of event planning.
5 Stages of Corporate Event Planning
Successful event planners know their role inside out. You have to understand logistics, planning, marketing, venue sourcing, communication, and success metrics. It’s a multifaceted role.
Luckily, event planners of the past have come up with five stages of corporate event planning. This helps you break down all those "to dos" into a planning process that makes sense.
Before you even decide to run an event, you first need to research whether there’s a need and what your audience wants to see from you. If you don’t, you could end up blowing your budget on the wrong event.
First, decide on your goals for the event. If it’s an external event, you might be looking to attract new customers or promote a new product. For internal events, you might be looking to strengthen relationships between teams or celebrate a successful project. Try to make your goals SMART if you can, so you have measurable KPIs to evaluate at the end of the event.
SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. An example of a SMART goal would be “our goal is to attract 20 sign ups for our free trial at this event,” compared to a much less effective “our goal is to increase sign ups.”
As well as setting a goal at this stage, you also want to thoroughly research any requirements you need before you can proceed. This can include what insurance and liability protection, sponsors to fund the event, or resources you’ll need from the team around you. You also need to determine a budget, refine your target audience, and gather any information that’ll help you design the perfect event.
2. Event Design
This next stage of the process is all about coming up with a corporate event that meets your goals and creates a great experience for your intended audience.
It’s on you to come up with an idea for your corporate event that’s likely to get approved. Here you’ll consider the type of event, location, date, time, and overall theme and purpose. You’ll first come up with a proposal for your corporate event that includes a rough outline of the agenda, a potential location, and a list of the resources you’ll need to make it happen.
Once you get the green light for your corporate event, it’s time to start planning it. This means heading out to tour venues, meeting with vendors, and arranging speakers or VIPs to be part of your event. It’s also time to figure out your event production and decide what kind of event technology you’ll need to invest in — this could include audio visual support, WiFi, and contactless payment.
One of the most time consuming parts of event design is working out your catering. You often need to make arrangements with caterers before you know how many people will attend, which leads to waste if you’re not careful. To avoid this, consider giving attendees a digital Hoppier card that they can use to order drinks, snacks, or a meal from a variety of vendors around your event venue.
3. Event Branding and Marketing
With your event planned out, you can move onto the next stage — event branding and marketing. Here you’ll focus your attention on what the event looks like, the atmosphere, and how to spread the word about it.
Consider what you’re going to call your event. You probably have a working title in mind, but you’ll want to make sure it makes sense to your target audience. Think about other elements that you need — like a tagline, hashtag, and event website. Don’t forget about the visual side too — confirm your event colors and logo, and create some graphics for marketing materials like banners, leaflets, and social media ads.
With so many moving parts, this stage can get confusing. Invest in event management software or social media marketing software to help you stay organized and visible. If you’re planning a big event, it might be time to partner with an event marketing agency for this step.
4. Day-Of Coordination
When you first start planning your event it feels like it’s forever away. But at some point, that day arrives and all your focus will be on coordinating the event so that it runs smoothly.
This step of the journey is all about executing your carefully constructed event plan and avoiding unexpected problems. Your job on the day is to lead event communication and be the first person anyone goes to if they need help.
Before the event opens, gather your team for a briefing and set out everything they need to know. Make sure anyone who needs it has a copy of the running order, and make it easy for support staff to find you or communicate with radios. This is often the toughest part of the whole event planning process, but being super organized here can make or break your event.
5. Post-Event Evaluation
The event might be over, but your job as a corporate event planner is not. It’s time to reflect on the event and host a post-event evaluation.
Sometimes you’ll be able to collect valuable information from your guests at the event. Other times you’ll need to send out a post-event feedback survey to your attendees. Getting feedback can be tricky, so you might want to incentivize this with a prize draw or an opportunity to get a discount on or early access to a product.
Arrange a follow up meeting with your event team. Take a look at the numbers and review feedback from guests and vendors. With the right data, you’ll be able to determine how successful the event was and discuss opportunities to make your next event even better.
How To Be Successful at Corporate Event Planning
Being a corporate event planner is hard work. There are a lot of things to organize, anticipate, and deal with on the day. To help you out, here are some of our best tips on how to make your event a success.
Know Your Goals
Before you can execute a successful corporate event, you first need a really good grasp on what your goals are.
Do you want to attract new clients? Retain existing ones? Celebrate an achievement? Find great new employees? Every event has a goal, so you need to know yours if you want to get real value from your investment.
Understanding your goals helps you plan your schedule, set a budget, invite the right guests or speakers, and promote it in the right way. It also means you have some KPIs to evaluate after the event to prove just how successful it was — or identify opportunities to make changes in the future.
Stay Within Your Event Budget
Events that go over budget don’t tend to go down well with stakeholders. That’s why staying within your budget should be one of your main priorities as an event planner.
Understand how much is available to you and set a detailed budget right at the start of the project. Every time you make a new commitment, make sure it’s added to the budget so you can stay on track. If it looks like you’re going over, be mindful of this when you next need to make a purchase.
If you need to increase your budget, look for creative ways to do this. You could seek sponsorship for an awards ceremony from local businesses or big players in your industry, or you could set up a crowdfunding campaign to stage a special event for customers.
Prioritize Guest Experience
When you’re organizing an event for your business, it’s easy to get caught up in measuring KPIs and trying to deliver value to your organization. The best events though are those that keep the audience’s interests and experience in mind.
As you begin the planning process, think about how you can meet your goals and create an amazing experience for your attendees. This might be as simple as streamlining your registration process so they spend less time waiting in line, or offering an interactive digital agenda so guests can plan their day at your conference.
One of the most frustrating moments for guests at corporate events is finding something great to eat or drink during breaks or at lunch. Event catering is expensive — unless you allocate a big portion of your budget here, your guests could end up feeling underwhelmed. Options for those with allergies or dietary restrictions are also often uninspiring.
An easy way to level up their experience is to give them total freedom over their lunch options. Set up a Hoppier program and give each of your guests an allowance, so they can order lunch from somewhere close by. You’ll need to check that this doesn't conflict with your venue's policies, but if not, it's a fun way to show a little extra consideration for your guests.
Assemble the Right Team
Planning a corporate event solo is incredibly tough, so it helps to build an amazing team of support staff. Bringing together the right people gives you the benefit of collective experience.
Your event planning team will often depend on your budget. If you have the funds for it, outsource or partner with professionals for help organizing any areas where you’re not an expert. This might mean bringing in marketers to help with branding and social media, or an audio visual team to make sure your big product launch runs smoothly. You can even bring in an assistant to help with project management for a large event.
Having the right people around you not only gives you access to their amazing ideas and experience, it also creates a valuable support system. If anything goes wrong on the day, you know you’re not trying to troubleshoot by yourself.
Create a Corporate Event Planning Checklist
As useful as a written guide is, having an event planning checklist gives you a quick and easy way to visualize your progress and make sure you don’t miss anything.
When you’re starting out or planning a simple event, try a pre-made corporate event checklist to keep you on track. If you’re more experienced or you're running a unique event, build your own personalized checklist that’s tailored to the event you’re planning.
If you work best using project management tools, you could create a checklist in a tool like Asana or Notion to guide you and keep your team accountable. This is also a great way to share information with others, so everyone can stay in the loop about event progress.
How To Use Hoppier To Make Your Event More Memorable
So many corporate events fail to go beyond the basics, creating a lackluster experience for guests. We think guests deserve better, which is why we’ve created Hoppier to help you create a more memorable event experience.
You can use Hoppier to create a fun, interactive catering experience for your virtual and hybrid events. Your guests can use their digital card to order lunch to the venue during a sales meeting, takeout to their hotel room after a conference, or coffee to sip as they tour your trade show.
Instead of relying on expensive in-house caterers, you’re able to offer up your per-person catering budget directly to your guests. This gives them total freedom over how they enjoy food and drinks at your event, and you get the added bonus of being able to recoup any unspent funds.
Set Up a Program
Setting up a program with Hoppier is easy. Simply log in, and you’ll be taken to your dashboard where you can create a new program.
You’ll need to add a few key details — like your program or event name, then you can fully personalize it within your program settings.
Personalize Your Program
One of the things event planners love most about Hoppier is the customization options. You can change the colors on your card, add a logo, and create an on-brand experience for guests when they land on their spending page.
You can also set a program balance per participant, and a start and end date for the funds. Because you’re not having to pay for a catering company, offering your attendees this balance directly gives them more choice to get something amazing for the money. And unlike traditional catering where leftovers often go to waste, with Hoppier, you can get any unspent funds refunded to you after the event.
Send Out Invites to Your Attendees
Once you’ve set up and customized your program, sending out invites is simple. All you need to do is download our template file and upload a csv file of your participants' emails straight into Hoppier.
Then, you can email participants their digital card whenever you're ready.
Plan Your Way to a Successful Corporate Event
Corporate event planning is a tough gig. There are a lot of things to take care of, and something almost always goes wrong. With the help of this guide though, we hope you’ll be able to smooth out your event planning process.
If you want to use Hoppier to make your next event even more memorable, book a free demo with our team. We can walk you through the process, so you can visualize how it will support your corporate event planning.
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Corporate Event Planning
In this section we'll look at corporate event planning and meeting planning, including what is corporate event planning / meeting planning; a complete guide to the different types of corporate events and meetings, a corporate event planner / meeting planner job description, how to become a corporate event/meeting planner, career advice, employment information, and the pros and cons of being an event planner in the corporate sector.
What is corporate event planning / management? What are the different types of corporate events; corporate hospitality, meetings and conferences, employee events, and conventions/tradeshows/exhibitions.
What is Meeting Planning / M.I.C.E?
Meeting planning and M.I.C.E (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) explained.
Become a Meeting / Corporate Event Planner
Why become a corporate event planner? Career advice and employment information for how to become a corporate event / meeting planner.
Being an Corporate Event Planner
What does a corporate event planner do? Read a real corporate event / meeting planner job description by Sharyn Scott, former Global Head of Events for International law firm Linklaters .
Pros and Cons
Pros and cons of corporate event planning by Sharyn Scott, former Global Head of Events for International law firm Linklaters .
What is Corporate Event Planning?
While some are definitely like this, many meetings and conferences are held in interesting locations away from the usual place of business, or even overseas—sometimes in luxury beach and ski resorts. They often comprise of an entire program of events, drinks receptions, dinners, entertainment, activities, and excursions.
They can also be rather elaborate affairs. Walmart’s global shareholders meeting for 16,000 people was hosted by the Hollywood actor Will Smith and featured a performance from The Black Eyed Peas. Similarly, Google’s Zeitgeist conference has included speakers such as President Bill Clinton and TV & film producer JJ Abrams ( Star Trek, Star Wars The Force Awakens ), and attendees were given the opportunity to experience zero gravity ‘flights’ that mimic the weightlessness of space.
I'll examine these in more detail in the Meeting Planning & M.I.C.E sector of the industry.
A guide to the meeting planning and M.I.C.E (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) sub-sector of corporate event planning.
Corporate Event Planning: 3 Secrets For A Successful Event
Planning to host a corporate event? Businesses all over the world have relied on corporate events for multiple reasons.
These events have been instrumental in creating engagement among employees through relevant activities. Other corporate events are more formal, wherein businesses decide on new strategies or modify their internal structuring.
Whatever the purpose, you need to master corporate event planning down to a tee. It goes beyond just gathering all your employees in a conference room and setting an agenda.
For a corporate event to be successful, it must not only meet its goals but also foster interaction through high-level engagement.
1. What Is A Corporate Event?
Corporate events are any social activity, event, or function hosted and funded by a company or business entity. These events are usually held for the employees or the clients.
As mentioned, businesses hold corporate events for a variety of reasons. It may be to inform the staff of new policies or celebrate company milestones with clients and other shareholders.
You can do corporate events in a small or large-scale fashion. For instance, mini-events are usually held in office conference rooms with only select employees.
On the other hand, large-scale corporate events require extensive planning. Companies tend to designate staff and personnel for the planning, logistics, venue sourcing, and the like.
But if you're here, it's safe to assume you want to get into the nitty-gritty of large-scale corporate event planning. It's a complex process, so we've developed this guide to help you out.
2. What Are The Different Types Of Corporate Events?
When conceptualising for any corporate event, it's best to assess your options according to their size.
Corporate events can be divided into:
- Micro or Simple Events
Mid-size events, large-scale events, micro or simple events.
Micro or simple events will often involve around 100 delegates and participants. These events are more intimate and may be in the form of a meeting or training session.
Planning a micro event is much more straightforward than bigger ones (which we will cover later in this guide). A designated team of planners or organisers will make sure the following tasks are correctly done:
- Book a room or a venue.
- Secure presentation facilities (i.e. lighting, sound systems, peripherals, etc.).
- Hire a catering company for refreshments.
- Facilitate the registration process.
So long as all the essentials are present, micro-event planning can be done in as fast as two weeks.
Any corporate event with 100 to 250 delegates can be classified as a small event. They can be a seminar, training day, or a department-wide conference.
Corporate seminars refer to business partners or employees gathering to discuss a particular topic. Seminars also require internal speakers or guests outside the company but in the same industry.
There are very few opportunities for engagement, aside from a Q and A portion or short breakout sessions by the end.
Corporate training involves a higher level of engagement between workers. A corporate training event aims to teach employees new skills relevant to their line of work. Employees may hold one-on-one consultations, exams, activities, and other resources.
Finally, department-wide conferences focus only on a select team within a company. They will usually involve discussions on:
- Meeting goals
- New strategies
A department-wide meeting ensures everyone in the group is aligned on policies and other business-related developments.
Mid-size events are more heavily reliant on technology. You'll often find higher-ups and delegates from around the world attending this event.
With more than 1,000 delegates involved, mid-size events require far more resources than micro-events. In addition, mid-size events tend to draw out over a few days until a week or two, whereas micro events tend to last much shorter.
Professional event planning is a must for any mid-size event. Key event organisers and stakeholders must consider a host of factors:
- Creation of a branded website
- Development of pre-event communications
- Event mobile app
- Hotel accommodation for guests
- Transport options to and from the venue
- Pre-and post-event reception
- Post-event entertainment
If you plan on organising a large-scale event, you need to use enterprise tools at your disposal. Like mid-size events, this event type relies heavily on technology, like event management software, for instance.
Large-scale events also last several days and may include other offsite activities, such as company dinners, partnership programs, or awards ceremonies.
Large-scale events may also be performed with other activities, like product launches or trade shows. Planners can decide on going completely virtual or hybrid, featuring up to 10,000 attendees or more.
3. How To Plan A Successful Corporate Event?
Before holding the event, you must draft a "blueprint" or framework of the entire process and everything you need to accomplish. Here are a few things you need to understand when you're gunning for a successful corporate event:
Define Your Goals And Objectives
Start by defining your goals and setting your objectives. Here, you'll need to figure out which event KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you want to meet and assess.
Your corporate event KPIs can be:
- Event registrations
- Level of engagement
- Messages sent
- View duration
- Enriching subjects/topics
- Social media mentions
- Response rates for live polling
Aside from meeting your KPIs, it would help if you defined what your corporate event will be about.
Focus on your target audience. You must plan an event that will match their expectations and pique their interests. For instance, you could use experiential marketing tactics to create buzz around your event even well before you hold it.
It all comes down to setting objectives and ensuring you don't stray away from the audience you want to attract.
Come Up With A Budget
After defining your objectives, you can already set your budget. The budget will depend on the scale of your corporate event, so you must adjust accordingly.
Consider all possible expenses your event may incur. Costs may come from any or a combination of the following event elements:
- Entertainment (i.e. audio visual systems, internet connectivity, televisions, trade booths, opening acts, etc.)
- Marketing expenses
- Food and beverage expenses
- Branding and signage
If you're a newcomer to corporate event planning, it will help to learn more about event sponsorship to scour potential sponsors and other fundraising sources.
Try not to go overboard with planning your budget. Find opportunities to lessen costs while ensuring the event's standards remain up to par.
Make A Guestlist
Planning a guestlist requires proper care and attention. Ultimately, you want to ensure every delegate you plan on inviting shows up. It all boils down to creating enticing invitations, properly setting the date, and ensuring they have a smooth-sailing experience before heading to your event.
The people on your guest list also depend on your event's goals and objectives. For example, if you plan a product launch, list the names of your target stakeholders, business partners, and other VIPs with business interests.
As for the event invitation, innovation can go a long way. For instance, you could send digital invitations through targeted email marketing campaigns with an added personal touch. Give them ample time to respond to the invitation, then follow up as necessary.
Choose A Venue
Event planning can't be complete without choosing a venue unless you're planning a purely virtual event. In that case, all you need is a dependable virtual event platform for it to be a success.
After you've got all your objectives, budgeting, and guestlist down, it's time to pick a fitting venue. Your venue must match the theme and type of event.
For example, if you wish to hold a product launch for your next corporate event, choose a spacious venue which can accommodate a stage and a large pool of attendees.
You may also be interested in holding corporate trade shows. Choose a dedicated venue with ceiling trusses, for example, by which you can set up displays and other visual aids.
Aside from picking the location, it would help if you also considered the scheduling and transportation in your corporate event planning.
Plan your event at least two to three months in advance as much as possible. This will give all your attendees ample time to book a hotel room and arrange for transport before heading to the event venue.
Foster Employee Engagement
You can't call it a successful event without engagement among your delegates and participants. Since you're holding the event for their benefit, it's best to provide them with opportunities to socialise, network, and interact with potential clients.
In product launches, allow all attendees to try out a product demo. If it is a team-building exercise , encourage all employees to participate in your lineup of activities.
A successful corporate event hinges on whether or not your employees or clients found it enjoyable. Make it worth their time and attention by making it as exciting and innovative as possible. You should also set aside time to appreciate the employees through different tactics.
Track Your Event On The Ground
As an event organiser, your job is to ensure everything flows smoothly. While hiccups here and there are inevitable, focus on resolving them to create a memorable event experience for all attendees.
Have backups in your event wherever possible. If the audio-visual systems are not working properly, ensure your logistics team is well-versed in troubleshooting.
Accommodate all your guests and employees in the best way possible. Should they have any concerns on the day of the event, provide proper avenues to air out their issues.
Network And Build Connections
Your corporate event is the perfect opportunity to make connections and generate leads from potential clients. As such, treat every guest who enters the meeting room or the venue as if they're VIPs.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to introduce yourself, your brand, and your employees to the guests. Get everyone acquainted, as it is an effective way of building professional relationships.
Follow Up With Your Attendees And Employees Post-Event
Aside from focusing on corporate event planning, you must also pay close attention to post-corporate event follow-ups.
You don't want your corporate event to die out the minute the last employee walks out the door. Instead, you want to make it memorable. You want the memory of the event to linger in their thoughts, be it a few weeks or months from now.
This is why follow-ups are critical. Remember that your attendees went out of their busy schedules to participate in your corporate event. Following it up with a heartfelt and personalised thank you email is one way to show gratitude.
You can also try creating a post-event page that repeatedly lets your guests relive the corporate event experience.
For this technique, try getting creative with your materials and resources. Use an engaging medium, such as an interactive slideshow reel or video highlights of the event.
You could also do the following:
- Uploading a gallery of images from the event's hashtag
- Posting exciting metrics about the event
- Distributing post-event surveys with incentives
Conclusion About Corporate Event Planning
Corporate event planning may seem like a vast ocean to cross, and in reality, it is. But, as long as you have our corporate event planning checklist, you can easily hold a professional corporate event that matches your expectations and goals.
Keep all of the above tips and considerations for your next event. Be as creative as possible and use event technology tools as long as your budget permits.
Have an idea for your next corporate event? Our virtual event platform in Singapore is just what you need. Bring your hybrid or virtual events to life with excellent features and highly-customisable event solutions.
Try out a demo now or reach us for more information. At EventX, we make every event an unforgettable and immersive experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Corporate Event Planning
What are the different phases of event management.
Event management can be classified into five phases, namely:
What Makes A Good Corporate Event Planner?
Successful corporate event planners are charismatic, engaging, good conversationalists, and great listeners. They know what their target audience wants and how to achieve goals for them.
If there are any problems along the way, they are easily adaptable, allowing them to find working solutions for these issues.
What Makes A Corporate Event Successful?
A corporate event is successful if it is engaging, creative, consistent, and organised. Event planners must start with a theme that sets the event's tone. Then, they can work their way towards determining their target participants and arranging all the logistics.
What Is The Difference Between A Social Event And a Corporate Event?
A corporate event is funded by businesses, while private individuals or hosts pay for social events.
Wedding receptions and birthday parties are examples of social events, while seminars, workshops, and conferences are all types of corporate events.
Event Technology Trends: 7 Ideas To Boost Engagement
11 Types Of Events For Successful Lead Generation
14 Essential Post-Event Survey Questions You Have To Ask
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How To Plan Your Next Corporate Event – A Complete Guide
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- Updated: November 22, 2023
- 19 min read
We understand how significant successful corporate events are in fostering strong business relationships, enhancing team dynamics, and leaving a lasting impression on clients and employees alike. But the planning truly can become overwhelming!
Whether you’re aiming to host a dazzling product launch, an engaging conference, a team-building extravaganza, or an elegant awards ceremony, we are here to guide you through every step of the planning process. With great insights, insider tips, and trendsetting ideas, this blog will inspire, educate, and empower you to craft extraordinary experiences that leave a lasting impact on your clients, attendees, and stakeholders alike.
Section I: Fundamentals of Corporate Event Planning
What is corporate event planning.
Corporate event planning is the art and science of meticulously orchestrating business gatherings, conferences, seminars, and other corporate occasions. These events play a pivotal role in the corporate world, bringing together employees, clients, stakeholders, and industry leaders to share knowledge, foster connections, and drive business growth.
Key Objectives of Corporate Events
Employee engagement and motivation.
Corporate events offer a platform for employees to interact beyond their daily work routines, fostering a sense of camaraderie and team spirit. Engaged and motivated employees are more likely to be productive and invested in the success of the company.
These gatherings provide invaluable networking opportunities, allowing attendees to connect with like-minded professionals, potential clients, and industry influencers. Building and nurturing relationships through corporate events can lead to new business ventures and partnerships.
Knowledge Sharing and Learning
Corporate events often feature workshops, seminars, and keynote presentations from experts in the field, offering attendees the chance to gain insights into industry trends, best practices, and innovative solutions.
Brand Promotion and Awareness
Events serve as a powerful platform to showcase a company’s brand, products, and services to a targeted audience. Well-branded events leave a lasting impression and reinforce the company’s position in the market.
Celebrating Milestones and Achievements
Recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of employees and the company itself fosters a sense of pride and loyalty among the workforce.
Benefits of Effective Event Planning
The success of a corporate event hinges on efficient and effective planning. Here are some key benefits of well-executed event planning:
A comprehensive event plan is the foundation of successful corporate event planning. It involves meticulous strategizing for each phase of the event, ensuring smooth logistics and an impeccable attendee experience. From pre-event marketing to post-event evaluation, every detail must be mapped out.
Allocating essential resources, including budget and skilled team members, is critical for seamless execution. A well-coordinated team ensures that no aspect of the event is overlooked, contributing to its overall success.
Incorporating event technology can further enhance flawless implementation. Event management platforms automate processes, manage guest lists, and provide real-time data insights for informed decisions. This technology-driven agility adds efficiency and adaptability to the execution process.
Strategic event planning plays a pivotal role in achieving cost optimization without sacrificing the quality of your corporate event. By meticulously analyzing and allocating your resources, you can ensure that every aspect of the event is executed efficiently while maximizing its impact.
Enhanced Attendee Experience
Thoughtful planning takes into account the needs and preferences of attendees, leading to a memorable and enjoyable event experience.
For instance, at an onsite event, integrating badge scanning eliminates the need for attendees to wait in extended queues for entry, reducing friction and delays. Similarly, incorporating innovative networking features like intelligent matchmaking ensures that participants spend their event time engaging exclusively with individuals they find relevant and interesting.
This approach enhances the overall experience, making the event both memorable and enjoyable for attendees.
Increased Return on Investment (ROI)
A proper event plan takes into account everything, brand awareness, tickets sale target, attendance, and even sponsorships. By aligning event objectives with business goals, companies can measure the success of the event in terms of tangible outcomes, thereby justifying the investment made.
Positive Brand Perception
A professionally organized event reflects positively on the company, strengthening its reputation and credibility among attendees and the industry at large.
Types Of Corporate Event
We’re going to explore the vibrant spectrum of corporate events, each with its unique flair and set of requirements. Whether you’re a seasoned planner or new to the game, understanding the different types of events can help you create unforgettable experiences.
Micro Events: Small Scale, Big Impact
Micro events, typically hosting up to 100 attendees, are the hidden gems of the event world. Think of them as intimate gatherings where ideas and coffee flow in equal measure. These events might include focused team meetings or specialized training sessions. While they may seem straightforward to organize, don’t be fooled by their size. Planning a high-level executive retreat for 50 can be as complex as a large-scale conference. It’s all about attention to detail.
Small Events: The Perfect Middle Ground
When your guest list is between 100 and 250, you’re looking at a small event. This is where you can really start to flex your creative muscles. From seminars to departmental conferences, these events often feature a main stage for keynotes, breakout sessions for collaborative work, and of course, catering that keeps everyone energized. Managing the logistics of technology, registration, and transportation also becomes more prominent here.
Midsize Events: Embracing Technology
As we move up to midsize events, accommodating up to 1,000 attendees, technology starts to play a starring role. These are your company-wide conferences or high-profile leadership summits. A branded website for the event, pre-event communications, and a mobile app for attendees are key components. Accommodation and transport logistics also become more intricate, and you might find yourself organizing evening entertainment or networking receptions.
Large-Scale Events: The Grand Affair
Large-scale events are where planning becomes a grand orchestration. These events often require sophisticated technology solutions for managing everything from hotel bookings to flight arrangements for attendees. Think of multi-day conferences with extensive itineraries including offsite activities, dinners, partner programs, and perhaps an awards ceremony. The complexity of managing staffing, catering, and the overall attendee experience increases significantly.
Conventions: The Ultimate Gathering
At the pinnacle of event planning are conventions. These can attract up to 10,000 participants and span several days. Here, you’re creating not just an event but a microcosm of experiences and opportunities. The scale of planning encompasses every aspect we’ve discussed and more, often requiring a team of dedicated professionals to manage the myriad details.
- Scale Matters : The size of your event will dictate its complexity and the range of elements you need to manage.
- Attention to Detail : Regardless of the size, successful event planning hinges on attention to detail and understanding your audience.
- Embrace Technology : As events grow, technology becomes an invaluable tool, not just for efficiency but also for enhancing the attendee experience.
- Flexibility is Key : Be prepared to adapt and evolve your plans, especially as you tackle larger-scale events.
Remember, each type of event offers its own set of challenges and rewards. Whether you’re planning a small, intimate gathering or a large-scale convention, your goal is to create an engaging and memorable experience for all attendees.
Understanding Corporate Event Types In-Depth
When it comes to corporate event planning, one of the crucial initial steps is to determine the type of event that best aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives. Corporate events can take on various forms, each serving a specific purpose and catering to different audiences.
Let’s explore some of the most common types of corporate events and the considerations involved in selecting the right event type.
Conferences and Seminars
Conferences and seminars are popular choices for organizations aiming to disseminate knowledge, share industry insights, and provide professional development opportunities for attendees. These events often feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive workshops.
Here are some of the best conferences and seminars vFairs has helped companies host.
Product launches are designed to introduce new products or services to the market and create a buzz around them. These events can be highly impactful in generating media coverage and attracting potential customers and investors.
Trade Shows and Exhibitions
Trade shows and exhibitions are excellent platforms for businesses to showcase their products and services to a targeted audience. They facilitate networking opportunities and foster business-to-business interactions.
Have a look at some of the trade shows and exhibitions we’ve helped host:
- The Fence Show & Security Expo 2023
- Needlework Marketplace
- Harbor Wholesale 2023
Team Building Retreats
Team building events are geared towards strengthening camaraderie among employees, promoting collaboration, and enhancing team dynamics. These events may include team challenges, outdoor activities, and skill-building exercises.
Board Meetings and Shareholder Conferences
Corporate events aren’t just for external stakeholders; they are also essential for internal communications. Board meetings and shareholder conferences provide opportunities for decision-making, strategy discussions, and financial reporting.
Award Ceremonies and Gala Dinners
Recognizing and celebrating the achievements of employees, partners, or clients is a powerful way to boost morale and foster loyalty. Award ceremonies and gala dinners are ideal for creating a sense of appreciation and recognition within the organization.
Here are a few award ceremonies we’ve helped companies host:
- Eventeer Awards 2023
- The Powerful IDEA Awards & Expo
- NABJ Awards Ceremony
- ACCA USA Annual General Meeting
Section II: How to Plan a Corporate Event
Planning an event can sometimes feel like managing chaos, as a multitude of time-consuming tasks continually stack up. Therefore, successful execution requires not only staying organized but also leveraging available tools to automate tasks and expedite the entire process.
In this section, we will walk you through the essential steps to plan a successful corporate event.
Step 1: Defining Event Objectives & Budgets
The first step in corporate event planning is to clearly define the objectives and goals of the event. Ask yourself and your team: What do you want to achieve with this event? Is it to increase brand awareness, launch a new product, or foster team cohesion? Identifying the primary objectives will help you stay focused and make informed decisions throughout the planning process.
Alongside setting objectives, establishing a well-defined budget is crucial. Consider all the necessary expenses, including venue costs, catering, entertainment, marketing, and any other specific requirements for the event. Allocating a budget will help you manage expenses and prevent overspending.
Step 2: Creating a Timeline and Event Calendar
Time is of the essence when planning a corporate event. Develop a detailed timeline that outlines the entire planning process, from the initial brainstorming stage to post-event evaluation. Divide the timeline into actionable steps and set specific deadlines for each task to ensure a smooth and well-organized process.
Additionally, create an event calendar to keep track of all the activities leading up to the event day. Share the calendar with your planning team and vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding event milestones.
Step 3: Building a Competent Event Planning Team
Behind every successful corporate event is a dedicated and competent event planning team. Assemble a team of individuals with diverse skills and experiences who can work together seamlessly to execute the event. Assign specific responsibilities to team members based on their strengths and expertise.
Effective communication and collaboration within the team are vital. Regular team meetings and updates will ensure everyone is aligned with the event’s progress and goals.
Step 4: Selecting the Perfect Venue
The selection of the perfect venue sets the stage for a remarkable event experience. If you’re hosting an in-person event, this crucial decision goes beyond a mere location; it influences the ambiance, accessibility, and overall impression your event leaves on attendees.
Atmosphere and Ambiance
When picking the ideal venue, consider the atmosphere you wish to create. Is it a formal conference, an intimate workshop, or a vibrant networking soirée? The venue’s aesthetics, décor, and layout should align seamlessly with the desired ambiance, enhancing the overall theme and message of your event.
Accessibility and Convenience
Always make sure you select a location that is accessible. The accessibility of the venue plays a pivotal role in attendee participation. Opt for a location that is easily reachable via various modes of transportation. Ample parking or proximity to public transit adds convenience, ensuring that attendees can join without hassle.
Capacity and Flexibility
Evaluate the venue’s capacity in relation to your expected attendance. A venue that can comfortably accommodate your guests while allowing flexibility for different event elements—such as breakout sessions, networking areas, and stage setups—ensures a well-rounded experience.
Technical and Audio-Visual Infrastructure
In today’s digital age, the availability of technical and audio-visual infrastructure is paramount. A suitable venue should offer reliable internet connectivity, projection capabilities, and sound systems. This ensures that presentations and interactions proceed seamlessly.
Catering and Refreshments
If catering is involved, ensure that the venue can accommodate your culinary requirements. From coffee breaks to formal dinners, the venue’s catering options should align with the event’s schedule and tone.
Cost and Budget Alignment
While a venue might be impressive, it’s essential that it aligns with your budget. Factor in not only the venue rental cost but also additional charges for services, equipment, and staffing.
Feedback and Reviews
Gauging the experiences of others who have used the venue can provide valuable insights. Reviews and feedback offer a glimpse into how well the venue can deliver on its promises.
In short, make sure you select your venue after thorough consideration. This decision sets the tone for your event, contributing significantly to attendee satisfaction and the overall success of the occasion.
Step 5: Crafting the Event Agenda and Program
The event agenda and program are the heart of your corporate event. It outlines the flow of activities, including keynote speeches, workshops, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Keep the event schedule organized and balanced to ensure attendees remain engaged throughout the event.
Consider incorporating interactive elements and opportunities for audience participation to create a dynamic and memorable experience.
Step 6: Negotiating Contracts with Vendors and Suppliers
Building strong relationships with vendors and suppliers is essential for a successful corporate event. Negotiate contracts that clearly outline the scope of services, deliverables, and payment terms. Review and compare proposals from multiple vendors to ensure you get the best value for your budget.
Once you’ve finalized agreements, maintain open communication with vendors to address any questions or concerns that may arise during the planning process.
Step 7: Event Marketing and Branding Strategies
Branding your corporate event will create a cohesive and professional image for attendees. Design event materials, such as invitations, banners, and name tags, that reflect your company’s branding and the event’s theme.
Additionally, employ effective marketing strategies to promote the event and attract attendees. Utilize social media , email marketing , and event listing platforms to reach a wider audience and generate interest in the event.
With these fundamental steps in place, you’re well on your way to planning a successful corporate event.
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Section III: Managing Event Logistics
Corporate event planning involves meticulous management of various logistical aspects to ensure a smooth and successful event. In this section, we will explore the key elements of event logistics that are crucial for the seamless execution of corporate events.
Event Registration and Ticketing Processes
The first step in organizing a corporate event is to establish a streamlined event registration and ticketing process . A user-friendly registration platform allows attendees to sign up easily, providing essential details such as name, email, company, and any special preferences. Incorporating early bird discounts and tiered pricing options can incentivize early registrations and boost attendance numbers.
Efficient ticketing processes not only simplify attendee management but also aid in tracking event metrics for future planning.
Audio-Visual and Technology Requirements
Corporate events often demand cutting-edge audio-visual and technology solutions to engage participants effectively, whether the event is held in-person or virtually. For virtual events, live streaming platforms and virtual event tools are integral to connecting remote attendees with the event content and speakers. High-definition audio and video setups ensure clear communication and immersive experiences, capturing the attention of the audience.
1. Live Streaming and Virtual Event Tools
With the rise of remote work and the global accessibility of virtual events, live streaming technology has become a game-changer. Live streaming allows corporations to reach a broader audience, including remote employees, clients, and partners, ensuring maximum engagement and participation. Virtual event tools, such as interactive chat rooms, Q&A sessions, and virtual networking spaces, foster real-time interactions, replicating the in-person event experience.
2. Interactive Features and Engagement Enhancements
Engagement is key to the success of corporate events. Incorporating interactive features, such as live polls, surveys, and gamified sessions, encourages active participation and captivates the audience’s interest. Engaging attendees through interactive elements not only enhances the event experience but also provides valuable insights into the preferences and opinions of the participants.
Accommodation and Transportation Arrangements
For corporate events that require attendees to travel, coordinating accommodation and transportation arrangements is essential. Securing room blocks at nearby hotels or providing recommendations for lodging options ensures convenience for out-of-town guests. Additionally, arranging transportation to and from the event venue guarantees a hassle-free experience, allowing participants to focus on the event’s core objectives.
Tip: You can ask attendees to opt-in for such arrangements as they register online to help track how many people would need transportation and accommodation.
Event Safety and Security Measures
Implementing comprehensive safety protocols and emergency plans is critical to safeguarding both attendees and staff. Whether orchestrating an in-person gathering or a hybrid event, conducting meticulous risk assessments and partnering with expert security teams establishes a secure atmosphere for all participants.
In the realm of virtual events, cybersecurity measures are equally indispensable. These precautions are essential not only to protect sensitive data but also to thwart potential threats and ensure the safety of the digital environment. Compliance with data protection regulations further underscores the commitment to ensuring a secure and privacy-conscious event experience for all.
Section IV: Engaging Speakers and Presenters
One of the crucial aspects of successful corporate event planning is securing engaging speakers and presenters who can captivate the audience, impart valuable insights, and align with the event’s overall goals. The right choice of speakers can elevate the event, leaving a lasting impact on attendees and contributing to its overall success.
Identifying and Selecting Keynote Speakers or Presenters
The process of identifying and selecting keynote speakers or presenters requires careful consideration and research. Event planners should begin by defining the specific themes and topics they want the event to focus on. Once the event’s goals and themes are clear, they can start researching potential speakers who are experts in the relevant fields. Key factors to consider during this stage include:
Expertise and Relevance
The selected speakers should have in-depth knowledge and expertise in their respective domains. Their content should align with the event’s core themes, addressing the interests and pain points of the target audience.
Speaker’s Reputation and Track Record
Evaluating the reputation and past performance of potential speakers is essential. Look for speakers who have delivered engaging presentations in the past and have received positive feedback from previous events.
A great speaker can connect with the audience on a personal level. Consider speakers who can not only share valuable insights but also inspire and engage the attendees throughout their presentation.
Negotiating Speaker Contracts and Fees
Once the ideal speakers have been shortlisted, the next step involves negotiating the terms of their participation. This includes discussing their speaking fees, travel expenses, accommodation requirements, and any additional requests they might have. Here are some key points to keep in mind during the negotiation process:
Align speaker fees and expenses with the event budget. While securing high-profile speakers can be enticing, it’s crucial to find a balance that fits within the allocated resources.
Highlight the benefits of speaking at the corporate event, such as exposure to a relevant audience, networking opportunities, and potential future collaborations. Sometimes, speakers may be willing to negotiate their fees if they see value in participating.
Ensuring the Alignment of Speaker Topics with Event Goals
It’s essential to ensure that the topics chosen by the speakers align with the event’s overall goals and themes. The content presented should be valuable, insightful, and relevant to the attendees. To achieve this alignment:
Engage in open communication with the selected speakers to understand their proposed topics and how they connect with the event’s objectives. Collaborate to refine and tailor their presentations accordingly.
Request an outline or summary of the speaker’s presentation in advance to ensure it meets the event’s content expectations. Provide feedback and suggestions if necessary to align the content with the desired outcomes.
Preparing Speakers for a Successful Presentation
As the event date approaches, it’s vital to prepare speakers to deliver their presentations effectively. Proper preparation will boost their confidence and contribute to the overall success of the event. Here are some steps to ensure their readiness:
Communication and Briefing
Stay in regular contact with the speakers and provide them with essential event details, such as the event agenda, audience demographics, and logistical information. Offer support and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Rehearsals and Feedback
Conduct rehearsals with speakers to fine-tune their presentations. Provide constructive feedback to enhance their delivery, timing, and engagement with the audience.
By investing your time working with the speakers to align content and prepare them, corporate event planners can secure engaging presenters who contribute significantly to the success of the event. Engaging speakers not only enrich attendees’ experience but also elevate the overall impact and reputation of the corporate event.
Section V: Managing Event Technology
Corporate event planning has evolved significantly with the introduction of sophisticated event management software and platforms. These tools streamline the entire event planning process, making it more efficient and less prone to errors. Event planners can now manage everything from registrations, ticketing, and attendee data to logistics and post-event evaluation within a centralized platform.
Leveraging Event Management Software
Event management software provides real-time insights, enabling organizers to monitor event performance and make data-driven decisions. From small-scale seminars to large-scale conferences, these platforms cater to various event types, providing customizable features to suit specific needs. By automating repetitive tasks and reducing manual work, event planners can focus on creativity and creating exceptional experiences for attendees.
Using Virtual In-person, and Hybrid Event Solutions
Responding to global challenges, the landscape of corporate events has undergone a remarkable transformation, embracing the realm of virtual, hybrid, and in-person event solutions. Virtual events break down geographical barriers, enabling participants to engage from any corner of the world, while hybrid events strike a balance between in-person and virtual experiences, catering to diverse preferences and situations.
Incorporating state-of-the-art technology, virtual, hybrid, and in-person events harness advanced tools like live streaming, interactive webinars, and virtual networking zones. These platforms seamlessly combine presentations, breakout sessions, and Q&A segments, mirroring the engaging atmosphere of traditional in-person gatherings. This ingenious strategy within corporate event planning not only proves cost-efficient but also aligns with environmental considerations by diminishing travel and physical infrastructure requirements.
For in-person events, streamlining the check-in process, implementing effective badging solutions, and optimizing lead capture mechanisms are pivotal aspects of event planning. A smooth check-in process minimizes attendee wait times and sets a positive tone from the outset. Well-designed badges not only serve as identification tools but also facilitate networking by displaying key information.
Meanwhile, a strategic lead capture strategy enables event organizers to gather valuable attendee data, allowing for post-event follow-ups and engagement. These elements collectively enhance the attendee experience, foster efficient networking, and contribute to the overall success of the event.
Integrating Interactive Elements into the Event
Engagement is key to the success of any corporate event. Incorporating interactive elements into the event experience keeps attendees actively involved, creating a memorable and impactful event. Interactive polls, surveys, and live chat features allow participants to share their opinions, contribute to discussions, and network with fellow attendees.
Furthermore, gamification is gaining popularity as an effective way to engage participants. By introducing challenges, quizzes, and rewards, event planners can infuse an element of fun and competition for the attendees. The incorporation of interactive elements not only boosts attendee satisfaction but also generates valuable data and insights for future event planning.
Providing Technical Support During the Event
Despite careful planning, technical glitches may occasionally occur during a corporate event. To ensure a seamless experience for attendees, event planners must have a dedicated technical support team in place. This team should be equipped to troubleshoot issues promptly and efficiently, guaranteeing that participants can fully immerse themselves in the event without disruptions.
Having technical support readily available not only resolves immediate concerns but also instills confidence in attendees that their experience is valued. Whether it’s addressing connectivity problems, assisting with platform navigation, or troubleshooting audiovisual equipment, a responsive technical support team can make a significant difference in the overall event experience.
In conclusion, embracing event technology has become essential in modern corporate event planning. Leveraging event management software, embracing virtual and hybrid event solutions, incorporating interactive elements, and providing reliable technical support all contribute to creating unforgettable and successful corporate events. By staying at the forefront of event technology trends, corporate event planners can continue to deliver exceptional experiences for their audiences.
Section VI: Event Promotion and Publicity
When it comes to corporate event planning, one of the critical aspects that can make or break the success of your event is effective promotion and publicity. No matter how meticulously you plan every detail, without proper promotion, your event may not reach its full potential in terms of attendance and impact. In this section, we’ll explore the key strategies for creating a comprehensive marketing plan and maximizing exposure for your corporate events.
Creating a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
A well-thought-out marketing plan is the backbone of successful event promotion. Start by identifying your target audience and understanding their preferences and needs. Tailor your marketing messages to resonate with this audience, showcasing how your event can provide value and solve their pain points.
Leverage a mix of traditional and digital marketing channels to ensure maximum reach. Incorporate email marketing , content marketing , and search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your event’s online visibility. Additionally, consider using paid advertising on platforms like Google Ads and social media to expand your event’s reach to a broader audience.
Utilizing Social Media & Online Platforms
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting corporate events. Create dedicated event pages on platforms such as Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter, and Instagram to engage with potential attendees and share event updates. Utilize event hashtags and encourage attendees to use them to generate buzz and create a sense of community around the event.
Live streaming on social media can be an effective way to give a sneak peek into event highlights, behind-the-scenes moments, and interviews with speakers or performers. This approach not only engages remote participants but also entices on-site attendees to share their excitement and experiences, creating a virtual ripple effect that extends the event’s reach.
Collaborating with Media & Influencers for Coverage
Building relationships with media outlets and influencers can significantly enhance the publicity of your corporate event. Reach out to relevant industry publications, local newspapers, and online blogs to pitch your event as a newsworthy happening. Offer exclusive interviews with key speakers or executives to entice journalists to cover your event.
Influencers, both within your industry and more broadly, can amplify your event’s message to their followers. Identify influencers whose values align with your event’s objectives, and collaborate with them to create sponsored content, host takeover days on social media, or participate in promotional campaigns.
Measuring the Success of Event Promotion Efforts
As with any aspect of event planning, measuring the success of your promotion efforts is crucial for continuous improvement. Use tools like Google Analytics and social media insights to track website traffic, engagement metrics, and the source of registrations. Monitor the performance of your email campaigns, including open rates and click-through rates, to gauge the effectiveness of your messaging.
Additionally, set clear and measurable goals for your event, such as the number of attendees, media mentions, or social media impressions. Compare these goals with the actual results achieved. You can also conduct post-event surveys to gather feedback from attendees about how they found the event.
Section VII: Event Execution
In this section, we’ll explore the key elements of event execution in corporate event planning.
Once all the meticulous planning and preparation have taken place, it’s time for the highly anticipated on-site event execution. This phase is where the vision for your corporate event comes to life, and every detail must align seamlessly to create a memorable experience for attendees. As the event planner, you play a crucial role in coordinating various aspects to ensure the event runs smoothly and leaves a lasting impression on participants.
Coordinating Event Setup & Decoration
The first impression matters, and the event setup and decoration are essential to set the right tone for your corporate event. Whether it’s a conference, product launch, or team-building retreat, the venue’s ambiance and design must align with the event’s objectives and branding. Collaborate with the event team and decorators to bring your creative ideas to life, making sure the event space reflects the corporate identity and the desired atmosphere.
Managing Event Registration & Check-in Process
Efficient event registration and check-in processes are critical for starting the event on the right foot. Utilize technology to streamline these procedures, such as event management software or mobile apps that allow for seamless registration and digital check-ins. This not only reduces waiting times but also provides valuable data for post-event analysis.
Ensuring Smooth Event Flow & Transitions
Corporate events often have tightly packed schedules with various sessions, workshops, and activities. As an event planner, it’s crucial to manage the event flow and transitions between segments. Communicate the schedule with event staff, speakers, and vendors to ensure everyone is aware of the timing and responsibilities. Smooth transitions between sessions will keep the energy high and the participants engaged.
Handling Unexpected Challenges & Emergencies
No matter how well you plan, unexpected challenges can arise during corporate events. These could range from technical difficulties to weather-related issues or any unforeseen circumstances. As a seasoned event planner, it’s essential to stay calm and adaptable, working with your team to find quick solutions. Having a contingency plan in place for potential emergencies can also help mitigate risks and ensure a smoother response when needed.
Monitoring Participant Engagement & Feedback
During the event, pay close attention to participant engagement and satisfaction. Engaged attendees are more likely to have a positive experience and take away valuable insights from the event. Utilize event analytics and feedback tools to monitor audience engagement and collect real-time feedback. This data will be valuable for assessing the event’s success and understanding how to improve future corporate events.
Virtual events have risen to prominence as a dynamic alternative to in-person gatherings, offering unparalleled reach and flexibility. The execution of virtual events demands a distinct set of strategies that cater to the digital landscape while ensuring attendee engagement and satisfaction.
Technological Integration and Platform Selection
The heart of successful virtual event execution lies in the selection of the right platform and seamless integration of technology. The chosen platform accommodates various event components, such as live streaming, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities. Integrating user-friendly interfaces and interactive tools fosters engagement and participation, enabling attendees to connect and interact just as they would at an in-person event.
Content Curation for the Virtual Space
Creating compelling content tailored to the virtual environment is essential. Sessions should be concise, engaging, and designed to hold attendees’ attention in a digital setting. The incorporation of multimedia elements, such as videos, graphics, and polls, enhances the overall experience. Moreover, offering on-demand access to sessions provides flexibility for attendees across different time zones.
Enhancing Networking and Interaction
Virtual events may lack the organic networking that in-person events offer, but intentional efforts can bridge this gap. Innovative features such as AI-powered matchmaking, virtual breakout rooms, and live Q&A sessions encourage real-time interaction and meaningful engagement among attendees. Creating an environment where participants can connect, share insights, and build relationships is key to the success of virtual events.
Ensuring a Seamless Attendee Experience
Prioritizing attendee experience is paramount. This involves providing clear instructions for platform navigation, troubleshooting technical issues promptly, and having a dedicated support team available throughout the event. Conducting practice sessions with speakers and presenters ensures a smooth flow of content delivery.
Data and Analytics for Continuous Improvement
The digital nature of virtual events allows for real-time data collection and analysis. Tracking attendee engagement, session popularity, and interaction patterns provides insights for refining event strategies. These insights contribute to enhancing the attendee experience and tailoring content to audience preferences.
Section VIII: Post-Event Evaluation and Follow-up
After the successful execution of corporate events, the work is far from over. Post-event evaluation and follow-up are essential components of corporate event planning, enabling you to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions for future events.
This phase involves several crucial steps, including collecting attendee feedback and surveys, analyzing event success through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), addressing any issues, and maintaining relationships with attendees and sponsors.
Collecting Attendee Feedback and Surveys
Collecting feedback from attendees is an indispensable aspect of corporate event planning. Their opinions provide valuable perspectives on various aspects of the event, such as the overall experience, content relevance, organization, and engagement levels. A well-crafted post-event survey can help you gauge attendee satisfaction, identify strengths and weaknesses, and gain insights into areas that require improvement. Ensure that the survey is concise, easy to complete, and includes both quantitative and qualitative questions.
Analyzing Event Success and KPIs
To measure the success of your corporate event, it is crucial to define and track KPIs specific to your event objectives. KPIs can include metrics such as the number of registrations, attendee engagement, leads generated, revenue generated (if applicable), social media reach, and overall return on investment (ROI). Analyzing these KPIs provides you with quantifiable data, enabling you to evaluate the event’s impact and assess its effectiveness in achieving the set goals.
Addressing Issues and Areas for Improvement
A post-event evaluation is not solely about celebrating success; it also involves recognizing and addressing any issues that arose during the event. Analyze the feedback received from attendees and identify common pain points or concerns. Use this information to address shortcomings and implement necessary improvements for future corporate events. Embracing constructive criticism and taking proactive measures demonstrate your commitment to continuously enhancing the event experience.
Maintaining Relationships with Attendees and Sponsors
The connections made during corporate events are valuable assets that should be nurtured even after the event concludes. Follow up with attendees through personalized thank-you emails, post-event newsletters, or even brief surveys to show appreciation for their participation and feedback. Engaging with sponsors is equally important, acknowledge their contributions and discuss opportunities for future collaborations. Maintaining positive relationships with both attendees and sponsors can lead to increased loyalty and support for your future events.
By collecting attendee feedback, analyzing event KPIs, addressing issues, and fostering relationships with attendees and sponsors, you can build upon your event’s strengths and continually refine your approach to creating memorable and impactful corporate events. Remember that each event provides a learning opportunity, and with the right approach, you can achieve even greater success in the future.
Bonus: Everything You Need To Know About Corporate Team Building Activities
Team building serves as the cornerstone for creating a cohesive and efficient workforce within an organization. When employees come together to participate in team building activities during corporate events, they develop a sense of companionship and mutual respect. These activities break down barriers, improve trust among team members, and foster open communication channels, leading to better working relationships.
Moreover, team building exercises help employees to identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to allocate tasks effectively and capitalize on their collective skills. This, in turn, enhances productivity and overall job satisfaction, resulting in a more engaged and motivated workforce.
Types of Engaging Team Building Activities
When planning corporate events, organizers have a wide range of team building activities at their disposal. Some of the most effective and engaging activities include:
1. Ice-breakers and Energizers
These activities are perfect for kickstarting an event and setting a positive tone. Ice-breakers, for example, help attendees get to know each other on a personal level, breaking the initial awkwardness and fostering a comfortable environment. For instance, a quick round of “Two Truths and a Lie” can initiate engaging conversations among participants.
Energizers, on the other hand, are short, high-energy activities that refresh and re-energize participants during longer events. An example could be a brief dance-off or a fun team-building challenge that injects enthusiasm and renewed focus into the event proceedings.
2. Collaborative Challenges and Problem-solving Games
Teams collaborate to tackle intricate challenges and puzzles, fostering the refinement of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and the aptitude to collaborate seamlessly even in high-pressure scenarios. Picture a scenario where participants must decipher a series of cryptic clues to unlock a mystery room within a limited timeframe.
Such intellectually stimulating yet entertaining endeavors not only promote team cohesion but also infuse an element of excitement and achievement into the corporate event experience.
3. Outdoor and Indoor Team Building Activities
Outdoor activities, such as scavenger hunts, rope courses, and sports, encourage employees to step out of their comfort zones and develop a sense of affinity while enjoying the great outdoors. Indoor activities like escape rooms or building challenges can also be equally engaging, promoting teamwork within a controlled environment.
Tailoring Team Building for Remote and Hybrid Teams
In today’s dynamic work landscape, remote and hybrid teams have become increasingly common. When planning team building activities for such teams during virtual corporate events, it’s essential to choose activities that foster collaboration despite physical distances. Virtual team building activities can include online games, virtual escape rooms, and collaborative projects using digital collaboration tools.
Hybrid teams, which combine in-person and remote employees, present a unique challenge. Organizers can consider a blend of activities that cater to both in-person and virtual participants, ensuring that all team members feel equally involved and valued.
For example, a cool new addition to our playbook is setting up team leaderboards, which adds a bit of friendly competition and team spirit, no matter where team members are located. And of course, the classic scavenger hunt remains a hit, easily adaptable to work for both in-person and virtual settings. This kind of mix ensures team building translates well no matter the situation.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Team Building
As with any corporate event component, it’s crucial to evaluate the impact of team building activities. Feedback surveys and post-event assessments can provide valuable insights into how well the activities achieved their objectives. Metrics such as team performance improvements, employee satisfaction levels, and team communication enhancements can all serve as indicators.
Whether in-person or virtual, the thoughtful integration of team building activities can turn a good corporate event into an unforgettable and transformative experience for all attendees.
- Corporate events are strategic initiatives that drive success and growth by aligning event objectives with broader business goals.
- Crafting memorable experiences is essential in corporate event planning to create lasting impressions on attendees.
- Employee engagement is crucial; well-planned events foster a collaborative and supportive work culture, leading to increased productivity.
- Networking and relationship building during corporate events offer valuable opportunities for expanding professional connections.
- Embrace innovation in event planning, including hybrid formats and technology integration, to stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape.
- Measure success using data and analytics to assess event outcomes, identify areas for improvement, and optimize future events for impact.
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