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How to Plan a Corporate Event: 8 Tips to Know

The time has come: you’ve been given the opportunity to plan a big event for your company that will leave employees feeling inspired and energized. That’s great! But if your normal responsibilities don’t include event planning, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Even after reading a thorough guide to corporate event planning , you may decide that working with a professional event planner will give you the flexibility to focus on the big picture, and let someone else handle the nitty-gritty details. Want to learn how to plan a corporate event with the help of an outside planner? Keep reading!

Professional corporate event planners are a great choice for a lot of corporate events. They bring years of experience and know a lot about the obstacles that may come up during the planning process. By working with a team of corporate event planning specialists, they will already have a list of vetted vendor partners and established teams needed to pull in to get the job done. They will have the ability to have more control of costs, timelines, and quality, with extensive knowledge and wisdom regarding the latest trends, newest venues, budget-saving secrets and details you may not be aware of. 

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However, an outside corporate event planner probably doesn’t know your company culture. They also likely don’t know the personalities involved, or the message you’d like your event to convey. That’s where you come in. Whether the corporate event is a small team training or a large multi-day extravaganza, you need to carefully manage the relationship you create with your event planning team to pull off an event to remember.

Learn how to plan a corporate event with these 8 tips:

1. know your corporate event objectives..

In order to run a successful event, you’ll first need to know what success looks like. What is leadership expecting from this event? What characteristics will make everyone agree that the event was successful?

Corporate events usually focus on one main goal. They’re generally held to communicate a message or increase a behavior within the organization. They’re a great way to increase company morale, convey a new message, or share valuable information. 

Here are some common objectives for corporate events:

  • Changing customers’ perceptions
  • Creating a stronger team bond
  • Motivating sales personnel and other employees
  • Entertaining executives and managers
  • Planning for the upcoming year
  • Training new staff
  • Creating opportunities for press or social media coverage
  • Supporting marketing activities
  • Creating excitement for a new product or initiative
  • Making one person (the boss) happy

2. Create a corporate event plan.

Once you’ve decided on your main event objective, you can begin planning. Even if you’re hiring help, create a brief plan that outlines the most important information about the event. It should include:

  • Event goals and objectives
  • Message(s) you want to share
  • Your audience and number of attendees
  • Event format and theme
  • Event budget – use this cost estimator for help!
  • Expected ROI (and relevant metrics to measure)

Details like event location, technology, vendors, food and beverage, entertainment , and other event logistics can be left out of this initial plan. The planner you hire will be taking charge of a lot of those things. The goal for this early plan is to convey your vision for the event and what you would like to accomplish.

3. Communicate the big picture.

Your main goal as the company’s representative for the event is to convey information about the company to the planner. Event planners likely don’t know a lot about your company and its culture ahead of time. You’re the best source of information they have. Try to give the planner a good idea of the history of the event, the goals that leadership has communicated to you, and any thoughts about the overall vibe of the event. 

Do you picture a formal sit-down to relay the company’s strategic goals for the year? Or is this a retreat where employees can unwind and be rewarded for their efforts? It helps to do some prep work ahead of time to think about what a successful event will look like, and write down your thoughts. You can even include some pictures to inspire the planner. The clearer your vision is, the easier it will be for the planner to help you create a great event.

4. Decide roles and responsibilities.

While the planner will handle a lot of the details, they will likely turn to you for some things. In your first meeting, ask what they need from you and how you can best help create a great event. They’ll appreciate your forethought and willingness to help. Let the planner know what internal resources you can rely on, whether that’s specific people who are available to help or departments.

You will likely be in charge of communicating with attendees before the event, liaising with corporate leadership about planning progress, and guiding the overall strategy for the event. Beyond that, the tasks you take on are largely up to you. If there’s something you definitely want to do yourself, or something you know is beyond your abilities, this is a good time to let the planner know. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The planner’s ultimate goal is to make sure you and the company are happy with the event.

5. Leave certain things to the professionals.

The reality is that you’ve hired a planner for a reason. Although it may be hard, you need to trust the planning team to handle the details you haven’t taken on. This can be difficult when you know that the responsibility for the event ultimately falls on you. But if you micromanage or try to get too involved, the planners won’t be able to do their jobs.

So take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. Enjoy the extra time that you’ve gained by delegating the details to your trusted event planning team.

6. Have one source of truth.

With lots of people working on your corporate event, it’s important to have one place where everyone can go for answers. While the planner will likely be using their own project management system, coordinate with them to make sure there is somewhere that you can access the event details. This may mean that you’re granted access to the planner’s system, that you use your own internal system, or that you devise a shared system with access for anyone who needs it.

As you get closer to the event and need to confirm details, you don’t want to wait for a response from the planner. Having one place for all of the documents and assets related to the event will save you that headache.

7. Don’t give yourself a defined role the day of the event.

If you’re helping plan a corporate event, you’re likely a person who takes on additional tasks on top of your normal responsibilities. But when it comes to the day of the event, you need to curb that impulse. Don’t raise your hand for lots of last-minute tasks that will tie you up on the day of the event. No picking people up from the airport, checking attendees in at registration, or taking notes during break-out sessions!

As the person in charge of the event internally, you need to be available for any last-minute issues or obstacles. When the caterer is stuck in traffic or the A/V person needs to know where to set up, your team will turn to you. Make sure you’re available to everyone involved in the event internally, as well as the external team you’ve hired, so that you can pull off a seamless and inspiring experience for all of your attendees.

8. Don’t forget to follow up.

Once you get to the event day and things are running smoothly, it can feel like there’s nothing left that could go wrong. That’s usually when the keynote speaker says, sure, we can send that around to everyone after the event in response to an audience question, and no one makes a note of what you need to send.

Event follow-up is just as important as the event itself. Follow-up tasks in the form of actions or answers to questions often form the real work that the event was leading up to. So although it shouldn’t be a task you assign to yourself (see above), you do need to make sure that you’ve thought about event follow-up during the planning process. If you’re running breakout sessions or small working groups, make sure to assign note-takers who keep track of any actions for after the event. In any given room, those team members should be listening for promises of follow-up from speakers, questions that still need to be answered, and feedback for the next event from attendees. You can liaise with your event planning team to make sure that follow-up occurs seamlessly for attendees and follows through on the promises of the event.

Put these corporate event planning tips to good use!

Ready to hire a corporate event planner for your event? Check out our guide to finding a freelance event planner .

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Table of Contents

Types of corporate events, 5 examples of goals for corporate events, the ultimate corporate event planning checklist, tips for corporate event planning success, get started: make your next corporate event the best yet, corporate event planning: checklist and guide.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett

Every event professional has the same goal for corporate event planning: to orchestrate an engaging experience that delivers favorable business outcomes.

Corporate event planning checklists can significantly increase your chances of achieving your event goals. Plus, checklists help you stay organized, ensure everything is accounted for, and make it easier to scale your event strategy.

In this post, we’ll examine different types of corporate events, common goals event professionals aim for, what your corporate event planning checklist should include, and tips to remember as you start the corporate evening planning process.

As you begin planning your next corporate event, your approach may vary depending on the type of event, the size and scope, and what you hope to accomplish. Some of the more common types of corporate events include the following:

  • Trade shows are larger events that unite people who want to experience products, exchange ideas, learn new skills, gather leads, and meet other folks in the industry.
  • Team-building events foster camaraderie by bringing coworkers together to learn new things and get to know each other on a deeper level. 
  • Product launches highlight new products and services an organization brings to market to generate buzz and excitement.
  • Conferences and seminars , like HubSpot’s INBOUND , are typically the largest events and feature keynote addresses, seminars, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and more.
  • Networking events are designed to help folks meet other people in their industry and learn new things.

corporate planning event

According to a report from Allied Market Research , the U.S. corporate event market — which brought in $95.3 billion in 2020 — is expected to reach $510.9 billion in revenue by 2030, growing 17.3% annually. This impressive growth can be attributed to the fact that corporate events deliver several benefits to organizations, like the following opportunities:

  • Celebrate your wins. You can increase employee happiness, engagement, and productivity by using events to recognize your team’s hard work.
  • Motivate employees. Events are a great way to motivate your team. Not only will employees feed off the energy of the event, they will also learn new things, meet new people, and develop new skills.
  • Generate leads. Hosting a corporate event creates the perfect atmosphere for meeting new business prospects and capturing leads. Since most attendees will likely head to your event because they’re interested in what you offer, you won’t have to pitch them cold.
  • Promote your brand. Events enable you to bolster brand awareness and get people talking about your company on social media, enabling you to leverage word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Improve employee retention. Since events make employees happier and help them develop in their careers, they serve as a vehicle for reducing employee turnover — a nice bonus in today’s difficult job market. 

corporate planning event

Photo by Canva Studio

Having a checklist when planning a corporate event is paramount because it ensures a systematic and organized approach to the entire process. A checklist serves as a comprehensive guide to the essential tasks and details that need to be addressed, helping you stay on track and minimizing the chance you overlook crucial elements. It also enables better time management and coordination among team members while enabling progress tracking. 

But the best part of a checklist is that you can use it repeatedly from event to event, updating as you go for what worked best and what missed the mark. As you begin creating your event planning checklist, here are some things you’ll want to include:

☐ Goals: Decide What Success Looks Like 

Clearly define what you want to achieve with your corporate event and outline what success looks like. Ensure your event goals align with your business goals. 

☐ Logistics: Set a Date, Format, and Location

Pick a date and an event type, considering availability, attendee preferences, event objectives, and potential scheduling conflicts (e.g., holidays or seasonality). Consider second-tier cities and outside-the-box locations to save on event costs and make it easier for attendees to justify coming. 

doing more with less for event planners

☐ Theme: Choose a Memorable Concept

Select an event theme that aligns with your objectives to create a cohesive, memorable experience for attendees. Not sure where to start? Check out these “ 27 Unforgettable Corporate Event Themes .” 

☐ Budget: Assess Costs and Source Vendors

Figure out how big your event budget should be and identify vendors that can provide the services you need at price points you can afford.

☐ Venue: Choose the Perfect Location

Select a venue that suits your event’s size, location, and requirements, ensuring it aligns with the theme and atmosphere you want to create. Not sure where to start in choosing the right venue? Read our article, “ 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Conference Venue .”

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☐ Speakers: Decide on Keynotes, Sessions, and Entertainment

Figure out which speakers will impact your event most by engaging and captivating attendees. Don’t forget to cast a wide net for diverse and lesser-known speakers to ensure your event meets attendee expectations and that attendees feel represented. 

☐ Marketing: Craft a Promotional Plan

Develop a comprehensive event marketing strategy to promote your event and attract attendees. Be sure to include assets and promotional materials for your partners, vendors, speakers, and others to share on their social channels to boost attendance. 

☐ Run of Show: Create Meaningful Experiences

Map out the schedule and activities for your event, including breakout sessions, fireside chats, workshops, and networking opportunities. Be sure to spend plenty of time on independent activities like self-care, 1:1 meetings, and much-needed downtime. 

☐ Event Tech: Lock in Your Event Management Software

If you haven’t already, vet the right corporate event management software to power your event. The ideal solution will include a mobile event app , event networking tools , and plenty of options for webinars and virtual events. 

consolidating event tech stack ebook

☐ Registration: Invite Attendees and Promote Your Event

Send out invitations to your target audience and actively promote your event on social media, relevant media outlets, email, paid ads, and other key channels. Start promoting your event early so you can send follow-ups and last-chance communications. 

☐ Food and Beverage: Plan the Menu

Hire a caterer or local business and plan the food and beverage offerings to meet the needs and preferences of your attendees. Be sure to consider sustainable materials for your event, including compostables or reusable items instead of plastic. Choose vendors that use locally sourced and processed ingredients to ensure a low carbon footprint. 

☐ Contingency Planning: Consider All Potentialities

Prepare for unforeseen circumstances by developing an event contingency plan to address any issues or emergencies that may arise during the event. Ensure your plan includes options for speakers backing out, vendors backing out, inclement weather, and every other possibility. 

☐ Rehearse: Do Final Walkthroughs

Do a dry run of your event to address any logistical or technical concerns ahead of time and ensure a smooth experience when the big day arrives. Be sure speakers have all the information and prep they need to succeed. 

☐ Event Follow-up: Survey Participants To Measure Success

Collect feedback from attendees, speakers, and vendors by distributing surveys post-show. Consider offering incentives to encourage participation, such as gift cards, sustainable swag, or a virtual meet-and-greet with one of your keynote speakers. 

☐ Post-mortem: Gather Stakeholders To Evaluate Success

Conduct a thorough evaluation of the event’s outcomes, discussing what worked well and areas for improvement to inform future events. Be sure you take plenty of notes and add them to your event documentation so you can pivot at your next event. 

To increase the chances your corporate event delivers the results you’re aiming for, keep these tips in mind as you finalize your plans:

  • Start the planning process earlier to allow ample time for all necessary preparations.
  • Build an engaging agenda, but leave room for networking and decompressing.
  • Ask attendees what they want to see at the event.
  • Look at historical data and surveys to ensure you’re not repeating sessions that fell flat.
  • Build your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and communicate to stakeholders when you have to compromise for budget, time, or event goals.
  • Embrace technology and invest in a purpose-built event management solution you can rely on to plan, execute, and analyze your event.

Survey attendees, employees, and speakers afterward to gather event feedback and learn what you can do better next time.

Making your next corporate event one for the ages starts with meticulous planning. By creating a corporate event planning checklist and using it to guide the event planning process, you can ensure no details are overlooked as you prepare for your next event.

To help you tackle planning your corporate event, we’ve built several kits fully loaded with run-of-show templates, budgeting guidance, and much more. Whether your corporate event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, we have a kit to maximize your efforts and help you spend more time on building experiences and less time on the nitty-gritty: 

  • The In-person Event Production Kit
  • The Virtual Event Production Kit
  • The Hybrid Event Production Kit
  • The Webinar Production Kit

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The Wonolo Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Event Planning: Everything You Need to Know to Plan an Unforgettable Event (w/Checklist)

July 11, 2017

Event Staffing


We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to corporate event planning to walk you through all the critical steps and planning stages with ease, whether you’re an event-planning veteran or overseeing corporate event planning for the very first time. When you’re ready to get rolling, download our comprehensive, interactive Corporate Event Planning Checklist to guide you through the process, step-by-step.

We ’ ll cover:

Establishing the Business Case

Developing your timeline, planning breakout sessions, finding the perfect venue, lining up keynote speakers, exhibition hall considerations, food and lodging, promotional strategies, pre-event prep, attendee engagement, that’s a wrap: post-event follow-up, the ultimate corporate event planning checklist [download].

Before you get into the nitty-gritty planning details, you first need to establish the business case. In other words, what purpose is your event going to serve? Find out what deliverables key stakeholders are expecting to get out of the event, such as:

business case for corporate events

  • Training or roll-outs of new programs and initiatives. Many organizations hold corporate events as an all-hands-on-deck approach to gaining broad support and backing for new products or services before they’re launched. These events can also be valuable in bringing sales and marketing teams up to speed so that they can effectively market and sell the latest company offerings.
  • Rolling out new incentives programs or recognizing recent performance with awards.
  • Building brand awareness or nurturing relationships with valuable partners or prospects.

The rest of your planning process will hinge on the business case, so it’s worth your time to clearly establish what that purpose is before getting started. Doing so means you can easily justify the point and convey the benefits the company will gain from the event.

Whatever the business case, make it measurable. Define the outcomes you hope to achieve and build in methodology to measure performance.

Event planning timeline

Now that you know the why, you need to start thinking about the how. The first thing to do is develop a master timeline for all phases of planning, beginning with today and ending with post-event follow-up.

Your timeline will serve as your master outline for every step in the process, a checklist that you can tick off in the weeks and months to come to ensure that you’ve covered all the bases. While there’s no single universal timeline that works for every corporate event in every industry, there are many timeline examples and templates that you can customize and build on for streamlined planning. Here are a few:

  • Corporate Event Planning Checklist from The Terraces on Sir Tyler
  • Suggested Event Planning Timeline from Dartmouth College
  • Meeting & Event Checklist from Radisson Blu
  • A Month-by-Month Timeline for Corporate Event Planning by Eagle’s Flight
  • Conference Timeline from Bonjour Events
  • Event Planning Checklists from EventGeek (20+ templates for various event types)

Event Planning Budget

Budgetary constraints can dictate every aspect of a corporate event, from venues to refreshments, travel, speakers, and more. Determine your overall event budget and then allocate funds to each aspect of event planning including:

  • Venue and exhibition hall fees
  • Lodging (for team members, keynote speakers, etc.)
  • Transportation
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Materials (printing costs, etc.)
  • Event staffing
  • Gifts for attendees

If your event will host vendors in an exhibition hall or through another arrangement, these fees can offset some of the costs you’ll incur. You can also consider seeking event sponsors for a mutually-beneficial arrangement – sponsors get promotion and publicity, and you get more funding to work with.

Make sure your budget is flexible. If you end up getting a great deal on a venue, for instance, you can re-allocate some of your funds to secure that coveted keynote speaker, upgrade lodging, or opt for classier refreshments. No matter how tight or generous your initial budget, make sure your initial breakdown includes a contingency fund. Unanticipated expenses are common, and you don’t want to end up sacrificing in another area to make up the difference. Your event budget should be documented and include both estimated and actual expenses.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions are just one possible activity at corporate events, but breaking up attendees into smaller, more targeted groups is one of the most viable ways to make the event meaningful to every attendee on a personal level while getting more accomplished in less time. Instead of having all attendees sit through sessions that aren’t relevant to them, break it out into smaller sessions.

Each breakout session should have a time estimate and also include a buffer to allow for unexpected delays or other problems, such as technical hiccups. For instance, allow 70 or 80 minutes for sessions expected to last for an hour.

Other activities to consider:

  • Icebreakers
  • Guest speakers or lectures
  • Product launch presentations
  • Closing statements
  • After-parties or wrap-up celebrations

All of these activities should be carefully planned on your master event timeline, and each individual breakout session or activity should also have its own mini-timeline, including time allotted for setup, introductions, presentations, and time for independent teamwork (such as for workshops), as well as any other tasks specific to the activity.

Event venues

You’ll need to find a venue that meets your requirements, meaning:

  • A sufficient capacity to hold your desired number of attendees
  • Within your budget
  • Offers access to an exhibition hall if needed, either on-site or in the vicinity of the main conference area
  • Adequate facilities to meet any audio-visual needs, such as projection screens for keynote presentations

The best way to find the right venue at the right cost is to send your meeting requirements to a few select venues and request written proposals. You’ll want to do this early in your planning process, as the best and most sought-after venues are often booked well in advance.

Another consideration is whether you’ll need space for an exhibition hall. This is most commonly needed for events like industry conferences, where vendors pay for space in order to promote their goods and services to their target audience. Industry conferences provide the perfect opportunity for vendors to connect with a large number of ideal prospective buyers in one place over the course of a few days.

Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers can make or break an event. Even internal corporate events, such as management retreats, often enlist a keynote speaker to deliver a motivating, thought-provoking presentation to engage attendees and build enthusiasm.

A keynote speaker, or guest speaker, may be a motivational speaker, an authority figure in your industry, a leader from a partner or sponsor company, a published author, or even a celebrity.  There are a few considerations when it comes to keynote speakers: 

  • Ask for recommendations and find out what authority figures have given talks at similar events. Look for videos of past presentations to determine if a speaker is a good fit for your audience. You can also look for speakers who have given talks in your niche at TEDx .
  • Look for a speaker who is knowledgeable in your industry. While general motivational speakers are often well-suited for most events, it helps if a speaker can relate and speak to the challenges attendees are facing. That doesn’t mean you need to line up a speaker who has worked in your industry, but you should make sure that they have talking points that will resonate with the audience.
  • Consider their social reach. An industry leader can amplify your promotional efforts by promoting their upcoming talk at your event with their audience.
  • Will they be compensated? Most often, companies pay for travel and lodging for guest speakers who need to travel. Professional speakers and industry authority figures often command high fees for speaking engagements, so plan your budget accordingly.
  • What equipment do they require? Most speakers use A/V to supplement their talks, so find out what your speaker needs and make arrangements for the proper setup.

What fees do keynote speakers typically command? Speaking fees can vary depending on how sought-after a speaker is and their level of expertise in your industry. According to Evan Bailyn , speaking fees range from free, to travel costs only, to tens of thousands of dollars, even into the six-figure range. That’s quite a wide range, so decide how much you’re willing to pay for a speaker before you begin your search.

You can, of course, expect to pay more for a celebrity speaker and also for well-known authors. Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, for instance, is believed to command fees around $80,000 for speaking engagements.  Also, note that you can expect speaking fees to be two to three times higher if you work with a speaker’s bureau than if you enlist a speaker directly.  Most major conferences, Bailyn says, pay speaking fees in the range of $10,000 to $20,000. 

The total cost of lining up a speaker isn’t just limited to speaking fees, so plan your budget for the full picture, including fees, travel and lodging, meals, and so on. Obviously, you want to give your guest speaker the royal treatment and leave them with a great impression.

Exhibition hall planning

If you’re having an exhibition hall as part of your event, you’ll need to plan the layout based on the number of registered vendors and their requirements, such as electricity, space, and so on. This information should be gathered on registration, which then gives you a full picture of exactly what you have to work with when you’re configuring the layout.

Your venue should provide you with a basic floor plan and any other information you require about the space itself. Using this information, you’ll want to draw a complete layout with space designated for every vendor while allowing ample space for attendees to browse. Make sure you’re aware of all venue rules and restrictions on vendor space (booth sizes), lighting, signage, or other requirements that will impact your exhibition hall configuration.

Soliciting exhibitors is a substantial undertaking in itself, so you may want to appoint a committee or individual who can take the lead on this aspect of event planning. Create an exhibitor prospectus that includes:

  • A letter of invitation from the conference chair or exhibitor chairperson
  • Key highlights about the event
  • Benefits to vendors
  • Information about attendees including key demographics and categories
  • Details about the conference and exhibition (dates, times, location, anticipated attendance)
  • The floor plan for the exhibit hall (this template should include the designated space available for each vendor, but will not yet include assigned vendor names)
  • Contract and rules
  • Information on sponsorship and exhibitor packages and general pricing information (offer several packages including exhibitor/sponsorship combos, packages with larger vendor spaces, packages that include additional signage throughout the main conference areas, etc.)
  • Registration form (complete with fields for all essential information, such as requirements for A/V access, etc.)
  • If this is not the first event you’ve held, include testimonials from past attendees and photos from previous events

Most importantly, you should have a registration deadline that’s far enough in advance that you have time to plan the specifics and place each vendor in the most appropriate space on the exhibition hall floor. You might also consider offering an early registration discount for vendors to encourage timely signups.

Now that you have registration covered, you’ll also want to prepare an exhibitor service kit that includes all the information vendors need to ship exhibit signage and other items to the conference location in advance. Send this information to vendors six to eight weeks in advance and post it on your conference website for easy access. Include information such as:

  • Conference and exhibit hall schedule
  • Setup and teardown times for before, after, and on each day of the event
  • The final exhibition hall layout, including all assigned vendor spaces
  • Rules and regulations
  • Security and insurance information
  • Information on electrical, telephone, and internet access
  • A list of service contractors and vendors with pricing and ordering information
  • Shipping information
  • Tips and additional resources to help vendors plan their displays

Note that when planning your exhibition hall and floor plan layout, you should also try to minimize competitive issues. You might avoid having direct competitors as official event sponsors, for instance, instead restricting sponsorships to one company per industry or niche. Additionally, you should avoid placing direct competitors side-by-side in the exhibition hall as a courtesy.

Food and Lodging

Food and lodging is often tied to your venue. If you’re booking conference facilities at a major hotel, for instance, it makes sense to book a block of rooms for attendees in the same building. It cuts down on transportation costs for attendees because they won’t need to take a taxi or public transit each morning to get to the main conference hall. Plus, it’s simply more convenient. For large events, it may be necessary for attendees to stay at nearby hotels due to budget or space constraints, so it’s a good idea to provide information for several nearby accommodation options along with information on public transit to make it easy for attendees to arrange for daily transportation and plan their schedules in advance. If possible, reserve blocks of rooms at the most convenient hotels – you can often get a discount for attendees by reserving blocks of rooms.

Likewise, your venue may have contracts with preferred catering companies. You may or may not be required to choose from these options, but opting to work with the venue’s established partners can be beneficial even if it’s not a contractual requirement. Why? Caterers who have experience working with certain venues already know the ins and outs of working with the venue, so it tends to result in a more seamless event. Also, they may offer discounted rates for events held at partner venues.

For food and refreshments , buffet-style breakfasts often work well at corporate events. Food choices such as muffins and bagels, coffee and tea, and even scrambled eggs and toast can work well for large numbers of attendees. A buffet-style breakfast also makes it easy for attendees to choose foods and enjoy a light breakfast during the day’s opening ceremonies or introductions at their tables.  You’ll also want to make light refreshments available during breaks. Cookies, crackers, cheese, fruits, and vegetables are convenient options. You may choose to provide lunch or build a daily lunch break into the schedule. Lighter fare is generally the way to go; attendees are busy meeting and talking with new people, and heavy midday meals can contribute to afternoon fatigue, so when in doubt, go light and offer healthy options . 

In most cases, corporate event attendees are left on their own for dinner. You may have an evening awards celebration or want to hold a formal dinner on one day of the conference; otherwise, it’s often most convenient for attendees to make plans for dinner with small groups at local establishments. In fact, having the opportunity to dine with new acquaintances and enjoy a meal with a smaller group is one of the biggest benefits of attending a corporate event, so give attendees most or all of the evenings to engage in these types of networking activities.

When planning food and refreshments for any major event, you’ll want to consider special dietary needs and preferences. If you do plan to host an all-attendees formal lunch or dinner, offer at least two entrée choices (three is better) and allow attendees to submit any dietary requirements in advance. Offer at least one entrée option suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Discuss the available options with your caterer and make your guests’ preferences and requirements available in advance to allow for more inclusive menu planning.

Event Staffing

In many cases, you’ll need additional staff to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch. It’s a good idea to have staff on hand who can aid vendors with exhibit setup and tear-down, staff who can replenish beverages and refreshments throughout the day (if not handled by your caterer), and staff who can help manage check-ins, help attendees with directions, arranging transportation, and other needs.

Hiring experienced event staffers will greatly reduce your stress and can dramatically shorten your to-do list (which, obviously, is at least a mile long at this point). It’s well worth the investment to ensure that there are enough hands on deck to help attendees and vendors with whatever they may need, and it gives your event a professional, polished vibe. Even if you’re planning your first-ever corporate event, you’ll leave your attendees with the impression that you’re a veteran planner by ensuring a fantastic experience for all.

Of course, cost matters. Look into various options for finding qualified event staff. Staffing agencies are one option, but on-demand staffing platforms can help you quickly fill positions with pre-screened, experienced event staff – and at a lower cost compared to the typical cost of working with a staffing agency. You should also look for temporary event staffers who can augment your in-house team members who will be on hand for the event and fill in the gaps to create a well-coordinated, seamless experience for your attendees.

A few tips to keep in mind for hiring event staff:

  • Write a detailed job description that clearly outlines the desired skills and experience, as well as any behavior traits you’re looking for. If you’re hiring event staff for attendee-facing duties, look for candidates with the right personality to mesh with your brand image.
  • Offer competitive pay to attract the top candidates, but keep in mind that the most qualified, experienced staff don’t necessarily always come at the highest price point. Look at resources such as and to find out what the typical wage is for event staff in the location where you’re holding your event.
  • Avoid hiring friends and family members to help staff your event. It’s rarely a good idea to hire friends and family for any reason, but in this case, you only have one chance to leave a lasting impression – opt for experienced event staff.

Promotional Strategies

Marketing and promotion should be a part of your event from the get-go, meaning you should create a marketing plan when you begin to plan your event and work it into your timeline. You should start promoting your event months in advance, because your marketing efforts serve multiple purposes:

  • Getting the attention of potential attendees
  • Encouraging early signups
  • Capturing leads for potential sponsors
  • Engaging potential vendors/exhibitors
  • Getting PR leading up to and during the event

Marketing should include multiple channels, such as public relations, social media, and traditional marketing, and use a variety of tactics such as: 

  • Creating a compelling event website (this is step number one!)
  • Social media advertising
  • Promotional rewards (offer a free subscription or product for attendees who sell x number of tickets by promoting your event)
  • Email marketing (promote your event in your own newsletter and secure mentions or ads in other industry or partner newsletters)
  • Billboards and local advertising (can be useful tactics for hyper-local events)
  • PPC (pay-per-click in search engines as well as banner ads on relevant websites)
  • Press releases
  • Guest blogging (ask your sponsors, partners, and speakers if they’ll publish a post leading up to the event)
  • Discussion forums and groups (think Facebook and LinkedIn groups as well as industry-focused discussion forums)

Really, there are dozens of marketing tactics you can employ to boost event recognition. Remember, word-of-mouth will often be your biggest marketing boost. The earlier you start registering attendees, lining up speakers, and signing up sponsors and exhibitors, the sooner they’ll start letting their audiences know they’ll be attending, speaking at, or sponsoring your upcoming event.

Also, identify photo and interview opportunities with speakers, exhibitors, and attendees prior to the event. These assets make excellent material for blogging and social media posts both during and after the event. Finally, consider offering free or deeply discounted press passes for securing solid media coverage.

Pre-Event Preparation

Pre-event prep not only includes everything we’ve already discussed, but also the finer details in the days, weeks, and months leading up to event kickoff. A few of these finer details you should plan for include:

  • Printing and materials
  • Decorations and signage
  • Setup and tear-down
  • Name tags and access passes
  • Registration processes and space at the venue
  • Obtaining necessary licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Sending reminders to attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors
  • Finalizing seating arrangements and place cards
  • Conduct a final registration check, make sure you have all registration badges and an up-to-date list
  • Get promotional items, gift bags, and prizes ready for attendees, VIPs, speakers, and exhibitors
  • Confirm media attendance (remember those free press passes you doled out as part of your promotional strategy?)

This list is, of course, not exhaustive. Your specific checklist in the final days and weeks prior to the event will be specific to you and the odds and ends that you have remaining to wrap up. Above all, delegate! Don’t attempt to handle every one of these tasks on your own, or you’re sure to miss  important details.

Attendee Enagement

Part of creating an unforgettable experience is keeping your attendees engaged from the moment of arrival to the final wrap-up. That means having enough staff on hand to make the rounds and ensure that attendees are comfortable and enjoying themselves, planning interactive workshops, lining up engaging keynote speakers and break-out session leaders, and essentially making the entire event as interactive as possible.

It’s become a pretty standard practice to create a hashtag for your event that can be used across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and you should follow suit. Include your hashtag in promotional materials, on your website, and in all communications leading up to the event, during, and through post-event wrap-ups. Not only does it encourage attendees to share their experiences with their audiences on social media , but it makes it easy for you to monitor event-related discusssions across the social web.

There are plenty of ways to engage attendees both online and in-person, including:

  • Build lounge areas throughout the exhibition hall and main conference areas to encourage networking and casual interaction among guests.
  • Have a photo booth complete with masks and funny props at your wrap-up party. (Everyone likes to let loose and show their goofy side now and then!)


  • Use social listening boards to enable attendees to give feedback, ask questions, and share thoughts throughout the event.
  • Provide attendees with social media posts they can easily share or customize to engage on social media without taking valuable time away from the main happenings. Likewise, send follow-up materials such as photos and other graphics after the event to make it easy for attendees to share their great experience.
  • Give attendees plenty of breaks to allow them time to regroup and recharge.
  • Plan activities dedicated to networking in the conference schedule. Whether you hold a social hour after a busy day or plan a mixer for smaller groups following breakout sessions, it’s a good idea to mix formal presentations with more laid-back activities to keep everyone active and engaged.
  • Keep engagement in mind as you configure your layout and seating arrangements. Is there a seating configuration that would foster more casual discussion? Use it. The purpose of a corporate event is to learn and network, so make it easier for your attendees to achieve their goals.

Post-Event Follow-Up

Your event’s not over when it’s over. Post-event follow-up should be a part of your planning timeline from day one. Depending on your business case, the follow-up after the event might even be the most critical component.

Strong follow-up after the event fosters customer loyalty and retention (for customer-facing events), builds your team atmosphere (for both internal and external corporate events), and it can translate directly to ROI by closing deals initiated during the event, or at least nurturing leads further down the sales pipeline.

So what should your follow-up plan include?

  • Surveys: Ask attendees for their opinion on various aspects of your event, such as lodging and transportation, food, quality of the presentations, etc. You should also ask for their key takeways – what did they learn? What did they find most valuable?
  • Social Media: Continue making social connections with vendors and attendees following the event. It’s a perfect ice-breaker, really: “It was great to meet you at the conference last week. Looking forward to connecting with you.”
  • Content: No corporate event is complete without solid content follow-up. Whether you were live-blogging or live-tweeting the event as it happened, you should follow-up with a few blog posts highlighting major happenings, talks, workshops, or other specifics. For internal events, a writeup in the company newsletter is a must.
  • Thank Yous: Don’t forget to thank your attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. You can do this publicly through your post-event promotional efforts, but you’ll also score points by reaching out to VIPs personally to ask about their experiences and thank them for attending. Nothing beats the personal touch.
  • Wrap-Up Reporting: Gather all the essential stats from the event and write a comprehensive wrap-up report to outline your goals, results, and lessons learned. You may write a wrap-up report for key stakeholders, for your sponsors, or for everyone involved in planning and executing the event. This report is another great place to thank VIPs and give kudos where it’s deserved. This exercise will serve you well when it’s time to write next year’s proposals!

If you’re getting ready to dive into the complex planning process for your next corporate event, download our comprehensive, interactive Corporate Event Planning Checklist . We’ll walk  you step-by-step through all the essential tasks and considerations you need to cover to pull of your most successful event yet.

Obviously, planning a corporate event – whether it’s your first or 25th rodeo – is a major undertaking that requires exceptional organization and attention to detail. Following these steps and best practices will help you pull off an event that’s sure to impress.

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The Ultimate Guide To Corporate Event Planning

The Ultimate Guide To Corporate Event Planning

Have you ever attended a corporate event and wondered, “Didn’t they think this through?”

Benjamin Franklin said it best in his famous phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There are many moving parts when it comes to hosting a corporate event; therefore, proper planning is the only way to pull it off.

We understand that the thought of organizing a successful event can be intimidating. That’s where Curated Events come in! Drawing from our passion for human gatherings, we’ve compiled all the crucial elements of corporate event planning to curate the ultimate guide.

This post will shed light on corporate events, the things to consider when planning them, and fun ideas to adopt while you’re at it.

What Is A Corporate Event?

A corporate event is a social gathering that an organization assembles and sponsors. There are multiple reasons why a company would host a corporate event, including:

  • To launch a new product
  • To appreciate and celebrate their staff members
  • To create an opportunity for their employees, clients, and major stakeholders to network
  • To market existing products
  • To promote a team spirit among their staff
  • To bring investors up-to-speed on the company’s progress
  • To celebrate different occasions such as holidays and achievements
  • To strategize for the future

Read more : What is a corporate event?

Things To Consider When Planning A Corporate Event

Keep the following things in mind while planning your next corporate event –

The objective of your corporate event is your “why.” Why are you gathering people together? What would you like to achieve?

“Determining the objective of your corporate event will ensure you invite the right people to an appropriate venue and engage them in relevant activities.”

Having a particular objective makes planning more manageable and provides a vision of the big picture. Once this has been determined, breaking the plan down into specific goals, whose corporate jargon is KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), is the next step.

Finally, review your list of KPIs when the event has concluded. This review will be the metric to measure whether you have achieved your objective, and if you have, you can confidently deem it a successful one!

Read more : What is your objective for your corporate event?

The amount of money allocated for your corporate event will determine your direction. For proper planning and execution, it is advisable to budget for 90% of the available funds to leave room for emergencies and miscellaneous spending.

“Do not promise an experience that your budget does not allow you to deliver.”

If you’re having difficulty deciding what’s necessary and what isn’t, we suggest hiring an event planner. Curated Events is the best in the business, and we are happy to help you get the most out of your budget.

Remember that the reputation of your organization is at stake here. People will subconsciously pass judgment on your company when they attend your corporate events. Contact us today, and we’ll help you curate a jaw-dropping corporate event without breaking the bank.

Read more : Learn all about corporate event planning budgeting

Picture yourself receiving a glamorously-printed invitation to a reputable company’s Gala Awards ceremony. So naturally, the dress code is probably the first thing you will consider. Ideally, formal gowns and tuxedos would be the most appropriate choice, right?

Imagine arriving at the event, the decor is cartoon-themed, and the music playing is your five-year-old’s favorite jingle. Bet you’d feel uncomfortable, not to mention overdressed! That’s how detrimental it would be to execute the theme of your event poorly.

So, adopt a consistent theme, from the invitations to the decorations, music, and the program. Your guests will enjoy the experience, and so will your online audience that will interact with your social media posts covering the event.

Read more : How to choose a corporate event theme and program

Target Audience

How do you determine the right audience for your corporate event? Well, that depends on your objective.

For example, if you plan a networking event focusing on marketing your organization, your target audience would be investors, employees, and potential customers. However, if you aim to promote team spirit within the company, just the employees would be your target.

Choosing the venue and theme for the perfect execution will be easier based on who will be in attendance and the activities they will be participating in.

“Where you choose to hold your corporate event will either make or break it.”

No matter how well-executed it might be, choosing an inappropriate venue will make your efforts futile and could dampen the entire event.

Below is a checklist to consider while choosing the right venue for your corporate event:

  • Location – Is the event local or international?
  • Size and numbers – How many attendees are you expecting? What capacity of the venue will accommodate everyone?
  • Parking – Is the parking lot large enough to facilitate all the guests?
  • Food – Are you planning a buffet-style setup or a sit-down service? What options are there for those with dietary concerns?
  • Ambiance – What vibe are you targeting? Does the venue accentuate the theme?
  • Cost – Is it within your budget?

Our belief as Curate Events is that the setting and environment make special occasions more memorable.

Read more : How to choose the perfect corporate event venue and location

Hosting a corporate event will require using equipment such as tables and chairs, drapery, a Public Address (PA) system, lighting, a stage, and signage. Some items may be available in-house, and the venue may provide others.

But what happens when both options don’t have all the equipment you may need for your corporate event? Curated Events is your one-stop shop for all your equipment needs.

“Our collection of event rentals is unparalleled, from the tent to the table and the linens to the chairs.”

With showrooms, warehouses, and knowledgeable staff throughout the Eastern United States, we will service events across the region while offering the most diverse collection of event rentals.

Just as our name suggests, every event we plan is carefully chosen and thoughtfully organized or presented. We love working closely with our clients to understand their vision and bring it to life. That’s the entire essence of what we do.

Read more : Event rental equipment required for corporate events

Marketing Your Event

Why is it important to market your corporate event? First, it creates buzz and anticipation among your target audience. Secondly, if tickets to the event are on sale, marketing will increase sales. Thirdly, marketing will attract your target audience if you host a networking event open to the general public.

If you choose to go in the direction of a themed event, ensure that you set the tone by promoting the theme, from the invitations to the decor colors.

Today’s marketing options are vast; be creative! Establish where your target audience is and the best way to attract them. Your event will flop if there are no attendees; therefore, investing in an effective marketing strategy is a bonus. However, ensure that this cost is factored into your budget.

Read more : Simple guide on marketing your corporate event

Activities and Engaging The Audience

Audience engagement is another critical aspect of a corporate event. It would be unfortunate that you spent your company’s hard-earned money planning a corporate event that bored your attendees.

So, how do you capture the attention and interest of your attendees? Here’s a simplified list of things you can do:

  • Encourage participation – Allow for questions and group discussions among attendees. Avoid having lengthy speeches that may bore your audience.
  • Facilitate networking – Allow your program to accommodate mingling through planned activities or designated breaks.
  • Pay keen attention to the seating arrangement – Mind the distance between seats and tables so your guests have enough personal space.
  • Prepare your speakers in advance – Ensure that they are engaging and understand the demographic of your audience.
  • Strive to serve the food early on in the program – A hungry crowd is an angry crowd. Full bellies are an instant mood-lifter.

Ultimately, your aim should be to leave a positive lasting impression and for every attendee to have a good time. At Curated Events, we strive to enhance and elevate the human need to gather and make those notable occasions unforgettable.

Read more : Simple guide on engaging your audience at a corporate event

Fun Corporate Event Ideas

Now that you have all this information, you may wonder how to document and plan your next corporate event.

There is plenty of software to help you put your ideas together, and guess what! Curated Events has an upcoming directory of all the choices that will be launched soon. So keep a lookout for that.

Meanwhile, here is a list of ideas that will make your next corporate event fun and memorable:

General knowledge trivia games are always fun to break the ice at corporate events and promote healthy competition among colleagues. An exciting addition would be to award prizes to the winners. Remember to incorporate this expense into your budget plan.

Photo Booth

A photo booth encourages attendees to take pictures, especially when props are involved. Such a fun way to get everyone in front of the camera, even the shy ones!

Karaoke Night

Hiring a karaoke machine and watching your colleagues sing the night away at your end-of-year office party is a worthy investment in our books. This activity will surely bring out lots of good cheer and laughter too!

Visit A Shelter

It is always more blessed to give than to receive. So as part of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), you can gather your employees and organize a visit to a homeless shelter where you can share food with the less fortunate. By doing so, you will also be promoting team spirit.

Themed Dance Party

Few things are more fun than a themed corporate event. A fantastic idea would be to get everyone dressed in a particular theme and then play music to match it. We bet you that every head will be bobbing and every toe tapping.

Bowling Tournament

One way you can do this is to hire an entire bowling alley for a few hours, charge an entry fee and host a networking event for major stakeholders in your company. After that, you may use the funds collected to expand your business. So you’ll have achieved two objectives; a win-win!

Alternatively, you can make it simple. Bowling is a great team-building activity; split your employees into teams and let the fun times roll!

Read more: Fun corporate event ideas

Bottom Line

When planning a corporate event, it is critical to consider all things. When the ball drops in one area, everything suffers. For efficiency, ensure you have a plan.

At Curate Events, we specialize in providing a wide variety of high-quality event rental equipment – everything from the place setting on the table to the dance floor and tent. We have a keen eye for vision and aesthetics and continually evolve to grow our services.

Need help planning your next corporate event? Look no further. Reach out to us today, and allow us to make your dreams come true!

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The Complete Guide to Corporate Event Planning

corporate planning event

Are you interested in learning more about corporate event planning? You can learn how to plan and organize a successful corporate event with these 15 steps and best tips and tricks.

Behind every successful corporate event- be it a company conference, a virtual summit, or even a holiday party - requires in-depth, detailed planning. If you’re unfamiliar with event planning, then corporate event planning may seem overwhelming; that’s why we’ve created a guide on everything there is to know about the topic!! 

What is corporate event planning? 

Corporate event planning is the process of arranging any kind of event for a small, medium, to large corporate company. Planning a corporate event includes everything from pre-event details all the way through to post-event details. Some companies may hire full-time corporate event planners as a way to ensure everything runs smoothly, but other times it may be up to other employees in a company to put an event together. No matter what level of corporate event planning you may have, this guide can serve as a great planning refresher or a great step-by-step guide! 

6 types of corporate events

There are a number of corporate events that require in-depth event planning. These include:

1. Conferences

In the corporate world, conferences are no joke. Conferences can range anywhere from one day to multiple days and focus on one or many industry-specific topics. These conferences can be intended for local attendees or even expand to international attendees, making it a great networking opportunity for guests . This type of corporate event is usually planned with an agenda as well, filled with guest speakers and a number of event features. 

2. Product launches

Product launches can be an exciting corporate event to plan! In this type of event, the goal is to showcase a new product of your company to new or existing customers. These are a great way to build excitement and talk about a new product or service. 

Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline

3. Trade shows

Trade shows are a classic corporate event that has been around for years. At a trade show, businesses present themselves by purchasing a booth where exhibitors can talk to attendees about their business or whatever they choose to promote. This is a great way for companies to showcase new products or new services as well! 

4. Training workshops 

A great way for new employees to learn their new role or for current employees to sharpen their existing set of skills is through training workshops . Training workshops are a type of internal corporate event that can range from one day to multiple days of encouraging members to participate and engage with one another.

5. Fundraising Events

Whether you choose a gala, danceathon, silent auction, food drive, or benefit, fundraising events are a great type of corporate event. With so many options to choose from, it’s a great way to give back while making meaningful connections! 

6. Webinars 

With almost everything going virtual these days, corporate events are no exception! Webinars are a great way to attract people from all over to learn new information or a new product.

6 tips for a corporate event planning timeline

According to Forbes , 5 to 8 weeks is the average time B2B companies spend planning events. The time it takes for corporate event planning will depend on many different factors. We’ve included some of these details you should consider as you begin to plan your corporate event: 

1. Finding & booking sponsors

Sometimes, the key to making a corporate event great is the sponsorships you lock in. According to Sweap , 60% of event marketers see event sponsorship as a good option to increase brand awareness. You’ll want to secure sponsorships early on in the planning process, as it may take time to find one. Having a great sponsor can not only help your event financially, but it can also bring in new attendees from their customer base. 

2. Promote, promote, promote!

A key step in the corporate event planning process is ensuring you have a solid plan to market the event. You’ll want to ensure you have all marketing bases covered to bring in as many registrations as you can; this includes social media marketing, email marketing, and even paid advertising to get the word out there about your event. 

3. Finding & booking speakers

If your corporate event allows it, researching different speakers and booking them will require a certain amount of time. Make sure to account for this, as it may take some time to research and reach out to ideal speakers for your event . 

4. Figure out your tech 

One of the most important aspects in putting your event together is any kind of tech you have; this could be any kind of projectors or kiosks, and if your event is virtual , the platform you use. You want to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible by both double-checking your tech quality and making sure you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. 

5. Prioritize branding

Branding is a key part of hosting an event for both in-person and virtual formats. For in-person events, branding will include things like signage and any other kind of physical branded items you’ll want to promote. For virtual events, prioritize aspects like a landing page design and any other digital branding. 

6. Don’t forget food & beverage 

When hosting a corporate event, giving yourself enough time to carefully choose the food and beverages you’ll include is very important. There are many factors to consider when making these decisions, including price, your intended menu, and the food quality. 

How to create an event timeline

15 steps for effective corporate event planning

If corporate event planning seems like a daunting task, have no fear- we’ve broken down the 15 steps of the event planning process. 

1. Set goals & objectives

Not having set goals and objectives for your event could be one of the most detrimental things you could do! Collaborate with your team to see if there are any specific metrics you’d want to track, like attendee registration numbers or service sign-ups during your event. Setting and writing down your goals will help you prioritize what to focus on as you begin the planning process!

2. Decide on audience

Deciding on the size of your event is another key step to take when planning your corporate event. Do you want it to remain small and intimate, or large with plenty of opportunities for attendees to network? Also decide on who you want to attend your event - do you want to keep it to higher-up executives and C-suite members, or do you want it to be strictly for partners? Considering the type of audience you’d like to attend your corporate event will drive other important planning decisions. 

Download our free Ultimate Webinar Planning Checklist !

3. Set the event’s budget

An event budget is a detailed forecast or estimate of what would be occurring financially at your corporate event. Along with setting goals and objectives, creating an event budget is a crucial step for planning any event. Knowing how much you have to spend on certain details, like marketing and the venue, can help you prioritize what to focus on. 

4. Make a guest list

No matter what size you decide your corporate event will be, building out a detailed guest list is key. This includes anyone from your target audience to any guest speaker you’ve chosen and any sponsors or partners who will be at the event. You can even share this guest list with your attendees to build excitement around your event as well! 

5. Choose a theme & format 

When planning a stellar corporate event, coming up with a theme is part of the fun! Even if your event needs to be formal and information based, a theme is still a fun way to get your guests involved! You can choose a theme based on a specific season, or around a certain area of your business to attract guests and make them excited about your event. 

6. Establish a project timeline

A project timeline will help keep you and your team on schedule! Not only is a timeline a smart idea for your company to have and follow, but it’s also a great addition to give to sponsors or partners. Providing them with a timeline will prove that your corporate event is well organized and thought out.  

7. Choose a location

If your corporate event is in person, choosing a location should be one of the first steps. According to data collected in a study , the top 5 meeting destinations in North America are Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, Dallas, and Atlanta. Consider where the majority of your attendees will be coming from - if you’re planning an event who are nearby, remaining local isn’t a bad option. If you’re thinking of hosting a corporate event with a medium to large number of guests who are visiting from all parts of the country, or even the world, choosing a major city would be a smart idea.  

8. Prioritize marketing 

In order to promote your corporate event to as many of the right people as possible, marketing should be a big priority in your planning strategy. Collaborate with your marketing team to develop campaigns, whether through social media or email marketing, to attract attendees and increase registration numbers. If done the right way, the marketing for your event will make future attendees excited, too!

9. Make logistic arrangements

As you get closer to the day of your event, whether in person or virtual, make sure to have the event logistics in order. This includes things like establishing your agenda, getting your technology ready for the event day, finalizing any details with your software platform for virtual events, and more. 

10. Make use of technology  

As you prepare for your big corporate event, don’t forget to plan out any type of technology you’ll be using during the event. For in-person events, this means thinking about tools like projectors for presentations, kiosks for attendee sign-ins, and more. For virtual events , this means ensuring that the hosting platform you’re using has plenty of capabilities to make it a memorable experience for guests. Choosing an event planning software that allows attendees to engage and participate with one another is important, as well as having a team of online experts to help with any tech troubleshooting. 

11. Keep track & evaluate

Collecting data before, during, and after your corporate event should be a big priority. For virtual events, this looks like choosing a platform with analytics features for data on just about everything. For in-person events, this looks like collecting data on the number of attendees, average time spent in the event itself, and even feedback on how they enjoyed the event. Tracking all the data from your event will not only help you evaluate the event’s performance, but it will also help to improve the experience of future events. 

12. Collect and share ideas

Once your corporate event is over, it’s time to debrief with your team! Share everything you’ve collected about the event, from what parts you personally enjoyed to areas that  could improve for the next event based on feedback and data. 

13. Encourage participation

Participation during an event is how new ideas will circulate and get the conversation started about different topics. You want attendees to engage with one another, so it’s important you include things that encourage participation. This could be anything from asking attendees questions during presentations at conferences or utilizing the engagement features on online platforms for virtual events, like polls and live chats. 

14. Network and make connections

One of the main focuses of a corporate event is to network. Corporate events are a great chance for attendees to make new and lasting professional connections. Although you may be planning the event, don’t forget to utilize networking for yourself during the event , too! 

Networking at a corporate event

15. Follow-up after the event

Even though you may know you hosted a great corporate event, following up can make it even better. Send thank you notes to speakers and guests to show how much you valued their presence and contributions. Sending out a post-event survey is a great way to gain additional feedback that you may have not been able to collect through the data you acquired. 

A checklist for corporate event planning 

  • Set Goals and Objectives
  • Decide on Audience
  • Set the Event's Budget
  • Make a Guest List
  • Choose a theme & format
  • Establish a project timeline
  • Choose a Location
  • Prioritize Marketing
  • Make Logistic arrangements
  • Make use of technology
  • Keep Track and Evaluate
  • Collect and Share Ideas
  • Encourage Participation
  • Network and Make Connections
  • Follow-Up After the Event

Use Hubilo to make your events more memorable

Thanks to platforms like Hubilo, hosting a corporate event either in-person, virtually, or hybrid has never been easier. Hubilo has a number of features that you can choose from that make hosting and planning for an online event a smooth and stress-free experience. The capabilities your corporate event can have are endless; add some fun to the event with our gamification features , and create a custom landing page with our branding capabilities. If you want your corporate event to be a success, choose Hubilo to help you get there! 

If you follow these steps, you’re on your way to a successful (and profitable) corporate event! With so many types of corporate events, the options are endless as to how you can get your company name into the world and make a difference in your industry. As previously mentioned, if you or your team needs any assistance, Hubilo has all the answers to help plan and carry out the best corporate event yet!  Request a demo today to know how our event specialists are ready to show you how Hubilo's robust platform.

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Corporate Event Planning: How To Host a Memorable Event

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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:

  • Conferences
  • 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

A team member works on corporate event planning with his phone and laptop

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.

1. Research

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

A happy team member throws confetti

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.

How to set up a virtual spending card as part of your corporate event planning

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

How to personalize a virtual spending card as part of your corporate event planning

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.

How to set a per-person food budget as part of your corporate event planning

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

How to send out invites to your spending program as part of your corporate event planning

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.

How to upload participant emails to your virtual event spending platform

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.

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Corporate Event Planning & Execution: A Comprehensive Guide

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Corporate events connect businesses with their employees, clients, and industry partners. These events, often referred to as corporate social events, provide a platform for fostering relationships, sharing knowledge, and achieving organizational goals. However, organizing successful corporate events requires meticulous planning, effective event management, and attention to detail. This comprehensive guide will take you through the process of corporate event planning, covering various event types, key considerations, strategies for event marketing, seamless execution, and post-event analysis. Whether you are an experienced corporate event manager and planner or new to the field, this guide will provide valuable insights to optimize your event strategy and create impactful experiences.

I. Understanding Corporate Social Events

Corporate social events encompass various gatherings that facilitate engagement, collaboration, and relationship-building. But what is events management ?

Let’s delve deeper into the different types of corporate social events and their unique characteristics:

Corporate Meetings and Conferences

Corporate meetings and conferences bring together employees, stakeholders, event managers, or industry experts to discuss strategies, share knowledge, and foster collaboration. These events can range from small team meetings to large-scale conferences with keynote speakers , breakout sessions , and networking opportunities. As a corporate event planner , understanding these events’ objectives and target audience is crucial for designing engaging and productive experiences .

Berkshire Hathaway event photo

Team Building and Retreats

Team-building events and retreats are designed to show people skills, strengthen interpersonal relationships, enhance teamwork, and boost employee morale. These events often incorporate interactive workshops , outdoor activities, and team-building exercises to provide employees with a platform to bond and develop essential skills. As a corporate event planner, you play a pivotal role in designing activities and creating an environment that fosters teamwork, collaboration, and employee engagement.

Client Engagement

Client engagement events focus on cultivating relationships with existing clients or attracting new prospects. They range from intimate dinners and networking receptions to product launches, press conferences, and trade shows. The event planners’ aim in client engagement events is to provide a memorable experience highlighting the company’s offerings and fostering long-term partnerships. As a corporate event planner, you create an environment that facilitates meaningful interactions between clients and your company, showcasing your products or services and leaving a lasting impression.

Corporate Hospitality

Corporate hospitality events are designed to entertain clients, partners, or stakeholders and enhance business relationships. These events can include sporting events, exclusive parties, or VIP experiences . They provide opportunities for companies to demonstrate appreciation for their clients, strengthen existing partnerships, and create opportunities for meaningful interactions. As a corporate event planner specializing in corporate hospitality events, you craft experiences and virtual events that align with your company’s brand and values while ensuring guests feel valued and appreciated.

II. Corporate Event Planning Considerations

Successful corporate event planning requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure seamless execution of the event schedule and achieve desired outcomes.

Let’s delve deeper into the key considerations to optimize your corporate event planning process :

Defining Objectives and Target Audience

Before diving into event planning, defining clear objectives and identifying the target audience is paramount. It’s not just about knowing who will attend, but understanding their needs, expectations, and demographics. This deep understanding will guide decision-making throughout the planning process, ensuring the event caters to their requirements and aligns with the event organizer’s overall purpose. For instance, if the target audience is a younger demographic, the event might incorporate more tech-savvy elements or contemporary themes.

Deep attendee understanding drives decision-making, aligning the event with their needs, including aspects like catering, and the organizer’s purpose.

Photo of catering

Budgeting and Resource Allocation

Budgeting and resource allocation are foundational to the success of any corporate event. Establishing a realistic event budget is the first step. Once you have a clear financial picture, allocating resources appropriately becomes crucial. Carefully allocate funds for the event venue, rental, catering, audiovisual equipment , marketing, staffing, and other necessary expenses. Effective resource allocation ensures that each aspect of the event, from the keynote speaker to the last-minute details, receives sufficient attention and contributes to its overall success.

Venue Selection and Logistics

Venue selection and logistics play a pivotal role in setting the tone for the event. Selecting the right venue is vital to create the desired atmosphere and accommodate the number of attendees. Factors such as location, capacity, accessibility, parking, and technical capabilities should be at the forefront of the decision-making process. Additionally, planning logistics like transportation for attendees, accommodation options, and on-site facilities is essential to provide participants with a smooth and seamless event experience.

Program Development and Content

Program development and content are the heart of the event. Crafting a well-rounded program that aligns with the event’s objectives and caters to the audience’s preferences is essential. Determine the event’s format, which may include keynote presentations , panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions. As a corporate event planner, it’s crucial to select engaging and knowledgeable speakers or facilitators who can provide valuable insights, captivate the audience , and contribute to the event’s success. The content should resonate with the audience, be relevant to the industry, and provide actionable takeaways.

Event Marketing

An effective event marketing strategy is crucial for attracting attendees, generating excitement, and creating a buzz around corporate events. Utilize channels such as social media , email marketing , industry publications , and collaborations with influencers to reach the target audience. Create engaging content, visually appealing visuals, and compelling messaging to entice potential attendees and build anticipation.

An effective event marketing strategy is more than just promotion; it’s about creating a narrative around the event. Utilize channels such as social media , email marketing , industry publications , and collaborations with influencers to reach the target audience. Create engaging content, visually appealing visuals, and compelling messaging to entice potential attendees and build anticipation.

Pre-event interview with Jerry Jones

On-Site Execution and Event Production

During the event, meticulous attention to detail and effective on-site execution of event management tasks are vital for a seamless and successful corporate event.

Consider the following aspects:

Event Day Coordination

Effective coordination is essential on the event day to ensure everything runs smoothly. Coordinate logistics such as registration check-in , audiovisual setup , and seating arrangements . Assign staff members to specific roles and responsibilities, ensuring they are well-prepared to manage on-site issues promptly and efficiently.

Attendee Experience and Engagement

Enhancing the attendee experience is crucial for the success of a corporate event. Incorporate interactive elements and activities that encourage engagement and networking among attendees. Consider implementing event apps or online platforms that facilitate participant communication and collaboration. Engaging attendees through live polling, Q&A sessions, or interactive workshops provides valuable and memorable experiences .

Speaker and Presenter Support

Speakers and presenters play a critical role in delivering engaging and informative content. Provide them with support and resources to ensure their presentations run smoothly. Share event guidelines, offer technical assistance, and conduct rehearsals if needed. By ensuring that speakers are well-prepared and supported, you contribute to the overall quality of the event.

Behind a keynote speaker at a convention

III. Event Marketing Strategies for Corporate Events

Event marketing is more than just promotion; it’s about creating a narrative around the event that resonates with the target audience. Implementing effective event marketing strategies is vital to maximize the success of your event and ensure it stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Let’s dig deeper into the essential strategies for event management companies optimizing successful event and marketing for corporate events:

Developing an Event Marketing Plan

An event marketing plan is the blueprint for all your promotional activities. Create a comprehensive plan that outlines your target audience, messaging strategy , and unique value proposition. Identify the most effective channels to reach your target audiences, such as social media platforms, email marketing, industry publications, and collaborations with other top event managers, professionals, and influencers. A well-structured marketing plan ensures that every promotional effort is aligned with the event’s goals and resonates with the intended audience. Develop a timeline and marketing calendar to ensure consistent and strategic promotion.

Teaser Campaigns and Pre-event Engagement

Teaser campaigns and pre-event engagement are about building anticipation and creating a sense of excitement leading up to the event. Utilize teaser emails, social media posts, and engaging content to provide sneak peeks into what attendees can expect. Encourage audience interaction through contests, giveaways, or exclusive early-bird offers. This strategy not only boosts registration rates but also ensures attendees are engaged and invested even before the event begins. Utilize your website or landing page to showcase event highlights, speaker profiles, and registration information.

Creating Branded Sites and Apps

Developing branded sites and apps for your event can significantly enhance the attendee experience. Hosting a dedicated event website or mobile app that serves as a one-stop-shop for all event-related information. Ensure the platform is user-friendly and visually appealing, providing features like event schedules, speaker bios, interactive maps, and networking capabilities. Incorporate your company’s branding elements to reinforce brand recognition and create a cohesive event experience.

Thermador event photo of social media wall

Collaboration with Industry Partners

Collaboration with industry partners can be a game-changer for your event’s reach and credibility. Partnering with industry influencers, associations, or media outlets can significantly expand the reach of your corporate event. Collaborate on cross-promotional activities, such as guest blog posts, interviews, or joint social media campaigns. By leveraging the networks and expertise of your partners, you can attract a broader audience, enhance event visibility, and strengthen the event’s reputation in the industry.

Post-event Follow-up and Evaluation

The event might be over, but the engagement shouldn’t be. Maintaining engagement with attendees after the event is crucial for sustaining relationships and gathering valuable feedback. Send personalized thank-you emails, share event highlights on social media, and provide access to post-event resources or recordings. Conduct surveys or feedback forms to evaluate attendee satisfaction and identify areas for improvement in future events.

Assessing the return on investment (ROI) of your corporate event is crucial for future planning and decision-making. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with your event objectives, such as attendee satisfaction, lead generation, revenue impact, or brand visibility. Utilize event management tools and analytics to track and measure the success of your event against these KPIs, ensuring that every dollar spent on the event yields a positive return.

IV. Seamless Execution and Event Management

Executing a corporate event is not just about the planning phase; it’s about ensuring that every detail is executed flawlessly on the day of the event. This requires meticulous planning, attention to detail, and effective project management.

Here are key aspects to consider for seamless event management:

Event day coordination is the linchpin of a successful event. On the day of the event, everything you’ve planned for comes to fruition. Effective coordination and organization are essential to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. Ensure all logistics, such as registration check-in, audiovisual setup, and seating arrangements, are in place well in advance. Assign staff members to specific roles and responsibilities, ensuring they are well-prepared to handle and manage any on-site issues that may arise promptly. Having a dedicated team for event day coordination ensures that attendees have a smooth experience from the moment they arrive until they leave.

The success of any event is often measured by the experience of its attendees. Attendee experience and engagement are paramount for the success of a corporate event. To actively engage attendees, incorporate interactive elements such as live polling, Q&A sessions, or other networking events and activities. These elements not only keep attendees engaged but also provide them with valuable takeaways from the event. Utilize event technology solutions, like dedicated event apps or platforms, to facilitate seamless communication and networking opportunities among participants. Remember, a satisfied attendee is more likely to return for future events and spread positive word-of-mouth.

Speakers and presenters are often the highlight of corporate events. Providing them with the necessary speaker and presenter support ensures that they can deliver their best. Support speakers and presenters in person to ensure their presentations run smoothly. Share event plans and guidelines, offer technical assistance, and conduct rehearsals if necessary. Clear communication and support not only help create a positive experience for speakers but also enhance the overall quality of the event. When speakers feel supported and prepared, they can focus on delivering impactful presentations that resonate with the audience.

People discussing KPI of an event

V. Post-Event Analysis and Evaluation

The conclusion of an event is just the beginning of another crucial phase: post-event follow-up and evaluation. After the event, conducting a thorough analysis and evaluation is essential to assess the event’s success and gather valuable feedback for future improvements to event venues.

Here’s how you can effectively evaluate your corporate event:

Attendee Feedback and Surveys

Collect feedback from attendees through post-event surveys or feedback forms. This direct input is invaluable in understanding the attendee experience. Ask specific questions about their overall satisfaction, session content, speakers, logistics, and suggestions for improvement. Analyze the feedback to identify areas where the event excelled and areas that require attention in future events. This feedback loop is essential for continuous improvement and ensuring that future events meet or exceed expectations.

Data Analytics and Performance Metrics

Utilize event management tools and analytics to track and measure key performance metrics . Assess metrics such as attendee registration numbers, engagement levels, social media reach, conversions, and return on investment. Analyzing these metrics provides insights into the event’s impact and helps refine future event strategies.

Measuring event ROI is not just about financial returns; it’s about understanding the overall impact of the event. Utilize event management tools and analytics to track and measure key performance metrics . Assess metrics such as attendee registration numbers, engagement levels, social media reach, conversions, and return on investment. Analyzing these metrics provides insights into the event’s impact, its effectiveness in achieving set objectives, and helps refine future event strategies.

Stakeholder and Team Debriefings

Hold debriefing sessions with your team and key stakeholders involved in the event planning and execution. These sessions are an opportunity to reflect on the event’s successes and challenges. Share insights, discuss successes, challenges, and areas for improvement. Promote open communication and collaboration to ensure that valuable lessons learned from past events are applied to future ones. These debriefings help foster continuous improvement and contribute to the success of future events.

Corporate events are powerful platforms for businesses to connect with stakeholders, foster relationships, and achieve goals. By understanding the different types of corporate events, implementing effective planning and event marketing strategies, ensuring seamless execution, and conducting thorough post-event analysis, you can create impactful and memorable experiences. Whether you are an experienced corporate and event manager or planner or new to corporate event planning, this comprehensive guide provides valuable insights to optimize your event strategy. Remember to define clear objectives, allocate resources wisely , engage attendees through targeted event marketing efforts, and continuously evaluate and improve your pre-event planning strategy for ongoing success.

With careful planning, meticulous execution, training, and continuous improvement, corporate events can become valuable tools for building brand recognition , driving business growth, and nurturing meaningful connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions to ask when planning a corporate event.

Planning a successful corporate event requires a strategic approach. Start by defining the event’s purpose: is it for brand promotion, employee engagement, or stakeholder networking? Knowing the “why” will guide other decisions. Next, identify your target audience, which will influence the event’s tone, content, and logistics. Estimating the number of attendees is vital for venue selection, catering, and other logistics. Lastly, set a realistic budget, considering all potential costs, from technology to entertainment, ensuring you get the best return on investment.

How do you choose a corporate event planning company?

Choosing the right event planning company can make all the difference. Begin by assessing their experience: have they managed events similar to yours in scale and purpose? Client testimonials and case studies can provide insights into their capabilities. A company’s adaptability is also crucial; they should be receptive to your ideas while bringing their expertise to the table. Before finalizing, discuss budget constraints to ensure transparency and avoid future discrepancies.

Questions event planners ask their clients?

A seasoned event planner will deeply understand a client’s vision and expectations. They’ll inquire about the event’s primary objectives: brand visibility, stakeholder engagement, or employee recognition. Specifics about preferred themes, color schemes, or cultural elements help tailor the event ambiance. They’ll also probe for non-negotiables or specific brands/vendors the client wishes to associate with, ensuring the final event aligns perfectly with the client’s ethos.

How do you get into corporate event planning?

Corporate event planning demands a blend of passion and practicality. Start by immersing yourself in the industry, attending events, and observing the intricacies. Formal education in event management or related fields can provide foundational knowledge. However, real-world experience, through internships or volunteering, is invaluable. As you navigate the industry, cultivate relationships with vendors, venues, and other planners, as networking is the cornerstone of this profession.

How to start a corporate event planning business?

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey in event planning requires meticulous planning. Draft a comprehensive business plan highlighting your niche, whether it’s tech conferences, luxury product launches, or team retreats. This will help in targeting your marketing efforts. Invest time in understanding market trends and the latest in event technology. Your portfolio is your calling card; even if it starts with smaller events, ensure it showcases your versatility and attention to detail. Building strong vendor relationships can also give you a competitive edge, ensuring you deliver top-notch events every time.

What is corporate event planning?

Corporate event planning is about creating memorable experiences that align with a company’s objectives. It encompasses many events, from product launches aiming to generate buzz conferences designed for knowledge sharing to employee retreats focused on team-building. Each event reflects the company’s brand and values, tailored to engage the target audience, whether it’s clients, employees, or stakeholders. Corporate event planning can significantly enhance a company’s image and relationships with the right blend of creativity and logistics.


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Planning a  is more like conducting a formal meeting in a fancy way. Corporate events usually allow firms to share their strategies and connect with the stakeholders. That is why you need to protect the face of the firm and be very careful about little things.

I have compiled a guidebook for you to plan a corporate event that goes above and beyond your client’s expectations! Keep on reading and get yourself a list of satisfied customers.

What are Corporate Events?

Corporate events bring together board members, employees, potential clients, customers, and other stakeholders to reward, educate, motivate employees, and celebrate achievements. The events serve as a platform to strengthen your connections with the stakeholders and make your upcoming corporate calendar known to all stakeholders.

"The purpose of a corporate event is to bring people together, create shared experiences, and inspire them to achieve something together." - David Meerman Scott, marketing thought leader

Types of Corporate Events

Corporate events can take many forms, from corporate meetups to massive expos and trade shows where the firms can bring their new products into the limelight and draw potential customers. Here are some common corporate events that are celebrated in the business world:

Conferences and Seminars

Trade shows and expos, meetings and conventions, incentive programs.

  • Team-building Activities
  • Awards Ceremonies and Gala Dinners
  • Networking Events

Discover 15 different types of events .

Conferences and seminars are mediums for conducting professional talk sessions. Here, you can introduce your brand and create awareness about your vision and mission among the masses. If you are silver-tongued, you can sail deeper into the hearts of your potential customers and earn their endorsement for your product.

corporate planning event

  • You can engage the audience through intriguing visuals. Seminars and conferences may deploy presentations that use colors like red and blue, which attract the eyes and are noticeable.
  • You can use the platform to create awareness about issues your product resolves. For instance, if your brand sells masks, you can shed light on the importance of wearing masks and the havoc it may produce if one does not wear a mask.
  • Furthermore, you can enhance your brand image by putting forth the facts and figures regarding your annual sales and profit. Such figures can impress the ones who might not initially be fans of your brand. These figures might convince them to give your product a try.

You must have heard of World Expos held in Dubai or other famous expos in your geographical confines. If yes! You know what expos or trade fairs are. Trade shows or expos are forums where different brands from a common industry can showcase their products to many audiences using their trade show apps . Furthermore, expos can be a golden chance for many corporate firms to create a market space for their products in multiple nations. Here, your target customers from different nations will find you.

Business meetings might be scheduled with staff members to assess their productivity and assign them projects and duties. You can discuss technical details and get majority approval for a particular project. Here is how meetings and conventions can play their role as a crucial corporate event:

  • In executive meetings, a team of corporate executives is present. They exchange fresh information on current business trends and share opinions about financial targets and new marketing strategies.
  • Some companies arrange business meetings to create buzz and exposure by launching something new into the market.

An employee working on loops on the same projects for weeks is bound to be exhausted. In a corporate setting, you must arrange programs that boost the morale of your employees. One of the best things you can do for your employees is arrange incentive programs.

  • Announcing promotions, monetary bonuses, salary raises, and referral bonuses in front of their colleagues can boost their confidence.
  • Offering your employees incentives can give them a sense of achievement, and it might encourage them to work even harder.

corporate planning event

Team-Building Activities

You must be tired of your HR asking you for activities like playing games. However, such activities do what you might not notice but can influence your corporate event. I suggest you enthusiastically participate as much as you can in such activities.

Such activities can help you rewind and refresh your fatigued mind, and such activities are good because they involve parts that are psychologically proven to be effective for mood enhancement. Furthermore, such activities bring uniformity to a team and help make decision-making easier within the team. Here are 30+ creative ideas for corporate events .

Significance of Corporate Events

Business is all about marketing a product and connecting with the masses to boost sales. There are many ways marketing can be done, including corporate events. However, one cannot cater to marketing goals, customer expectations, and employees' needs through a single corporate event.

Hence, there are different corporate events for different purposes. For instance, to rewind a burnt-out team, you may need to treat your employees with a fancy lunch, or to educate your target customers, you can arrange seminars or public talks.

Corporate events can serve as a solution to many of the corporate problems. For example, if your team is lacking productivity and motivation, you can give a push to their productivity by arranging an incentive program. Telling them to think outside of the box may not work as much as a small incentive program. Who knows, these motivated employees develop groundbreaking ideas that can escalate your sales like nothing else.

In addition to this, if your sales are lagging, you can participate in expos or seminars, where you can get your customers a deeper insight into your product and your mission. For instance, if your firm is pursuing eco-friendly manufacturing, you can involve environmental activists and promote your brand by focusing your marketing on this aspect.

Here are 30+ creative ideas for corporate events that can rewind a burnt team.

"A successful event doesn't just happen, it's meticulously planned and executed with creativity and passion." - Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder

corporate planning event

Corporate Events Play a Substantial Role in The Following

  • Lead generation
  • Building a lasting impact

Corporate events can be a way to draw audiences from different backgrounds and introduce to them your brand. You can use corporate events like expos, conferences, and trade shows as a platform to spread the word about your brand. You can perform simulations related to your product and earn the trust of your potential customers.

  • Showcase the feedback of your customers at expos and other corporate events to hook the bystanders.
  • Deploy different marketing schemes, like using background colors that stand out to grab the attention and be relatable to your customers by targeting the pain points. After grabbing attention and targeting the pain points, introduce your brand as a solution in the corporate event.

Brand Building

An established business faces tough competition from its rival brands. To outclass your rivals in a competitive market isn’t a piece of cake. You need to build your image through strategizing, which includes arranging corporate events. Here is how corporate events help you build a brand image:

  • Connecting with the people will enhance your brand awareness.
  • You can draw more customers through word of mouth via the event attendees.
  • Showcase your products and share your objectives with the masses through one-on-one interaction.

Lead Generation

Yes! If your marketing and branding are strong, you can easily hunt many leads in an event . Corporate events provide an atmosphere where the audience already has their minds prepared for interaction and building connections.

You can grab the opportunity and get yourself even more customers. Furthermore, you can draw more sponsors through this interactive session. You may also get the opportunity to collaborate with big brands.

  • If you have introduced any product for sale, you may get MOU offers from different production, advertising, and commercial brands.
  • You will get a plethora of options to select from for commercial alliances.
  • Events create a conducive environment for networking, fostering professional connections that can reap partnerships and collaborations.

Building an Impact

In an era where people forget things with a swipe, business depends on longer relations! You need to earn your customers' long-lasting trust to keep buying your product. For that, you must build an everlasting impact on the customers through your advertising and impressive slogans. Furthermore, you can build a lasting impact through frequent corporate events that bring stakeholders and customers together for an interactive session.

  • Corporate events can be our chance to build a lasting impact on the attendees by aptly marketing your brand.
  • You can also honestly share your product's pros and cons to develop a trusting relationship with potential customers.
  • Once you have built a trusting relationship with the attendees, the shortcomings of your product will be overlooked by those who trust you and your brand.

Employee Engagement

Corporate events boost employees' passion, devotion, and inspiration toward their company when they work on a project with collaboration and conclude it successfully. In particular, when ceremonies are organized to appreciate the efforts of staff, they get motivation and positive energy, which helps them excel in their profession.

  • You can motivate your employees by acknowledging their efforts.
  • You can also award them with a formal gift as an encouragement. Furthermore, you can boost your employees' motivation by celebrating the year's achievements.

corporate planning event

Relations with Clients

Corporate events serve as a forum for companies to deepen their bond with their loyal customers, coworkers, and investors. Corporate events like in-person meetings at events can strengthen trust and confidence.

  • Corporate events can sometimes serve as a formal place to develop informal stakeholder relations. Be a good listener to your clients and build a relationship that tops the professional relationships.
  • Share your personal interests with the clients and invite them to, for example, play golf or a table tennis match.
  • Even if you are unable to connect with the clients on a personal level, you can still be their corporate friend by sharing the corporate benefits with them and committing to mutual interest.

Market Research

Companies have a chance to practically experience the market in a corporate event. You can sell both your products and services at discounted prices and record the feedback and responses from your customers after they have used your product.

  • When you step into a corporate expo or a trade show, you get hands-on experience in the market. By interacting with the masses, you understand the current needs and expectations of the customers. You get a deeper insight into the market.
  • You get to know what your competitors are doing and which of their business strategies is reaping their profits. That way, you can polish your business mantra and align it with the current trends.

Product Launch Success

Both startup companies and reputed brands organize expos, workshops, and launching ceremonies to introduce their new products in the market. You can do that using corporate events. Here is how corporate events can help you make your product launch a success:

  • Corporate events create a fancy image of your business among the audience. Social media coverage of these events amplifies the image of a business manyfold.
  • If your product gets an optimistic response from users in the event, it shows a great probability that it is going to rock in the corporate sector.

CSR and Social Impact

Many companies sponsor or arrange events for social causes. Such events often get more publicity and hence are much supported by the public. When you are considerate about local issues like poverty, female illiteracy, and inaccessible clean water and support local communities, the customers are more welcoming to your brand. The support becomes mutual and stronger, and you become the pride of your loyal customers as well.

Corporate Event Planning Steps, Do's And Dont's

Corporate Event Planning Steps, Do's And Dont's

Steps For Company Event Planning

If you want to achieve all the set goals, you will have to take some crucial measures in your planning. These measures will likely lead to excellent outcomes for your event.

Goals and Objectives

  • Identify your objectives and goals for the corporate event.
  • If you want to lighten up the mood and create a friendly environment at your firm, you can arrange a relevant event.
  • If you want an event to market your product, you can arrange a trade show.

Create a Budget

  • Make sure your budget is planned wisely, and a suitable sum is dedicated to each expense of the event.
  • You must target a budget plan that does not surpass your allocated funds and make sure to choose services like concierge services, venue, and catering services that are affordable for you.

Create an Expert Team

  • Bring together a team that is expert in different departments. For instance, hire a creative team for the decor and layout of the event.
  • Furthermore, hire a technical team that deals with the technical details of sound and visuals in the event.
  • Likewise, you should have a team for stage management who make sure the program timeline is followed precisely and the stage performers (i.e., speakers) are backstage right before their performance.

Choose a Date and Time

  • While choosing the date and time of the event , don't forget that your guests can have a tight schedule. Arrange a date and a time that is suitable for all chief guests and common guests.
  • For instance, you can arrange an event on weekdays after office hours, or you can select a  date for a public holiday. If there is a long weekend expected in the coming months, that would be the best time.

Select a Venue

  • The venue of your event should be accessible for the guests and should be a place where your guests can seek facilities like shopping malls, Wifi, and medical aid.
  • The hall, or whatever space you have chosen, must be large and wide enough to accommodate all of your guests comfortably.
  • The venue pricing must also be reasonable to keep the budget in check.

Develop a Guest List

  • Prepare the list of all guests whose presence is important in this event. Your guest lists can involve business tycoons, renowned faces, and speakers who are experts at entertaining audiences.
  • After finalizing the list, mail invitations to all the guests with the exact date, time, and venue.
  • Share your chief guest list on social media to advertise your event and attract more incomers.

Create Event Logistics

  • Arrange all activities within a fixed time and create an intricate flow chart of things to do before, during, and after the program.  
  • Be clear about when and how you will reach the event location and how you will receive the guests and entertain them. Create an organized timeline for the event that includes introductions, motivational speeches, refreshment times sessions, etc.
  • Plan the post-event feedback process precisely.

Get Approval and Authorization

  • Make sure that all the activities related to your event comply with local and state laws.
  • If any certification is required, like a permit for the venue, getting them is your first priority.

Develop a Marketing and Promotion Plan

To promote your brand, you need to conduct a solid promotional campaign on different social media platforms.

  • Share the advertisement on all social media platforms .
  • Draw the attention of the public by offering enticing activities like gaming, reward winnings, discounts on brands, entertainment activities, etc.

Set Up Technology and AV Requirements

  • The speakers and presenters can convey their words only when tools like mouthpieces or microphones, screens, projectors, etc., work just fine. Make sure all the technical tools are functional before the event starts.
  • Make sure that none of the tools are out of order. Don’t ignore even minor glitches to avoid awkward situations.

Collect Feedback

  • Ask the attendees about how the event was and what aspects you need to improve. You can also check the audience's response by making them fill out Perfomas, where they can put their ideas about the event.
  • If most of the crowd gives positive feedback, congratulations, you nailed it!
  • Moreover, focus on the suggestions and customers' interest to revamp your business game.

TIP: Use eventify corporate event app to streamline your events!

Arrangements of Invitations and Entertainment for Corporate Guests

Once you have determined who and how many people are necessary for the function, the next step is inviting them. Your responsibility doesn't end here but actually starts from this point on. You have to entertain your invited guests in a lively way. Arrange everything in such a manner the essence of it remains fresh in their minds for a long:


While inviting guests can seem like a pretty easy job, it can turn out to be a very hectic one. Inviting the guests, following the formalities, and aligning with their complicated schedules can really be a mind-boggling job to do. Here is a breakdown of the invitation process you must follow:

Narrow Down Your Guest List

  • Your guest list must consist of investors, clients, business partners, and speakers.
  • Design a guest list that is relevant to your program.

Formal Invitations

  • Create professional invites and designs that are the anecdote of the theme and aura of your event and are reflected in the invitation cards.
  • You must mention the venue with the address, date, and time.

Use Multiple Communication Channels

  • After formally inviting the VIP guests, keep sending them reminder memos via text messages, WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and emails.

VIP Treatment

  • Be formally available for the guests and give them special treatment. Offer full protocol to the chief guests of your event. Provide exclusive access, personal transportation, or specialized concierge services.

Entertainment In Corporate Event Management

Understand Your Audience ‍

  • You can entertain your guests aptly only when you target their interests. Make sure that the entertainment activities resonate with their interest and are relatable.
  • Pitch your product to the audiences in a subtle way, keeping in mind their interests. ‍

Interactive Entertainment ‍

  • Since you are investing in entertainment, it is better to invest in interactive recreational activities. For example, you can arrange fun activities like games, engaging displays, and selfie studios. ‍

Timing and Flow ‍

  • Schedule the entertainment session either at the start or end of the event. That way, you will be able to avoid any distractions and keep your attendees focused on the corporate event.
  • Don't mix entertainment activities with business discussions. You should keep them scheduled at separate times, as doing otherwise might affect the objective and goals of your event. ‍

Cultural Sensitivity ‍

  • Your entertainment activities should not be insensitive to different cultures. Hence, take cultural variations into consideration; otherwise, you may hurt the feelings of guests there.
  • Ensure that the entertainment is inclusive and considerate to people from every culture. ‍

Post-Event Follow-Up ‍

  • Ask for the guests' comments to find out if the event was successful or not.  
  • These comments will help you revamp your event next time.

Your business visitors can have an unforgettable experience if you plan their entertainment and invites wisely, which will reflect well on your company.

How to Effectively Use Concierge Service for Investor Meetings

Good hospitality always wins the hearts of guests. When you are hosting investors, use the event concierge services efficiently. This may alleviate your brand image and impress your investors. Here are some tips for using concierge services during investor meetings in an efficient manner:

corporate planning event

Pre-Meeting Planning

Understand Investor Preferences:

  • Do proper research about your investors and understand the likes and dislikes of investors. So that you can target their business priorities while presenting your idea or a product.
  • Look into their goals and objectives and find a way to co-relate your idea with their business ideology. Prepare a speech that would hit the investors and help them understand how your idea can be fruitful for them.

Coordinate Logistics:

  • Since you know investors' choices, you can guide the concierge to arrange a stay, travel, and other needs according to your investor's preferences.

Provide Detailed Itinerary:

  • Inform your concierge about the outline of the program, like where the meetings will be held, the agenda, the timetable, and the relevant details.
  • As a result, you can avoid any confusion and mismanagement and not waste the investors' time.

Transportation Services In Corporate Meeting Planning

  • Airport Transfers: Make sure you arrange for a professional chauffeur to receive the investors at the airport.
  • Private Car Services: A luxurious car waiting for the investors to pick up and drop them off for the meetings will make them feel valued and honored.
  • Local Transportation Information: Your concierge should be well aware of local transport as well in case of any emergency.


  • Select Premium Accommodations : Research what type of accommodation your investors prefer and share this info (like the preferred room style, preferred floor, hotel stay timings, etc.) with your concierge. Details like these are essential to impress investors.
  • Special Requests: Think about the amenities that the investors would like. It may be a personalized note, a gift, or a bouquet. Communicate these special requests to the concierge on time.

Dining and Entertainment

  • Reservation Assistance: Have your concierge make reservations at a fancy bar or restaurant to hold the dinners and business meetings. You must be mindful of any food allergies or diet restrictions that the guest may have.
  • Local Recommendations: List all the entertaining sites and locations, local and musical events, and recommend them to the investors.
  • Private Events: You can also arrange your own private events to get close to the investors and have a more personalized and exclusive experience. It can also help in building relationships and allow you to have a more focused dialogue. Arrange private events or dinners for a more personalized and intimate setting. This allows for focused discussions and relationship-building.

On-Site Support

  • Meeting Room Logistics: The meeting room must be prepared a day before the meeting. Inform the concierge in advance about the place where the meeting is going to be held. You should double-check all the technical details like screens, projects, speakers, and microphones in their places.
  • Immediate Assistance: During the meeting, the concierge must be present. It is necessary to cope with any unexpected situation or a sudden requirement.

Follow-Up Services

  • Post-Meeting Services: After the investor meeting ends, arrange for follow-up services such as transportation back to the airport or any additional assistance they might need.
  • Feedback Collection: Get a feedback note from investors about their experience with the concierge service. Use this information to improve and tailor services for future meetings.

By integrating concierge services effectively into the planning and execution of investor meetings, you can create a seamless and positive experience, demonstrating your commitment to professionalism and attention to detail.

Post-Event Marketing

  • Follow-Up Campaigns: After the event, companies can leverage the gathered leads for targeted marketing campaigns. Follow-up emails, newsletters, and personalized communication can generate leads and move them through the marketing process.
  • Content Creation: Content generated during events, such as presentations, interviews, or panel discussions, can be repurposed for advertising to extend reach beyond the event itself.

In short, corporate events are a powerful tool for revenue and lead generation as they foster relationships, showcase products/services, build brand recognition, and provide valuable networking opportunities. Strategic planning and effective follow-up are essential to maximizing the impact of these events on business growth.

Do’s and Don’ts

While arranging or planning a corporate event, there are some Do’s and Don’ts that you must always consider to conduct a successful corporate event. Here, I have listed down a few Do’s and Don’ts that will help you achieve your goal without a glitch.

Clear Objectives: Starting off, you should set some goals and objectives for your event. These goals will help you to plan and execute certain things that will turn your corporate event into a success.

Plan Your Budget: You should allocate enough chunks of your funds for different expenses of the event and plan the expenditure wisely. Your budget plan should cover the nitty-gritty of the company event planning . Trust me on this!

Book Your Venue Early: To book the desired spot for your event, you must book the venue ahead of time. Booking the venue early will help you get the location that suits your event and is available on your desired dates.

Assemble Your Team: Inform your team members about the intricate details of your event plan and explain everything to avoid any unsolicited incidents.

Select Vendors Carefully : You should be picky about the vendors and should consider their reliability, reputation, and ability to meet your event’s requirements. You can also consult your corporate client for suggestions and add vendors related to their business.

Use Technology Wisely: For a better event experience, you can use technology where needed. For instance, you can use an online software for the event management and planning process to avoid any inconvenience.

Set Deadlines: You must have a timeline that sorts different activities in pre-event, on-site, and post-event categories. I recommend assigning a deadline to each task and strictly following your timeline.

Marketing And Advertising: To market your product, you need to draw as many attendees as possible. To attract more attendees, you must spread the word about the event on social media platforms.

Proper Communication: You must put out important event details and updates to the people in a way that is vivid and easy to understand.

Attendee Engagement: For the on-site task list, you should put all your events to keep the attendees' attention on the event. You can do so by planning engaging and interesting activities and sessions.

"Make people feel important, appreciated, and connected. That's the key to an engaging event." - Michael Hyatt, author and motivational speaker

Post-Event Evaluation: Feedback plays a crucial role in your redemption and growth. Hence, conduct a post-event evaluation survey regarding the highlights and shortcomings of the event.

Things to Avoid (Don’ts)

Compromising Comfort: You must be very precise and vigilant to ensure attendees’ comfort, from seating arrangements to accessible facilities and climate control, never compromising on comfort.

Eleventh-Hour Planning: You should plan the event beforehand. That way, you will be able to cover the loopholes and look for replacements in case of emergencies. For instance, if your chief guest is busy on particular dates, you can either change the date of your event or look up another guest.

Unprepared for Contingency: You should never neglect the potential risks and should prepare a plan B for any foreseen risk.

Ignoring Legalities: You must never ignore the documentation and necessary permits that comply with local and state laws. While managing an event, you must never surpass a law; it can cause you significant damage.

Unprofessional Staffing: Corporate event management is teamwork, and it won’t work if your team isn’t efficient enough. Thus, avoid staffing unprofessional people.

Technological Glitches: You must test all your audio and visual equipment while booking for the setup and before the event starts. Take it from me; you really don’t want your speakers or mic failing you when your guest speakers are on stage.

Overlooking Crowd Management: You should be prepared for orderly registration and disciplined seating arrangements for the attendees. For instance, you would never want to keep your guests waiting in the registration line.

Corporate Event Planning Checklist

Corporate events play an essential role in building a firm's image and help businesses grow by connecting with clients and motivating employees. Furthermore, through corporate events, you can create your corporate identity and leave a lasting impact on your potential clients. You can get from corporate events only when you have meticulously prepared for the event, communicated with the clients, and given a lasting experience.

After going through all my carefully curated tips and tricks for planning a corporate event, do you feel ready to make your event a success? Let me know your thoughts or any questions in the comments.  

corporate planning event

Hussain Fakhruddin

About the author, love the smell of events every morning like us.

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How to Plan a Corporate and Business Event in 10 Steps

Needless to say, the way that events have been organized has gone through an extreme amount of changes the past few years. According to an investigation by Zippia : “During the COVID-19 Pandemic, 73% of event planners successfully transitioned to all virtual events”, meaning that the pandemic unknowingly expanded on the scope of what can be possible for events and where they can be hosted.

Additionally, from the same investigation, they found that “In 2022, 63% of marketers plan to spend more on live events in the future”. As the founder and CEO of B Line Events, Birgess Angelus, said in an interview with the San Francisco Business Times , “For some of the larger events that we plan, it’s full steam ahead…With events that are coming up in January and into the next year (2023), there’s no real caution of Covid moving forward. Covid is becoming less of a factor with every event. It’s not slowing things down.”

This “full steam ahead” approach supported by numbers hints towards a revival of in-person events, meaning that slowly but surely we are circling back to the “old” way of organizing and marketing them.

For businesses and professionals in any field, this brings forth opportunities to host corporate events that will generate important visibility for the company and assist in its growth. This can be made possible due to the exposure and networking opportunities brought forward by the event itself. So, if you are looking for a way to help boost your company through creating an amazing and impactful event, then keep on reading!

What is a corporate event?

A corporate event is any event held by a company to achieve a business goal whether it be marketing, networking or team morale. They are usually held by businesses or organizations for their staff, stakeholders or clients, and can range in both size and scope from a 3-day long convention to an afternoon product launch. Regardless of these variables, corporate events require excellent and meticulous planning in order to rise to the occasion and exceed professional expectations. Here’s how you can get started.

How to plan a successful corporate event in 10 steps

Planning a corporate event is deceivingly easy– it actually takes a lot of time and effort in order to put one together! Here are 10 steps to keep in mind as you go through the process.

1. Define the purpose of the event

Before you decide to host an event, it’s important to sit back and try to define its purpose. There are a plethora of potential reasons for hosting the event in the first place. From celebrating a product launch, generating networking opportunities, or wanting to present and expand on work and achievements, all of these different reasons will end up requiring different approaches when it comes to planning them. Once you are able to identify the purpose for the event, the way to approach it will become a lot clearer and easier to tackle.

2. Set goals & objectives

After defining the purpose of the event, setting specific goals and objectives will help you in the initial stages of the planning process. Think of the event goals and objectives as a lens that helps hone in on the intended purpose, and sets a clear connection between the two. For example, the purpose of the event could be to showcase your product or service to potential clients, and the goal could be to pick up a certain number of client leads to work with in the future. Once you have this solid connection between the purpose, goals you want to achieve, and objectives to meet along the way, variables will both emerge and be easier to discern. These variables can range all the way from event type, to the potential scope of the audience, etc.

3. Find the audience and decide the event format

Know your audience and draft an agenda that works well for them. Your audience can range anywhere from a company’s internal staff, to clients, to potential stakeholders, and so much more. After deciding on who you want the event to cater to, it will make the format of the event more distinguishable. The agenda and tone of a teambuilding event for internal staff might be fun and interactive with lots of networking and recognition opportunities. However, if your audience is potential and current customers, you might host a conference with multiple tracks in an effort to provide as much education and product exposure as possible.  As you can see, the audience scope will often define the event type and vice versa, which is why figuring one out will often bring the other to light.

4. Define a realistic budget

Before moving any further, the budget for the event needs to be determined (ideally as early as possible). The reality of the situation is that you need to know how much money you have available to work with. It determines the kind of event you’ll be able to host, as you’ll have to make monetary decisions regarding the resources you need and how much of the budget you want to allocate to each of them. These decisions can greatly alter the feeling and experience of the event. Even though taking the time to thoroughly sit down and go through the numbers may seem tedious, the time spent doing so will definitely be worth it, and will save many planning hours in the long run.

5. Select a venue

After figuring out who the audience of the event is, deciding the format of the event, and discerning what the budget allows, it’s time to look at a potential venue. A larger audience means choosing a larger venue, and a smaller audience means choosing a more intimate space. If you are planning to host a hybrid event, It is important to keep in mind any remote audiences when choosing a unique event venue space. Obviously, this isn’t applicable to all events, but the possibility of making an in-person event hybrid opens the door to also occupying an online space outside of the physical venue. If the purpose, goals, and objectives of the event you’re hosting include maximizing the reach of your company and encouraging visibility, a hybrid event might be something for you to consider.

6. Generate an agenda 

Similar to defining the budget, the earlier ahead you plan an agenda for the event, the easier it will be in the long run. Hosting a good event requires structure and flow to be successful and have an impact. Not only does it come off as professional and impressive in the corporate setting, but it also promotes organization. Especially with large events such as conventions or conferences that span multiple days, having a well-planned agenda will not just ensure a steady flow between activities, but from day to day as well.   Think about the guest experience when drafting your agenda and the time that it takes to move from one space to another. For instance, don’t plan an awards dinner to start immediately after your sessions end and make sure to allocate a little time for your attendees to refresh and move between functions. 

7. Start event marketing

Once all of these details have been decided on and set in stone, it’s time to start marketing the event! After all, if no one knows that you’re planning an event in the first place, then it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to show up. So, it’s up to you to find the best way to get the word out and let the event be known. From emails to social media posts, there are many ways to let people know what’s going on. Depending on the purpose and format of the event, the ways in which you reach out and market it will change. Make a plan to launch your registration three to six months in advance of the event and have a detailed communications plan to drive attendance.

8. Stay on top of vendor arrangements and keep track of deadlines

Needless to say, all throughout this process you need to be on your A game. It is important to have a detailed project timeline and keep track of key deliverable dates. This is where a planning agency can really help your team shine. There are so many changes and unexpected variables that may appear throughout the way, but having a timeline and dedicated planning team will help you manage anything that comes your way. Staying on top of everything you’ll be able to maintain control, and ensure that the event will be as fun and successful as you want it to be!

9. Enjoy the event, make connections, and network!

After all of your planning, make sure to try to enjoy the event. Depending on the format of the event, this may be the perfect opportunity to make connections and network. Having a formal company dinner to hand out employee awards may strengthen the working relationships between the employees at said company while networking at a larger conference may open potential doors for your company and career down the road. After all, this is likely one of your key goals in hosting the event. Having a solid team of vendors in place should allow you to step back and really participate in the actual event itself.  Take the opportunities to make meaningful and beneficial connections.

10. Reflect

At the end of any kind of process comes a time when you should look back and reflect on the experience as a whole. Of course, planning an entire corporate event is a journey, to say the least, but reflection is particularly important to help improve upon future events. We always schedule a debrief meeting to review what worked and what didn’t, as well as identify certain aspects that could benefit from a change. No matter what, there will always be something to take away and learn from hosting any kind of event. The amazing part is that you can take everything you’ve learned, and make changes that you can apply to the next corporate event you decide to host.

Turn to B Line Events to help you plan your corporate event

Decades of experience in event management.

Since being founded in 2004, B Line Events has gathered almost 20 years of corporate event managing and planning experience. Regardless of event format, their knowledge, connections, and passion drive them to create professional memorable experiences.

From In-Person Services such as Logistics and Overall Management,  Transportation, A/V – Production Management, Signage/ Branding,  Hotel Site Selection , Food and Beverage Management, Decor, and Onsite Staff, to Virtual Services such as Virtual Platform Selection and Speaker Management, Pre-Event Branding, Video Production Assets, Content Curation, Day of Virtual Support and so much more, B Line Events has got your back.

Trusted by globally recognized clients

From Airbnb to Wells Fargo, Google to Adobe, and plenty in between, B Line Events has collaborated with companies based all over the world. Aside from being honored to have worked with such globally recognized clients, the relationships and trust developed along the way is what B Line Events sees as a major driving factor of their mission and success.

Dedicated to bringing the vision to life 

Above all, B Line Events strives to take their clients’ vision and make it a reality. They are a dedicated, strong team of socializers and creators who carefully observe the tiniest of details– making sure to dot every “i” and cross every “t”. With this level of attention, as well as thoughtful and meaningful collaboration, they do everything they can and more to bring perfection to life. At the end of the day, there is nothing they love more than creating experiences that people rave about.

Ready to work with B Line Events? Drop us a line below!

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Corporate event planning – FAQs

Should i use an agency to help me plan my corporate event.

Overall, there are multiple factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not you should hire an agency to help plan your corporate event. For a small team with a limited budget, it may be difficult to do so. However, if you’re planning a large-scale conference or convention, then hiring an agency is essential to facilitate a calm and professional planning process.

What are the benefits of using an event management company to help plan a corporate event?

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Event Design

Advanced Corporate Event Planning Guide (2020 edition)

Jason Clampet

March 5th, 2019 at 8:00 AM EST

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Seriously, how can you get advice on planning events for the most demanding audiences out there? You probably know it all.

Yet the world is not perfect and attendees, especially corporate event attendees, get bored very easily . So, I got my team together to think how can we help you running successful corporate events.

This is the plan we came up with:

First, we collected 100+ exciting corporate event planning ideas to use for your events. North of 100. Because we know you know how to run events. Sometimes you just want that unexpected twist that makes attendees go wow. No worries, we got your back.

Then, we created an advanced corporate event planning checklist . Probably the most comprehensive ever created on the subject.

Does that sound useful?

Ok, but before we start, let’s make things clear and look at what we mean by corporate planning, what it means to plan corporate events and the different aspects you should consider when planning corporate events as opposed to regular events.

What is a Corporate Event and Why is it Different?

Corporate event planning is different from other forms of event planning.

Events in a corporate environment are usually tools to market externally or internally a message proposed by the brand, the company, the boss. The common denominator of corporate events is the use of events as tools to change internal company behavior or external behavior of customers towards the brand, company or products of the company in question.

The main difference with standalone events that are run like businesses is the occasional lack of ticket selling and sponsorship selling. While these are necessities of independent events, they may or may not be present in corporate events.

Portrait of author

“After every event we run with Aventri , other internal divisions at DHL come up to me asking if they can use the product as well for their events.”

Marcus Speck

IT Product Manager, DHL


The objectives of corporate events tend to differ substantially, making the consequent planning and production of the event extremely different from other types of events.

They can promote a product, an internal initiative. They may help to celebrate a company achievement or to bring a team together. In some instances, events are the main focus of brand or product campaigns. They launch the latest and the greatest product or they have the objective to change perceptions.

Corporate event planning objectives can be:

Planning and production will change substantially. When the objective is one and very specific, the whole event has to point in one direction. There is no room for dilution, diversion, noise. All the event decisions need to be aligned to support the achievement of that objective.

That becomes extremely difficult when the events happen on a regular basis. The thirst for ideas, novelty, innovation is great, but it can be difficult to reconcile the laser-focus on corporate objectives for the event with the constant demand to come up with new corporate event planning ideas and experiences.

This is why this post will be particularly useful whether you are entering corporate event planning or you are an experienced corporate planner.

Corporate Event Planners: Who Are They?

Each company plans their events differently. Some use a corporate event planning company, while others have dedicated staff.

In many cases, corporate event planners sit under the marketing department or under the PR and comms department.

These individuals may not be dedicated event planners. Often, they are tasked with one-off events, depending on their responsibilities, and organize them on top of their existing job roles. For instance, someone in the marketing department or in an assistant role that handles a trade show or someone in customer support who coordinates parts of a users conference. This is more common of smaller-to-medium-sized companies.

In larger organizations, corporate event planners are often individuals or dedicated teams within the company that have their own department and run both internal and external events.

Corporate event planners are in charge of:

In addition to these recurring events, you may have special business anniversary celebrations, holiday parties, or milestones that you will plan.


In January 2018 we conducted one of the largest pieces of event planning research ever completed. With 2,400 contacts and over 1,000 respondents.

We asked specific questions that pertain to event budgets. We are happy to release the results.

If you would like a copy of this research for publishing you can request it here: State of the Event Industry Research 2018.

Budget : Budget is the Biggest Concern for Corporate Event Planners

82% of corporate event planners are most concerned about their event budgets. 62% are focused on finding new ideas and 54% are prioritizing ROI.

Innovation : Corporate Event Planners Strive to Be Innovative

81% of event planners care most about innovative ideas when planning corporate events. 65% care most about the choice of venue and 48% about marketing.

Networking : Networking is Top Priority for Those Attending Corporate Events

We asked event planners what the priority is of their event attendees and 82% said that it is networking, followed by learning ( 71% ) and entertainment ( 38% ).


What do you need to know about risk?

How do you communicate with attendees or find them in the first place?

How will event success be measured?

These are just a few of the major differences between corporate events and other types of events. While it’s easy to assume an organized person can plan all different types of events, the focus of corporate events and the necessities are quite different. To be a top-notch corporate event planner, you’ll want to consider all of the nuances.

101 Corporate Event Ideas

But you don’t have to.

We have compiled over 100 corporate event planning tips and ideas for your next event.

Corporate events, while usually having a business or brand purpose, can be just as exciting, if not more, to attendees. We give you some inspiring ideas and examples of how to integrate play and networking into your event to foster relationships as well as marketing and branding ideas to get your name out there. We also look at incentives to sweeten the deal for sponsors, plus giveaway and swag options that specifically suit corporate events. Touching on meeting design, décor, styling and corporate tech, you name it, we’ve got it.

Ice Breakers

Even if the meetings are interdepartmental and you all know each other, icebreakers are a good idea. They help to loosen everyone up and get them on the same level. If attendees don’t know each other, spend 15-30 minutes breaking the ice, if they do, short networking games including; two truths and a lie, speed interviews or a paper airplane competition can start on the right note.

Here are 19 more ways to break the ice with a memorable experience at your next corporate event.

Networking Lounge

Injecting an informal area into your event can get people talking, a great alternative to a large bar area. Allowing comfortable and interesting seating gets people talking and sitting long-term to form meaningful relationships. This is a cool outdoor lounge that is upsized and used as a feature piece but yours can be intimate and less outlandish.

Peekaboo Step & Repeat

Interactive décor is always a plus for engagement and this is a fantastic idea for mixing up the traditional step and repeat. It not only has custom signage for the business or brand but also creates fun and interesting photo opportunities too.

Casino Tables

Switch out the cocktail tables for casino tables that create unique opportunities to seamlessly add networking and play to a black-tie event. These tables can be seated or stood at and with ample room for dealers and staff, it creates a casino environment at this annual corporate event.

Giant Chess

Is it traditional? Yes. However, playing with others encourages teamwork and in a game of skill and planning such as this it can be more challenging and interesting. You’ll find that chess is popular, particularly in the corporate crowd of thinkers.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Art of Motion Events (@artofmotionevents_aom)

Credit: Art of Motion Events

Scavenger Hunt

A firm favorite. Set clues around your venue and divide into teams, each group must race to the finish line. Add cryptic clues to increase difficulty or innovate using beacon technology. Traditional scavenger hunts can be easy to set up.

Attendees never grow tired of a ball pit and it offers unique signage and sponsorship opportunities too. Try something different by filling an entire small room at your venue or take the lead of new London clubs and make the bar area a ball pit as well!

Change Teams Each Time

While it is good for attendees to bond, it can be easy to latch onto a new connection and then avoid new connections because it is “safer”. Each game should involve new teams, partners or groups to get everyone working together effectively and strengthen the overall dynamic as a whole. A networking must.

Big Scalextric

Be big kids at the event with Scalextric races and gamification. You could create an incentivized leaderboard or tournament lasting throughout the event with prizes for the winners. Even without the incentives, you’ll find it is quite popular and unique.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Amit Rao (@twistedrao)

Inflatable Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses and races usually include elements such as hula hoops or climbing over and under obstacles. If you have the budget, go inflatable. They are popular, fun and present new challenges. If you don’t have space, pair the attendees up or divide into teams and blindfold one of them while the others direct, as a good test of communication and trust.

Branded Segways

Plenty of branding opportunities and perfect for large event transportation or pre-event build-up. Segways are still interesting and a novelty for many, even though they were released years ago. You could make them available to rent from your booth at trade shows, giving you excellent reach as they make an impact, or ride them in public to market your event.


Roaming Competitions

A funky guerrilla marketing tactic for corporate events is to create pop-up ideas that spark intrigue and excitement. Build on this by making them roam and moveable. You could do this across the country or even in the office with different elements popping up in different departments each day. They create surprise and buzz about where it could be found next and helps with immediate brand recognition.

You can offer branded swag before the event, as an early bird incentive, giveaway or to bring to the event. This gives attendees the opportunity to show it off and encourage others to look into registering or signing up before the event. Alternatively, give swag at the registration desk and entrance or in goody bags on the way out.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 𝕂𝕚𝕞𝕚 (@kimiwillis1123)

Limited Pop-Ups

Pre-event pop-up installations are an excellent way to showcase your creativity and give attendees a preview, generating event anticipation. Oreo created a “wonder vault” with a door that, when opened, displayed a presentation that led to a limited taster product being presented to the user just before launching their limited edition flavour.

Unique Staff Uniforms

Staff are just as important to the aesthetic so ensuring they are incorporated into themes and color schemes is important. Mix it up by having intricate uniforms, such as these pajamas at the annual meta mixer in line with their sweet dreams theme.

themed staff

Credit: Destinations by Design, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas (catering)

Activation Pillars

Bringing your brand forefront is important and these activation pillars help to showcase your message. They would work well as an entrance or highlighting a specific walkway.

Tethered Hot Air Balloons

Providing both a participatory activity as well as a massive branding opportunity. Tethered air balloons can be a unique offering to your event, going hand in hand with a sponsorship package or opportunity.

External Stair Wraps

Utilize space that others hadn’t considered by adding graphics and signage to stairs, particularly at event entrances and exits that get the most foot traffic. This can not only spruce up the décor and incorporate stairs into your theme and colors (which is otherwise hard to do) but it also acts as excellent marketing that many haven’t seen before.

From tables, chairs and food stations to cushions, marques and shelving, branding can be used on a variety of furniture surfaces which is why lounges are such a good idea. This branding lounge not only makes use of the logo but also the color pallet of the brand too.fballoon

Sustainability Concepts

Incorporate your business values into the décor or styling the event whether this is themes or sourcing. For example, for this award gala for 1,000 guests the theme and décor were organic which was in keeping with the corporate excellence behind this event.

Balloon Ceiling

Corporate events need excellent styling and while this theme is a Gatsby one, it remains classy and sophisticated. Drawing on the black and cold, a trailing balloon ceiling that spread outwards added a level of intimacy to the event. Balloons are an important décor trend for 2018 and are multi-functional too, so don’t count them out.

Indoor Tailgate

Tailgating is a popular event idea in itself but the genius inspired décor draws elements together. For example, the striped tablecloths and football inspired centerpieces, along with the grass colored chair covers, brings vibrancy to this corporate event.

Aerial Hoops

Aerial décor can add a new dimension to your event, make attendees look up and can be the extra piece you need for a corporate gala or awards evening. These hoops combine florals, lighting and different textiles to create unique hanging effects above the tables.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The White Boutique – Events (@twb_events)

Credit: The White Boutique – Events

Branded Balloons

Balloons are often a go to décor piece for corporate events and can be very effective as they are usually used for centrepieces, welcome décor or standing décor attached to weights. Helium balloons are the favourite for standalone décor and pack more of a punch than traditional balloons.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by NOLA Party Boutique (@nolapartyboutique)

Credit: NOLA Party Boutique

Focal Pieces

If you are particularly creative you can create your own feature pieces that are in keeping with event themes or brand ideas. These entrance pieces use chairs, florals and umbrellas to create beach vibes for this corporate event and the use of uplighting turns them into focal feature pieces.

Whether they are giant props or merely a themed area of your event, such as a photo booth or lounge, props can go a long way to filling the décor quota at a corporate event. This underwater-themed gala was complemented by this seascape area with coral seating and lit backdrop but props can be themed according to the company and its ethos instead.

Fabric Tunnels

No matter what age you are, or the event type, everyone likes going under a tunnel and these fabric alternatives are classy and simplistic while also providing a long runway for attendees to enter this corporate conference. The powerful lighting also makes an impact and cleverly lights these plain fabric arches for beautiful lighting effects.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Originators (@originatorsdesign)

Credit: The Originators

Picture Profile Runway

Runways and staging can be expensive but you can create similar effects by grouping your décor together. This runway was created by using the staff photo boards and roping to funnel attendees where they needed to be. The themed décor was also a nice touch to make the runway seem more authentic.

Unusual Venues

Pick a venue that already has unique decor or features that you can utilize. For example, this stunning awards gala dinner that is hosted in the London Science Museum alongside some of the exhibits and displays. They can then form part of your event with private tours and exclusive viewings to experience exclusive venues differently to their purpose.

Corporate Penthouse

Converting corporate spaces can be difficult but this penthouse creation is stunning. With a marble bar and lounge area for networking and comfort, as well as seated dinner and candle-lit walkways it’s definitely transformative.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nilda Martin (@nildamartin13)

Credit: Reserve Modern, Peak Event Services, SBL Lighting, Ryan Designs

Martini Glass Centerpieces

These stylish décor pieces are an excellent tall flower alternative to add height to tables. They can be filled with sponsored items such as candy or sweets or alternatively contain other décor elements.

Seahorse Centerpieces

An unusual centerpiece that makes quite a statement at this corporate aquatic themed brunch. Creating pieces such as this create a focal talking point and can help break the ice at corporate functions.

Light Up Centerpieces

An intricate centerpiece can act as a conversation starter, particularly at corporate events and these simple but effective options can easily be made yourself. They simply consist of a large tall glass (or small vase) with colorful tissue paper in the bottom, battery blue fairy lights and then topped with matching florals so they could easily be recreated.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Magic Pumpkin (@magicpumpkinhouston)

Credit: Magic Pumpkin Houston

Table Charging

Incorporate charging capabilities into the table layout, particularly at meetings or working events. Attendees are more likely to be using their devices and draining the battery so will need a suitable option, otherwise, productivity is going to come to a grinding halt.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aviancenj (@aviancenj)

Credit: Aviancenj

Crystal Centerpieces

Sometimes simple and elegant is the way forward and attendees want a classy break from the usual office antics so these crystal centerpieces make a statement without being over the top. The table scaping for this corporate gala is beautiful but subtle and with the addition of mini tablets to take part in the silent auction, it brings together tech and traditional elements.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Exceptional Party Rental (@exceptionalpartyrental)

Credit: Exceptional Party Rental

Sometimes it is the smaller details that make an impact and these table gems are a décor idea that can be sprinkled directly on the tablecloth or used in vases to spruce up the insides. They are generally reusable and aren’t too expensive so would be a budget event planning idea to suit those with lower budgets.

Credit: Brilliant Weddings

Wax Seal Name Cards

What’s more official than a wax seal? This traditional form of signage makes a beautiful addition to corporate name cards and with an acrylic transparent base and calligraphy, it leaves a lasting impression.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by PaperOcelot Studios (@paperocelot)

Credit: PaperOcelot Studios, Wax Seals, Mason Neufeld

Lighting Ceiling Installation

If you don’t want to incorporate aerial decor into your event then projections or GOBOs can be the next best thing. InstallatiProduct Launchesons such as these make venues more interesting, particularly if they are difficult to decorate.

String Lights

String lighting is not just reserved for weddings, it can make a big impact at corporate events too if used correctly. This example has string lights as part of the centerpieces, lighting the tables for this corporate Christmas party, accentuating the already current light and disco ball effects.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lauren Gough (

Credit: Lauren Gough, 8 Northumberland Avenue, Venue Seeker

Light Canopy

Creating a blanket of lights can recreate a night sky like at this corporate event. The stunning effects these create give an intimate atmosphere but aren’t the main light source so would be decorative. It ties in nicely with this outdoor theme.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Images by Lighting — Wedding Lighting | Event Lighting (@images_lighting)

Twinkle Background

From this corporate gala, the use of starry lit backgrounds and backboards helps to make the event feel more enclosed as well as transition it to a night time event. They work well to highlight the food station and although can be expensive, are an excellent addition to any corporate event.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Janet's Weddings & Parties (@janetmakrancyevents)

Light Rigging

This is an excellent example of how you can change the atmosphere of a corporate awards evening by predominantly using lighting and signage. These projected lights cross and use different tones to highlight certain areas as well as the signage on the stage rigging and other areas of the venue. They can also be used to cast the spotlight on winners and be moved throughout the event to keep it dynamic and change the mood.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 15|40 (@15l40)

Simple GOBO’s

An excellent way to make a larger venue feel more intimate is with lighting or similar effects and these simple but effective GOBO’s create a speckled effect that enhance the natural features of this venue.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Luxe Productions (@luxeproevents)

LED Furniture

We love decorative and functional and furniture can be decorative as well like in this example. The spaced out standing cocktail tables are lit in complementary tones as the large tree props and help to make the décor for this corporate conference all-inclusive and stand out. By placing lit tables it makes areas to draw attendees for networking and fills large spaces at bigger venues too.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Smashingly Events, LLC (@smashinglyevents)

Mini Chandeliers

These stunning chandeliers create a low-lit, sophisticated atmosphere to the event and by using different drops and styles it looks more dynamic. If your event doesn’t suit a giant chandelier, this would be an excellent alternative.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Beautiful Beginnings (@beautifulbeginningseventdecor)

Ipad magicians

Offer cutting edge magic shows that use the latest iPad technologies and performance techniques (and humour!) to wow corporate audiences. Can incorporate products, messages and logos. A definite talking point.

Walking, talking Robots

These are great for corporate events that include trade shows, exhibitions and conventions, or as great walk around acts who can meet and greet guests. Interactive robots will impress all the right people whatever your corporate event.

Corporate percussion groups

These are geared towards corporate clients and will perform using products i.e. ladders, machinery, etc. These shows also have added wow factor, as they are a fast paced, high energy performance.

LED and laser shows

The here and now of corporate entertainment, these seriously ‘in’ corporate shows will incorporate logos and even interact with audiences. This is entertainment for businesses that want their event to stand out.

Video mapping dance groups

These dance groups are proving to be a big hit so far this year for corporate events. New technologies have allowed performers to take their dance/visual performances to the next level as humans and computers merge. These acts can incorporate specific music and graphics, as well as logos and corporate messages.

Synchronized swimmers

These teams of professional synchronized swimmers perform seamless routines that are popular with product launches, corporate parties and other corporate events. These acts will create bespoke shows making them a unique and individual entertainment option.

Sand artists

These have been popular with corporate events since Ukraine’s Got Talent featured a female sand artist that took the internet by storm. These talented artists will perform custom made sand animations for a variety of corporate events. These shows have definite wow factor that will ensure your event is remembered!

Roaming Entertainment

Entertainment that interacts on a personal level with attendees is memorable. Adapt this idea from the annual Meta Mixer who not only had live entertainment that involved dancers, drummers, stilt walkers and dueling DJ’s but “godly spectators” in the form of models.

roaming entertainment

Community Focus

For corporate fundraising or charity events, your giveaway could have a community focus that involves donating to worthy charities or projects in association with the name of the winner. Alternatively, you could offer a “giant cheque” to a local charity or project of their choice which would not only improve the local communities but also enhance brand recognition in their area as an extra marketing idea.

Gourmet Hampers

Provide a hamper or gift basket with gourmet food items such as, patisserie or charcuterie products that are more of a delicacy. To show an increased budget you could also include a picnic blanket and wine or alcohol as part of a complete package, enhancing the gift to complement an experience. Alternatively, you could offer a smaller hamper but to a higher value with expensive tech items if this better suits the tone of your event.

Overnight Stay/Accommodation Paid

For retreats, workshops or events that last several days, you could offer free accommodation as part of a giveaway package before or during the event. Before the event would offer more flexibility and allow you better rates to negotiate a hotel package beforehand but even during the event you could offer to cover accommodation costs for the event. Alternatively, you could simply offer an unrelated overnight stay in a luxury hotel that has other amenities such as a spa or fitness center as a mini-break.

Corporate Subscriptions

For corporate events, it can be difficult to keep giveaway items relevant. Offering subscriptions or digital product licenses for tools that would help around the office or for home working could be appreciated. For example, there are a variety of premium productivity tools that are useful but aren’t always covered by companies themselves which make worker’s lives easier. A great gift, with business undertones, is a win-win.

Professional Coaching Day

Offer the chance of a one-on-one session with speakers, influencers or industry professionals to have coaching or a dinner and informal chat to pick their brain. A day or even an hour could prove to be a valuable asset for professionals of the same industry to get their questions answered. It would make an excellent auction prize for fundraisers or charity events.

Bespoke Mini Boards

Create a quirky set menu with this lavish presentation so guests have their own boards. These include ham hock terrine, beetroot crisps, and pickles in a beautiful display served with silverware.

Credit: Bespoke Awb

Canape Junk Food

All the comfort, in a fancy package. While they may not be the hamburgers that we know, we bet they taste delicious and just like the junk food we know and love.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The White Boutique – Catering (@twb_catering)

Credit: The White Boutique – Catering

Who doesn’t want a wall of dessert!? This is a popular catering trend right now and would work well showcasing different donut flavors as it can fit at least three per pin! Perfect, no matter which donut is your favorite.

Smoothie Jars

With an increasing amount of attendees becoming health conscious, particularly in a corporate setting, serve healthier food that are stylish. These smoothie bowls are on trend and Instagram worthy, making them more likely to share and talk about them.

Canape Spoons

Buffets and canapes tend to remove some catering options because, logistically, you can’t serve difficult foods or those needing utensils without plates. Canape spoons are the latest things to make this possible and open up a realm of possibilities for your menu.

Niche Snacks

Snacks are a meeting essential but if you don’t want to go all out on catering and want to spend your budget elsewhere, focus on providing nicely presented niche option. This pretzel bar is stylish and has plenty of customizations but is far cheaper than a full buffet. Offering a snack-only option can still fill up your attendees without the budget expense, just aim to dress it in a unique way such as this.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ashley Stanton (@arsta160)

Food Infusion

Foods that come with their own sauces, condiments or extra bursts of flavor can cater to everyone who has the option of plain or mixing it up. They are a very popular addition and means you can have extra flexibility in your menu choices.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by MEAPS (@meapsaustralia)

Credit: MEAPS

Private Chef

Go all the way with food and remove the buffet entirely. Opt for a private chef who can create tailored meals to suit the vibe, dietary preferences and what you ask for. The food is fresh, you can see it being made and you know it will be customized and hot!

Credit: ChefChrisLaVecchia

Interactive Gourmet

Have food made to order at this unique buffet station which caters to different taste buds. This Hibachi station recreates a sophisticated barbecue experience using fresh, healthy ingredients that can be customized to each guest.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by LAVAN Wedding & Events Venue (@lavanvenue)


Hire professionals at the bar who can not only mix signature drinks but can create some on their own and incorporate attendee needs on the go. They could hold a workshop or masterclass session or perform tricks as extra entertainment and wow factor.

Digital Brainstorming Whiteboard

The trusty whiteboard shouldn’t be replaced, just upgraded. It’s still an excellent brainstorming tool and perfect for illustrations and collaboration, so use a digital version that can be immediately saved and sent to all participants post-meeting. For small breakaway groups, use a tablet as a digital whiteboard instead and then send and combine on something larger.

digital brainstorming whiteboard

Dinner Boxes

Food is normally the next point of call after a long or out of hours meeting, so take away the worry and send them home with dinner and dessert. These combination boxes have a variety of amazing food and can be adapted to suit your attendee preferences.

Smartphone Microphone

If you don’t have the budget to upgrade your venue for the AV you need, you can make do with a smartphone microphone app. It helps to amplify your voice and works perfectly for smaller groups to get a bit of emphasis without going as formal as a traditional microphone.

Adjustable Locations

Try to choose locations that can adapt as your meeting flows. For example, rooms with flexible dividers that can be open or closed during different parts of the meeting can help change the atmosphere and transition from serious productivity to networking and play. Plus, an adaptable venue that caters and has breakaway rooms can reduce traveling or wasted time, particularly if you are on a tight schedule.

Standing Desks

Meetings don’t have to be boring and ruin your step count for the day. Incorporate standing desks or even cocktail tables for attendees to lean up against to suit different learner types. Varied seating heights and styles can lend to comfort, creativity, and productivity.

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U Conference Layout

The layout of your event is important and with meeting design for larger groups it can be difficult. A “U” layout can be the best of both worlds as you can clearly communicate and have an option for showcasing in the middle. Plus, with this mic set-up communication is more effective and everyone can be heard.

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Credit: Mzion_audio

Digital Graffiti Wall

Let attendees explore their creative side in an easy to capture way. Digital graffiti walls allow guests to have an urban experience without the mess and organization that follows real graffiti. Plus, these walls can capture the image and send them to the attendee, post-event for a fun and interesting memento (as well as a branding and follow-up opportunity.)

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iPad Food Ordering

Make set menu ordering easier and reduce confusion or interruption during an important corporate dinner or function with iPad food ordering. An iPad on each table that allows guests to select from the menu and allocate it to them can be particularly useful for extensive dietary requirements and reduce the likelihood of the wrong order.

Spruce up the traditional photo booth idea for your corporate event with a GIF maker. It allows quick and easy social media sharing and works excellent for marketing, plus it’s more unique.

Credit: Polite Social

Gesture Control Presentations

Increasing technology now means we can avoid the awkward clickers and weird pointing to the presentation control for a seamless speech or presentation. These gesture control armbands allow those on stage to motion when it is time to move on which can be integrated into the presentation for better delivery.

360-degree Photography/Video

Capture the ambiance and atmosphere of the event using the increasingly popular 360-degree video and photography which can be used during a live stream to make virtual attendees wish they were there and feel like they are! Integrating 360 video seamlessly can be difficult but also paves the way for augmented reality at your event too.

Wearable Feedback Technology

Want to know how your attendees are thinking or feeling? Wristbands that track heart rate and other biometrics can give an indicator on how well a presentation or speaker is being received for deadly accurate feedback.

Virtual Reality Headsets

These can be used in a variety of ways from demonstrations and workshops to showcasing larger products in full view. For corporate events specifically, VR experiences can be organized to give that corporate retreat vibe without ever leaving the office.

Dessert Signage

A classic, but still incredibly effective, particularly if you get the right food choice and make it shine! These are the perfect example of dessert branding done right with these sophisticatedly stylish treats. The more appetizing, the more they will be photographed and shared, improving the sponsor’s reach.

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Credit: Brandformula

Drink Stations

Offer free water or bottled drinks that are wrapped with the sponsor’s logo or name which is always welcome at long events. For higher packages, you could instead have representatives from the brand serving drinks such as smoothies, coffee or cocktails which also offers one-on-one communication with attendees for a deeper connection.

Sponsored Cocktails

We’ve all heard of the custom cocktails for an event evening but make them more appealing to sponsors by not only having new flavors but by branding them as well. With edible toppings or stencils, you can make a big impact that most attendees will get their hands on. Credit: Haute Dokimazo, Snake Oil Cocktail Company

Social Media Q&A

Have sponsors interact directly with your followers by hosting a question and answer session which includes discussing their products or services as well as what is happening at the event. Sponsors could bring along brand representatives, celebrity endorsers or influencers to take over too, to generate more of a buzz.

A huge perk and an excellent way to add exclusivity and FOMO to attendees is to create a VIP lounge or restricted area. It can be full of signage, sneak-peaks for products or experiences and only available to a select few.

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Sponsored Live Stream

Live streaming can not only make you more accessible to your followers but seriously benefit event social media. A sponsor could use their own branded staff to host the live stream, have signage on the broadcast itself or have some “air time” to discuss their booth, products or services.

Charging Stations

Whether this is manned or simply secure lockers, charging stations can be a hit, particularly at corporate events where everyone is almost guaranteed to have a device. It can create a sense of appreciation for the sponsor and brand if their phone is about to die and knowing that they have offered an immediate (free) solution.

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Credit: Adcharge

Headshot Lounge

We have all been meaning to get our headshots done but who really has the time? As you’re dealing with professionals at trade shows and exhibitions, treat them as such and offer services that can help boost their career, while being interesting at the same time.

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Particularly effective at trade shows and exhibitions, beacons draw in passers-by to your booth by sending messages directly to their phone once they are in the correct distance. For example, you could offer a discount code, offer or giveaway voucher to ping on their phones that they can redeem at your stand or simply send quirky marketing messages.

Corporate Stands

This exhibition stand combines an array of corporate elements that can be adapted to your booth. For example, a seated meeting area as well as an informal lounge, several touchscreen podiums for navigating the booth, a welcome desk with professional staff and large LED screen displays for product placement.

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Slide Decks

A traditional presentation method for conferences but still just as effective. The key part is keeping them short and engaging and using large digital screens like this hanging option can reduce the need for too much staging so you can fit in more attendees.

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Smart Badges

Use badges or wristbands with trackable technology to take real analytics of attendee behavior and preferences. These can track time spent at booths, physical activity, payment, personal details so the badges are not transferable and can improve identification in the event of an emergency.

Demo Stations

For ways to create engagement at your booth, particularly with sponsored products, create a demo station where attendees can test out themselves with different applications and less pressure. Be available to answer questions but don’t linger and let them discover the products themselves.

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Credit: Meze Audio

If you have large or bulky product to show off but minimal booth space, show what it can really do in a VR demonstration. You could also use VR technology at trade shows to create games and fun experiences or to become immersive and blur the lines between booth reality and the virtual world.

Cut Out Backdrops

Dressing the stage can be a great way to effectively use décor and make it stand out less from the rest of the event. In this instance, the backdrop is lit and themed but the front dressing with silhouette characters are pretty cool and an excellent draping idea. For corporate events, you could also use florals to dress the front or sides of the stage to make them feel more comfortable and draw people in.

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Credit: Creating A Scene Inc.

Project Mapping

Digital mapping at this gala showcases different images and projects them, which creates and interactive and engaging way to bring to attendees. The images themselves can be automated and moving and in some cases, integrated with the ability to interact with attendees when they are near for some thrilling fun and wow factor.

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Credit: Staging Connections

Circular LED Screen

This screen installation is an excellent idea to showcase media in the round to seated guests. LED gives great quality, even if you are sitting close by, just remember that those who sit underneath will have an obscured view.

Unique Dance Floors

Dancefloors give an opportunity for attendees to come together and break loose, often acting as a networking and ice breaking area as everyone gets involved. Particularly at seated events, a dancefloor gives guests a place to socialize which is otherwise difficult or awkward visiting certain tables.

Credit: Letz Dance On It

Integrated Guests

Make staging more dynamic and immersive by including guests in the stage formation. Having attendees sitting in the middle like this looped layout or have the staging flor through the seats like an elaborate runway. This keeps their attention and for speakers and presentations allows the speak better access to reach the audience.

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Credit: High Performance Designs

Multi- Levels

Create staging of different heights and levels to give different effects. In this example, you can use the stairs to get closer to the audience for an intimate feel or during the presentation get further away for a professional vibe. This is also a great example how corporate elements can be integrated into staging such as logo branding or brand color confetti.

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Credit: Catwalk Event Management

Hire An Enthusiastic Facilitator

A leader or facilitator that is enthusiastic and believes in what they are doing are more likely to get others involved. Team building and networking can come across as cheesy and this requires extra finesse. Enthusiasm is infectious.

Segmented Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are growing in popularity as a team building exercise but you can now create your own so attendees don’t have to travel. Using cleverly thought out planning, draping partitions, lighting and plenty of themed décor you can create an immersive experience at the same venue as other team building exercises for a fraction of the cost.

Inclusive Venues

There is an increasing destination trend this year that sees event planners choosing venues for retreats or events that have flexible and accessible activities within the location itself. This means that as well as the venue, you are getting the local amenities to play with and for corporate retreats this is perfect for easily organizing downtime or team building activities.

Ground Rules and Open Evaluation

Set ground rules before activities while also allowing a safe space for everyone to provide honest and genuine feedback without fear of resentment or retaliation. Evaluating co-workers as well as yourself is a key part of team building but can be scary for those who don’t want to risk friendships so having open evaluation rules are important.

12 Ways Corporate Event Planners Differ From Other Event Planners

Landing your dream corporate event planning job.

A traditional degree in event planning is one way to get into corporate event planning but not the only one. Here are a few other ways to gain the experience that is crucial to landing your dream job in corporate planning. If you want to know how to get into corporate event planning and fast, these may be the quickest routes for you, particularly without formal event training and experience behind you.


A lot of corporate trainers make the transition into corporate event planning. They already know what it takes to teach and develop curriculum, organizing an event is just a different set of details to manage.


Many administrative assistants pick up the basics of conference and meeting prep because those they support hand the tasks off to them. If you’re currently working in these roles, ask those who are planning the corporate events if you could help out.


It’s natural that marketers and sales coordinators be involved in the planning for product launches and user conferences so they already have a natural into the rest of the corporate events. Marketers and sales also understand the return on investment calculation in what they do in their given departments.


Many larger companies have a corporate foundation that handles working with nonprofits and community groups. This group is used to picking out venues, raising funds, working with a budget, and the other organizational details involved with events. It’s an easy transition.

If you’re an independent planner and you’re looking for more corporate clients, check out this guide: 9 Steps to Gaining Profitable Corporate Event Clients

At first glance, some people believe corporate planning is about stuffy meetings and ordering coffee but it has expanded into a respected way to share a company’s culture with the world. Still, it’s important to note this niche in the industry has its challenges. We’ll cover these in our next section.

How to Quickly Become a Better Corporate Event Planner

If you made it into corporate event planning, you are awesome. It means you worked hard and you earned your position.

The question though is can you be better? We think so and very quickly.

We’ve talked to hundreds of event professionals over the past 10 years of EventMB. We’ve seen them through the best and the worst . We know a thing or two when it gets to quickly improving the way you work.

We’ve seen the same items popping up time and time again. Now it’s the time to share them with you and quickly change your career path or optimize the way you plan corporate events.

Here are a few corporate event planning challenges and the tips that can help you deal with them.


Corporate event planning will need to be consistent with the company branding and tone.

Address a branding crisis before it happens:

  • Talk with marketing and understand the branding limitations (if any) before you begin planning.
  • Research the sign-off process. Some companies have strict rules about how and where the logo can be used, for instance.
  • Match your level of creativity to the type of event you’re planning. There’s no reason to fight for creative license in a situation where creativity would rank of lower importance, such as at a board meeting. However, creativity would be important and worth fighting for in something like a client appreciation soiree.


An employee’s desire to attend an event will be different than that of someone signing up on their own volition. Many times corporate events are mandatory, which doesn’t always bring out the best attitudes.

Be a supporter of what’s in it for them:

  • Be specific in describing exactly how people will benefit. Play up what’s in it for them.
  • Show them value early on in the program. Don’t wait until the end to tie it all up. If they see how they’re benefiting from the very beginning, they’ll stay much more involved.
  • Be transparent. If they’re going to be measured on retention of concepts at the end of training; be upfront. If attendance will be taken at the end to ensure no one left early, tell them. This will help you establish trust with your audience.


While this sounds like that could be a good thing, it may mean that getting them to cooperate is akin to getting a student to pay attention on the first warm day of spring. They think it’s all a lark, while you’re being held accountable for what they learn. This can cause some incredible pressure and tense situations when they give you the attitude that they are on a field trip.

Set the learning tone early by:

  • Explain in the beginning what they will be getting from the event and what’s expected. Set expectations early and they may see the seriousness behind your event.
  • Make learning enjoyable but keep the cliques to a minimum. Attendees will sit with their friends, which makes them more apt to goof around (although cell phones do make personal jokes among friends across a room just as easy). Use active learning approaches in small group settings. Assign the groups or make sure they can’t be in a group with someone they walked in with.
  • Talk with management to get a better understanding of what cross-functional teams they’d like to see formed. Then assign your small group learning accordingly. For instance, if management wanted to see more collaboration between design and development, place those groups together to solve a problem.


You also may not be in charge of selecting speakers or entertainment in the same way you would be at another type of event. Your speakers may be upper management and not people who speak professionally. That means you might spend some of your planning time trying to beg them for a sneak peek into their slides and then begging them to remove the endless text and use more images. The diplomacy behind these maneuvers is akin to what a bomb squad may employ to diffuse a very tense negotiation.

Fill in the gaps for speakers:

  • As soon as you find out who will be speaking, set up deadlines for slides. Send reminders leading up to this time. Explain you’ll need to brand them. Cut down the text on a slide by taking the text from one and creating several slides from it.
  • Offer rehearsal times, if needed. Don’t make this mandatory.
  • Provide them a helpful tips sheet that you give to all presenters. They may tell you they don’t need it but they may review it anyway.


Many companies severely underestimate the importance of a good corporate event planner. So much so that they often just hand off the responsibility to an assistant or marketing coordinator. Showing them what a professional can do and the value they bring may be a struggle.

Show, don’t tell:

  • Create metrics by which you measure yourself, even if management is not asking for them. Whenever possible, use data from previous years to compare your work to that of the past.
  • Put together a best practices document or standard operating procedures. Not only will this show the company all that goes into an event, it will help others help you if you delegate and will serve your company well when you are promoted.
  • Think of a way that you can make your manager shine through your event. When a subordinate brings attention to a manager, they often think much higher of that person.


Many times the work of a corporate event planner is incumbent on who sits on the throne. New management, new c-suite, a merger… all of these things not only affect the number of events you coordinate, but also their tone, budget, and personnel. With the change of management, you can go from a corporate events and planning department to everything being outsourced or handed over to junior marketing people. If it was already outsourced to your firm, a new regime could decide to bring it in-house for more control.

Set the pace like a pro:

  • Make time to speak with the new management ahead of any finalizations on your events. Be proactive and make the first move and ask for the meeting.
  • When asking for the meeting be clear about what you want to discuss but make it about them. Instead of “I want to go over our vendor agreements” say “I’d like to bring you up to speed on our upcoming events for this year and see how they tie into your vision for the company’s new direction.”
  • Offer your assistance in suggesting new events to come in line with top management priorities.


Again, as mentioned in the speaker section, it’s difficult to tell management its wrong. After all, they’re in command.

That’s why it can be difficult to say no to last-minute changes and additions to the guest list.

Assist management and yourself:

  • Get to know your management team so you’ll have some idea of who the repeat offenders are and what they do. For instance, if you know they always invite five people at the last moment, build them into your headcount ahead of time.
  • Explain that every action has an effect. If they change things at the last minute, X will happen. Be as specific as possible as to what that is.
  • Put it in terms they care about. Don’t just explain doing this may mean you miss the deadline, quantify that in numbers. “We’ll miss the deadline and the discounted pricing. It will cost us $1,000 more.” That gives management all the information to make an informed decision.

It can similarly be difficult to tell clients “no,” especially when you’re competing with other corporate event planners for their business. The thing to remember is that event that doesn’t go well doesn’t reflect well on you regardless of what conversations you had with management prior, and the long-term ROI for doing them is always undermined by that.

Set yourself and the client up for success:

  • Remind clients that they’re hiring you for your expertise. If a client refuses to budge on a hotel near the airport but her itinerary is mainly downtown, assure her that you’ve done this before and that she’ll thank you when she’s not stuck in traffic gridlock on a highway on the way to her event.
  • Make sure that you give clients a realistic picture of what is and isn’t doable in certain locations at specific times of the year. Never compromise group safety just to please a client. You could be held liable if someone suffers illness or injury.
  • Make sure that you give your clients solid advice and point out things they may have missed. It is important for you to have the integrity to advise clients that their preferred activity is a poor fit for the season or location and encourage them to either change the activity or change the date of their event.
  • When groups feel rushed and pressured and they are too tired to enjoy the event, this will reflect poorly on you as the event planner. To avoid making a wrong move, encourage your clients to either cut content or increase the length of their conference or programme to realistically incorporate all desired activities. They may end up spending a little bit more money but you’ll end up with attendees who are pleased instead of frustrated and resentful.
  • Recognize when it’s time for a budgeting reality check. As a general rule of thumb to give your clients, let them know that the smaller their group, the higher the price per person they should expect to pay. When a client’s budget is unrealistic, they are setting themselves up for one of outcomes with competitors who agree to it: a significantly watered down delivery on the brief or a series of “unforeseen items” that jack up the budget when it’s too late to switch event planners.


Many companies suffer from extensive and ingrained bureaucracy. They have a protocol for everything. While that may help in areas like logistics, it can introduce some incredible slowdowns in the decision-making process for your events. This bureaucracy can also lend itself to our next point.

Break through the bureaucracy:

  • Understand the sign-off process before you need to go through it. Be clear on the details ahead of time to save time in the future.
  • Make efficiency suggestions before you need them. You want to allow management time to consider your changes.
  • Point out what these unnecessary steps are costing you from an event perspective. Maybe you’re eligible for discounts but can’t move on them fast enough. Quantify these for them.


With innovation being the top of most companies lists these days, this is becoming less and less a problem but it’s still something a lot of corporate event planners are dealing with. It’s not uncommon for management to say, “Last year’s event was successful. Just do that again.” But replication isn’t going to win you any new fans and will bore you quickly. So you may need to figure out a tactful way of confronting management’s “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Innovate like magic:

  • Use data to support the changes you want to implement.
  • Give examples of what others are doing in the space.
  • Explain what has changed (new tech like all the AI assistants) that has introduced a need for innovation.
  • Taking charge of these inevitable scenarios ahead of time, will make your job quite a smooth ride (as much as that is possible in events!).

One of the hardest things any event planner has to worry about is keeping on top of all the moving parts. This can be especially stressful as a corporate planner, where the company is often paying out-of-pocket for the event and organizing it may or may not be the planner’s primary forte at the company.

If this resonates with you, check out the next section.

Advanced Checklist for Corporate Event Planning

Are you new to event planning or have you ever longed for a comprehensive event planning checklist to erase that nagging feeling at the back of your mind that you are forgetting something important?

Maybe you have downloaded other checklist and found them to be too basic, or you need a specific corporate event planner template?

Let EventMB come to the rescue with a “how to plan a corporate event checklist”.

We wanted to offer some peace of mind that you have it all covered, or highlight steps in the event planning process that you might want to act on before it is too late.

We drew on almost twenty years of corporate event planning experience to create an event planning template which will be a valuable resource for everyone from those starting out in the world of corporate events, right through to top event planners in the industry. We think that each guide is the essential organizing corporate events checklist.

We have put together not one but two free downloads, covering the key areas and tasks to think about when planning your next corporate event. One is specifically aimed at corporate events in the public domain. The other is the perfect companion to internal and private corporate occasions.

With our compliments


This checklist is a guide for anyone planning events which are open to the public and welcome people outside of the organization to attend. This includes:

  • User events and conferences
  • Product launches
  • Focus group
  • Exhibiting – having a booth at a trade show
  • Trade shows – running a public exhibition or having exhibitors present at your event
  • Corporate hospitality and client entertaining

Download the ‘Advanced Checklist for Corporate Event Planning PDF’ for a blueprint covering the main tasks under the following headings:


This checklist is a guide for anyone planning internal events which are only open to employees and those within the organization to attend. This includes:

  • Company-wide conferences
  • Sales meetings
  • Product reveals (before the public official launch)
  • Board retreats
  • Team building or leadership retreats
  • Private dinners, parties, award ceremonies

Download the ‘Advanced Checklist for Corporate Event Planning PDF’ if you want a guide to the main event planning elements and tasks for your event, covering:

These checklists should help you ensure you’re keeping pace with your event, but if you’re looking for something to take your event to the next level, check out these 10 trends in corporate events , or scroll to the next section.

14 Types of Corporate Events and How to Make Them Awesome in 2019

Corporate events come in many shape and forms and they can be challenging. Try to run a search out there and you will find a total lack of information out there on what you need to consider for different types of corporate events.

And this is what we did for you. We identified the most common forms of corporate events and we outlined quick and effective tips to make them work for you.

Whether you are a seasoned corporate event pro or just entering the events arena, you will find plenty of inspiration.

So let’s start:

Some of these will be intimate gatherings in a conference room, while others could be large stockholders meetings.

Corporate meeting planners will need to have these skills:

  • Working with all levels of people and information
  • Keeping company secrets as well corporate communications
  • Anticipate needs of attendees and coordinate additional things like travel schedules

Corporate Hospitality and Client Entertaining

Corporate event planning isn’t all stuffy board meetings. Many companies go to extravagant lengths to entertain clients and this is one area where your creativity will pay off. As someone putting together corporate hospitality and entertaining you’ll be expected to provide a memorable experience.

Be an experiential pro:

  • Know your audience. Find out as much as you can about the clients you will be putting together the event for.
  • Research some of the events they have hosted at the client’s company. You don’t want to choose a theme they just did last month.
  • Give them something they don’t have. Sometimes providing a memorable experience is not about how over the top you can make it but how back to basics, If you’re entertaining a client with everything, try something completely unexpected like a nostalgic theme or a back to basics message.

Product Launches

Corporate event planners host events that showcase new products for investors, employees, and customers. Each has a very different focus and will require a different approach. But what all of them will have in common is building on the excitement of something new.

Perfecting the product kick-off meeting:

  • Make it inspirational by sharing your story of how the new product or service came to be of how it solves a problem and who it’s helping.
  • Host mini-kick-off meetings with smaller groups before the bigger announcement. For instance, before launching in front of all of the employees, introduce the new product to the customer service department to get their feedback and gauge their excitement. Knowing what they love about it, can help you put together a program for the larger company or for customers.
  • Make sure you annotate and analyze reactions. If you allow for social media at the meeting, take a look at what people are sharing. Use those comments in marketing materials, product development, and brainstorming. You could receive a lot of actionable data. Make sure you listen and apply what you’re learning from your stakeholders.

Employee Training

While some of these are outsourced, there are still a large number of companies that keep this in-house because they want to ensure their training occurs within their culture. In employee training, the biggest challenge you’ll face is ensuring the employees learn what is expected of them. After all, they’re missing time from work and the training is costing the company money. They want a return on their investment.

You also will contend with a lack of interest from some employees. Remember, this training is not always their idea. Sometimes it is part of a performance improvement plan (PIP) or something a manager has made mandatory. It is not always something they see as important in their professional development.

Combat bad attitudes:

  • Ensure all material is presented in an engaging way.
  • Avoid simple presentations of materials. Let employees learn through doing or discussing. They’re more likely to retain the information later.
  • Show the attendees the practical application for what they’re learning. Don’t show them how their newfound knowledge will save the company money. Instead, show them what’s in it for them and encourage them to share their experiences on social media. This will create excitement among the sessions and may help with employees who will attend training in the future.

Board Retreats

Corporate event planners also conduct board retreats. Usually, these are held to coincide with the introduction of new board members or as part of a strategic planning session. They require the ability to handle board members, their requests, and busy schedules, as well as providing a return on their time investment.

Create a worthwhile board retreat:

  • If your reason behind this board retreat is introducing new board members or thanking outgoing ones, select a venue where comfort is a priority. Relationships are built in comfort, not around a stodgy boardroom table.
  • Focus on “big picture” activities. It’s what a board is best at.
  • Bring in a facilitator. Often a professional used to coordinating the task at hand can make a big difference in your effectiveness. That also leaves you free to handle the meeting coordination and the details of the venue and the softer side of things.

User Events and Conferences

User events and conferences run the gamut between coordinated training that occurs in your office for a few hours as part of their contract or mega-productions like Salesforce’s Dreamforce. The former is more instructional training with less emphasis on the experience, while the latter a conference attendee often pays for and so they expect much more from it.

Consider these questions when designing user events and conferences:

  • Think about different tracks and content aimed at new users, right through to advanced power users to ensure that there is something for everyone.
  • Should your most loyal customers, advocates, and ambassadors get free or discounted tickets to the event?
  • How can the event get users excited about your company and the opportunity to meet one another?
  • Can the event be a sales tool for people in the pipeline? “Sign up now and we’ll give you a free ticket to our user’s conference.”
  • How can the event help you to get to know your customers in a different way and be a listening opportunity?

Be a user conference ninja:

  • Give the sales (and possibly the customer service) department free tickets so they can entice potential customers who are on the purchasing fence to attend. Your customer service department can also use the tickets as special appreciation measures for something that did not go the customer’s way or as a reward for loyal customers.
  • Offer discounts for multiple tickets purchased from the same company or give brand ambassadors referral discounts for bringing in new attendees. You can also provide brand ambassadors with discount codes for their tribe.
  • Offer a track for people who are not yet customers. They can learn more about your company, your product, and your clients in a highly energized corporate fanfest atmosphere.

Focus Groups

Focus groups have evolved quite a bit in the age of digital media but they are still important to a number of industries and verticals. Unlike a customer interview, a focus group looks to learn more about consumer perceptions through interaction. It’s important to the people behind a focus group to see how the participants interact and influence each other, much like the market would.

Score big during your next focus group:

  • The main point is interaction so you want to make sure the participants are physically comfortable. This may require feeding them so it’s important to find out exactly how long the marketing or R&D department believe the group participation will take. Remove any blocks to the conversation or distracting technology that is difficult to use.
  • Ensure all voices are heard. You may need to facilitate conversation or moderate the discussion. Emotional displays or off-topic conversations will need to be redirected in order to make the most of your valuable time.
  • Speak with marketing to find out their needs and clear up responsibilities. Find out who will be in charge of invitations and how will they be tracked, for instance.

Sales Meetings

One of the most energetic events you will host as a corporate event planner is your sales kick-off meeting or your sales meeting for those who met targets. Your sales team is likely one of the most dynamic in your company but also may be among one of the most difficult to please. They want to be acknowledged and thanked as they are keenly aware a large part of the company revenue is due to them.

Outsell your sales department:

  • Start with fun. Make a big impression early on with an amazing experience first. Don’t wait for the first convocation. Begin the experience as soon as they get there (or even before, if you’re creative).
  • Never add something to your sales meeting that can be part of a pre-meeting email.
  • Use an app to keep everyone connected and aware of the many activities and individual meet-ups that are going on. Salespeople are social. Give them a tool that will play on that.

Whether for employees or customers, corporate event planners want to make an impression in their seminars as well. Focus on ways to increase active learning and remember they don’t all have to be in-person learning experiences. Sometimes accommodating an employee or customer’s schedule online is more effective and appreciated than taking up work time.

Be a seminar ace:

  • Allow for break time. This helps with retention, physical needs, and outside of the classroom conversations that can be a large part of processing the materials.
  • Remember seminars don’t have to be held in a classroom. A lounge atmosphere with comfortable seating could work just as well if you’re shooting for a lot of group exchange. A formal setting will create a formal atmosphere for learning, whereas a more casual setting will spur brainstorming and creative exchange.
  • Test knowledge before and after. Since your higher-ups are going to want to see the ROI for your employee seminar, make sure you know the level of knowledge on the subject that your attendees come in with. Then you can accurately measure what they’ve learned. There are a lot of fun ways to do this through technology and gamification platforms.

Trade Shows

Corporate event planners can be involved in organizing an entire trade show or merely organizing their company’s presence at a trade show hosted by someone else. In these situations, you will likely be working very closely with the sales and marketing team(s).

Slay your next trade show (in general):

  • Book rooms ahead of time even if your team is still deciding who will attend. You can always call later and switch the names out but you can’t open up a block of rooms that are already sold out.
  • Create a checklist that includes responsibilities and go over it with marketing and sales to make sure everyone is in agreement. When there are too many departments working on the same thing under different leadership, it’s easy to assume someone else is handling it.
  • Create a supply kit/event managers box that contains all the tools and incidentals that everyone forgets about like pain reliever, nail clippers, clear fingernail polish, lotion, stain pens, nail file, mini scissors, lint rollers, etc.

Run a public exhibition or trade show like a boss:

  • Get the floor plan ready early so you will be more apt to sell out stand space.
  • Consider higher rates for premium stand locations.
  • Create an exhibitor manual detailing all the information that your exhibitors need to know.

Make it the best trade show ever if you’re exhibiting:

Treat this like running a mini event in terms of coordinating all elements.

Give attendees a reason to visit your stand.

Ensure your marketing around the exhibition is more inventive than just “come and visit us at stand #192.”

Team Building or Leadership Retreats

As company culture and emotional intellect are becoming more and more important to companies, corporate event planners can assume they’ll be working on more of those “feel good” events. Bringing diverse groups together for a company cheerleading session isn’t easy but it can be a lot of fun.

Get out those pom-poms and lead that cheer:

  • Work with management to ensure employees participating in the event have less on their plates, especially if the event takes several hours. It is impossible to concentrate on becoming part of a team and those activities if they’re worried about what’s awaiting them back at the office. It’s essential to ensure every part of management supports these efforts.
  • Make it fun. As awesome as you’ve imagined the day, there will be employees who are dreading it. You might want to start a drip marketing campaign to the participants about a week out so you can start building that excitement. Share different tips, hints at what you’ll be doing, or introductions. This way you’ll be more likely to start with a warm crowd.
  • That said, make sure you keep your business objectives in mind. Pacing and engagement are important, but don’t confuse team building with team recreation.
  • Make sure everyone is heard. If you’re team building with different departments and levels, the junior people may defer to the senior ones. Create scenarios and icebreakers that keep everyone on the same level of learning and interacting. Bring in a professional if need be or use an activity where everyone will be equal regardless of job responsibility like a ropes course. In a ropes course, you could even place the junior people in charge of the seniors for a different dynamic.

For more on how to get the most out of your team building opportunities and retreats, check out these 28 tips for planning a corporate retreat .

Dinners and awards ceremonies.

Many companies plan celebrations for awards they’ve won, goals they’ve surpassed, or employee recognition. It’s a wonderful occasion when you get to coordinate something that everyone can come together and enjoy.

Kick up the ceremony:

  • Find a special way, like through video, to showcase the efforts of those receiving awards or those behind your company reaching this accomplishment.
  • Splurge on the venue and celebrate somewhere offsite.
  • Bring in a great emcee to increase the celebratory mood.

Business Anniversary Celebrations and Milestones

These events may be very similar to your awards ceremonies because there’s something to celebrate. But these events will generally focus on the entire team not just a handful of successes.

Play up the nostalgia:

  • Use the date of the anniversary or milestone as a theme.
  • Give employees or customers something as part of the celebration. For employees that could be swag. For customers, a discount and personal thank you for their business are nice touches.
  • End the evening with an inspirational message of continuing success.

Holiday and Other Corporate Parties

Holiday parties are a lot of fun but also probably one of the riskiest events you’ll host. Employees (and sometimes customers) often see traditional holiday parties as a time to cut loose. This could mean consuming more alcohol than planned and potentially “overstepping” a friendly interest. This can leave the company exposed on everything from personal injury claims from falls on campus to sexual harassment claims.

Know the risk:

  • Speak with your risk advisor and understand how your activity and venue may expose you to potential issues.
  • Work with HR and emphasize to management that they must lead by example and encourage employees to be responsible.  While you may feel like a fun sponge laying out these directives, in today’s hyper-vigilant, and highly litigious society, it’s important to protect the interests of your company before there’s an issue.
  • If you hold the party offsite, the burden of liability and service will likely fall on the venue or caterer. Plus, it also places distance between your company and the event. Always hire a professional bartender. Avoid punchbowl drinks where people can serve themselves to excess.

Check out these 20 safe ways to make sure your company has a great New Years party .

Corporate event entertainment.

While holiday parties and retreats are perhaps the quintessential entertainment-centric corporate events, there are lots of other corporate event types where entertainment is important.

From communicating your brand messaging and budget to showing everyone in attendance a good time to thank them for coming, corporate event entertainment is crucial, and having a good understanding of how to bring it to your event is essential to being a well-rounded corporate event planner.

Here are some tips to help you get started.


  • Look at attendee demographics like age, social background and sex, and choose entertainment accordingly. A tribute to ‘One Direction’ or ‘Justin Bieber’ may be suitable for a corporate family day event, but not for a board retreat.
  • Venue size and location is a factor that many event planners and organisers forget (or remember at the last minute!). This is important, as it will play a part in deciding whether or not you can have that aerial team you want or full scale swing band!
  • Cost. Do you have a strict budget that you have to work within, or is money not a problem? The amount of money a company is prepared to spend on entertainment will affect the options available.


  • Pursue a wow factor or unique entertainment idea that will impress guests and ensure that the event is talked about.
  • If the entertainment you require is for an exhibition or trade stand, that the acts or performers you book will increase footfall and draw guests to your stand.
  • You use entertainment that can incorporate your logo or corporate message.
  • You are aware of the latest entertainment trends to appear ahead of the game/up to date.

For more on how to wow attendees with your event entertainment, check out Desitnation by Design’s risque Meta Mixer event and check out more ideas in the next section.

Corporate event venues.

One of the first steps to a successful event is finding the right venue. There’s a lot to consider: size, location, season, accessibility, WiFi infrastructure – the list is long. Very long.

If the decision wasn’t hard enough, top corporate event venues can book up well in advance, and you can’t always expect the venue to help you make it .

So it behoves us to do the research and book our spaces early.


While there are a lot of factors that determine the right venue for your corporate event, here are a few of the biggest:


It’s becoming more and more important to show your attendees and stakeholders that you’re eco-conscious. Look for a venue that shares those values and has taken measures to minimize their energy expenditure and offer recycled materials.

It wouldn’t be an event without a budget! Don’t be afraid to negotiate, and try to have a few date options to choose from when you come to the table. See if there’s a discount you can get for a multi-event commitment, and don’t forget to ask about minimum spends on things like lodging and catering. Oh, and check for ‘incidentals’ that might come up at the last minute.

Is the city well-connected? Is the city itself an attractive? What’s the local culture, the local flare? Choosing a desirable city is about balancing the negative effects on your budget with the positive effects on your attendance and reception. If you can find a great spot that hasn’t had its travel potential tapped yet, you can get a great deal on a fabulous experience!


Is the venue easy to find and get to? Near accommodations and lodging? How is the ramp and elevator access? It’s 2019, people. There’s no excuse for a venue that doesn’t let everyone in easily, whether they’re coming on legs, wheels, or any other kind of support.

Tech Facilities and Infrastructure.

If you’re organizing a conference, chances are you’ll need AV, WiFi connectivity, digital signage, outlets, and charging stations. These are just some of the basics. Investigate the facilities based on the needs of your event, be it talks or trade shows.

Events have a lot of moving parts, but you also need to be aware of what’s happening in and around the area. Season is paramount. Maybe don’t pick Ottawa in January; maybe don’t pick Madrid in July. What other, competing events are happening in the vicinity when you’re having yours? Is the venue hosting multiple events simultaneously that could impact traffic and flow? Timing is everything.

Considering climate is not just about checking the weather forecast. Talk to locals who know the score, as they might have insights into seasonal propriety and the socio-political climate. The political atmosphere can impact security, transportation, and otherwise just the overall level of comfort for your attendees.

Does the venue offer catering? Is there a flexible menu that accommodates dietary restrictions? Novel options? If not, can you bring your own? You need to make sure your attendees are well-fed, and many of us feel the pressure to impress a palate or two as well.

This one’s pretty straightforward. Can the venue support the number of people you’re expecting? You need to check meeting and session rooms, stage areas and seating, any associated or connected lodging, and exhibition areas.

Staff & Services.

If the venue offers catering, they’ll likely also offer catering staff. But what about other services, like set-up/clean-up support, AV staff, or concierge and security services? Can you get them included in the cost? Can you hire your own if you have trusted partners for these things?

Looking for a venue for your next corporate event? Here are 350 of the best in 2019 , organized by location, for you to choose from!


Working in a corporate event planning environment offers lots of opportunities and challenges. Although different to other event planning roles it can be one of the most rewarding and lucrative career paths to follow.

We will constantly evolve this page and keep adding to the ideas to share the most exciting and innovative ideas that corporate event planners will be interested in so check back regularly to find out the hottest new ideas corporate event planners can consider for their next events.

7 Ways to Deliver Authenticity and Adventure

Gone are the days of fly-in, fly-out meetings and events. Attendees no longer want to stay within the bubble of their hotel room or a conference venue. Instead, they want to break out and explore. Curated in partnership with the Arizona Office of Tourism, here are seven ways to create authentic event experiences in tune with local nature, culture, and history.

An overhead image of two kaykers on Watson Lake in Arizona. The lake enhances a sense of adventure with the otherworldly rock formations that surround it.

7 Ways to Deliver a Better Attendee Experience at Coastal Meetings

Coastal destinations offer the perfect blend of business and leisure for an enhanced event experience, as exemplified by Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods, a coastal area in Southwest Florida ready to take your meetings and events to the next level.

A group of five attendees takes a break from their coastal meeting to stroll down the beach without shoes.

How Conferences Are Failing Their Attendees

Logistics are important when planning conferences but often overshadow what most are in the room for, content.

Rear view of Audience in the conference hall or seminar meeting which have Speakers are Brainstorming

The Best Shoes for Events 

Shoes can make or break one’s ensemble. Luckily, dress codes have loosened, allowing attendees to step up their sneaker game and attend comfortably. 

Pair of new grey sneakers laying outside on a metal staircase

Keep it Simple, Speakers 

Keynote speakers and other presenters provide much of the draw for events but getting the intro wrong can potentially kill the vibe.

Close up photo of a microphone grill with blurred background

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See how Cvent can solve your biggest event challenges. Watch a 30-minute demo.

corporate planning event

Event Planning Guide With Checklist 2024

Cvent CONNECT 2018

What is event planning? How do you do it? What tools should you use to make your life easier?

In this guide, we talk through a basic event planning template, what it means to be a planner, and how event management software can simplify your processes.

What is Event Planning?

It is the process of planning all the details and logistics of an event. That event can range in size, complexity, and purpose. They can be in-person , virtual, webinar or hybrid. It takes a great deal of time and effort to manage an event and involves communication with multiple teams and vendors. Event planning encompasses tasks at all stages of the event cycle, like event marketing, event sponsors, venue sourcing , event branding , building an event website , and more.

Event Management is Event Planning

People tend to call event planning by  many different names.  Some event planners are called administrative assistants, some are called event coordinators, and others are called event managers. What do all of these titles have in common? The individuals have some hand in planning an event. Whether the events are internal or external, large or small, they all have to be planned.  

event planning

What is Virtual Event Planning?

Planning a virtual event takes as much time and dedication as an in-person or hybrid event. In recent months, we've had to adjust event programs to incorporate these new event types, adding on a learning curve for planners as they get a feel for virtual event planning. There are so many factors to consider when planning a virtual event. Will this content translate well to a virtual setting? Are my speakers prepared to speak virtually? How will I provide my sponsors the same value as they would receive at my in-person event? How long should my sessions last? And finally, what technology should we use to support this event? Planning a virtual event is made easier with technology, or the use of a virtual event platform such as the Virtual Attendee Hub . With virtual event tech, you can plan smarter. 

Read  Virtual Event Planning Checklist  for more on virtual event planning.

How to Plan an Event

Not sure how to plan an event, or even where to start? Maybe you were recently assigned an event to plan by your manager or you’re just starting out in the field, either way, there are a few basics for how to plan an event. The most important thing to remember is that no two events are the same – just like snowflakes. They’re all unique and have their own purpose. From event type to event size, there is an endless number of factors that change one event from the next. The event planning template below is a rough guide to give you somewhere to start. It doesn’t cover everything – one guide never could – but it will give you the basics.

Building the Perfect Event

It starts simply. A theme. A plan. A goal. Your event has a purpose from the beginning, which will drive content, speakers, and the venue. It’s part of the event management planning process and a key first step.

Wondering how to throw a great virtual event? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Events. 

Event Management Planning Process

What type of event are you planning.

Let’s start simple. Are you planning an internal or external event? An internal event is one within your organization put on for employees. This event could be an appreciation event, a holiday party, training, teambuilding exercise, and more. An external event is one outside of the organization that looks to register attendees. From there, identify if it’s a social event, a networking event, a conference, etc. Start with a great event management plan. What event type is it? In-person, virtual, or hybrid? This will impact the event goals and the planning process. 

Define Event Purpose

All events have a purpose. If you haven’t identified yours before you begin planning, then you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Why are you throwing this event? Is it to generate revenue? To launch a product? To educate? Your purpose drives how you plan, market, and execute your event.

Determine Event Size and Duration

How many attendees will attend your event? What will be the event duration? As you decide, think about cost and the purpose of your event. More people mean a larger venue or a higher-cost virtual tech tool, but it could also mean a greater return on investment. Generally, the length of the event is determined by the type of event your throwing. A conference typically lasts a few days, but if this is the first year of the event, you might want to do a two-day event vs. a three-day event to make sure the interest is there.

event budgeting

Event Budget

Create a budget.

No one likes to talk about money. But setting an event budget is crucial–and all stakeholders need to be on the same page. Determine or nail down the event budget as soon as possible as you begin planning. The venue, food, technology, and entertainment are high-price items.  There’s a lot to budget for (probably more than you might think) and starting with a clear event budget will make it easier as you plan. Check out  Meeting and Event Budgeting Made Easier  for a few tips. Some things cost more than you might think. For example, coffee. Check out  Budgeting: How to Estimate Coffee Consumption . Think about ways to incorporate event sponsors into the event.

Meeting and Event Budgeting Made Easier

After the actual event, the event budget is one of the most highly scrutinized aspects of any planning process. Not everyone understands what a successful event looks like or how to determine ROI, but they do understand money. Whether your event  budget is small  or large, it’s important to know where each dollar is going. If you can’t easily track your event budget and use spend information to analyze an event’s effectiveness and improve year over year, you’re making things more difficult than they need to be.

Event Tech and Event Budget

Technology has made event budget tracking easier than pen and paper or building out a complicated, formula heavy Excel sheet. There are tools you can use, from the Expensify App to more complicated budget tracking solutions, that make collecting, tracking, and analyzing event spend much easier. Curious if your go-to florist is increasing their fee by too high a percent year over year? Check what they charged you the year before! Want to break down costs into categories such as venue, food, promotion, and more? You should be able to, and it shouldn’t take hours of searching in multiple Excel sheets to do it. Read more to find out what budget tracking tools can do for you.  

Simple Entry

Keeps things easy. No matter who is entering costs and information, they’ll do it correctly if the budget technology you use is user-friendly. Don’t let complicated Excel sheets create confusion. One of the major challenges with tracking spend is making sure that every single purchase is accounted for. It can take hours and hours to find the missing $2.37, but you’ll spend an afternoon searching for that last item because the event budget has to balance. Use a tool that captures each purchase so you don’t have to root through your purse, car, and office to find a crumpled receipt.

Summary View

A budget overview shouldn’t take hours to pull together. Many budget tracking tools make it possible to create a quick summary view that will show you, and executives, everything they need to know about current spend vs projected spend.

Track Return On Events (ROE)

Look at ROE for one event, or across many events. Tracking ROE will give you greater insight into a singular event or across multiple events. Track budgeted, negotiated, and actual expenses to show their return on objectives and make your next budget even smarter.

Segment By Vendor

You shouldn’t need to spend hours pulling up a history of payment for that one caterer – check easily with budget tracking tools. This will allow you to understand how much you spent with one caterer vs another, or let you to budget better for future events with the same vendors. Negotiate better deals with vendors and suppliers based on transaction history. Did you spend enough with certain vendors to qualify for volume discounts?

Charts And Graphs

People like visuals! Now, tracking tools have graphs built in so you can look at event spend in a more engaging way. You don’t need to spend extra time laboring over a pie chart – it’s created for you. Charts and graphs can usually be modified easily to compare the costs you want to look at.  

Use Event Sponsors to Defray Costs

Determining what to spend money on and where to cut isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be even more complicated because of the systems you’re using to track the event spend. Embrace the technology out there! There’s an easier way, and it will lead to less stress, better analysis, and more time to spend actually planning the event. And, think about pulling in event sponsors to take some of the burden off of your budget.

sourcing venues

Venue Sourcing

Taking the mystery out of venue sourcing.

How do you typically  find a venue for an event ? Like a lot of planners, you may start with a Google search. From there, you create a spreadsheet, start to identify criteria, send a few emails, call a few locations, and come up with a solid list of potential venue options. If you're planning an in-person or hybrid event, the venue will be key.

Don't Waste Hours on Venue Sourcing

But how long did that take you? You can lose hours looking at different hotels, conference centers, and unique spaces, and at the end of that search, you may be left with a few hastily scribbled notes on a piece of paper or a partially filled out spreadsheet. The hardest thing to find during this search? The cost. You can sink hours into research, find a great list of five locations, then realize after reaching out that they’re all way out of your price range. That puts you back at square one. That’s only the first step in the long, tiresome venue sourcing process. You still need to create and send out a request for proposals (RFPs), evaluate them, and work through complicated negotiations.

Use Venue Sourcing Technology

It shouldn’t surprise you by now, that my answer to this cumbersome process is simple – event technology. Venue sourcing tools make everything so much easier. What can they do? Provide a searchable database of venues, allow you to compare and contrast venues across the same criteria, easily send out RFPs, and get you set up to do the only thing you can’t do with event technology – go on-site visits. Though with the rise in VR technology, it might even help you do that someday soon. We’ve broken down venue sourcing into simple steps, that when using a great venue sourcing tool, will take the headache out of finding the perfect place to host your next event. Check out the Cvent Supplier Network

Step One: Find Venues

  • Know your meeting objectives and requirements. You need to start strong and 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 from online.
  • Be ready to answer any questions venues may have about the proposal or event.

Step Three: Evaluate Proposals

  • Create a spreadsheet to assess proposals
  • Create a list of any factors that are less concrete – your 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.

Next? 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. Want more?  Event Management Technology for Dummies

Event Marketing

Make event promotion strategic.

From a full-scale social media takeover to paid ads, event promotion takes many forms. It all depends on your budget, but the purpose of event marketing is to drive attendees to your event. Without attendees, the event wouldn’t exist. Our  Event Marketing Plan Template  gives an outline of where to begin. Event marketing software can help cut down on the time you spend planning emails and promotions. The most important thing to remember about event promotion is to start early. Create a plan when you begin planning an event and automate it as much as possible. That way, as your event gets closer and you get more in the weeds, you won’t have to remember to post to Facebook or buy ad space. 

Need Some Event Marketing Tips? Read our Event Marketing Guide for more event marketing tips.

Promotion Across Channels with Automation

If no one knows about your event, how will they register? That’s why promotion is so important. Check out  The Best Ways to Promote Your Event  for inspiration. Targeted email marketing is a great way to promote your events when you have a vast database. Other ways to promote? Social media continues to be one of the best free promotional channels.  

Live Events Are Powerful

And they don’t have to be budget drainers–they can actually be big money-makers for your organization. In fact, recent Forrester research shows that successful organizations allocate nearly 25% of their B2B budgets on events, noting that these in-person events are the second most effective marketing tactic. With all this money being earmarked, it makes sense for planners and marketers to join forces and work to increase your ROE (Return on Events) to make events a profit center as opposed to a cost center. Here are a few quick tips on how to get started.

Personalize Invitations to Increase Attendance

Treat your invites like targeted e-marketing campaigns by segmenting audiences by contact type and job role with a clear call-to-action that will resonate with them, getting more people to RSVP.

Increase Your Online Visibility to Create a Goldmine

Employ a user-friendly event registration system  to create both an easy online registration process and targeted event website . Any good event management technology will come with the necessary tools to help you easily increase the visibility and traffic to your event website by including SEO keywords–allowing you to track registration form submissions and bulking up your event’s bottom line by providing additional sponsorship opportunities.

Engage at Every Stage

Use social media, viral marketing (videos, pics, contests, teaser campaigns) and promotions to drum up interest before your event. Keep the content flowing and get attendees buzzing during your event with sponsored mobile apps , tweets, posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and blogs. When all is said and done, offer event recaps, highlights, infographics, photos and videos to your attendees. The goal is to extend the life of your event beyond just the event dates, getting your attendees more invested in your organization. To make it easier, use event marketing software so that you can automate some of your processes.

Be Great and Integrate

Events are a key piece of the marketing mix and therefore your event management system  should integrate with your other sales and marketing tech stack and tools such as your CRM system, e-marketing solution, and social media tools. Share data, automate processes, track registrations (and attritions), quickly build reports, measure ROI and save valuable planning time by combining event and marketing tools. By making your events more measurable, you increase your chance at profitability.  

Event Branding

The theme is about event branding.

The theme goes hand in hand with event purpose. A great theme will attract attendees and connect with the event purpose. Not all themes are created equal. Once decided, the theme will impact decorations, food, entertainment, and more. Remember, it doesn’t just refer to cheesy prom themes, like “A Night Under the Stars.” The theme is the impactful message threaded throughout the entire event, or the branding. Out of ideas? Check out  10 Terrific Themes for Corporate Events .

Read our  Event Budgeting Guide .

Event Website

Building a website used to be impossible if you didn’t know how to code. Today, things are much easier. Even if you have no knowledge of HTML, you can build a great website. Which is great news because nowadays, everyone expects there to be a website for everything. Emailed invitations are a thing of the past. Besides being wildly expensive, they’re hard to track and data is easy to input incorrectly. That’s why websites and registration sites are the new normal when it comes to events.

What’s the Difference Between Registration and Event Websites?

Registration website.

A  registration  site is built for one thing – registration. Registration sites alone are perfect for smaller events, events that don’t need much promotion or events that have a very low barrier to entry. The purpose of a registration site is to allow an attendee to register easily online and provide you with the data and information you need.

An  event website  is more dynamic. This website is created for large events, high-cost events, and events that need to capture potential attendee’s attention. The purpose of an event website is to market the event and convince attendees to attend the event. This website can include videos, more information, and lead to a registration site. Not every event will have an event website, but if it has an event website it will also have a registration site. Regardless of the type of site you build, it should be:

  • Contain all of the event info
  • Be accessible and easy to read

How to Detect Problems

Bounce rates.

The higher a bounce rate is, the worse it is. You want a low bounce rate. This means that when a visitor is on your site, they stay and interact for a reasonable amount of time. If bounce rates are high, that means they entered the site and left quickly. Try switching up the original landing page or copy to see if the change helps. When other pages on the site have high bounce rates, try changing those as well.

Abandon Rates

On a registration site, when a visitor fills out part of the registration and then leaves without finishing the form, that’s counted as an abandon. You want visitors to fill the entire form and complete registration. If your abandon rates are high, figure out what questions led to high abandons. Can you do without those? If not, try switching up the order and see what works. For those that already abandoned registration, send them an email (if you have their address) with more information about the event.

Event Management Technology Makes Building a Website Easy

Regardless of the site you chose, you will need one. If building a website scares you – don’t worry. It isn’t hard. Event management technology has made the process incredibly easy. If you can type and drag and drop, you can create a site.

Building an Event Agenda

spreadsheets on desk to prove event ROI

Proving Event ROI

Measuring your success to prove event roi.

Event management doesn’t end when the event does. Over the course of the entire event, it’s important to prove success and identify areas of improvement. Data gained throughout the process will help you do this. Live polling is a great way to find out how attendees felt about the event. Event management software allows you to track attendee data and gather information on engagement, registration, interactions, and more to help substantiate event ROI.

The Essential Drivers of Event ROI

Event experience.

To get a true calculation of event ROI, you need to take a deep dive into both the costs and benefits of running an event. Far more than simply adding up the direct costs to produce an event and the direct revenue it delivers, it’s important to understand the full spectrum of costs and benefits. To help you through this calculation, we’ve outlined the eight essential drivers of event ROI.

Event Costs

Event expenses can account for 25% or more of a company’s B2B marketing budget and internal meetings can add another 3-5%. The total costs needed to actually make events happen requires a closer analysis of expenses at a granular level. Three different costs should be examined.

Direct Costs

These are costs most familiar to event planners. They are the costs of hosting an event. Examples of direct costs include venue costs, food and beverage, travel, entertainment, and rental equipment. Hopefully, you are reconciling your budgets and have a good handle on direct costs.

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs offer a more complete view of the investments to run an event. They include salaries and overhead of the teams involved in staging an event as well as other shared expenses. Indirect costs are calculated using accounting processes such as activity-based costing, which assign attributed costs to products, services, and events. To understand the indirect cost of your event, work with your finance team.

Opportunity Costs

Events have an opportunity cost. Your organization chooses to deploy its resources to an event as opposed to digital marketing, or some other activity. These alternative sources of value comprise opportunity costs. To understand this cost, you need to know the benefits the other activities would yield as compared to your events.

Identifying Benefits

Events can impact the top line and bottom line of an organization. Similar to expenses, it’s important to know how to measure the different types of benefits.  

Direct Revenue

Direct revenue is the money made directly as a result of hosting an event. Examples include ticket sales, sponsorship dollars, registration fees, onsite product sales, and advertising revenue. Direct revenue varies based on the size and scope of the event. This is the money you are hopefully calculating today to show the value of your event.

Attributed Revenue

Organizations market and promote their products at events which helps drive future revenue. Onsite product demos and account planning conversations help fill the sales pipeline, fuel new sales, and increase customer renewals. As those new opportunities result in new business, the dollars can be attributed to the event as attributed revenue.

Brand Equity

Some benefits, such as brand equity, are more intangible and cannot be measured through hard dollars. Brand equity doesn’t deliver immediate monetary rewards, but event attendance has an impact on brand attitudes. Consumers like well-known and admired companies, which leads to doing business with that company. Brand equity can help propel Customer Lifetime Value, the long-term profit contribution from a customer. Your events should leave a positive impact on your attendees, driving positive brand equity.

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge exchange is the accelerated learning that occurs during events. This interaction between customers, prospects and the company can help shape product development, increase learning, fine-tune marketing, and speed receptivity to sales. Your events must create an environment to share knowledge, which leads to brand equity and attributed revenue!

Event Management Software

By now, you should be able to answer the question, what is event planning . And you know that event planning software can cut down the time spent on doing manual tasks. Event management is about pulling together an incredible experience, facilitating connections, adding leads to sales pipeline, and proving event success. It’s a difficult job that involves spinning an endless number of plates and working around the clock to create an unforgettable moment for attendees. And, it’s one that can be made a little easier by taking advantage of technology, especially if you happen to be planning a virtual or hybrid event. A virtual event platform is a gamechanger. While many planners rely on sticky notes and spreadsheets, there’s tech out there that will save hours and take events to the next level. From on-site badge printing to detailed data and analytics to virtual streaming options, event management software can take your event to the next level. Find out what event tech can help you succeed in  How to Select the Right Event Management Technology . 

Event Planning Checklist

There are so many things to think about when you plan an event. Depending on how long you’ve been planning events, you have different concerns. But, whether you just got thrown into planning or have been planning events your entire life, there will always be unexpected moments. Events, as well as you script them, are unruly. Things never go quite as you plan it. That’s why it’s important to be flexible and willing to adapt. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan as well as you can, though. Below is a quick event planning checklist to keep in mind as you go through your event. Think of this as an event planning template.

Before the Event

Start early.

In most cases, you have the least amount of control over when you can start planning your event. It’s rarely prescribed by you, but by your company, manager, or the company that has hired you to plan. Try to start as early as possible to give yourself the best chance for success.

Set Clear Goals

Each event is an opportunity to improve. Setting goals about what you hope to achieve with this event, whether it’s an increase in attendees, increased attendee engagement, or higher ratings for speakers, is key. Communicating value after the event will ensure

Understand the Purpose of the Event

You know whether you’re planning a conference, gala, or happy hour – but what does this event need to achieve? What is the theme? Figuring this out early will make planning easier in the long run. After all, without this information, you can’t pick a venue, event design, and more.

Identify Resources

How big is this event and is your team large enough to handle it? If your team isn’t, have you determined what contractors you need to hire? By establishing the team this early, you’ll have enough budget to work with and won’t create unrealistic expectations.

Promote Your Event

Take the time to develop a comprehensive event promotion plan. Without the use of email marketing, an event website, social media campaigns, and ads, attendees won’t know that your event is happening. Invest the time and money in promotion to drive registration. And, consider investing in event marketing software.

During the Event

Always have coffee.

While this does depend on the type of event you have, there is nothing that incurs the wrath of attendees quite like running out of coffee, or worse, not having coffee. If you’re planning a conference, a workshop, talk, or anything that has a number of speakers on the agenda – make sure to keep the coffee coming.

Adapt Speakers and Agenda Content

At some events, you have the ability to adapt based on attendee response. If you’re using a mobile event app during your event and getting speaker ratings, you can easily see who is and isn’t going over well with attendees. If a speaker is poorly rated and they’re going to do the same talk at a different time – change up the schedule. Consider taking that speaker’s session off of the agenda and replacing it with a higher rated speaker. Your attendees will thank you.

Be Ready for Anything

While unnecessary to reiterate, things happen onsite that you could have no way of predicting. Keep your staff office stocked with sewing needles, a first aid kit, and whatever else might be helpful. You have little chance of anticipating a hungry bird with a taste for finer food flying into your event space, but it’ll be your job to figure out how to react.

When you’re onsite, it’s incredibly likely that you’ll forget to sleep. Don’t. Take the time when you can to get a few hours of sleep. Without it, you’ll be off your game and less able to adapt to whatever situations throw themselves your way.

After the Event

Do something with your data.

You collected data onsite. In your mobile event app, at the check-in kiosk, during registration, an in surveys. If you don’t already have a plan for how you’ll use that data to prove whether the event met its goals, create one. Data you capture onsite is invaluable. You gain insights into attendees, and potential customers, that most companies can only dream of having access to.

Review Goals and Update Stakeholders

You need to prove event success. Take the time right after the event to identify what went well and what didn’t, then do a deeper analysis into event success using metrics. Your stakeholders will be more impressed if you can speak their language and give concrete results. 

Also, read  Event Planning Checklists: Avoid Last Minute Crisis at Your Event .

Find out more about Cvent's Event Management Software. 

John Hunter

John Hunter

John is the Senior Manager of Event Cloud Content Marketing at Cvent. He has 11 years of experience writing about the meetings and events industry. John also has extensive copywriting experience across diverse industries, including broadcast television, retail advertising, associations, higher education, and corporate PR.

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Event management

The corporate event planning tips you need in 2023

From conferences to shareholder meetings, plan your next event with ease using our corporate event planning tips!

Updated on: Mar 28, 2024 | 8 Min Read

About the author

Yvonne deFuria

Yvonne deFuria

Yvonne is an Event Production Manager at Webex Events (formerly Socio). With over 10 years of event management experience, she is passionate about creating memorable and engaging events.

Corporate event planning is a challenging task that requires a considerable amount of effort. Even the most experienced event organizers need a team of professionals and experts to help them pull it off seamlessly.

In addition, an efficient event management platform equipped with all the necessary tools is crucial to ensure the success of the event, whether it is virtual, in-person, or hybrid.

With 2023 promising more exciting and informative events for attendees, it’s time to gather inspiration from these corporate event planning tips. These best practices and tricks of the trade will empower you to plan, execute, and follow up on your next event with confidence and enthusiasm.

The ins and outs of planning a corporate event

It’s important to understand what a corporate event is before we offer relevant corporate event planning tips. Here is a handful of examples, all of which could be considered a corporate event:

Types of corporate events

The term corporate event really refers to any type of event hosted, funded, or sponsored by a corporate entity. These events can range in size and include anywhere from 50 attendees to thousands. Corporate events often fall under the following familiar formats:

  • Conferences
  • Trade shows
  • Exhibitions
  • Shareholder meetings
  • Product launch events
  • Team building
  • Experiential events

These types of events focus on either hosting the corporation’s employees, or clients, potential clients, and stakeholders.

When a corporate event hosts employees , it produces value by facilitating a healthy company culture, encouraging employee engagement, and helping your employees develop strong professional relationships with each other and your business.

And when held for clients, potential clients, and stakeholders, corporate events help generate and nurture leads, increase brand awareness and loyalty, and strengthen relationships with investors.

The challenges of planning a corporate event

The tremendous undertaking of planning a corporate event—no matter its size—means there are some challenges that event planners will have to navigate.

Address obstacles and potential roadblocks as soon as possible to reduce any surprises or delays. It’s common for events with this much eagerness to see thousands of attendees—and if they’re taking time to purchase a ticket, travel, or sign on and dedicate a portion of their day—they deserve a top-notch experience.

Here are some of the top challenges event organizers face when planning a corporate event:

  • Meeting event budget
  • Producing meaningful event content
  • Retaining attendees’ attention
  • Adhering to strict timelines
  • Running into unexpected technological issues
  • Handling logistics

To help you expertly maneuver these challenges and to reduce your risk of encountering them after the event doors open, it’s best practice to have a comprehensive plan in place.

Free event planning checklist

Create a comprehensive to-do list for your next event and easily complete tasks on time.

The five C’s of corporate event planning

Event planners should keep the five C’s of corporate event planning in mind when building out their agendas:

  • Concept: What is the event? Think about who this particular corporate event is for and why you’re planning it. What’s the event theme? Outline the basics of who, what, why, and how.
  • Coordination: After conceptualizing, you’ll need to coordinate important details, such as the date, time, and location of the event. Getting these ducks in a row as soon as possible is the goal, so the marketing team can start rolling out pre-event marketing content.
  • Control: This one is pretty straightforward, but often overlooked. As the event planner, you have (a lot of, but not entire) control over the experience, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that everything you’re planning is feasible.
  • Culmination: This C is for event day. Everything you’ve planned for has culminated to this moment, and you need to stay on top of every detail to ensure the event stays functioning throughout its duration. Your team should have their assignments, and your backup plans should be in place.
  • Closeout: This last C is inclusive of everything that you’ll need to do post-event, such as following up with vendors, receiving and providing feedback, and executing your post-event engagement strategy.

Now that you’re aware of the five C’s of corporate event planning, let us highlight some essential tips for each step in the process. These tips can help keep you on track, hold you accountable, and ensure you’re in the best position possible to deliver an exceptional and successful event.

1. Concept and coordination

All five of these steps are important, but the first two—concept and coordination—help guide what’s to come. When you know what type of corporate event you want to plan, as well as where, why, and how you’re going to make that happen, it becomes a touch easier to accomplish the rest of the steps with confidence.

Set goals and objectives

It can be easy to get overambitious about what you hope to achieve with your event. While that optimism is great, it’s important to make sure that the goals you’re setting are realistic and can be easily measured. One straightforward way to do that is by making your goals “smart”:

  • M easurable
  • A ttainable
  • T ime-based

By following this simple goal and objective rule, you’ll be in a good position to hit your marks.

Confirm your budget

It can be hard to plan an extravagant event when there’s uncertainty afoot about how much money you’re able to spend. Get confirmation about any and all budget-related matters before you start planning.

It’s much easier to plan according to your budget than to readjust plans later if something doesn’t align. Once you have that number, use these tips to stick to it:

  • Research everything , including venues, sponsors, speakers, and event management platforms, and consider their costs to ensure you’re making reasonable decisions.
  • Start planning as early as possible to leave yourself enough breathing room to make changes if problems arise or priorities shift.
  • Prioritize activities and experiences based on how important they are to the event theme, or how likely they are to help you achieve your event goals.

Free event budget template

Use this free event budget template to kick-start your event planning process and simplify your budget sheet.

Research your target audience

Knowing your target audience is important to ensure that the planned event activities resonate with attendees and encourage engagement. If you’ve hosted a swath of events before, this planning aspect may be a bit easier. However, if you’re unsure who the target audience is or should be, consider these tips:

  • Analyze your past event attendees and consider how they may be similar or different to this new event.
  • Dig into your competitors’ target audience and analyze their strategies.
  • Create an attendee persona.
  • Send out a survey to your contacts.

Choose the perfect venue

This is one of the more important considerations when planning a corporate event. In order to choose the right venue , you need to know approximately how many attendees are expected. Even if you’re planning something fully virtual, you need to ensure you have adequate bandwidth to host everybody. When choosing the perfect venue:

  • Consider its location.
  • Be mindful of its size.
  • Ensure it offers ample amenities and services.
  • Consider its accessibility features.

Begin promoting the event

Get started with event marketing sooner rather than later to decrease hiccups in the process. The earlier you conceptualize and coordinate the experience, the faster you’ll be able to build anticipation with event marketing content.

Consider these event promotion tips:

  • Take advantage of social media and hashtags.
  • Create an event website.
  • Consider offering incentives, such as early bird specials and discounts.

Corporate event planning: Control and culmination

Yes, as the event planner, you’re in control. But don’t go overboard! Once things are in motion, you shouldn’t force experiences on anyone. Instead, manage the event flow, track real-time metrics, and support the rest of your team as best you can.

It’s cliche, but: When hosting an event, it’s a general best practice to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

Here are some things you can do during these preliminarily control and culmination planning stages:

Manage logistics

Logistics are a major part of event planning, so it’s important to pay extra attention here. When you get the logistics right, everything should run according to your plan. Consider the following when thinking about event logistics:

  • Assign the right team members to the right tasks.
  • Align with vendors on logistical expectations.
  • If at a physical venue, conduct a tour for event staff.
  • Make sure signage throughout the venue is adequate and displayed appropriately.
  • Have a communications plan in place.

Measure real-time performance

Aside from being a great way to heighten the corporate event experience for attendees by being a hub for important information and gamification techniques , organizers can delight in a mobile event app , too. Taking advantage of a mobile event app puts real-time data and insights into the palm of event organizers’ hands to facilitate important event decisions.

Facilitate the production

As an event organizer, one of the best things you can do during the event is to help facilitate its production. Continually check in with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page and performing their assigned duties. This helps optimize production flow while minimizing preventable mistakes.

Corporate event planning: Closeout

When an event concludes, it’s not really over. There’s still much work to be done post-event to take full advantage of everything you’ve gained as a result of hosting such a successful experience. Consider the following as you close out the event:

Evaluate the budget

By measuring ROI and evaluating the total amount spent after the event ends, you can optimize your budget for your next corporate event. Our best tip here is to keep organized documents, spreadsheets, and records of all expenses.

Gather feedback

Feedback is valuable, especially for corporate events. It helps you understand what went well, the activities that attendees enjoyed, and whether or not the amenities provided were sufficient. Beyond that, feedback can also give us insight into areas that could use improvement.

Here are some ideas for gathering post-event feedback:

  • Send out a post-event survey that asks both general questions and questions about specific activities.
  • Keep an eye on social media and track what people say about the event.
  • Have a conversation with attendees and ask them their thoughts.

Improve future event experiences and performance

The information you gather through your closeout and post-event efforts, including any feedback, budget details, and attendee data, can be used to your advantage.

Organize all of that valuable data into spreadsheets, and refer back to it during the concept and coordination phases of future events.

Why your corporate event needs event management software

Planning a successful corporate event requires a lot of time and effort, but using these corporate event planning tips can help make it easier—or at least a little less stressful.

When planning your next corporate event, remember the five C’s:

  • Coordination
  • Culmination

Working through your event planning process in this order—and keeping the tips we provided in mind— helps set you up for success.

And you don’t have to shoulder it on your own. In addition to your talented event planning team and like-minded event professionals, an event management platform, like Webex Events, can help further smooth the process from start to finish.

Webex Events offers a comprehensive, end-to-end event solution with branding, engagement, reporting, and more features to drive better results for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.

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Corporate Event Planning , General Tips , Your Event Career

What Is Corporate Event Planning?

If you’re looking for a career that’s always exciting and full of new challenges, corporate event planning might be the perfect choice for you! But what is corporate event planning? What does a corporate planner do? And how do you become one?

Look no further, because we’re going to answer all of your questions—and give you a glimpse into what it’s like to have a career in this exciting field of the events industry!

What Is Corporate Event Planning? The Answer!

Corporate event planning is the process of organizing and executing events for businesses and organizations. These events can be anything from conferences and trade shows to holiday parties and team-building exercises.

What Does a Corporate Event Planner Do?

A corporate event planner is responsible for every aspect of a business event. This includes coming up with the initial concept and theme to booking the venue, coordinating logistics, and managing the budget. Additionally, they need to be great at multitasking and managing last-minute changes, as well as being able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions when problems arise.

What Is The Meaning Of a Corporate Event?

A corporate event is any type of event that is organized and executed by a company or organization for their employees, clients, or shareholders. Corporate events can be large or small, internal or external, but they all have one goal in common: to support the business objectives of the company.

Internal vs. External Events

There are two types of events a corporate planner will work with:

  • Internal events
  • External events

Internal Events

Internal events are events that are organized for a company’s employees. Examples of common internal events include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Employee recognition events
  • Team building exercises
  • Holiday parties
  • Company retreats

External Events

External events are events that are organized for a company’s clients, customers, or other business partners. As a corporate event planner, external events you’d organize could include:

  • Conferences
  • Product launches
  • Trade shows
  • Networking events

Other Popular Types of Corporate Events

While the events we’ve listed above are some of the most common, there are many other types of corporate events a planner might be responsible for. A few other popular types of events include:

Micro Events

Macro events, hybrid events.

Micro events are small-scale, internal events that are usually put together quickly and don’t require a lot of logistics or coordination. Examples of micro events include:

  • Happy hours
  • Coffee breaks
  • Lunch and learns

As a result of micro events, a company can better build morale, improve employee engagement, and/or promote company culture.

Macro events are large-scale, external events that require a lot of planning and coordination. Moreover, they’re usually put on for the purpose of marketing or networking. A few examples of macro events include:

As a corporate event planner, your client might hold macro events for the purposes of marketing their brand, product, or service.

Hybrid events are a mix of internal and external events. As such, they usually have both a business and a social purpose. A few examples of hybrid events include:

  • Press conferences
  • Cocktail parties

Typically, the business side of hybrid events is open to the public. On the other hand, the social aspect is invite-only.

What is corporate event planning in-post image 1

Common Corporate Event Planning Jobs

There are many different types of corporate event planning jobs, each with their own set of responsibilities. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Conference planner
  • Trade show coordinator
  • Meeting planner
  • Event manager
  • Event coordinator

This is just a small list, but in reality, there are many options to choose from. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a position that best fits your skills and interests.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Corporate Event Planner?

If you want to be a successful corporate event planner, you’ll need to have a mix of both hard and soft skills. For example, you should definitely:

  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Have strong organizational skills
  • Possess the ability to work well under pressure
  • Be creative
  • Know how to problem-solve
  • Know how to negotiate

Furthermore, it’s also helpful if you have:

  • An understanding of event planning software
  • Some experience with audio/visual equipment
  • The ability to multitask

Does this sound like you? If so, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in corporate event planning in no time!

The Corporate Event Planning Salary

We’ll be honest, it’s impossible to tell you exactly how much you’ll make as a corporate event planner. After all, salaries can vary greatly depending on factors such as:

  • The size of the company you work for
  • Whether you own and operate your own business
  • Your level of experience
  • Your professional qualifications
  • The location of the business
  • The demand for corporate event planning services in your area
  • Your local competition
  • How well you’re marketing your business to your target clientele, etc.

That said, in the United States, corporate planners tend to make between approx. $54,500 USD to $73,400 USD per year. Similarly, if you’re a corporate planner living in Canada, you can expect to earn an annual income between approx. $35,000 CAD to $81,000 CAD .

Do Corporate Planners Charge By Hour or By Event?

This is another question with no easy answer. In short, it depends on the corporate event planner. Some planners charge by the hour for their services, while others charge a flat fee for each event they plan. Furthermore, there are also some planners who charge a combination of both hourly rates and flat fees.

How Much Do Corporate Event Planners Charge Per Hour?

The average hourly rate for corporate planners ranges from $50 USD to $250 USD per hour. However, as we mentioned before, rates can vary greatly depending on factors such as the planner’s level of experience and the location of their business.

Benefits Of Charging By The Hour

There are a few benefits of charging by the hour, including:

  • You can adjust your rates as you gain more experience.
  • You’re able to offer discounts to clients who book multiple events.
  • It’s easier to keep track of your time and expenses.

Drawbacks Of Charging By The Hour

Of course, there are also a few drawbacks to charging by the hour, such as:

  • You might feel like you’re working for free if an event runs over schedule.
  • The client may feel like they’re being nickel and dimed.
  • It’s harder to give a clear estimate of your total fees upfront.

How Much Do Corporate Event Planners Charge Per Event?

The average flat fee for corporate event planners ranges from $500 USD to $5000 USD. However, as we mentioned before, rates can vary greatly depending on factors such as the planner’s level of experience and the location of their business.

Benefits Of Charging By The Event

There are a few benefits of charging by the event, including:

  • You’re able to give the client a clear estimate of your total fees upfront.
  • The client knows exactly how much they’ll need to budget for your services.
  • You’re not penalized if an event runs over schedule.

Drawbacks Of Charging By The Event

Of course, there are also a few drawbacks to charging by the event, such as:

  • If an event is cancelled, you still need to be paid.
  • The client may feel like they’re overpaying if the event goes smoothly.
  • You might not be able to adjust your rates for more complex events.

So, Which Pricing Model Is Right For You?

Honestly, only you can decide this. At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that there’s no right or wrong way to charge for your services. That said, what’s most important is that you find a pricing structure that works well for both you and your clients.

Tradeshow Visitors at Trade Fair Stands. Corporate event planning article.

How Do You Become a Corporate Planner: Do You Need To Be Certified?

In short, the answer is no. Technically, there is no legal requirement for corporate event planners to be certified. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip this critical step! In fact, foregoing professional training can be incredibly damaging to your long-term success.

Here’s why:

  • When you become certified, you’re able to demonstrate to potential clients that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to plan successful events.
  • A certification gives you credibility and can help you stand out from the competition.
  • Earning a certification can help you network with other professionals in your field.

It can also lead to higher paying jobs and more opportunities for career growth.

So, while you technically don’t need to be certified to work as a corporate event planner, we highly recommend pursuing professional training all the same. Not only will it give you an edge over the competition; it’ll also help you build a successful career in this exciting industry!

PRO TIP: If you’re interested in becoming a certified corporate event planner, we recommend checking out QC Event School ‘s self-paced, online Corporate Event Planning Course . In as little as 3 short months, you can add a globally-recognized International Corporate Event Planning Professional™ (ICPP®) certification + designation to your resume… And start your career off right!

What are the 10 steps involved in planning a corporate event.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is corporate event planning?” it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty and take a closer look at what this job entails. Here’s a quick overview of the ten steps involved in planning a corporate event:

Step 1: Define the purpose of the event

The first step in planning any event is to figure out what the event is for. What’s the purpose? What are you trying to achieve? Also, what is the end goal?

Once you have a clear understanding of the event’s purpose, you can start making decisions about things like the guest list, the venue, and the overall tone of the event.

Step 2: Set a budget

The next step is to set a budget. How much money do you have to work with? What are your spending limits?

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your budget from the start. Otherwise, you might end up planning an event that’s too expensive or one that doesn’t meet the needs of your guests.

Step 3: Choose a date and venue

After you’ve figured out the purpose of the event and set a budget, it’s time to start thinking about logistics. What date will the event be held? Where will it take place?

Even for the most experienced planners, choosing a date and venue can be tricky. After all, there are a lot of factors to consider—such as the availability of the venue, the cost of renting the space, and whether or not the venue is accessible for all guests.

So, make sure to do thorough research and ask a lot of questions before making your final decision!

Step 4: Develop a theme or concept

Now it’s time to start getting creative! What theme or concept will you use to guide the planning of the event?

Your theme should be reflective of the event’s purpose. For example, if you’re planning a corporate retreat, you might want to choose a theme that promotes team building and bonding.

Once you’ve settled on a theme, you can start working on things like the decor, the menu, and the entertainment.

Step 5: Create an event program

An event program is a detailed outline of the event, including the order of events, the speakers or entertainment for each part of the event, and any other important information.

Creating an event program may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually one of the most important steps in the planning process. That’s because the event program will be your roadmap for the big day—so, you want to make sure it’s complete and accurate!

Step 6: Book speakers, performers, and other entertainment

If your event program includes any speakers, performers, or other forms of entertainment, now is the time to book them!

Make sure to book your entertainment well in advance—especially if you’re working with big names or popular acts. The last thing you want is to be left scrambling at the last minute because your first choice was already booked solid.

Step 7: Arrange for transportation and accommodation

Next, if your event is going to require transportation and accommodation for guests, now is the time to start making arrangements. Start by getting quotes from different transportation companies and hotels in the area.

Then, compare the costs and services to find the best option for your event. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure to confirm the details with the transportation company and hotel.

Step 8: Manage logistics

There are a lot of logistics involved in planning an event—from ordering supplies to managing the RSVP list. But don’t worry, you can handle it!

The key is to stay organized and keep track of all the details. Make sure you have a system in place for managing RSVPs, ordering supplies, and keeping track of deadlines. Here are some popular software recommendations that we guarantee will help you!

Step 9: Promote the event

Now that everything is all set, it’s time to start promoting the event!

There are a lot of different ways to promote an event, such as:

  • Creating a event website
  • Sending out email invitations
  • Posting about the event on social media
  • Creating printed materials, such as flyers and posters distributing these materials in high-traffic areas
  • Investing in paid advertising

It’s probably obvious, but the reason why promoting your client’s event is so important is because, well… You want people to actually show up! And by taking the time to promote the event, you’re increasing the chances that people will actually attend, which is great news for your client.

Step 10: Evaluate the event’s success post-event

After the event is over, it’s important to take some time to evaluate its success.

Start by collecting feedback from attendees, speakers, and performers. From there, analyze the data to see what went well and what could be improved.

Finally, share your findings with your client. They’ll be appreciated that you took the time to evaluate the event and make recommendations for how to improve things for next time!

What is corporate event planning in-post image 3

Virtual Corporate Events

Now, you’ve probably noticed that in the past few years, virtual corporate events have become increasingly popular. In fact, even most in-person events will have some sort of hybrid, virtual component to it in some capacity. For instance, maybe it’s simultaneously being livestreamed online. Alternately, perhaps some of the event’s guest speakers are joining via video chat.

One thing’s for sure: virtual events are a great option that provides endless opportunities! They’re especially awesome for companies that want to host an event but can’t do so in-person. Moreover, they’re also a great option for companies with employees who work remotely—or businesses that want to host a hybrid function.

Interested in Planning Virtual Corporate Events For Clients?

If you’re interested in planning virtual corporate events, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, you’ll need to choose the right virtual event platform. There are a lot of different options out there, so it’s important to do your research and find one that will work best for your needs.

Next, you’ll need to create an engaging event program. This is where your creativity will really come in handy! Think about ways to make the event interactive, such as incorporating games, polls, and Q&A sessions.

Finally, you’ll need to promote the event. Just like with an in-person event, you’ll want to make sure people actually know it’s happening and have all the information they need to attend. Creating a event website, sending out email invitations, and posting about the event on social media are all great ways to promote a virtual event.

PRO TIP: Learn how to conduct a successful virtual consultation with your clients!

Smart goals and corporate event planning.

Next, let’s talk about SMART goals. After all, they’re one of the most important aspects of corporate event planning!

What are SMART goals, you ask? They’re goals that are:

  • M easurable
  • A chievable
  • R elevant, and
  • T ime-bound

In other words, a good goal should be something that you can actually accomplish within a reasonable timeframe. For instance, “doubling attendance at our annual company picnic” is a great goal for your client to have. It’s specific, it’s measurable, and it’s achievable.

However, “planning the best event ever” is not a SMART goal because it’s not specific, nor is it measurable.

The bottom line: when setting goals for your corporate event, make sure they’re SMART!

How To Find The Perfect Venue, Vendors, and Suppliers

As a corporate event planner, one of your most important responsibilities will be to find the perfect venue, vendors, and suppliers for your client’s event. But of course, this is easier said than done!

Tips For Sourcing Venues

There are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for a venue . The first step is to create a list of potential venues. Once you have a few options, reach out to each one and see if they’re available for your event date.

After this, you’ll want to schedule a time to tour the venue. This is your opportunity to see if it’s a good fit for your event. Make sure to take into account the size of the venue, the layout, and the amenities it offers.

Finally, you’ll need to negotiate with the venue. This is where your negotiation skills will really come in handy! Be sure to get a contract in writing that outlines all the details of your event, such as the date, time, and price.

Tips For Sourcing Vendors and Suppliers

When it comes to sourcing vendors and suppliers , you’ll want to start by creating a list of potential vendors. Once you have a few options, reach out to each one and see if they’re available for your event date.

After this, you’ll want to schedule a time to meet with each vendor. This is your opportunity to get a feel for their personality and see if they’re a good fit for your event.

Finally, you’ll need to negotiate with the vendors. This is where your negotiation skills will really come in handy! Be sure to get a contract in writing that outlines all the details of your event, such as the date, time, and price.

Attendee Management 101

Another important responsibility as a corporate planner will be to manage attendees. This includes everything from registering attendees to creating badges and name tags.

Of course, the first step is to create a list of potential attendees. Once you have a list of names, reach out to each one and see if they’re available for your event date.

After this, you’ll want to register each attendee for your event. This can be done online or via mail-in registration. Be sure to include all the necessary information, such as the date, time, and location of the event.

Lastly, you’ll need to create badges and name tags for each attendee. This is a great way to help them feel like VIPs at your event!

Types of Attendee Engagement

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of attendee management, let’s talk about how to keep attendees engaged at your event. After all, this is one of the most important aspects of corporate event planning!

There are a few key things you can do to make sure attendees are engaged:

  • First, start with a bang! This means having a great opening keynote or performance that really grabs their attention.
  • Second, make sure to mix things up throughout the event. This can include having a variety of activities, such as games, contests, and giveaways.
  • Third, end on a high note! Make sure to finish your event with a bang so attendees will leave feeling excited and motivated.

Furthermore, you can better engage the attendees by giving them chances to speak and interact during the event. For instance, perhaps your client can have a representative walk the floor and chat one-on-one with people. Alternately, perhaps you’ve secured sponsors for the event that attendees can go to for questions, information, etc. And another sure-fire way to not only engage attendees, but also provide them with tangible benefits, is to foster opportunities during the event for them to network with others !

What Are Conference Breakouts?

Conference breakouts are small groups that meet during a conference to discuss a specific topic. Conference breakouts typically last for 30 minutes to an hour, and they usually take place in a designated area of the conference center.

Breakouts are a great way for attendees to network and learn from each other. They’re also a great opportunity for you to showcase your organizational skills!

Typically, there are two main types of conference breakouts:

  • Breakout sessions
  • Breakout groups

Breakout sessions are led by a speaker who is an expert on the topic. The speaker will present information to the group and then open up the floor for questions. On the other hand, breakout groups are smaller, more intimate groups that allow attendees to network and discuss the topic in depth. These groups are usually facilitated by a moderator.

How To Plan a Conference Breakout

When planning conference breakouts, the first step is to choose a topic. Once you’ve chosen a topic, reach out to potential speakers and see if they’re available for your event date.

After this, you’ll want to create a schedule for the breakout sessions. This is your opportunity to show off your organizational skills! Be sure to include the date, time, and location of each session.

Finally, you’ll need to promote the breakout sessions. This can be done through social media, email marketing, or even flyers and posters.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to planning a successful conference breakout. And if you still need some more inspiration, Peer Space offers 14 unique and fun ideas for conference breakouts that attendees are sure to remember forever!

Celebrating their common success. Two cheerful business people drinking champagne and talking while other people communicating in the background. Corporate event planning article.

Popular Career Paths for Corporate Event Planners

Alright, let’s talk about 3 of the most popular career paths for corporate event planners.

1. In-House Corporate Planner

Another popular career path is working as an in-house corporate planner. In-house corporate planners are responsible for planning and executing events within one specific company. They work closely with clients to ensure that their needs are met and also liaise with vendors to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

2. Freelance/Contract Corporate Planner

A third popular career path is working as a freelance or contract corporate planner. Freelance and contract corporate planners are responsible for planning and executing events for multiple clients. They work closely with each client to ensure that their needs are met and also liaise with vendors to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

3. Start Your Own Corporate Event Planning Business

The final popular career path is starting your own corporate event planning business. This option is perfect for those who are entrepreneurial and have a passion for event planning. When starting your own business, you’ll be responsible for everything from finding clients, to building a team of employees, to managing finances and marketing, etc.

But, if successful, the sky’s the limit!

PRO TIP: Never started your own business before? Here’s everything you need to know to do it from scratch!

How to get into corporate event planning.

Okay, we’ll cut right to the chase: if you’ve read this far and are thinking to yourself, “This is the perfect job for ME,” then you need to give our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Corporate Event Planner a read!

In this guide, we’ll show you EXACTLY how to get into corporate event planning—even if you don’t have any prior experience.

Specifically, you’ll learn all about:

  • The role and responsibilities of a corporate event planner!
  • Salary expectations (in more detail)!
  • Required qualifications!
  • The 6 steps you’ll need to take to become certified, launch your own business, and start marketing yourself to/attracting clients!

This article is the only resource you’ll ever need to discover how to become a successful corporate event planner… So, make sure to give it a read today!

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped answer the question, “What is corporate event planning?” and given you a better understanding of what it takes to become a corporate event planner!

If you’d like to learn more about the event planning industry, make sure to check out our other articles and follow us on social media at @qceventschool. We’re always sharing new tips, tricks, and advice!

Got any tips, tricks, or advice of your own to share? Drop them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading—and happy planning!

Become a corporate event planner in as little as 12 short weeks by starting your self-paced, online training with QC Event School today !

One response to “what is corporate event planning”.

corporate planning event

It’s nice that you pointed out how a corporate event planner is responsible for every aspect of a business event. I was talking with our boss yesterday and I heard he went to a corporate event the other day. It seems corporate events are pretty extravagant and the help of a corporate event managing company is usually needed for them.

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Event planning for corporate events requires the full understanding of logistics, entertainment, audio visual, fabrication, catering, presentations, breakout sessions, social engagement and the marketing leading up to and following up after your corporate event. We’ll handle all the logistics associated with Corporate event planning for optimum results. Our scope of services ranges from executing on the program topics designed to resonate with your audience and developing the schedules for presenters and catering staff. Our Corporate event planners are also pros at venue selection. Event Marketing is right in our wheel-house from creating event websites to creation of programs including speakers, agenda, social media, venue and registration.

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How to Plan a Corporate Event

November 9, 2023

View all blog posts under Articles

Three smiling workers holding clipboards.

Corporate events are an effective way to engage employees and clients , but these activities—and the industry responsible for planning them—were left reeling as the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread cancellations.

In March 2020, the start of the pandemic, 96 percent of event organizers saw their meetings and conferences shut down , according to Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

As the pandemic loosened its grip globally in 2022, however, businesses returned to booking these important events. All American Entertainment Speakers Bureau reports that by March 2022, a total of 73 percent of the events requesting the organization’s speakers were in-person functions . A 2022 survey of MPI members revealed that more than 80 percent were optimistic about business conditions for the coming year.

Business professionals—including event planners, who organize and manage meetings and special events—may have questions about how to plan a corporate event as industries return to hosting these activities.

What Is a Company Retreat?

A company retreat is a type of corporate event in which team members get out of the office and away from their usual responsibilities. Generally hosted for specific teams or all employees and management, company retreats can include activities such as:

  • Collaborative work projects
  • Learning opportunities
  • Team-building activities
  • Informal socializing

The Benefits of Company Retreats

A company retreat is what many organizations turn to for building relationships and morale among employees. The retreats generally combine work and fun in a relaxed environment to achieve objectives such as:

  • Strengthening employee connections
  • Emphasizing the company mission or vision
  • Reenergizing employees in their work

Positive results from company retreats can go beyond these overall objectives, however. For example, they can yield great ideas that employees might not have had in their typical office environment. A 2021 survey by TravelPerk, a business travel management organization, revealed that more than a third (34 percent) of employees had their best ideas when they were away from work.

Following are many of the ways that company retreats can benefit employees and their leaders—and organizations as a whole:

Encourage Creative Thinking

Company retreat activities that take employees away from their normal responsibilities and provide opportunities to interact with corporate leaders can build trust between team members and unleash creative thinking. Simply encouraging trust between individuals can bolster creativity , according to a 2021 article in Frontiers in Psychology drawing a link between stronger relationships and thinking outside the box.

Build Worker Morale

Fostering stronger connections between employees and teams can make a difference for the morale in the workplace even after the retreat ends. A 2021 report from Wildgoose, a company that provides corporate team-building activities, showed that 57 percent of employees believed that having a good friend at work made their job more enjoyable .

Lower Employee Stress

Planning a corporate event with recreational activities can help workers focus on goals and activities that are outside the scope of their typical responsibilities. These sessions can alleviate the stress of day-to-day work by removing the focus on deadlines and workloads.

Reduce Staff Turnover

A company’s willingness to host retreats for employees can help ensure that the staff feels valued —and that can lead to levels of employee engagement that encourage talent retention . In fact, a 2021 report from Quantum Workplace, a human resources technology provider, showed that only 11 percent of employees who were engaged in their work had interviewed for new roles in the past six months; 28 percent of disengaged employees had done so.

This feeling of belonging and engagement also affects potential employees’ interest in a company. Businesses known for offering opportunities like corporate retreats can be an attractive perk for those seeking new roles.

Uncover Hidden Talents

The varied activities of company retreats can reveal employee strengths that were unknown to colleagues—and, sometimes, to the employees themselves. Employee interaction in handling different types of projects and scenarios can help clarify the types of roles that are the best fit for each team member.

Find Opportunities for Improvement

Just as discussion and team-building activities at retreats can uncover strengths, they can also show areas that have the potential for improvement for teams and individuals. These findings can inform plans for team assignments and training when employees return to the office.

Align Corporate Goals and Culture

Locations and activities for retreats that align with corporate goals and culture offer an opportunity to reinforce the mission and vision for the organization. Employees can take part in programming that highlights the organization’s values and discuss shared interests with colleagues.

Provide Employee Recognition

Company retreats are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of employees, including those who may not receive frequent recognition in the typical office environment. Bringing members of different business areas together makes it easier to educate teams who may not typically work together about the good work that other departments do.

This recognition often increases engagement; a 2020 study from Quantum Workplace study found that employees who believed that they’d earn accolades for their efforts were 2.7 times more likely to be engaged in their work.

Benefits of company getaways.

A formal getaway for employees and management can deliver key benefits, according to Inc. and Workable: 1. Encourage creative thinking. 2. Build morale. 3. Reduce stress. 4. Uncover hidden talents. 5. Align shared goals with work culture. 6. Uncover opportunities for improvement. 7. Show employees are important. 8. Reduce turnover.

Company Retreats for Small Businesses: Ideas, Locations, and Resources

Company retreats may include every employee at a company, but what about small businesses with fewer employees and, generally, fewer resources? As long as the event meets the requirement of offering a relaxed environment that encourages participation, various ideas for how to plan a corporate event are available for smaller organizations.

Company Retreat Ideas

From taking trips as a team to volunteering in the community, options abound for retreat activities for small businesses. Following are some ideas:

Vision Board Party

Employees can gather to brainstorm and create visual images of their personal and work vision and goals. This activity offers an opportunity to plan for the future and build understanding of one another.

Informal Annual Meeting

Annual meetings for sharing company activities and results can be informal, including team-building activities and workshops. The meetings can also include time to recognize the work of employees and teams.

Mission and Vision Discussion

Gathering employees to seek their input on the company mission and vision can help them feel included and valued. This meeting could begin with leaders outlining ideas about direction, followed by staff input and discussion about those ideas.

Local Site Tours

If financial or health restrictions make it inconvenient to host an out-of-town event, touring local sites of interest is an option. Ideas for planning this event include walking or taking bus tours.

In-Person or Online Games

Outdoor games and sports tournaments can be effective for fostering teamwork among employees. If in-person activities aren’t an option, online games can encourage the same spirit of camaraderie.

Skill Development

Company retreats can focus on teaching employees a skill that’s outside the scope of their work. Learning through activities such as drawing or painting can help people develop their creativity.

Community Volunteering

Gathering employees for volunteer work in the community provides them with a shared sense of purpose. By working as a team, staff members can develop stronger bonds.

Wellness Seminar

A multiday seminar focused on various facets of wellness—from sleep to nutrition— can help encourage employees to live a healthy lifestyle. Learning how to incorporate healthy habits into day-to-day life can help prevent employee burnout.

Company Retreat Locations

Whether planning a big out-of-town trip or a casual visit to a coworker’s home, various options are available for hosting company retreats. Some potential locations for these events are:

  • Camping or glamping facility
  • Out-of-town resort
  • Coffee shop
  • Bowling alley
  • Employee’s home

Company Retreat Resources

Online resources are available to assist with the company retreat planning process, with information and tips available from:

  • Help Scout , “How to Plan a Fun and Productive Company Retreat ” : Explores the benefits of retreats and offers planning and budgeting tips
  • Moniker , “How to Plan a Company Retreat : The Complete Guide” : Provides guidance about how to structure retreats and shares ideas for locations
  • Offsite Co. , Planning a Corporate Retreat? Read This First : Outlines the steps for planning retreats, providing information on topics such as timing, venue, and catering
  • Outback Team Building & Training , Online Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Planning the Ultimate Company Retreat : Offers a five-part overview of preparing for and evaluating the success of retreats
  • Refreshing Mountain , The Ultimate Guide for Retreat Planners: Planning a Retreat : Leads event planners through the process of getting approval for a retreat and coordinating its activities, and includes a planning checklist
  • Retreat Central , Free Retreat Planning Guide : Offers access to a guide about establishing goals for retreats and determining the location and participants
  • Zuddl , “Design Your Own Virtual or Hybrid Retreat to Build Trust & Connection” : Includes tips for planning and presenting a retreat that’s virtual or both virtual and in person

Event Planning Checklist for Small and Large Companies

Corporate events can be great for celebrating achievements, building office culture, and planning for the future. However, ensuring that they run smoothly and benefit the participants requires careful planning and preparation. An event planning checklist is a valuable resource in coordinating activities. Key steps to take in planning a corporate event include the following:

  • Establish event goals and objectives. Write down the reason for the event , such as gathering shareholders, celebrating milestones, or announcing products.
  • Select a date. Ensure that the timing of the event works for key stakeholders who need to attend and that a venue is available.
  • Set the agenda. Establish a set schedule for event activities, with programming that aims to help the event achieve its goals.
  • Plan team-building activities and recreation. Include fun sessions, such as icebreakers or group competitions, that help forge relationships.
  • Determine the type and size of the event. Choose activities ranging from trade shows to training sessions to establish what to present and whom to invite.
  • Create and finalize the budget. Determine the cost of the event and related activities, such as transportation, food and beverages, and venue fees.
  • Book the retreat venue. Consider whether the appropriate location for the event is local or out of town and whether it should take place in an urban or a remote setting.
  • Determine transportation access. Evaluate how those attending will get to the event and the transportation arrangements.
  • Choose a caterer. Keep in mind issues such as whether people will eat together for meals and the quantity of snacks and drinks required .
  • Determine audiovisual needs. Take stock of what entertainment, speakers, and other presentations will require assistance like microphones or video screens—and whether the venue will provide it.
  • Identify and contact potential speakers. Determine whether to invite presenters to help meet the goals of the event, and determine their availability.
  • Develop materials. Produce all printed pieces needed for the event, with a list of attendees developed just before the event.
  • Manage event day setup. Arrive early to ensure that those working at the event are in their assigned places and to allow time for presentation run-throughs.
  • Prepare a written summary of the event. Gather feedback from attendees, evaluate how smoothly the event operated, and compile a report to help with measuring results and planning the next event.

Event Planning Resources

Event planning checklists, tips, and strategies are helpful resources for ensuring the smooth operation of activities. These materials address topics such as schedules for planning and considerations for accommodating health and safety protocols:

  • The Bash , “A Simple Corporate Event Planning Checklist” : Offers a downloadable checklist and ideas for event themes and activities
  • Endless Events , “Tips for Corporate Event Planning in 2022” : Provides tips for setting goals, selecting venues, and evaluating the event’s success
  • Eventbrite , Your Essential Conference and Corporate Event Planning Checklist : Outlines the steps to take to conduct a corporate event and when to take each of those steps
  • Glue Up , “A Guide to Corporate Event Planning With Checklist and COVID-19 Tips” : Describes different types of events, how to market them, and what steps to take to ensure participants’ health and safety
  • SnackNation , “The Only Corporate Event Planning Checklist You’ll Ever Need” : Lists the steps for planning corporate events, starting with actions to take more than a year before the gathering
  • Social Tables , “How to Plan a Corporate Event: 8 Tips to Know” : Gives key tips for successful event planning, including evaluating what tasks to outsource and who will be the central contact for information

Corporate Event: Ideas, Locations, and Resources

Corporate retreats are just one of the many types of corporate events, which also include the following:

  • Appreciation and awards events
  • Company meetings
  • Product launch events
  • Seminar and conferences
  • Trade shows

Different types of company events.

There are many types of corporate events, including the following, according to The Balance Small Business and Hubspot: 1.Seminars and conferences. 2. Trade shows. 3. Appreciation and awards events. 4. Product launch events. 5. Company meetings.

When hosting anything from a conference to a company meeting, various corporate event ideas can help in presenting an engaging, productive function. Here are some of those ideas, along with potential event locations and resources for more information.

Corporate Event Ideas

A mix of business-related programming and social events can help hold attendees’ interest and encourage them to share thoughts about their experiences with others. Following are some ideas for corporate events:

  • Escape room challenge
  • Catchbox , a throwable microphone, for audience comments
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Virtual reality training session
  • Live band performances
  • Puppies for attendees to play with
  • Visual artist rendering of event activities
  • Photo booth
  • Arcade games
  • Cooking class

Corporate Event Locations

Professionals planning a corporate event have various options for where to host the function—whether it’s in an inexpensive, casual environment or a pricier, luxurious environment. Potential corporate event locations include the following:

  • Gardens or pavilions
  • Convention centers
  • Breweries and wineries
  • Restaurants
  • Golf courses
  • Cruise ships
  • Art galleries
  • Historical estates
  • Community centers

Corporate Event Resources

Blogs, podcasts, software, and influencers are among the sources of help and information that can ease the process of planning a corporate event. Following are some resources for corporate event ideas and inspiration:

  • Amelia , “The Best Event Planning Resources Every Pro Should Use” : Describes different types of useful software for event planners as well as organizations and informational resources
  • Constant Contact , “Event Planning Resources: From Start to Finish” : Explores topics such as promotional events, fundraising activities, and end-of-year functions
  • Endless Events , Free Event Planning Resources : Provides links to articles, handbooks, webinars, and checklists on topics ranging from developing budgets to planning hybrid meetings
  • Event Solutions , Event Planning Resources : Provides event-related articles on topics such as marketing activities, product launches, and holiday themes
  • PC/Nametag , “Corporate Event Planning Resources Every Professional Should Bookmark” : Lists various resources for event planning, including blogs, podcasts, guides, and influencers

Tips on How to Plan an Event Successfully

Planning a corporate event can be a time-consuming and nerve-wracking experience. Following these key tips for how to plan an event successfully can help ease the stress for event planners and other professionals:

  • Research and plan early. Establish event goals and begin as much as a year or more in advance to help ensure smooth operation and allow for timely invitations to attendees.
  • Communicate effectively with vendors and staff. Ensure that vendors, clients, sponsors, clients, and team members have the latest plans and can reach a central contact easily.
  • Have a backup plan. Safeguard event coordinators from corporate and attendee backlash by having contingency plans for issues like vendor mix-ups, weather problems, or changes in health and safety requirements.
  • Conduct a run-through. Plan several hours of time to conduct dry runs of presentations, identifying and correcting any problems with equipment or content before the event.
  • Implement event promotion strategies. Build interest in the event through channels such as social media and online advertising, and consider promotional items for event giveaways.
  • Assign responsibilities. Manage workloads by assembling a strong team, and then delegating responsibilities as appropriate, relying on tools like planning software to help with coordination.
  • Remain flexible. Acknowledge that issues will pop up, and develop a thorough plan that allows for flexibility with event timelines and activity schedules.
  • Ask for feedback. Solicit input after the event from participants, staff members, vendors, and corporate officials to help guide future event planning.

Resources for Planning Events Successfully

Various online resources provide tips to streamline processes, save time, and delegate responsibilities. From beginner to professional, event planners can find useful tips through the following sources:

  • Color Reflections , 11 of the Best Event Management Tips for Beginners : Provides beginner tips for planning events, including managing expectations and taking a big-picture approach
  • Social Tables , “Tips Tuesday: 27 Top Time-Saving Event Planning Tricks” : Lists actions and strategies for handling issues such as last-minute changes, staff training, and task organization
  • Indeed , 16 Tips for Planning Successful Events : Describes steps for avoiding some common pitfalls in event planning, including budget concerns, unclear vendor expectations, and unclear communication
  • Peerspace , “13 Event Planning Tips—The Do’s and Don’ts Straight From the Pros” : Outlines some key steps that event planning professionals recommend following—and avoiding—to help ensure a smooth planning process

Plan for the Perfect Corporate Event

From launching products to building morale, corporate events offer a host of benefits to businesses and their stakeholders. With these events—including in-person functions—reemerging after years of COVID-19 restrictions, many event planners and other professionals have returned to coordinating these activities.

The process for planning corporate events that yield positive outcomes can feel overwhelming, however. The right plans and resources are essential for creating events that inspire and inform—with fewer headaches for those leading them.

Infographic Sources:

HubSpot, “7 Types of Corporate Events [+ Virtual Event Ideas]”

Inc., “4 Reasons to Take Your Employees on a Company Retreat”

The Balance Small Business, “The Most Common Types of Corporate Events”

Workable, “The Power of a Corporate Retreat: 5 Reasons Why You Should Do It”

Learn more about our Online MBA programs

The Most Common 15 Types of Corporate Events

types of corporate event

Corporate events are workplace gatherings that bring together business teams in informal, offsite settings. They give a vital respite from routine while providing an opportunity to have fun, cooperate, participate in team-building activities, and network with colleagues.

Several corporate events may be hosted. These might be anything from conferences to team bonding. The purpose of your event will help you decide what style of event to hold.

First, determine your target audience, whether they are clients, industry leaders, or team members, and then design the event’s objectives. Once you have this, it will be easy to pick the type of event to organize .

If you’re unsure where to start, this article can help you with the most common corporate events you can arrange for each stakeholder. 

15 Types of corporate events

Corporate events take various forms and sizes, each serving a unique purpose. The key to selecting the best one for your business is understanding what you’re trying to achieve. Here is a list of 15 corporate events you can consider as future options.

1. Tradeshows

Tradeshows are big indoor or outdoor displays where firms in a certain industry pay to showcase their products/services. As large corporate events, they can cost tens of thousands of dollars to host. Therefore, most businesses attend to those already existing in their sector.

Whether you host or attend tradeshows, the benefits are the same: you can interact with new clients, network with potential partners, and observe what your rivals are doing. If you decide to hold one, you must acquire sponsors and a location, publicize the event, and invite guest speakers. It requires significant effort, but the end effect will be to consolidate your reputation as an industry leader.

2. Company Retreats

Company retreats are among the most effective types of business activities. During a retreat, co-workers leave the office for distraction-free socializing and team-building, with some work assignments tossed in for good measure.

The result is a powerful approach to connect more intimately and build better relationships. Team communication improves, and changing scenery does wonders for morale. Ultimately, everyone returns to the office feeling rejuvenated and energized.

3. Board meetings

Board meetings are more private and formal corporate gatherings at which the board of directors meets to review the company’s financial status and make crucial business decisions. Strategic planning, risk management, and corporate social responsibility are just some topics that may arise.

corporate planning event

Board meetings are held semi-regularly, such as every quarter, biannually, or yearly, as well as in unusual circumstances or during emergencies. What about their format and duration? These can also change based on the predetermined agenda and the quantity of subjects to be covered.

4. Product launches

Do you have a new product or service ready to enter the market? Want to grab the interest of potential consumers and attract media coverage? Consider hosting a product launch as your next company event.

A well-executed launch, a vital milestone in the product development process , accomplishes all of these desirable results, as well as newfound brand exposure. These events take place in a variety of settings, from tiny conference rooms to large convention centres, and often include a mix of marketing and public relations efforts. Expect product demos, talks, interviews, and other promotional endeavours.

If you are interested, you take a quick look at guide to plan a successful product launch event

5. Conferences

Conferences, like tradeshows, are popular large-scale business events that help brands engage with their target customers while providing networking and cooperation opportunities. The fundamental distinction is in purpose. Whereas tradeshows have a significant sales component, conferences focus on providing valuable information to the audience.

They often last several days, are held in hotels or conference centres, and include speakers, seminars, panel discussions, and sessions on topics such as industry trends or difficulties addressed by the firms in attendance.

6. Holiday parties

Holiday parties are fun workplace occasions where people may let their hair down and unwind. However, there are other ways for the organization to express thanks for its employees’ efforts. You might think of them as “thank you” in the shape of company-sponsored lunches, celebratory dinners, cocktail parties, and so on.

corporate planning event

Regarding incentives, office holiday parties promote team cohesiveness and boost workplace culture. Employees mix outside the workplace, connecting on a more personal level and enjoying activities ranging from energizer games and karaoke to live entertainment.

However, it is important that these events be as inclusive as possible, so while planning them, consider everyone’s interests, preferences, and diverse cultural/religious beliefs.

7. Networking event

Organize a laid-back after-hours networking event for local entrepreneurs by collaborating with a trendy restaurant, brewery, or tapas establishment. Encourage your staff to pursue their interests and connect with people across a range of sectors while you elevate your company’s profile in the community. Collaborate with your local Chamber of Commerce to organize and conduct frequent networking events, which can help you forge stronger bonds with other businesses in your area. Incorporate speed networking sessions into conference schedules to boost attendance and elevate the event’s perceived worth.

8. Charity events

Charity events include everything from gala dinners and auctions to benefit concerts and fun runs, and their goal is to generate money for a specific cause, give back to the community, and demonstrate the company’s commitment to social responsibility.

To plan one, pick a cause or organization that shares your company’s values and objectives. Want to obtain your employees’ buy-in? Survey them beforehand to see which issues they are most enthusiastic about. From there, you may create event goals, such as how much money you want to raise and how many people you need to attract.

9. New experience day

What have you and your co-workers or employees never done before? Even better, include three to five activities you have never engaged in. Once your team has responded to those questions, new experience days push you to make things right by crossing those things off your collective bucket list!

For instance, the team members may have yet to visit a specific area of town, bowl, or eat German food. After spending the day eating currywurst and schnitzel, you would find a bowling alley in the region in question. 

In any case, attempt to select inexpensive, simple, and easily accessible experiences. After identifying and completing them, you’ll make new memories and feel like a happier, more united group.

10. Cross department mixer

Employees at large companies may work in entire departments without ever meeting in person. If that’s the situation in your company, a cross-departmental mixer could help. These business gatherings, sometimes called interdepartmental socials, invite two or more departments to mingle outside the workplace.

There is no limit to what they could involve. You could throw a pizza party, plan a quiz night, grab dinner, or head to a local pub for after-work drinks.

No matter the format of your cross-department mixer, it will promote conversations between staff members who might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. Individuals form new friendships, which improves teamwork and the overall corporate culture.

11. Travel Incentives

Holiday parties and incentive trips share the same characteristics: both provide workers with a chance to celebrate and unwind. The distinction is that these business gatherings are typically larger in scope and cost. Consider paid weekends in Spain or weeklong trips to a person’s preferred location. 

They’re also frequently designated for top performers who have outperformed expectations rather than the whole workforce. Why? Businesses aren’t merely attempting to show their appreciation! Trips offered as incentives are precisely that—incentives. The goal is to use the prospect of a dream vacation to incentivize and coerce individuals to work hard and accomplish particular company goals.

12. Fun days

Employees’ family members are invited to these informal workplace gatherings for a day of entertainment the employer provides. The objective is always the same, whether you’re doing crafts, going to local sights, playing games, or grilling out outside: Make sure everyone has a good time.

corporate planning event

These get-togethers are great for many reasons, but one big benefit is that they allow co-workers to see each other’s personal lives. They offer an opportunity to get to know one another better and discover points of agreement outside of the workplace. In the process, attendees go from co-workers to friends. They allow friends and partners to attend, guaranteeing that everybody will remember your enjoyable day.

13. Group trips

Group trips are among the best corporate activities for small teams. Exciting and unforgettable, they involve touring unusual sites with a guide who provides extensive background information.

One option would be to join a walking tour of a nearby city, where you would be guided past historical sites and told stories from bygone eras. Or how about going to a museum? A tour of a winery? Art walks, beer tours, bike excursions, and food tours may be enjoyable. You’ll get to spend priceless quality time with one other and have an intensive cultural experience whether the trips are paid, donation-based, or free.

14. Escape rooms

With your squad, you’re confined in a room with only sixty minutes to locate the key. The drawback? Finding and deciphering clues together is the only way to win! That occurs if you participate in an escape room event, among the most well-liked team-building activities for businesses on our list.

Chief executive officers adore escape rooms for several reasons, chief among them being that they need great cooperation and communication. 

You find out who on the team naturally leads, how well people perform under duress, and how teammates settle disputes, among other things. Therefore, regardless of how the escape rooms turn out, you leave with many conversation topics to bring back.

15. Corporate hackathons

Corporate hackathons are fun gatherings where staff members collaborate over a certain period to:

  • Address a particular issue or
  • Make a brand-new good or service

For instance, 48 hours may be allotted to a group of engineers and designers to develop ideas, prototype and construct new software, enhance an already-existing product, or create the company’s upcoming major marketing campaign.

Productivity is the main goal of every hackathon, regardless of its objectives. While some fun is to be had, they are mostly focused moments of teamwork meant to encourage creativity and innovative problem-solving. Benefits-wise, you’ll be astounded at what you can do quickly and witness an increase in employee involvement, teamwork, and communication throughout the event.

Frequently Asked Question

Attending industry conferences serves a multitude of purposes. Firstly, they provide an invaluable platform for professional development, allowing individuals to stay updated on the latest trends, technologies, and best practices within their field. Conferences often feature keynote speakers, workshops, and panel discussions, offering attendees the opportunity to gain new insights and perspectives. Moreover, these events facilitate networking, enabling professionals to connect with peers, potential collaborators, mentors, and even future employers. By building and nurturing relationships at conferences, individuals can expand their professional network, opening doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and career growth. Additionally, conferences can boost visibility and credibility within the industry, as participation demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and engagement.

Encouraging networking outside of the office can be achieved through various means, but one effective strategy is to organize industry-specific meetups or networking events. These gatherings provide a casual and informal setting for professionals to connect, share ideas, and establish meaningful relationships beyond the confines of the workplace. Additionally, joining professional associations or online communities related to one’s industry can offer ample networking opportunities, allowing individuals to interact with peers, participate in discussions, and exchange valuable insights and advice.

A symposium is a type of event that typically involves presentations, discussions, and debates on a specific topic or theme, often within the realms of academia, research, or professional fields. Symposia bring together experts, scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders to explore and examine various aspects of the chosen subject matter. These events may feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, paper presentations, and Q&A sessions, providing attendees with opportunities for learning, collaboration, and intellectual exchange.

Word-of-mouth marketing is typically the least expensive promotion type for a company. This form of promotion relies on customers, clients, or satisfied individuals sharing their positive experiences and recommendations with others, thereby generating organic interest and referrals. While word-of-mouth marketing may not require significant financial investment, it does necessitate delivering exceptional products, services, or experiences that inspire customers to advocate for the brand voluntarily.

Identifying the inciting moment of a play can vary depending on the specific storyline and dramatic structure. However, it is often characterized as the event or catalyst that sets the main conflict or action of the play into motion. This moment typically occurs early in the narrative and triggers a chain of events that propel the story forward. It could be a significant event, decision, revelation, or encounter that disrupts the status quo and initiates the central conflict or journey of the characters. Determining the inciting moment requires analyzing the plot and thematic elements of the play to pinpoint the pivotal moment that ignites the narrative tension and drives the subsequent events.

As you can see, business gatherings have a wide range of applications and appearances! All of these allow staff members to get together offsite, escape their daily grind, and connect with colleagues. Communication, team spirit, and corporate culture improve in the process.

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