Top 10 Tips For A Successful Corporate Event
Hosting a successful business event takes a lot of organisation, creativity and attention to detail. There are so many variables to take into consideration! This is an opportunity to showcase your brand image and make a lasting impression on those in attendance.
A survey done in 2020 suggests that 85% of those in leadership positions strongly believe in-person corporate events are essential to their company’s success and significantly impact achieving their business goals. Which brings me to it, how do you ensure your corporate event inspires, engages and doesn’t fall flat?
1) What are you aiming to achieve?
To create a successful corporate event, you must have a good understanding of what you are looking to achieve. How do you want those in attendance to perceive the event, and remember it by? For example, you may be organising the business event to:
Increase engagement amongst your employees.
To generate future leads.
To celebrate a Company milestone or thank your loyal clientele.
Put on an awards ceremony.
Grow your brand awareness.
Educate a new audience or connect current and future clients.
Share new exciting news about your Company.
Once you have set goals, and ultimately the purpose behind your event you can structure the roadmap for you to plan and drive a successful, well executed event.
2) Plan your budget.
When planning an event it is important to set yourself a realistic event budget. Your budget will influence all your event decisions - your venue, catering, transportation and equipment to name a few.
The size of you budget is impacted by a number of factors most notably the number of guests you have in attendance. A seated and catered corporate celebration for 100 guests will look very different to 250 guests!
Making sure you know how to manage your budget and where money will be allocated, is imperative for the success of your event. Budget is not a dirty word - it needs to be known or we can’t operate to your best interests!
We would recommend starting of with your must-haves where the majority of your budget is going to be spent. Your venue, catering, AV contractors. Then look at your decor specialists, entertainment, transport etc. Get quotes from different businesses and keep track of all expenses paid.
Pro tip: Set aside a contingency (ideally 10-20% percent of your budget) for any unforeseen expenses.
3) Adopt a theme.
It’s time to get creative! Creating a theme for your event is a great way to keep the structure of your event focussed and engage those who are attending. A theme also allows you to connect your client base with your values and vision. Plus, it is an excellent way to customise elements to integrate your Company branding into the event. This could be via the use of colours, cocktails or within the catering!
Events today, tend to be more immersive and interactive - offering a range of in-event “experiences” that attendees can participate in and enjoy. Immersive experiences are particularly successful in team building as the primary goal of these events is to engage and motivate employees. Furthermore, educational or information sharing events can use event themes to help inspire and engage.
Are you stuck for ideas? We can help! Let us get creative and provide event theming options for your consideration. Our fancy mood boards also help you to visualise the event from paper to production.
4) Choose a logical date and assemble your guest list.
Who will you invite to your event? Take into consideration your event goals. Your audience will define the event, its budget and focus. How are you going to send invitations out - via email or keep it traditional by post?
In addition, you will want to ensure your event date doesn’t coincide with dates of significant within the calendar year or school holidays. Once you have chosen a date, it is time to get the wheels in motion. Planning is essential and be sure to keep track of everything.
Pro Tip: Summer is busy season. Many suppliers within the summer months are booked up way in advance, so to secure your ideal supplier list it is important to get booking secured early.
5) Venue. Where will you host your event?
Once you have decided on your event date, the next thing you will want to determine is your event venue. Your venue is key to the events success and you will want to ensure it leaves a lasting impression on all those in attendance.
There are many different venue options in Jersey to choose from. Whether it be a marquee within the botanical gardens of Samares Manor, the orangery at La Mare, a tipi at La Hogue Bie or a function room at a hotel in St Helier, you will want to ensure the venue aligns with your guest numbers, objectives and budget. View multiple locations and do your research before reaching a final decision.
6) Start sourcing your perfect event team.
When is comes to crafting a successful corporate event you will need to find an expert team who are going to work with and ensure your guests have the best experience. You will want to research different suppliers who specialise in different event categories - whether this be catering, entertainment, hire equipment, AV, decor to name a few.
You will want to ensure your Jersey event team are able to work with your guest numbers, theme and within budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for different quotes, but do always consider the extra value they can bring to the event.
In Jersey, I would recommend starting off by getting in touch with a marquee (tipi or yurt company) if you plan on having one. Then moving onto your AV contractor and catering company. Once enquiries have been made then move onto your decor, entertainment, hire equipment, photographer, security and so forth.
7) How are you planning on promoting the event?
How you plan on promoting the event is crucial to its success. Attendees want to be invited to something that is refreshing and different.
It is know that on average only 60% - 70% of guests show up at certain corporate events they are invited too. Communicating your event within the right channels and creating a visual marketing strategy will ensure your guests are excited to attend.
Pro Tip: A simple “Yes” or “No” button on your email invites can help you gauge numbers. Also, having a way to track your RSVPs will allow you plan your logistics and scale based on demand.
8) Create a timeline (and event function sheet).
When planning your corporate event a detailed timeline and checklist is essential to ensuring the lead up to your event runs smoothly. List everything that needs to be completed in the run up to the event and set deadlines.
Whether you are only working with a handful of suppliers, or juggling a much larger number it is important to remain responsive and transparent to your event requirements. Frictionless and open communication is key to successful event management and preparing for worst-case scenarios before you host your event.
Furthermore, we would also advise creating an event itinerary or function sheet which allows for everyone involved to be on the same page when it comes to priorities, timings, allocated tasks and so forth. You should also always have a Plan B for unforeseen issues, such as a weather contingency owing to the Great British summer!
Always ask your suppliers for their time requirements.
Overestimate rather than under estimate!
A good schedule is key to a successful, and well executed event.
9) Do you need additional planning help? Align with the experts!
For larger events or ones that require detailed planning, considering outsourcing to an event planner. With so many moving parts in the planning process, here at Island Fever we are on hand to take care of these and craft the event management from concept to seamless delivery. We not only want your guests to enjoy the experience, but for the event to also bring value to your Company.
We can help with everything from brainstorming ideas to choosing a venue, coordinating suppliers and ensuring the event is well managed throughout. Aligning your businesses goals and making sure you get the most out of your in-person corporate events.
10) Send a follow up email or survey.
Congratulations! You've made it through the hardest part - hosting a successful corporate event. However, it's not quite over yet.
We believe it is always very important to track your event’s success and get feedback on what went well and what could be improved at your next event. This can either be done in a simple tick box survey form or a generalised thank you email. Got some photos from the event? Be sure to include your link for these too!
Furthermore, an email helps maintain your relationship with your attendees and keeps them connected even after the event has concluded. Post event communication is often one of the most neglected parts of event planning process yet one of the most crucial.
There is no one-size-fits-all way of planning and hosting a corporate event. Each corporate event is different and you will likely find challenges along the way. Be sure to start planning early, source a professional team, be mindful of your budget and be creative in ensuring your event is both memorable and successful.
I hope the above has provided some helpful, actionable tips. Happy Planning!