For professional event planners, strong organizational skills are crucial and represent the key to creating pleasant experiences for corporate clients and their guests. Without the ability to set realistic goals, meet deadlines, delegate responsibilities, manage a team, and draw schedules, the chances of successfully facing the challenges which inevitably arise in this industry are, in fact, very slim.
However, while being highly organized will help you deal with most unforeseen situations efficiently, it is far from being enough if you want to offer attendees a memorable, extraordinary experience. Because the approaches you can use to organize events for corporate clients are endless and, to make matters worse, advice in this respect is often contradictory, it is not unusual even for the most experienced planners to feel overwhelmed at times.
There are a lot of aspects which go into developing a well-thought-out, achievable strategy. In the hope of helping you improve your event designing approach or to at least give you a little bit of inspiration, we have compiled a list of seven tips which, throughout the years, have proved to be invaluable to our diligent planners.
1. Use sponsors to reduce the costs of the event
Nowadays, sponsoring is a very common practice when it comes to corporate events and it can greatly help you cut back on expenses. In general, companies which are closely affiliated with your client's business or those with a flawless reputation in the industry are the most suitable sponsors you can work with. Most companies will gladly accept the opportunity to promote their brand to your event's attendees, as they might gain more visibility on the market this way.
2. Carefully consider your client's budget
It goes without saying that one of the first aspects you should discuss with your client is the budget they are willing to spend on the event. After they provide you with the rough sum of money allocated for it, focus exclusively on finding affordable venues, catering, and entertainment. Being constantly mindful of the client's budget will help you avoid the unpleasant situation of exceeding the spending limit, as well as save time for other important tasks. You should also keep in mind additional expenses, such as the cost of banners, signage, and on-site registration services.
3. Develop solid promotional and marketing strategies
It is never too early to start promoting the event you are planning. There are plenty of approaches you and your team can use to make people aware of the event ahead of time, such as launching a well-rounded outbound email marketing campaign or relying primarily on online promotion. However, advertising should not stop on the day of the event - keeping the hype afloat during and after it is equally important and will significantly contribute to its success.
4. Start planning at least four months in advance, if possible
Similarly to advertising, planning is another aspect you should timely start working on, as you will always have to deal with at least one unexpected thing along the way. Although you will not be able to take care of every little detail so early, sketching out a plan which includes the main goals and the mission of the event is definitely achievable and you will most likely thank yourself for it later. Other aspects it is recommended to attend to several months before the big day are selecting and booking the venue, designing and launching a marketing campaign, contacting sponsors, hiring speakers or entertainers, choosing the menu, as well as setting up online registration for attendees.
5. Keep the audience in mind and customize their experience
It is not a secret that the one-size-fits-all approach is long outdated as far as corporate events are concerned. One of the emergent trends in event planning refers to offering each client a personalized, meaningful experience by thoughtfully considering who is going to attend. To come up with unique, engaging and innovative concepts, think about the target audience and the main goal of the event. Naturally, the ideas you could incorporate into a corporate Christmas party, for instance, might not be very appropriate for an award dinner and vice versa.
6. If you are organizing a corporate party, try to draw attention to the employees
Corporate events which do not entail a high degree of formality, like holiday parties, are held by companies with the purpose of showing employee appreciation and rewarding their hard work. Because these events are more on the casual side, making employees the center of attention is usually a very good idea. One way of doing this is by seating internal employees at the front, while Senior Management will be occupying the back seats. Nonetheless, you should first consult with the client to make sure they agree with this arrangement.
7. Prioritize good service over any other aspect
Regardless of the type of event you are planning, flawless service should always be a top priority. Of all things, poor service is generally the first aspect most people who attend corporate events will remember. Investing in high quality service is without a doubt a must and will make everyone's experience pleasant and memorable. If you have to cut back on expenses, it is better to lower the budget allocated for food than opt for lower quality service.