Corporate event planning is stressful at any time, but especially as the year draws to an end. Around this time, these events are intended to help boost final quarter sales, create partnerships for the coming year, and promote establish your brand as an authority in the field. Successful corporate events like conferences or banquets can open the doors to important business opportunities, while less successful ones can make that journey more difficult. As the event planner for a major corporate event, the pressure is on from conception to execution. Where do you even start planning? How do you decide important details like corporate event catering or venue for such a large party? Don’t worry! This list of 15 key points for planning any corporate event will guide you through the entire process.
Stage One: Eight Months to One Year Before the Event
The first and most important tip for planning an amazing corporate event is to give yourself enough time to do so. Greatness doesn’t happen overnight, and that includes planning a great party. Begin your planning at least eight months beforehand; larger, more extravagant events may take up to a year to plan properly. During this earliest stage, focus on:
- Setting Goals and Objectives:what kind of event are you planning? Do you want attendees to network and connect? Are you introducing a new product or concept to the world for the first time? Is this a conference for other experts in your field? Deciding this first will help guide your next steps.
- Ballpark a Rough Budget:how much do you want to put toward this corporate event? Plan on allocating a bulk of that money to venue and corporate event catering. Other things you may have to budget for include travel expenses for honored guests, swag bags, and branded materials like banners, brochures, and POP displays.
- Choose a Format and Theme: this goes hand-in-hand with both of the previous points. Your objective and budget will dictate the format and theme. Work within the parameters you have or make your case for more funding and creative license.
- Scout Location, Venue, and Vendors:as the most central details to your corporate event planning, narrowing down your options early helps streamline other plans like décor and set up. Chima Steakhouse has great options for events with large groups
- Pick a Date:or, a general time period. Try to narrow it down to at least a two-week window in case things need to be adjusted and accounted for. Once other major details like venue, vendors, and entertainment are finalized, you can settle on the official date.
Stage Two: Three to Four Months Out
As your chosen date gets closer, it’s important not to wait too long to begin finalizing the finer details. This is when everything gets ironed out and you set your corporate event apart from any competitors.
- Research and Finalize Speakers, Entertainment:this varies depending on the type of even you plan but give yourself enough time to find the best options for either case. Whether it is an expert in your field slated to be the keynote speaker or a live band or DJ, allowing enough time for preparation is important to avoiding embarrassing mishaps. Be sure to do your research: read reviews, look for examples of their work online, etc.
- Organize Finances:with all the plans coming together, now is the time to ensure you have the funds to cover all expenses. This includes any necessary deposits to secure the venue or corporate event catering. Keep track of your spending as necessary for accounting and tax reasons.
- Begin Online Promotion and Invite Guests:just as your speakers or performers need enough time to plan and prepare, your guests do as well. Give them enough forward notice to make any necessary arrangements for attendance. Send personal invitations to any partnered companies you may have or other honored guests. Otherwise, online event promotion through sites like Eventbrite, Facebook, and local event boards can help boost your attendance numbers.
- Finalize Venue and Vendor Details:finalize decorations, menu items and food service arrangements, set up and take down, and other such details. Double and triple check everything now to avoid emergency situations on the day of the event.
- Draft the Schedule:once these details are squared away, create a schedule draft to ensure everything is accounted for. Include time for guests to arrive and mingle, a cocktail hour at Chima’s world-class bar, and eating. If speeches or awards are being given, be sure no other events happen simultaneously to avoid distractions. Ensure everyone on your team knows their role and your expectations.
Stage Three: The Final Countdown
About one week before the corporate event, it’s crunch time. Now is when you finalize any last-minute details and changes and set everything in stone. While this time can be frantic, make sure to:
Send Reminders: it may have been some time since your guests RSVP’d. Make sure they have enough time to finalize their own plans to attend.
Boost Online Promo: if you want more of a general audience, the week leading up to your corporate event is a great time to boost online visibility. Boost your Facebook event or other online event ads. If you have radio or television presence, be sure to use this to your advantage as well.
Finalize the Schedule and Communicate Details: be sure vendors and caterers know when they are expected to be at the venue for set up. You may also need to follow up with speakers or entertainment to ensure their allotted time is sufficient and they are prepared.
Test Equipment and Get Back Ups: Murphy’s law says whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, so be prepared. If you are using projections or microphones, test the equipment a day or two beforehand to make sure it is in working order. It’s also a good idea to have back up HDMI cables, chargers, and power cords in case something happens the day of your corporate event. It is always better to be over prepared in these situations.
Enjoy Yourself: after spending so much time planning this event, take your time to enjoy your hard work! Mingle, network, and be sure to get a taste of what Chima Steakhouse catering has to offer.
If you are planning an upcoming corporate event, let Chima Steakhouse help take some of the pressure off your shoulders. Call our reservation department to book your event in Uptown Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Center City, Philadelphia, or Tysons Corner and find out more about our all-inclusive special packages.