Corporate events and office parties are more than just casual or boring get-togethers. They are a chance to foster company development, encourage engagement between employees, and stimulate a sense of integrity towards an organisation’s mission and vision. Corporate gatherings also offer a chance to bring on new speakers to share insights about the business, and invite the sharing of innovative ideas and collaborations from amongst the employees. As such, it is imperative that such social events be handled with care and detail to provide the best possible experience to the attendees.
There are a variety of event management companies which specialise in corporate events. You can reach out to any of them to get a free consultation. However, if you’re planning to host a business event yourself, then there are certain steps you must follow to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch and you get maximum benefits from it. Below, we have compiled a list of 8 important steps to make your next corporate bash a triumph.
- Budget – The first thing you need to do is talk to your stakeholders and executives and come up with a budget. This will decide how much can you spend on the various items. It won’t do if 90% of your budget is spent on attaining a fabulous venue and nothing is left for food. However great the ambiance, hungry guests aren’t what you should be left with. So, outline a budget and allocate necessary amounts to the different departments. Being a successful event planner is all about negotiating and getting reasonable prices for services so that they fit into your budget.
- Objective – Once you have the budget ready, jot down the objectives of the event. You need to have a very clear idea of what you want to achieve through the event. If the purpose is to unify the employees to a common goal and mission, then you need to work on getting company leaders to share insights through speeches, whereas if it is a product launch, you need to focus on getting good media coverage and invite influential people to your soiree. Hence, having a clearly defined set of goals gives you sufficient clarity while planning the event.
- Theme – No good event is complete without a theme. There is a common misconception that theme parties usually are a part of social and informal gatherings. However, even in corporate events, deciding on a theme is essential for the success of the event. May be you could have the company’s logos as part of the décor or play slideshows based on past accomplishments to put the attendees into the right frame of mind. A proper theme also helps tie up everything together, be it the food, music, entertainment or décor, and gives event management companies a central idea around which they can plan everything else.
- Venue – Finding the right rental spaces to organise your corporate get-together is yet another important task. Scouting around for the right kind of place that fits your budget, is accessible and easy to reach, has accommodations(for overnight events), can accommodate the attendees, and provide enough space for the speakers, food setup, as well as guest engagement activities is a very responsible job. There are hundreds of decisions to be made. For example, does the price of the venue include any extra services like in-house catering, or decorations, or music stereos? It would be prudent to opt for venues that do offer some of these services for both ease of management and maintaining your budget.
- Invitations/Marketing – It is the age of the social media and digital marketing works way more wonders than traditional marketing ever could. Putting out feelers and posts on Instagram and Facebook, and sending direct emails and newsletters within the company is a great way to promote your event. If there is no hard and fast fixation about the date of the event, you could even send out a few options to all the employees internally, and choose the date best suited for most. In invitation-only functions, make sure to send out RSVP invites well in advance so that you can pre-plan rest of the things based on the invite confirmations.
- Contracts and liabilities – One thing that all event management companies are careful about is signing over the dotted line. In order to avoid any future complications or misunderstandings, one must always have a signed agreement between you and the vendors before the event. You could also hire security services to ensure that only the right crowd gets in and to avoid any potential scare of liability.
- Food and Beverages – Now that your event looks like it is beginning to come together, turn your attention towards the food you’re going to serve. Are you going for a buffet or a seated meal, are the waiters going to move around with appetisers or will there be any live food counters? Decisions, decisions! When it comes to beverages, if you plan to serve alcohol, then make sure you appoint a licensed bartender. You could either go for an open bar, or allot a certain number of bottles per table.
- Event debrief – D-Day arrives, and you manage to pull it off. Everything seems to go according to plan and you have taken care of all the minor hiccups during the event. Now, it’s time to wrap things up. But, as you do that, there’s one last responsibility left to shoulder – having an event debrief. Sitting and talking to your vendors about how the event turned out, getting to know their perspectives, speaking with the attendees, learning their feedbacks, and checking in with your team to see if all the event objectives were met, form a part of your post-event discussions. Not only will this give you a good feedback, but it will also help you in future events.
What sets apart top event consultancies, or any other major city, is the fact that, they have ready agendas, to-do lists, well – delegated jobs, and a diligent and hardworking team. If you start planning well in advance, and go about it in an organised, step-by-step manner, there’s nothing stopping your event from being a resounding hit.