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How to Plan a Corporate Event [A Quick Guide for Beginners]

Apr 9, 2019 4:38:22 AM / by Victoria

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The world of corporate events is fascinating.

Multiple purposes, different types of attendees to serve, a variety of formats … these are only a few of the characteristics that define corporate events.

Compared to other type of conferences, team-building workshops, or retreats, corporate events are business-oriented, having as a main goal a series of actions that will ensure growth, better sales, and a positive market positioning.

Business environment is the single greatest influence in shaping corporate events.

The constant pursuit of serving, making a greater impact, and connecting different stakeholders makes the need for in-person interaction imperative.

The impact of corporate events

Events are the strongest channels different corporations and businesses can use to communicate their message(s) to their clients, their employees, and other market players.

Both internal and external corporate events will draw desired attention and provide numerous revenue opportunities.

And no matter if you want to attract new clients, achieve a higher rate of employee advocacy, or engage the C-suite executives in creative masterminds, planning excellence is vital.

So if you’re new to corporate events or your company is ready to level up its game, guidance is needed.

That’s why we put together this quick and brief guide that will serve as an initial support into this realm.

Here are the steps you’ll want to consider when you’re tasked with coordinating and managing a corporate event:

Step 1. Design the event project life cycle

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Each event moves from concept to planning and then from implementation to results assessment.

First, you’ll have to start with the idea and its feasibility.

You’ll want to decide upon the event goal and objective, what message(s) you want to share, your audience, and what type of format to employ. Then, you’ll have to assess the costs and determine the expected ROI (whether it’s in terms of innovation, employee advocacy and cohesion, number of leads, or closed deals).

Second, you’ll want to assemble a planning team, which will include different types of profiles (marketing, logistics, etc).

At this stage, you might also decide to hire an event consultant or an event planning agency. You’ll also have to figure out what kind of event suppliers (venue, catering, audiovisual, etc.) you’ll need.

Third, you’ll have to set up the planning process and any constraints you may encounter, such as legal or ethical issues.

Then, you’ll want to establish what the event day(s) will look like and what will be needed for the day(s) to run easily.

Finally, you’ll end with a debriefing period, when you’ll assess the outcomes and decide if the event strategy was successful. The main idea is to establish all the planning phases and know what’s expected from both you and your team.

Step 2. Ensure an efficient work breakdown structure

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Once you figure out the event strategy and planning stages, you’ll want to ground all these concepts and transform them into actionable tasks, which you’ll then delegate to different team members.

Let’s use the conceptualization phase as an example.

If your main audience is company leads or clients, then you’ll probably want to involve the marketing and communication teams to develop the project itself.

If you’re running an event for employees, you’ll want to involve the human resources department.

Depending on your goals, it will be wise to work with the corresponding teams and design a strong event strategy.

At the planning phase, you’ll have to list all the logistic actions (from renting the venue and inviting the speakers to setting up the event website and creating the program).

Once you have your task list, you can then delegate accordingly. This work breakdown is essential for flawless coordination and efficient planning.

Step 3. Facilitate clear communication

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Planning successful corporate events requires a big team. That’s why using common terminology within different teams (marketing, communication, human resources, planning, etc.) is a must.

Apart from that, it’s important to create an events database where you can track all the necessary information, and make sure it’s accessible to everyone on the planning team.

Finally, you’ll want to establish a meeting dynamic to discuss any new challenges and track the progress.

Step 4. Make use of transferable skills

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Although planning an event without having a background demands a higher degree of effort, you can always ask team members who have the necessary skills to help you overcome a planning challenge.

For example, you might discover that someone from the marketing team can help you promote the event on social media, or someone from human resources might know how to moderate a conference or a workshop.

Final thoughts

Companies may run multiple events per year, meaning once you’ve debriefed one, you’ll have to start planning another one.

That’s why you’ll achieve greater efficiency if you create an event planning protocol or methodology. It’ll give you an action roadmap that you can then apply to every event with small variations depending on the event type, target group, and scope.

Finally, don’t forget that there is event management software out there that will let you simply clone the previous event (with just a few clicks), change the data, and launch a new event using the previous configurations.

Topics: Event Planning

Victoria

Written by Victoria

Communication and journalism with master degree on Event Management. Insterest areas: Knowledge and Events.