19 Jul Organising a Large Corporate Event Without the Hiccups
Hosting a large corporate event can be a logistical nightmare. Whether you’re treating your employees to a lunch or are hosting your company’s annual Christmas party, planning and preparation needs to go into it to make the event a smooth success. When the image and reputation of your company is riding on the success of your event, nailing every element of the event is key.
Devise a timeline to keep on top of when everything needs to be organised in order for your event to flow seamlessly. Try the retro-planning method when planning your event: start with the day of the event and then backtrack to determine every task that needs to happen. Assign team members responsible for each task, and create a strict deadline for each task. This will be the master reference for the whole team, so keep it updated and accessible.
Consider spreadsheets to keep on top of your budget and to manage the different people or companies who may be responsible for handling certain elements of your event.
Hosting a large event can easily get out of control, price-wise. Have a solid idea of how much you’re willing to pay for different elements of your event, and always be ready to haggle when talking to suppliers.
See where you can do some of the work yourself instead of having to outsource to a company, but of course, don’t overburden yourself with extra tasks.
Your choice of venue is key to any event, but especially critical for large events. Popular venues can be booked out months, or even years, ahead of time, meaning you’ve got to lock in your dream venue as soon as possible.
Starting your search early gives you time to do some comparison shopping, visit venues and talk to vendors to ensure you get the most ideal location possible.
Before signing any paperwork or handing over money, read through the fine print carefully. You’re investing a large amount of money into a single event, so make sure there’s no catch that will ruin the day for you.
Also, make sure to visit the venue before agreeing on anything. Noisy roads nearby or rooms that are located too far away from the car park can become a big hassle when it comes down to the day of the event.
Décor is one area where you can hand make elements in advance or enlist the help of family and friends, potentially saving hundreds. There are plenty of online tutorials to inspire your crafting, so try out some simple ones for your event.
Sometimes, décor can be arranged by the venue or event catering company you have hired. If going for one of these options, be careful that the cost doesn’t exceed your budget.
When it comes to feeding hundreds of people, hiring a professional and experienced catering company is a necessity. A catering company will be able to provide all the preparation, food, service and packing up necessary for your guests to enjoy their night.
Decide on a theme for the food you would like to serve, so that guests can enjoy complementary dishes. Also, think about what exactly you’ll be serving to your guests: will it be hors d’oeuvres only or a full three-course meal? Is a barman needed to mix cocktails, or will you simply arrange for a fridge full of beers?
Social Media and Photography
One element of event planning that is often overlooked is documenting the whole thing! Particularly in the case of corporate events, you need to have a record of the event for future meetings where you may be called upon to illustrate the success of your event, or to promote your company on social media. Try to arrange for a professional photographer, or allocate one of your staff members as the designated photographer for the day.
If your social media presence is important to your company, consider creating an event geotag, QR code, Facebook event or geofilter, depending on what’s most relevant for your industry. Upload event photos on Facebook (and allow guests to tag themselves in photos) or LinkedIn to demonstrate what your company gets up to.
Always have a plan B for everything you do. Regardless of all the planning you have done prior to this, something will always go wrong on the day of your event. Know what to do in case something is late or isn’t delivered at all, for example. Determining possible potholes ahead of time will allow you to launch into a plan of action if something goes wrong.