There are currently 5.9 million business firms in the US.

Many private companies hold corporate events on a regular basis to improve morale and creativity and help employees gel together as a motivated team.

The right corporate event will leave your staff more connected and eager to play at the top of their games. The wrong one will drain your budget as well as your team’s faith in their company.

How can you structure your corporate event planning to make your event a success? Here is a handy checklist.

1. Come up with an Idea

The lecture in a hotel ballroom is fine, but companies are becoming increasingly creative with planning a corporate event. Will your employees be more appreciative of a golf outing, or tickets to a country concert?

Whatever forum you choose, be sure it lets your employees know they are valued and respected. A formal dinner allows folks to get dressed up and look forward to a big night out. A corporate retreat means they can pack their bags and be treated like royalty for a few days.

Conventions and tradeshows establish your company’s status in the industry and help generate leads. If you are hiring a guest speaker, be sure it is someone knowledgeable, authoritative, and engaging. Check out videos of past presentations before hiring them.

2. Create a Budget

Decide how much you want to spend on the venue, food, and entertainment. If your event will be ticketed, determine how much can be fairly charged per ticket, and how many you will need to sell. If you aren’t ticketing the event, come up with a flat fee that will be taken from the company’s yearly budget to cover event expenses.

3. Check Out Venues

You will want to choose a venue in a convenient area with a vibrant atmosphere so that everyone feels comfortable. Is it close to airports, affordable hotels, and train stations? Are there coffee houses and restaurants close by so attendees can relax when they are not in meetings?

You will want to be certain that the cost of renting your venue of choice fits within your budget. Consider whether or not you will need separate rooms, extra chairs, and audio equipment. Make sure that there is Wifi, and that it can accommodate the number of people you are expecting.

Be sure that there is ample parking within walking distance of the building. You don’t want folks circling the area for an hour before they arrive, irritated and put off.

Security is also an issue when planning events. Will there be security personnel at the main door, or around the perimeter? How much will you need to pay for the extra safety measure?

Before booking, check out the restrooms to be certain that details are well-maintained. Find out whether or not tipping for waitstaff and maintenance people is included in the price.

You will likely be asked to sign a contract with your venue before reserving the date. Look it over carefully before signing.

Be certain that the start and end times, prices, and room assignments are exactly what you asked for. You should also be sure that you are protected in case there is an emergency and a room becomes unavailable.

4. Plan Food and Entertainment

Your budget will largely dictate the type of food and entertainment you can provide for your guests. Light finger food and beverages is the minimum refreshment that should be offered.

If your budget is modest, consider a theme buffet for your meal, such as all-American burgers and fries or a mashed potato bar. Creativity will make dining a novelty without costing your too much.

Music during breaks or meals adds sophistication and lightness to your atmosphere, but could end up being expensive. Consider local high school or college ensembles with good reputations for a classy ambiance without the high prices.

Photo booths are a great way to get people mingling and laughing during and after your event. Many offer reasonable prices for ongoing entertainment during dinner.

5. Arrange Lodging

If your event will be held in a location that folks will have to travel to, be certain to call local hotels and reserve rooms for your attendees. Many offer discounts for groups of ten or more rooms. Let employees know what the code is for the special rate.

If your guest speaker is coming from out-of-town, be sure you have arranged for transportation and lodging. You should also be aware of any special equipment they may need before they arrive.

6. Set up a Schedule

To keep the day flowing smoothly, a meticulously planned schedule is a must. Your guests will be relying on it for an orderly, convenient stay.

If you are planning a more traditional event, include start times for ice-breakers, speakers, break-out sessions, lunch, closing remarks, and after-hours drinks and socializing. Be sure to create a list of which employees are attending each workshop, and which rooms they will be held in.

7. Get Folks Excited

Use social media to offer discounts and count down to your event. Have contests and prizes, and offer a survey for people to review the event after they have attended.

Traditional advertising through posters, flyers, and email will also heighten anticipation.

Streamline Your Corporate Event Planning

Corporate event planning does not have to be a hodgepodge of last-minute details. By keeping an organized checklist, you will ensure that venues, entertainment, and lodging all fit nicely into your budget and goals.

For more information, contact us today.

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