How to Plan a Corporate Event

As many of us know, event planning is one of the most stressful professional endeavours out there – whether it’s a wedding, Christmas party, or even just a family gathering. There are so many moving pieces that have to come together in order for an event to be a success. That’s why it’s always handy to have some advice to guide you through it.

Here at Jaspers Event Hire, we have worked on thousands of events, so we’ve put together a quick ‘how to’ in regards to planning a corporate event in our latest blog below.

1. Research

As with anything, research is key if you want to run a successful event. It might sound unusual but you need to understand what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and what new and exciting angle you’re going to take in order to do so. Data is your best friend, here. Use it to get a better understanding of the landscape and how you can shake it up.

This only really applies to events open to the public, but it can still be useful to use data and creativity to come up with something interesting for an event that is private or internal for your company.

2. Objectives

Now you have the research and the data to back it up, you should set out some clear objectives as to what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to engage and inspire your employees at a company event, or you might want to increase exposure for your brand by putting on a large event with a wide audience.

Settings goals for the purpose, number of attendees, whereabouts the event will take place, and everything else you want to achieve – and setting them in stone – will make it much easier to plan. Doing so will also provide a clear focus as you’re planning, which always essential for an efficient, streamlined process.

3. Plan

Speaking of, planning is the next step. It’s important to set out a roadmap – using your goals and your research – for how everything will come together. This will help you get a better idea of the logistics, timeframes, a rough budget, and just about everything else.

You should already be thinking about suppliers and vendors when planning. Have a rough idea of the catering/bar situation, the venue, the date, the furniture, and everything else you might need – such as entertainment or speakers.

Many event planners find checklists to be their saving grace, so consider putting together checklists for the different aspects of the event to ensure everything is covered.

This is not as simple as it might seem, however. You need to consider a whole host of different factors, such as the geography of your intended location and whether it’s accessible for your event-goers, or the infrastructure and whether the facilities (space, amenities, Wifi, etc.) are enough to cope. Transport links, for example, are also important to consider to ensure all bases are covered. Always think ahead to potential road bumps.

4. Budget

With a solid plan in place, you can start thinking about money and drawing up a budget. At this stage, it might not be made up of final numbers but it should contain very good estimates for suppliers, the venue, any logistical arrangements, and just about everything else.

By relying on your research and planning you should be in a good place to begin thinking about budget, and therefore funding. Some events use this time to look at starting to market and to bolster their budget through ticket sales, speaking to investors, or pitching.

5. Date

With plenty of time remaining until the event, set a date and keep a backup in mind. You’ll need this for the next step when you begin to make arrangements with vendors, suppliers, etc., but it’s also important to keep your guests informed and aware with plenty of time to spare.

6. Make Arrangements (Suppliers, Vendors, Venue)

Now you know what you need to spend, how you want your event to look, and when you want to take place, you can begin to make arrangements with all of your desired suppliers.

Luckily, you should already have a really good idea of all of the aspects of your event thanks to your planning. This step should essentially be for finalising everything and ensuring that who you want to work with is available for your chosen date.

7. Publicity

With any corporate event open to the public, you need to place a strong focus on marketing in order to earn the publicity you deserve. Now that all of the moving parts have been booked in, you can start to think about who, what, why, and how you’ll get the word out.

Consider your audience and how best to reach them. For example, a younger, business-savvy generation will be on twitter but an older generation of businesspeople might be more familiar with traditional media. Either way, social media is going to be one of your biggest tools.

It’s also good to think about local partners such as event spaces, magazines, directories, sponsors, etc. – anyone you can get involved. By collaborating with local institutions, you should (hopefully) get ahold of their audience and be able to spread the word about your event to relevant people.

Spending money on marketing is an essential part of any event open to the public. Keep in mind that the more successful your marketing is, the greater your profit is likely to be (especially if it’s ticketed).

8. Plan (Again): the Day

Another plan is needed. This time, it’s for the day itself. Think about everything – logistics, timings, refreshments, and ensure all ticks are checked on your checklist. Double check that all caterers, suppliers, and vendors are still confirmed for the date and time.

Set up and close down are important too, so make sure you have a contingency plan for both to ensure efficiency.

Finally, check your budget and make sure everything is accounted for. Furthermore, if your event is ticketed, check that everyone has paid and there is a ‘line of defence’ for making sure only people that paid can enter.

9. Day Of

On the day of the event, you can spend a little bit of time basking in the glory of what you created. Unfortunately, you’ll likely be a bit too busy to do that the whole time, though, so you might think about how you can make the most of it from a business sense.

Gathering feedback and testimonials from guests (for your personal reference and even for your website/social media), as well as taking pictures and updates for social media are great places to start. As always, remember to network and make the most of any connections you might make.

A Great Place to Start

Putting on an event is very stressful – especially if you aren’t working with an event planner, whether by design or anything else – but to have a rough run of show in mind can be extremely helpful.

By using this guide as a reference for planning your event, or working with a dedicated, professional event planner – hopefully, your corporate event will go smoothly and be a success.

Jaspers Event Hire

If you are putting on an event and need help with catering equipment and furniture hire, contact Jaspers Event Hire today by calling  01582 749966 or filling out our simple contact form.

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