Corporate Event Planning Step by Step, Even on a Tight Budget!
So, you have been assigned the corporate event planning responsibility for your organization’s special event or corporate party.
Working to provide satisfying company activities is becoming increasingly difficult with tighter budgets and a more diversified work force. It’s more important to cut costs and provide a greater variety of events that appeal to everyone’s interests without offending anyone.
This special report will help you coordinate a terrific and satisfying company event even while on a tight budget. Every penny saved can be incorporated into a more pleasing, satisfying event for your group!
A successful event is one that will be talked about with enthusiasm and hopefully be remembered for years.
Let’s begin to see how you can cut costs and coordinate a terrific program that will get raves from both your executives and staff!
Corporate Event Planning Steps
Determining Your Event Objective
Corporate event planning has come a long way since the days when the term brought to mind a company cocktail party and not much more. Today, many companies strive to integrate their events into the marketing plan so that they contribute to overall corporate objectives.
A corporate event can now be an occasion that is designed to communicate critical organizational messages and themes in a entertaining way. Themes can be designed to celebrate, motivate, excite, and rally the company employees. So, your first consideration should be to determine your events objective! You must determine the primary objective before you begin planning your event!
Ask what does the company want to achieve by hosting this event? Do you want to show employee appreciation? Develop a team attitude? How do you want the guests to feel following your event? Are you trying to motivate? Educate? Instill pride? Are you celebrating a corporate milestone? Is it strictly a social function?
Once you have your event objective, it is time to budget.
Determining Your Event Possibilities – Budgeting
Preparing a budget for your event is critical for a successful outcome. You may be provided with a budget, or perhaps your company would like to see some options before making a financial commitment.
In either case, you must begin with an approximate figure. That will dictate your current options and later you can refine your budget as you determine specific expenses.
Answer the following questions: What is the approximate budget for your event? How many individuals are attending? Now divide your budget by the number of individuals attending to determine your per person cost.
Typically, the per person cost for corporate event planning purposes is between $50 and $500. Your budget will dictate whether your event is on site, offers door prizes, entertainment, a meal, cocktails, awards, etc.
For right now, determine the approximate total budget for your event and break it down to the per person amount. As your planning continues you will have firm budget numbers to rely on that can be adjusted if your expected attendance changes.
Your Guest Satisfaction – Event Scheduling
You know your event objectives. Now it is time to determine the desires of your guests. What would your guests enjoy? Brainstorm and perhaps even survey your employees. Would your group enjoy receiving recognition awards? Would they like to win prizes or enjoy live entertainment?
There are limitless possibilities. Engage your imagination as if you were planning a television special with broad based appeal. Your event could be a theme night: a step back into the 1920s, the 1950s, or even the 1970s. You could stage a Broadway musical, a murder mystery, or a safari. Think futuristic, historical, or wild west. Perhaps your guests would enjoy personal entertainment. Consider having someone analyze peoples’ handwriting or drawing their caricatures. Would your guests enjoy a sit down meal, strolling appetizers, or a buffet? What about an ice sculpture? A palm reader? Cocktails? Ice skating? Casino games? A velcro wall?
Let your imagination run wild, confined only by what is appropriate for your company.
Remember, you want to provide an event your guests will WANT to attend so you draw maximum attendance while achieving your company objectives.
Selecting Your Event Site
If your event is on site, then you need to consider the decor of your room.
If it is to be off site, then begin to compile a list of possible venues. After compiling a list of venues, send the sales department of each property a Request For Proposal (RFP) outlining the requirements of your event. The RFP can include such information as:
- The preferred dates for your event (it is best to give a couple different possibilities).
- The number and type of sleeping rooms you require.
- The range of acceptable room rates.
- Food and beverage requirements.
- A tentative agenda, and
- The amount and type of meeting space needed.
This information will help the hotel decide whether it is able to host your function according to your specifications. Be as specific as you can with regards to your budget. These individuals know what they can provide and how to cut costs to maximize the budget for your guests.
Based on the hotels responses to your RFP, narrow down the field and arrange to inspect the hotel(s) you’re considering. Things to consider during a site inspection:
- Overall appearance of the hotel and its guest rooms, lobby, and meeting space,
- Proximity to the airport and availability of shuttle services,
- Attitude of the service staff,
- Whether rooms have obstructions, such as pillars or overhangs that interfere with presentations and accessibility for people with disabilities.
If you cannot inspect the site in person, a detailed questionnaire will suffice. Also, many hotels now have web sites that include room diagrams of their meeting spaces.
The earlier you book the site, the more options you will have. After determining whom best will serve you, negotiate a written contract that outlines everything:
- The guest room commitment,
- Room rates,
- Complimentary accommodations,
- Reservation and deposit procedures,
- Method of payment,
- Banquet space, and
- Cancellation policy.
Creating An Entertainment Schedule
Entertainment is very important to most corporate events. Entertainment can provide a group experience that will later be talked about and remembered fondly for years.
Ask yourself, what type of entertainment would your group enjoy?
Would they like to:
- Participate on stage?
- Would entertainment that is novel or unique attract a bigger turnout?
- Does your entertainer have Radio or TV credits?
Corporate entertainment considerations:
- A Corporate entertainer known to your guests is more impressive.
- Is the entertainer “corporate safe” and non-offending?
- Does your entertainer provide his own production? If so, you will saving money on equipment rental.
- Do you trust the entertainer?
- How many years experience do they have?
As soon as you have determined your suitable entertainment, confirm your agreement in writing. Make sure everything is spelled out: venue, date, time, length of show, what they are providing, etc.
Once again, the earlier you plan the more options you will have available. Entertainment and venue agreements should be your initial priorities for a successful program.
Outline Your Event Schedule
Refine your desired schedule of events. Determine your specific times. Will there be a social hour? Will there be a meal served? Banquet style or sit down? Cocktails? Type of entertainment? Which entertainers? Awards ceremony? Prizes? Music? Dancing?
Determine your event timeline remembering that your program may not stay on schedule. Allow extra time for each phase of your event.
Establish your schedule and begin to fill in the specifics with regards to what your budget allows. You will be sharing this schedule with your event venue’s convention or catering manager.
Venue: Food and Beverage Schedule
After the venue contract is signed, your meeting file will be turned over to the property’s convention or catering services manager. Think of this person as your in-house meeting planner. This person will be coordinating all your needs and serves as a liaison between you and the other departments within the property.
Leading up to the meeting, you will be confronted with countless details that need attention:
- Check-in times for your guests if the event is being held off site.
- Agenda. As the meeting nears, a schedule of meeting-related activities and food-and-beverage functions should be drafted and shared with the convention services manager.
- Banquet-room setup,
- Audiovisual. Talk to the catering or convention services manager about your requirements and how the equipment news to be set up. The equipment rental can be pricey, so plan accordingly.
- Do they provide a riser stage for awards and entertainment? What about a dance floor?
- Food and beverage menus should be discussed and confirmed.
Standing Room Only – Maximizing your Attendance
It is now time to begin promoting your event to your employees. If nobody attends, all your work and the company objectives go unsatisfied!
Earlier, you determined what your guests would enjoy. Now it is time to get the word out and let everyone know why they will have a terrific time!
If you are planning a theme event, let them know! If you are having a elegant dinner, get the word out! If you are having a celebrity entertainer, publicize it! Give your employees a reason to line up for your event! If you are giving away prizes, tell them what kind. Let them know what to wear. Are children invited? Where should your guests park? If the site is unfamiliar to the guests, a map with directions should be drafted.
Utilize every aspect of your event schedule to maximize your attendance. Get your employees excited! Otherwise, your employees and their guests may regard it as just a corporate function they’re obligated to attend.
Utilizing these techniques, you will not have that problem. You will have a large attendance that is excited for your terrific program!
The Necessity of Delegating
In order to make your event a success, you will enlist the aid of many individuals. You will need assistance prior, during and following your program. Draft a task list that itemizes every job with a time frame. Delegate these tasks to committees or individuals.
Plan for every detail and communicate your needs to all committees, support staff, and vendors. Now is the time to take care of any questions, needs, or concerns.
Your Event Success: The Big Day!
The day has arrived and the result of your efforts will soon be realized! Rely on your support staff and committees. As the director of the event, you should keep your schedule clear so you can deal with any last minute situations that may occur. Murphy’s law will always try to catch you unprepared. Give yourself the freedom to head off any problems and present a terrific corporate event.
As you see your event come to fruition, take pleasure in the fact that your work place will be enhanced, your employees feel appreciated, and you are contributing to the overall success of your company!
Congratulations, you have accomplished your corporate event planning mission…even on a tight budget! It will be an event that will achieve your company objectives and be very satisfying for your guests.
Corporate Event Planning Professionals
Corporate event planning professionals know the ropes. They’ve planned a lot of events from beginning to end. They know what works and what fails miserably. Their experience and creativity can help make any event a success and can be especially useful in overcoming unforeseen obstacles.
Contacting Prospective Corporate Event Planners
Several companies can provide you with event design, coordination, themes, decor, entertainment, equipment, and management of your event. You may retain them for some or all of your event coordination. In your local area you will find these vendors listed under entertainment agencies or meeting planners. You may also be able to get referrals from a local chapter of the Meeting Planners International association.
It is recommended that you investigate each company or individual planner so that you retain the services of the company(s) that will best serve you.
What to Ask Your Prospective Event Planner
When interviewing event planners for your project, you might ask some of the following questions:
- How long has your company been in business?
- How many years of experience do you personally have in planning special events?
- Do you have photos documenting your work?
- Are you fully staffed? How many employees do you have?
- Can you be reached on weekends and after hours?
- Who will be the contact people for my event?
- Will someone from your staff be onsite during my event?
- What is your schedule of payments? Are taxes and gratuity included in your proposal?
Corporate Entertainment Ideas
Please contact us to request a corporate event entertainment proposal featuring the Erick Känd Comedy Hypnosis Show. It’s a clean comedy performance that makes planning your corporate entertainment a breeze!
We’ll provide you with a demo video for your event planning committee along with dozens of corporate event testimonial letters from satisfied clients that have planned events similar to yours! Ask to determine if we have the date available for your upcoming event. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.
About the Erick Kand Comedy Hypnosis Show
An interactive, hilarious, audience participation show of headliner entertainment!
Self-selecting volunteers are hypnotized and improvised into clean comedy routines that are not embarrassing or offensive!
This is a full length corporate entertainment program. The performance area is usually 24′ wide by 16′ deep when using a riser stage in a hotel ballroom.