Planning to host a corporate event? Businesses all over the world have relied on corporate events for multiple reasons.
These events have been instrumental in creating engagement among employees through relevant activities. Other corporate events are more formal, wherein businesses decide on new strategies or modify their internal structuring.
Whatever the purpose, you need to master corporate event planning down to a tee. It goes beyond just gathering all your employees in a conference room and setting an agenda.
For a corporate event to be successful, it must not only meet its goals but also foster interaction through high-level engagement.
1. What Is A Corporate Event?
Corporate events are any social activity, event, or function hosted and funded by a company or business entity. These events are usually held for the employees or the clients.
As mentioned, businesses hold corporate events for a variety of reasons. It may be to inform the staff of new policies or celebrate company milestones with clients and other shareholders.
You can do corporate events in a small or large-scale fashion. For instance, mini-events are usually held in office conference rooms with only select employees.
On the other hand, large-scale corporate events require extensive planning. Companies tend to designate staff and personnel for the planning, logistics, venue sourcing, and the like.
But if you're here, it's safe to assume you want to get into the nitty-gritty of large-scale corporate event planning. It's a complex process, so we've developed this guide to help you out.
2. What Are The Different Types Of Corporate Events?
When conceptualising for any corporate event, it's best to assess your options according to their size.
Corporate events can be divided into:
- Micro or Simple Events
- Small Events
- Mid-Size Events
- Large-Scale Events
Micro Or Simple Events
Micro or simple events will often involve around 100 delegates and participants. These events are more intimate and may be in the form of a meeting or training session.
Planning a micro event is much more straightforward than bigger ones (which we will cover later in this guide). A designated team of planners or organisers will make sure the following tasks are correctly done:
- Book a room or a venue.
- Secure presentation facilities (i.e. lighting, sound systems, peripherals, etc.).
- Hire a catering company for refreshments.
- Facilitate the registration process.
So long as all the essentials are present, micro-event planning can be done in as fast as two weeks.
Any corporate event with 100 to 250 delegates can be classified as a small event. They can be a seminar, training day, or a department-wide conference.
Corporate seminars refer to business partners or employees gathering to discuss a particular topic. Seminars also require internal speakers or guests outside the company but in the same industry.
There are very few opportunities for engagement, aside from a Q and A portion or short breakout sessions by the end.
Corporate training involves a higher level of engagement between workers. A corporate training event aims to teach employees new skills relevant to their line of work. Employees may hold one-on-one consultations, exams, activities, and other resources.
Finally, department-wide conferences focus only on a select team within a company. They will usually involve discussions on:
- Meeting goals
- New strategies
A department-wide meeting ensures everyone in the group is aligned on policies and other business-related developments.
Mid-size events are more heavily reliant on technology. You'll often find higher-ups and delegates from around the world attending this event.
With more than 1,000 delegates involved, mid-size events require far more resources than micro-events. In addition, mid-size events tend to draw out over a few days until a week or two, whereas micro events tend to last much shorter.
Professional event planning is a must for any mid-size event. Key event organisers and stakeholders must consider a host of factors:
- Creation of a branded website
- Development of pre-event communications
- Event mobile app
- Hotel accommodation for guests
- Transport options to and from the venue
- Pre-and post-event reception
- Post-event entertainment
If you plan on organising a large-scale event, you need to use enterprise tools at your disposal. Like mid-size events, this event type relies heavily on technology, like event management software, for instance.
Large-scale events also last several days and may include other offsite activities, such as company dinners, partnership programs, or awards ceremonies.
Large-scale events may also be performed with other activities, like product launches or trade shows. Planners can decide on going completely virtual or hybrid, featuring up to 10,000 attendees or more.
3. How To Plan A Successful Corporate Event?
Before holding the event, you must draft a "blueprint" or framework of the entire process and everything you need to accomplish. Here are a few things you need to understand when you're gunning for a successful corporate event:
Define Your Goals And Objectives
Start by defining your goals and setting your objectives. Here, you'll need to figure out which event KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you want to meet and assess.
Your corporate event KPIs can be:
- Event registrations
- Level of engagement
- Messages sent
- View duration
- Enriching subjects/topics
- Social media mentions
- Response rates for live polling
Aside from meeting your KPIs, it would help if you defined what your corporate event will be about.
Focus on your target audience. You must plan an event that will match their expectations and pique their interests. For instance, you could use experiential marketing tactics to create buzz around your event even well before you hold it.
It all comes down to setting objectives and ensuring you don't stray away from the audience you want to attract.
Come Up With A Budget
After defining your objectives, you can already set your budget. The budget will depend on the scale of your corporate event, so you must adjust accordingly.
Consider all possible expenses your event may incur. Costs may come from any or a combination of the following event elements:
- Entertainment (i.e. audio visual systems, internet connectivity, televisions, trade booths, opening acts, etc.)
- Marketing expenses
- Food and beverage expenses
- Branding and signage
If you're a newcomer to corporate event planning, it will help to learn more about event sponsorship to scour potential sponsors and other fundraising sources.
Try not to go overboard with planning your budget. Find opportunities to lessen costs while ensuring the event's standards remain up to par.
Make A Guestlist
Planning a guestlist requires proper care and attention. Ultimately, you want to ensure every delegate you plan on inviting shows up. It all boils down to creating enticing invitations, properly setting the date, and ensuring they have a smooth-sailing experience before heading to your event.
The people on your guest list also depend on your event's goals and objectives. For example, if you plan a product launch, list the names of your target stakeholders, business partners, and other VIPs with business interests.
As for the event invitation, innovation can go a long way. For instance, you could send digital invitations through targeted email marketing campaigns with an added personal touch. Give them ample time to respond to the invitation, then follow up as necessary.
Choose A Venue
Event planning can't be complete without choosing a venue unless you're planning a purely virtual event. In that case, all you need is a dependable virtual event platform for it to be a success.
After you've got all your objectives, budgeting, and guestlist down, it's time to pick a fitting venue. Your venue must match the theme and type of event.
For example, if you wish to hold a product launch for your next corporate event, choose a spacious venue which can accommodate a stage and a large pool of attendees.
You may also be interested in holding corporate trade shows. Choose a dedicated venue with ceiling trusses, for example, by which you can set up displays and other visual aids.
Aside from picking the location, it would help if you also considered the scheduling and transportation in your corporate event planning.
Plan your event at least two to three months in advance as much as possible. This will give all your attendees ample time to book a hotel room and arrange for transport before heading to the event venue.
Foster Employee Engagement
You can't call it a successful event without engagement among your delegates and participants. Since you're holding the event for their benefit, it's best to provide them with opportunities to socialise, network, and interact with potential clients.
In product launches, allow all attendees to try out a product demo. If it is a team-building exercise, encourage all employees to participate in your lineup of activities.
A successful corporate event hinges on whether or not your employees or clients found it enjoyable. Make it worth their time and attention by making it as exciting and innovative as possible. You should also set aside time to appreciate the employees through different tactics.
Track Your Event On The Ground
As an event organiser, your job is to ensure everything flows smoothly. While hiccups here and there are inevitable, focus on resolving them to create a memorable event experience for all attendees.
Have backups in your event wherever possible. If the audio-visual systems are not working properly, ensure your logistics team is well-versed in troubleshooting.
Accommodate all your guests and employees in the best way possible. Should they have any concerns on the day of the event, provide proper avenues to air out their issues.
Network And Build Connections
Your corporate event is the perfect opportunity to make connections and generate leads from potential clients. As such, treat every guest who enters the meeting room or the venue as if they're VIPs.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to introduce yourself, your brand, and your employees to the guests. Get everyone acquainted, as it is an effective way of building professional relationships.
Follow Up With Your Attendees And Employees Post-Event
Aside from focusing on corporate event planning, you must also pay close attention to post-corporate event follow-ups.
You don't want your corporate event to die out the minute the last employee walks out the door. Instead, you want to make it memorable. You want the memory of the event to linger in their thoughts, be it a few weeks or months from now.
This is why follow-ups are critical. Remember that your attendees went out of their busy schedules to participate in your corporate event. Following it up with a heartfelt and personalised thank you email is one way to show gratitude.
You can also try creating a post-event page that repeatedly lets your guests relive the corporate event experience.
For this technique, try getting creative with your materials and resources. Use an engaging medium, such as an interactive slideshow reel or video highlights of the event.
You could also do the following:
- Uploading a gallery of images from the event's hashtag
- Posting exciting metrics about the event
- Distributing post-event surveys with incentives
Conclusion About Corporate Event Planning
Corporate event planning may seem like a vast ocean to cross, and in reality, it is. But, as long as you have our corporate event planning checklist, you can easily hold a professional corporate event that matches your expectations and goals.
Keep all of the above tips and considerations for your next event. Be as creative as possible and use event technology tools as long as your budget permits.
Have an idea for your next corporate event? Our virtual event platform in Singapore is just what you need. Bring your hybrid or virtual events to life with excellent features and highly-customisable event solutions.
Try out a demo now or reach us for more information. At EventX, we make every event an unforgettable and immersive experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Corporate Event Planning
What Are The Different Phases Of Event Management?
Event management can be classified into five phases, namely:
What Makes A Good Corporate Event Planner?
Successful corporate event planners are charismatic, engaging, good conversationalists, and great listeners. They know what their target audience wants and how to achieve goals for them.
If there are any problems along the way, they are easily adaptable, allowing them to find working solutions for these issues.
What Makes A Corporate Event Successful?
A corporate event is successful if it is engaging, creative, consistent, and organised. Event planners must start with a theme that sets the event's tone. Then, they can work their way towards determining their target participants and arranging all the logistics.
What Is The Difference Between A Social Event And a Corporate Event?
A corporate event is funded by businesses, while private individuals or hosts pay for social events.
Wedding receptions and birthday parties are examples of social events, while seminars, workshops, and conferences are all types of corporate events.