Corporate events are one of the best ways to get people together and network. They’re an essential part of building your brand and connecting with the people you want to speak to, but how do you put together one yourself? Let’s take a look at a few handy hints and tips which should show you the way forward.
Pick the Right Venue
The venue is perhaps the most important choice you’ll make in the early stages of planning. Whether you decide to host the event onsite, or hire a function room or venue is up to you. But make sure you put yourself in the minds of your guests before you make your final decision.
If you’re trying to invite new potential customers, pick a location that they’d like to go to, but not one that is so far out of their way that it will be an inconvenience.
Get the Invitations Out Early
Inviting people is something that a surprising number of people struggle with. You know who you want to be there, but when do you pop the question? Too far in advance and they’ll forget, too late and they simply won’t have enough notice to make it there even if they wanted to.
The secret is to sound out the people who have to be there to check that they can all make your provisional date. Once it’s been agreed, you can start spreading the word through your network of contacts on LinkedIn and so forth.
Attract Speakers People Will Want to Hear From
No event would be worth going to if it didn’t have a keynote speaker that turned people’s heads. You simply cannot overstate the importance of putting on a few marquee names that people will have heard of, and want to hear from.
People tend to forget dates and event names when they’re chatting with friends and colleagues, but they won’t forget that one of the authorities in their field is giving a talk soon. Pick the right speaker(s) and you’ll find that their name recognition alone helps market your event like nothing else could.
That in short, is why a keynote speaker is one of the most important things on that seemingly ever-growing to-do list of yours.
Send Regular Email Updates
Email updates are about far more than simply putting in an appearance and going through the motions. They’re about reminding people of the date, and persuading people who are undecided so that they cannot think of anything better to do than attend.
You want to strike the right balance between not enough information on the one hand, and so much information that you get a reputation as someone who has gone over the top on the other. A great way to do this is with a countdown email sequence. By messaging on key milestones such as 1 month to go, 2 weeks to go, and 3 days to go, you’ll be able to engage the recipients much better.
Food and Drink Will Attract More People Than You Think
Corporate events are a serious business, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun at the same time.
Everyone loves to have a good meal and drink a nice beverage, and if they’re giving up their time to spend the day with you then the least they will expect is to be fed. Don’t leave people waiting till 3pm for their lunch, otherwise you’ll hear grumblings and participation and attention levels will soon wane.
Offer your guests something that will be light on their stomach but also tastes great. That way you’ll be able to create some excitement without even having to do anything particularly special or groundbreaking.
Be Persistent With the Fine Details
When you’re organising your first corporate event, it can be a little overwhelming when you finally come face to face with all the little bits and pieces and the annoying loose ends that seem to eat up all of your time.
The important thing to remember is that the fine details are the ones that matter. If you grow tired or decide to cut a few corners for the sake of getting things done faster, one thing is for sure, your guests will notice.
It only has to be something small like lunch being served too late or the keynote speaker starting proceedings rather than taking to the stage a little later on for your guests to notice. Take the time to iron out all of these little creases and the day will be all the more enjoyable and productive for it.
Never Lose Sight of Why You’re Doing it
Perhaps the most important thing to do is to remember why you’re putting on the event in the first place. This will ensure that despite the food and drink and any entertainment you have planned, your focus is still getting people to engage with your products and services.
By writing a mission brief on the day planning gets started, you’ll be able to keep your planning on track every step of the way. Ideal for ensuring that mission creep never becomes an issue.
An Event Planner May Free Up Your Time
Event planners are the final thing that you may want to think about. These are professionals who do what you’re trying to do for a living. There’s no harm in asking their advice or getting them to take over a key part of the planning.
You can always learn from them so that you can do everything solo next time around. Or you could make it a regular thing to work side by side with a professional so that you have more time to devote to other tasks back at the office. We have been working with Kevin Rowe for some time now, and the partnership has been a great one.
Hopefully this quick rundown has given you plenty of food for thought when you come to put on a corporate event of your own. It may feel like a daunting task that expands to fill the time available, but when you see the day go off without a hitch, there’s nothing more satisfying.
Check out our estate planning tips as well.