Large corporate events take expert planning, creativity, organization and patience. Regardless of why you are holding the event, to be successful you have to make sure you are working with an event strategy in mind so you can execute each step to create the perfect function.
While you might have the creativity down pat, making sure you work to a plan and remain organized is the best way to make your vision a reality. Here are 12 ways to make sure your corporate event runs as smoothly as possible.
1. Create an event checklist
Every stellar event begins with a plan. To make sure nothing is missed, begin planning by creating an event checklist for all the things you need to get done. Use your event date so you can work everything back. Your execution list will be your guiding light, allowing you to delegate tasks and ensure everything is done in a timely fashion.
Write down everything you need and then create a timeline so you can work from a schedule. Your event checklist remains a living, breathing entity that needs to be adaptable, so digital is always best. This way you can move things more easily, check things off as they are done, and keep everything at your fingertips on your cell phone.
2. Understand your objectives
Although every corporate event shares common steps in the planning stage, you can’t begin planning the details without first understanding the objectives. In most cases, the basis of the event will be passed down from senior management. It could be a long list of things from team building to awards and from holiday celebrations to some sort of vendor-related event.
By understanding the purpose, you can start planning appropriate elements of the event from the theme to the activities and the venue to the equipment required. Consider your budget part of your objective, as your goal should always be to stay on budget!
3. Strategize your design and/or theme
Once you’ve determined your objectives, you can decide on a design or theme for your event. Come up with a name so you can help communicate the event theme and design in everything you create. Choose colours, whether it is simply your corporate colours or colours suited to the theme. From there, you can work out the details that will bring the theme to life.
4. Book the important elements for the function
Your theme and objectives allow you to work on the most important elements of the event including:
- The reception halls available for your type of event
- Décor related to your theme or design idea
- Types of equipment required such as lighting and audiovisual technology
- Entertainment and/or speakers
The nature of the event will dictate the logical choices for the “set up”. If you can find a reception hall that helps with all of these elements, your job is easier and your event will run more smoothly.
5. Reception hall walk-throughs
Create a short list of the available reception halls that seem to meet your needs. Call them to set up walk-throughs so you can make your final choice. Consider the space, the location, the services provided and even the attitude of the staff to ensure you make the right choice. Ideally, your venue will offer the following:
- First class food and beverages customized to your needs
- Event organization assistance from beginning to end
- Convenient location
- Wireless and wired high-speed internet
- State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment
- Complimentary, dependable Wi-Fi
- Ample free parking
- Suitable size
- Impressive details such as a grand entry, ample light etc.
With all the boxes checked you can book your venue.
6. Plan the meal(s)
At some point in the event, you’ll need to provide sustenance. Consider the event and whether it is an all-day affair, lasts only a few hours, centers around an elegant dinner, or perhaps all of the above. This allows you to plan the meals with the reception hall based on timing as well as your theme.
Ideally, your venue offers curated catering packages designed to suit your event and guests. For example, if there are to be speakers or seminars, break these sessions up with time-appropriate snacks such as a breakfast buffet in the morning, a luncheon at noon, and cocktails and appetizers between the final event and dinner.
7. Create your event itinerary
Attendees will want to know what to expect. The more activities or presentations taking place, the more important your itinerary becomes. You want to ensure you time everything right, so you allow people to make the most of their participation. It is also key to making sure your event runs smoothly as it avoids logistical nightmares. Include the following:
- Event name and a brief description
- Event date
- Contact information
- Map and address for the location
- Event activity schedule
8. Schedule experiences to suit your objectives
Be sure everything you plan aligns with your objectives. Is this an event where you should have interactive activities? Speakers and seminars? Booths and demos? Entertainment? Everything you do should make sense to attendees while taking a creative approach that suits your theme. This keeps people motivated to participate and also ensures you accomplish your goals.
9. Stick to your budget
Always keep your budget in mind and don’t be tempted to overspend. Make sure you allot the money where it is needed most, and anything left over can go towards the little details that can really amp up the event.
10. Keep your contracts handy
On the day of the event, make sure you have any signed contracts with you. This allows you to pull them out and show them to suppliers who are failing to meet their end of the bargain. It will also clarify your understanding should things not be set up as you imagined. You can keep suppliers accountable and make sure you get what you paid for.
11. Do a run-through
Either the morning of the event or ideally, the day before, do a run-through to look for any logistical problems. This will allow you to avoid setbacks and do some damage control if you spot potential disasters.
12. Have a plan B
Consider the main things that could ruin your event and try to have some contingency plans in place. For example, if a speaker misses their flight, have someone within the company or your supplier circle who can step in. If you are serving alcohol, be certain you have taxis booked to take people home.
Make sure you have vegetarian options for all catered food, so no one goes hungry. Have corporate backup audiovisual equipment on-site in case of malfunctions or breakdowns, and your own IT person to help troubleshoot issues.
While you can’t control every aspect of the event, by remaining flexible, organized and proactive, your event will be a great success. You can also depend on the team at Chateau Le Jardin to ensure every detail is perfect.
If you would like to know more about a suitable corporate event venue, call Château le Jardin on 1-888-529-8573 or contact us here.