Events are a minefield - if you get them wrong there'll be hell to pay. Better take a look at our checklist first.
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Planning a corporate event can be a stressful venture, there are a lot of elements to consider including the budget, organising guests and the venue, to name a few.
Whether you are planning a corporate event from scratch or enlisting the services of a professional, there will be an array of things that need to be thought of an arranged. To ensure that the event goes as smoothly as possible, planning and organisation will be key to your success.
Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you prepare for your perfect corporate event.
Do set a budget
Perhaps the first and most important thing to do is to set yourself a budget. It is easy when planning events to go overboard and essentially put yourself out of pocket.
Your budget will be dependent on a variety of things, so it is paramount that you consider cost when you are making plans and ensure that you stick to this amount. Value for money should be your main concern, as you will not be receive a direct return on your investment, except in the motivation of your employees.
Do target your event
You must plan your event taking into account who you wish to entertain. Make sure that you consider what it is that you are setting out to achieve. For example if you are intending to incentivise your staff make sure you understand the audience you are catering for.
Are they athletic people who would enjoy a team building event? Or are they the leisurely type that would prefer a relaxing day at the races or an afternoon tea? Once you have decided on what the majority of your employees would prefer you can begin to sort the finer details.
Do get the timing right
When do you want your event to take place? Could you take advantage of a major sporting event that is scheduled? Is there a certain time in the year that is quieter for your business, that won’t mean revenue is being lost taking time out of the office?
You must also factor into your planning the availability of those that are invited to your event, look at the company’s calendar and see how many employees have annual leave booked for prospective dates, a couple of absences shouldn’t sway your decision, but if there are more than a few it may be worth looking at alternative dates.
Certain sporting events cause a lot of disruption
Do decide on whether to do it yourself or hire a professional
Should you decide to put on a major event it could be beneficial to enlist the services of a professional. There are specialist event agencies that offer a wide variety of corporate event packages to choose from. By hiring professionals everything will be taken care of for you, which could eliminate the stress involved in the organisation process.
Alternatively, if you decide that it is better to piece an experience together yourself. Make sure you put together an elaborate plan, perhaps enlist the help of a few colleagues to think through some ideas, this will give you a few different perspectives and will make sure key elements aren’t forgotten.
Do appoint a host to represent your company
No matter what your corporate event is for, it is essential that you appoint someone to represent your company and to help ensure that the event runs smoothly on the day. It is comforting, for anyone that you invite, to know that there is someone there to turn to if there is something that they need, or if they have any questions.
This host could be you or you could organise with the venue/ event agency to have a dedicated person look after your party, the latter choices allows you to enjoy the event as much as your employees.
Don’t charge the people that you invite
Whatever you do don’t charge admission. You may think a small contribution from those attending is a good idea to keep the costs down, however this would reflect very badly on you, especially if you are trying to impress or reward employees for their hard work.
It would have a negative impact on anything that you may be trying to achieve. Whether that be motivating staff or trying to team build. If the event ideas are coming in above your budget then it is better to re-assess and re-organise, than to start charging the guests.
Making people pay could kill the mood
Don’t hold the event at your place of work
Your place of work is exactly that, employees will not be able to completely relax unless they are away from the office or on mutual ground, which will affect their enjoyment of the event.
Inviting people to come into work doesn’t give the best impression, the only perceivable reason for hosting a corporate event in the office would be to save on expenditure. If the event is being organised as an incentive then a location away from the four walls they spend their week in would be a better reward.
Don’t over indulge
Quite often, if you book a packaged corporate event, food and drink will be included. Whilst it is nice to know that the drinks will be free flowing, and your guests will appreciate it too, remember that you still have a reputation to uphold in the eyes of your employees. Take care of your guests and make sure that you are the sensible one.
This way, if something goes wrong you are able to deal with it instead of leaving employees to fend for themselves, the result of which could be several disgruntled, de-motivated staff members.
Don’t forget to have fun yourself
Lastly don’t forget to enjoy yourself! You are the one that has put in the effort to organise the event so why not relax and allow yourself to enjoy the day. Be sure to separate yourself from being ‘the boss’, this could intimidate other guests, simply think of yourself as another guest, get involved and enjoy the activities and conversation.