You want to plan a event, one that makes your company shine in the eyes of the attendees and your boss – that’s understandable. One that is a huge success and talked about for a long time to come.

Did you know that there are a number of straightforward guidelines that need to be followed if your next event is not to be a disastrous flop? Ignore these guidelines at your peril, they are the very basics you need to get right and indeed some of the very fundamentals of event planning itself.

Group of conference participants standing in lobby of conference center, socializing during lunch break

Group of conference participants standing in lobby of conference center, socializing during lunch break

Use these 3 simple, must do steps to help you plan a corporate event – you can think of it as your event planning guide.

3 Simple, Must Do Steps To Help You Plan a Corporate Event

1. Know Your Audience

It’s absolutely imperative that you know and understand the expectations of the audience that will be attending your corporate event.

You need to understand their likes and dislikes and above all steer clear of anything that could potentially offend or upset your attendees. Get this wrong and it could be disastrous.

For example, you wouldn’t want to provide entertainment at your event that was too risqué for a more conservative audience, such as a comedian who is a little too blue for their tastes. An act such as a hypnotist can be hilariously funny but you need to bear in mind that for this kind of entertainment to be successful, the crowd must be prepared to participate.

Similarly, you wouldn’t necessarily want to provide a hip hop band for an audience that consisted mainly of middle-aged and elderly attendees.

So, think carefully about who will be attending your corporate event and make sure that you tailor the event exactly to their needs and expectations.

2. Budget Accurately

Accurate budgeting is an absolute event planning basic but one that many amateur or inexperienced event planners can get drastically wrong. It’s easy to let costs escalate out of control as your next event unfolds and the best way to avoid this is to work out an accurate budget from day one.

Admittedly, your budget may need to be adjusted for unforeseen items but if you’ve done your job properly, this shouldn’t entail a major overhaul of your proposed costings.

The best way to get on the right footing with budgeting is to hold a brainstorming session with all involved parties, right at the start of the event planning process. Make sure to discuss all potential expenditures in detail and to work from broad headings such as entertainment, accommodation, transport, food and drink etc. to more specific subheadings as you develop your budget.

So, if we take entertainment as our example the subheadings could be such things as entertainer’s fee, tip, food and drink for the evening, transport to and from the event, publicity photographs and if the entertainer is a well-known personality, even security.

Once you’ve arrived at your budget, always remember to add a percentage for contingency. No matter how accurately you try to budget, there will always be an unforeseen expense or cost that arises when you plan your special events.

3. Contingency

While we’re on the subject of contingency, always remember that it’s absolutely crucial to plan for a worst-case scenario.

A good example to illustrate this would be an outdoor event. What happens if the weather turns against you and you have hundreds of guests looking forward to a memorable open-air experience but the rain is falling in buckets?

In this scenario, you would want to ensure that you had adequate, undercover facilities available to cater to your guests should the worst happen.

Some examples of other contingencies to plan for:

  • The sound system – what of it fails?
  • Visual aids such as projectors – do you have a backup?
  • The entertainment is delayed, or fails to turn up – what now?
  • You run out of food or drink – do you have a backup supplier?
  • You’re providing transport for attendees and the company you’ve appointed can’t cope – do you have an alternative provider available?

The above are just 3 simple, must do steps to help you plan a corporate event to illustrate the importance of thinking ahead. Hopefully, with a great event planning checklist, your next corporate event will be a huge success.