The Little Black Book of Corporate Event Planning
They say you can never be too organized. Warning – if you’re anything but too organized corporate event planning, or any other type of event planning may not be your cup of tea.
As an event planner for over ten years, I’ve found the most successful way for staying organized when planning a corporate event is to come prepared with what I deem the holy grail of the events world – a corporate event survival guide.
A complete checklist and how-to guide for anyone preparing to plan a full-blown corporate event.
Making Lists, Checking them Twice
Creating a corporate event survival guide may not be entirely useful for all planners, but should be designed to provide inspiration and guidance on your event journey. As you start to weave together your own survival guide, create lists that fall under the five design principles of a corporate event.
“It’s All in the Details”
The Elements – The elements consist of all the pieces that make up your event. What are your event goals and objectives? Set firm dates, coordinate with stakeholders, determine a budget, negotiate proposals for venues and hotels, and confirm an event agenda. Checklists for the elements will be extremely lengthy if well organized.
“Stand Out from the Pack”
The Essentials – The essentials are the must-haves for your corporate event. Events with a well-rounded promotional and marketing strategy stand out from the pack – create a social buzz early on and keep the hype afloat at the show and post-show. Here is where successful meeting planners check off boxes on their lists that contain strategic-level concepts – inform the PR team about speaking engagements or meetings, discuss outbound emails to promote the event, what online promotion will take place and what is the timeframe for each due date? These are only a few areas to cover when running down the essentials lists.
“We Don’t Remember Days, We Remember Moments”
The Aura – The aura consists of the venue, location, mood and style of your event. Attendees pay attention to every single aspect of events, believe it or not, so when planners take the time to improve on the energy created at events, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
The best events I have been to were planned numerous months, and sometimes even years in advance. They had themes that were creative, unique, and intertwined throughout the event and told a story from the day I received the save the date email, to the decor onsite, to the programs and agenda, to the website, how the staff greeted everyone and answered questions, to post-show follow-up. There are checklists involved in every step of the event aura.
“Creative Thinking Inspires Ideas. Ideas Inspire Change”
Innovation – Research and develop a customized event experience. If the aura of the event is planned, and all of the other design principles have been checked off by now, then it’s time to move onto creating the real event experience. What story is being told at the event? What do you want attendees to capture and walk away with?
Make lists of potential ideas and make sure they are incorporated into the keynote, as well as other sessions throughout the event. It’s important the aura of the event mixes with what your key takeaways are.
“Stick to the Plan”
Take Action – With the entire event vision in mind, execute with detailed precision and timing. Once all of your lists are made, start by taking action section by section.
Every area will have high priority tactics that will need attention over others to ensure a well planned and successful event takes place.
It really is better to be too organized when planning an event. After everything has been checked off your list from top to bottom, go back and review every item a double and triple time. Something will fall through the cracks, or you may think of an exciting, new element to add a nice touch to your story!
No matter what, smile, relax, stick to your lists, and remember to breathe! 🙂