For a lot of people, the thought of a corporate event conjures up the image of dull presentations, repetitive conversations, and boring conference rooms. In reality, dull corporate events are the result of poor planning. Whether you’re planning a trade show, a networking event, or a conference, everyone needs to be interested and to have a good time. Keep your event informative, running well , and most importantly, not boring. Try these planning tips to help you.
1. Work out the main purpose and goals of your event. Are you hosting an event in order to educate, entertain, or raise money? Is the goal of the event to network and build connections, to leave with more knowledge and information, to mark a milestone, or just to have fun? Start event planning by spending time brainstorming. Then, narrow your focus into a shorter pitch. When you know why you’re holding this event, you can start working on how. If you’re struggling with this part, an event management company like MTI Events can help you refine your ideas.
2. Choose your attendees. Planning a corporate event is a good way to get a lot of like-minded people into one space. You don’t have to invite everyone. Instead, cultivate an invitation list by starting with the very smallest common denominator and work up from there. For example, if you’re hosting an event for wine experts, this could expand into a wider list of winemakers, vineyard owners, and wine retailers. If you still have spaces, you could widen again into related businesses, like cheesemongers, bakers, or chocolatiers.
3. Decide a budget, and stick to it. If you plan well with your budget, you can avoid making cuts later on. Include line items for the venue, food, staffing, speakers, marketing, signage, A/V, decor, transportation, and everything else you can possibly think of. Make decisions about what are the most important things for the success of your event. When you know this, this is where you should allocate most of your budget.
4. Choose your venue. If you can, don’t pick the conference room and choose somewhere more interesting. Hotel conferences are all the same, and not very inspiring. Where could you book instead? Could you put your speakers on stage in a theatre, or hold breakout sessions in a lounge with a wet bar? A more interesting venue creates a mood of your event, and gets you points for creativity.
5. Choose a theme. Themes sometimes have a bad reputation for being cheesy, but if you get it right, a good theme can set the tone for the day and leave a great impression on your guests that will last. Use your theme to tie together the invitations you send out, the topics of your speeches, as well as the menu and any post-events that you host, like a happy hour. When deciding on a theme, you must consider your audience. Event professionals might enjoy a club vibe between their sessions, but real estate professionals might not. Match your theme to your audience.
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