An Essential Guide to Corporate Event Planning


Are you considering volunteering to plan your company's next corporate event? Or maybe you're looking for a career as an event planner. Depending on the size of your company, you want to know if you can succeed.

Don't let planning company events scare you. You can have a lot of fun in the process and learn some unique skills.

Building lasting business relationships is critical to a company's success. It doesn't matter if you're reaching customers, internal customers, or external customers. Getting creative and bringing people together in the same room is still a great way to socialize.

One way to attract industry partners and help teams build relationships is through professional events. Attendance can range from a few to several thousand; It all depends on the type of event.

There are five key elements at the heart of your corporate activity checklist. Each one fits into the overall program and will help you understand how to plan your company events.

This article will provide an essential guide to help you create a memorable experience. Keep reading to discover our essential corporate event planning tips.

Five Elements to Use When Planning Corporate Events

Before committing to planning a company event, you must first understand the expected results. Each event is different, and depending on your goals, you need to decide how to handle each phase.

Managing an incident comes with different responsibilities. If you are not an industry event planner, familiarize yourself with the following stages of organizing a corporate event.

1. Research

When given the task of planning company activities, conduct research. Understand trends in company activity. Are there any technologies that can be used to enhance the experience? 

Most importantly, gather information about the five WS.

Who is the target audience?

Social events are typically aimed at industry partners and suppliers. Are these local attendees, or do people need to travel from different cities and states?

What is the purpose of the event?

 Are you hosting a product launch or celebrating the company's extraordinary achievements? Understanding the purpose of the event will guide everything from the decorations to the speakers.

When is the event? 

This question will be directly related to how to plan corporate events. The more time you have, the more strategic you will be when planning your activities.

Where will you be hosting your event? 

Ensuring the perfect venue for your corporate event is one of the key features of your event. However, depending on the time of year to host the event, securing your dream location can get tricky.

Why are results important for companies?

 Companies usually have a good sizing budget for corporate activities. They want to ensure a positive return on investment.

At the end of each activity, you will need to justify the cost. The company will study whether the activity produced the desired results, which will determine future company activities.

2. Design

Design requires creative people to help bring the vision of the event to life. Before you can get to this point, you need to have a theme. Once everything is in place, this theme lets your team visualize the company event venue.

When hosting a theme party, it's a good idea to have a list of company events. Checklists will help you keep track of important details and assign tasks.

Keep in mind that the company's goal is to create an experience that attendees will remember long after the event.


3. Planning

Event planning is where your project management skills come into play. Planning an event for a small number of people is not as stressful as planning an event for 100 or more people.

In any case, you need analytical skills and the ability to motivate others. If you're assembling a team to work on the planning phase, choose someone with extensive campaign planning skills.

During the planning phase, having the ability to multitask is a good trait. You also need to be able to work well with others.

4. Coordination

There are different phases of event coordination. Once the event is planned, the next stage is to coordinate the event. The event planner and event coordinator can be the same person.

The coordinator oversees the incident and makes sure everything goes according to plan. Individuals in this role are on-site before, during, and after the event.

While most event planners' responsibilities are in-house, event coordinators will work more with external vendors.

5. Evaluation

The last element is assessment. Always check your expectations. Evaluate results as progress is made at each stage of corporate event planning. Please refer to your corporate event planning checklist to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and to a high standard.

After each event, debrief with team members, discuss the activity and brainstorm ways to improve the approach. Ask for feedback and share your assessments.

Types of Corporate Events

Now that we've learned the basics of corporate event planning, let's dive into the different types of corporate events.

Internal Events

Internal events can range from leaders' breakfasts to company holiday parties. The bigger the company, the more opportunities there are to host events. These events include:

  • Shareholder meetings

  • Executive retreats

  • Training sessions

  • Employee recognition

  • Employee appreciation week

  • Product introduction

  • Benefits fair

Internal events are typically held on campus and are limited to employees with a few exceptions.

External Events

It's easier to deal with internal customers because you're familiar with the company's team members and culture. In addition, most of your events will be held on-site. For external events, the likelihood of hosting off-site events increases.

Here are the top outside company events.

  • Trade shows

  • Conferences

  • Networking events

  • Charity events

  • Client appreciation dinner

The pandemic has affected internal and external events. Event coordinators had to shift their event planning skills to integrate virtual elements. Expect to see the virtual events trend continue.

Later, we'll explore how technology can simplify event planning.


Hard vs Soft Skills

In general, event planning has both hard and soft skills. However, when you focus on event types, you'll find that some skills are leveraged more than others.

Soft Skills

The soft skills you need include a basic understanding of event planning. These are the five elements we discussed earlier.

Planning company events also includes being a good communicator. You need to be able to communicate well with internal and external customers. Good communication skills are essential when negotiating with suppliers.

Being a good listener is another important asset. To plan a great event, you need to understand the purpose of the event and the expected outcome.Good listeners can focus on the desired outcome and understand that each event is intentional and serves the purpose.

Must have extraordinary organizational skills.In addition, event planners must maintain order throughout the event planning process, and this is where corporate event planning checklists come into play.

Doing a good job under pressure may seem like a difficult skill to master, but it's a natural trait that all event planners should have. When you lead an event, you understand that anything can go wrong without a moment's notice.

Your team relies on you to think fast and develop quick solutions to stay on track.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the technical skills you use to streamline the event planning process. Today, event planners must be tech-savvy and also need to be great communicators.

Written skills are essential to your success. You want to be able to communicate effectively with executives and team members. Having good writing skills also ensures that you express things clearly and concisely.

Knowing the latest technology will go a long way in helping your event run smoothly. This is a must when planning activities that will be able to communicate using mobile devices and update the list of company activities.

If companies use social media in business communication, then social media is a great tool for event planners. Event planners can use social media to promote trade show charity events and deliver targeted advertising.


Utilizing Technology for Event Planning

There is a lot of software available today that was not available on the market twenty years ago. Integrating apps that help teams communicate is critical to the success of the event, and it's also a great way to track progress and spending.

Event planning software is proven to have a positive impact on corporate event planning. The right software can improve uptime, increase productivity, and help keep an eye on your spending.

The main features to look for in event planning software include:

  • Automation

  • Accessibility

  • Event diagramming

  • Event registration

  • Group registration

  • Online payment processing

  • Global payment options

  • Event analytics

There are plenty of event planning software options on the market. You may need to invest in more than one app to make sure you have everything you need. Determine which features are important to your industry and choose the right product for your needs.

Conceptualizing the Event

It's time for your design elements to work.

In other cases, there are no topics, such as trade shows and stakeholder meetings. You'll still have a list of bullet points to check.

Here are the key points to conceptualize a company's activities.


Understanding the stakeholders of your event is critical to your success. Stakeholders aren't just the companies hosting events. They are participants, sponsors, media (if it's a community event), plus the community.

Your goal is to impress stakeholders with your knowledge and expertise. When they leave the event, you want to make sure that all the expected results have been achieved.

Choose a Theme

The fun part of planning a corporate event is curating themed events. Just because it's business-related doesn't mean the event can't be imaginative.

Quickly increase engagement and engagement by hosting popular things-centric events. For example, popular movies, pop culture, or national holidays.

Themed events aren't just for large gatherings. Raise the bar for corporate board meetings and remove the margins of serious issues being discussed.

The theme of the event may be for you, or you may be responsible for creating one.Always consider your audience and corporate culture. Stay away from controversial topics that might offend guests.

Creating a Realistic Budget

When planning corporate events, all event planners prefer to use a black card. Companies have budget constraints for good reason. Corporate activities are intentional and all have a fundamental goal that benefits the company.

The cost of the activity cannot exceed the target.For example, an employee appreciation event is an employee celebration held to celebrate a company exceeding its financial goals. You don't want to spend all your excess earnings on campaigns.

In most cases, companies provide budgets for event planners. Any amount above the given number needs to be approved. It is in your interest to build the best campaign with the funds allocated to you.

Ensure checks and balances exist. Use accounting software so that you always have detailed financial records.

Establishing a Timeline

Knowing how to plan your company's activities can have a big impact on your organization's abilities. Create a schedule for tasks before completing the activity. Don't be afraid to delegate responsibilities.

Creating a schedule is one way to keep your team committed to completing tasks. This is where having event management software can help your team. As deadlines approach, send reminders and follow-ups to ensure goals are met.

Resolve issues that arise. Once you start falling behind, it's harder to get back on track.

Check in with your team in person.Don't always rely on email, text messages, and instant messages. Pick up the phone and talk. Interpersonal communication is a valuable asset when working with a team. It allows you to feel your team's pulse and understand if people are feeling overwhelmed and are honest about their progress.

Secure the Perfect Venue

As mentioned earlier, ensuring site safety is a top priority. Your corporate event venue can make or break the best planned corporate event. Early in this process, consider the location of off-site events.

If you're planning a holiday party, you may need to book a venue a year or more in advance. Read the contract for cancellation fees and other incidental charges. A deposit is required to hold the reserved space.

Ensure that the venue can accommodate the maximum number of attendees. If you can't meet your attendance goals, ask if they can move the activity to a smaller room.

Prepare a list of event venues to make sure the questions you ask are relevant. The event may require audio and video setup, a stage, kitchen access, outdoor lighting, and power outlets.

In addition to the active time, it is also possible to enter the event space for setting and decomposition.

Choose a Caterer

Other key elements of creating a concept for your event include planning your menu. Can in-house catering meet the needs of the event, or do you need to hire a caterer? 

Themed activities require menus that match the theme. The menu should be appropriate for the occasion and theme. Choose dishes that suit different times of the day.

If you're hosting a carnival-themed event, the menu must include popular New Orleans-inspired dishes. You also need to consider attendees with dietary restrictions.

Select the Entertainment

Entertainment for corporate events can range from a leisurely jazz band on arrival to a lively band in the evening. As the formalities of the day come to an end, it is essential to reward your guests with an evening of entertainment, ensuring that your event is fondly remembered by all participants.

Choose your entertainment early in the process so you can find the best talent, and many musicians and bands book more than 12 months in advance.

Cheers to a Memorable Corporate Event

Planning corporate events can be both challenging and rewarding. These tips will surely help you become an outstanding corporate event planner.

A week after the event, a debriefing is scheduled. Here you will discuss events and brainstorm what improvements are needed for future work.

Need entertainment for your next event? Contact us to discuss your requirements and our team will be happy to help.

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