Planning a Corporate Event: 9 Keys to an Unforgettable Experience

Throwing an exciting, memorable party is one of the best ways of connecting with your employees and customers. A shared event can draw people together and allow them to build up relationships with your brand and with each other. What’s more, experiential marketing is a highly successful strategy for increasing a company’s reputation. Together with an experienced corporate event planner, you can come up with ideas that will wow your guests. 

But how exactly can you make sure everyone has a good time at your event? The key is planning. To get started, you’ll have to determine the purpose of the celebration. Then, you will decide on a venue, a date, catering, technology solutions, and a wow factor element. Finally, you can figure out how to make the most of the party and get a return on your investment, for example by following up with customers. Read on to find out how to best plan a corporate event.

Planning a Corporate Event: 9 Keys to an Unforgettable Experience

1. Hire a Good Corporate Event Planner

The easiest way to make sure your event stands out is to hire an experienced event planner. Such a professional can save you a lot of time and hassle, and they can help you at every step of the process. To get started, they will sit down with you and go through each element of the event. Then, they will reach out to caterers, entertainers, and the venue and set up everything.

By using an event planner, you can delegate most of the responsibility. Instead of negotiating with every professional who will provide a service at the party, you simply have to speak to one person, who then sets everything up for you. In addition to having important industry connections, a good planner also knows what to do in every situation. Even if something goes wrong on the day, they will be able to find a solution much more quickly than you could.

2. Define the Purpose of the Event 

Before you can even start planning your event, you’ll have to figure out what its purpose is. Are you throwing a party because your business has had a fantastic year? Are you struggling with company culture and hoping to put together a team-building event? Or, do you want to organize an experiential marketing dinner that impresses your clients and informs them about innovations in your firm?

The size, venue, and activities vary greatly depending on what you want to get out of your event. Therefore, you should be very clear about the purpose and communicate this to your event planner and everyone else who is involved in the decision-making process.

3. Choose a Venue that Suits Your Attendees

More than any other factor, the venue determines what your event will look and feel like. To get started, you’ll decide on the general area of your party. In some cases, it’s most convenient to host the celebration at your business location or in the same neighborhood, since this is easy for everyone to get to. But if you want to put together something truly special that includes an overnight stay, you could look further afield. 

Because your event planner has connections to various venues, they can help you gain access to locations you couldn’t otherwise get into. If you’re not yet sure where you want to host your event, you should speak to the planner and discuss your options. The ideal place should be accessible, innovative, and able to comfortably host your entire guest list.

4. Choose a Suitable Date and Time 

For your event to be a success, you’ll have to make sure everyone is able to attend. That’s why choosing the optimal date and time is so important. Before you make a decision, look at the calendar to see whether there could be any conflicts. Are some of your employees working on a big project that could distract them from the party? Are there any religious holidays coming up?

In some cases, creating a poll or emailing potential attendees about dates is the best way to avoid problems. If you’re also inviting clients, you should check that there are no big events coming up in their industry. If you have a close relationship with them, you can always reach out and double-check. The earlier you send out your invitations, the more likely you’ll have good attendance.

 

5. Consider Everyone’s Travel Arrangements 

No matter how beautiful your venue is, people aren’t likely to attend if they can’t access it easily. Prior to booking your date, find out how people can get to the event space. There should be parking available, but if you know some of your attendees will come by public transport, you also have to make sure that there are adequate options. 

If you find a venue you love, but it’s hard to get to, you could always organize shuttle buses or other modes of transport that take attendees to where they need to be. In fact, you could incorporate a vintage or novelty type of transport, which adds value to your event.

 

6. Serve the Right Food 

One of the most important elements of any party is the food served. Some venues offer in-house catering, which can be cheaper and less of a hassle than external options. You could either have a set menu, several options, or a buffet. Consider what special dietary requirements your guests have and, if necessary, ask them about their food preferences. 

You should also consider what types of drinks you would like to offer. Most people enjoy having an alcoholic beverage during a party, so providing champagne or wine could be a good idea. There are several ways to organize this. Either you could ask attendees to bring their own alcohol, or you could provide the booze. To limit the cost, you could give each person vouchers, offer a limited number of bottles per table, or give the wait staff instructions.

 

7. Identify a Wow Factor Element 

Every party needs a wow factor element, which stays with the guests long after the event is over. This could be anything, from a special venue to interesting and interactive exercises to a special food display. Small, personalized gifts in a goody bag could also help to keep the event fresh in people’s minds. Together with your corporate event planner, you can come up with some ideas that will knock your customers’ and employees’ socks off. 
 

8. Don’t Forget About Technology 

For many years, events have included various technologies. Most importantly, you’ll need a sound system that provides clear sound for your speeches and music. In some cases, hiring a DJ could also be a good idea, especially if the event is held at night and includes dancing. When you check out the venue ahead of time, you can examine the sound system and figure out how to use it. 

Since the Covid pandemic, many events also include virtual elements. For example, the attendees who are not able to make it in person could still participate via Zoom or Skype. That way, you could extend your guest list significantly without spending much money. During the planning phase, you can determine whether this is a viable option and, if so, how to make sure the virtual guests are included in the most important parts of the celebration.

9. Experiment with Experiential Marketing 

Did you know that a fun, memorable event can influence people’s perception of your brand to a high degree? If your party is meant for clients, making a good impression is crucial because it could affect your future business opportunities. A highly successful party can increase brand loyalty and encourage people to buy from you the next time they need your product or service.

In fact, creating events and experiences is one of the most successful marketing strategies out there. To make sure you get a great return on your investment, your event planners will discuss follow-up strategies. For example, you could offer your product at a cheaper price during the event or encourage people to sign up for your services. Later on, you can follow up with them via email or a phone call to encourage them to keep engaging with you.

Planning an event is harder than it might appear at first. Some of the factors you’ll have to consider are setting an appropriate date, finding an excellent venue, choosing catering options, incorporating technology, selling your product or service to your customers via experiential marketing, and including a wow factor element. With so much to keep in mind, hiring a corporate event planner is almost always the best way forward.

A good planner can help you at every stage of the process, from the initial planning to the execution, cleanup, and follow-up with customers. That way, you can create the best event possible without having to deal with the various vendors. What’s more, you can take advantage of the years of experience and industry connections of the event planner. Get in touch with us now at King Sixteen to find out how we can help you throw the party of the year.