The Essentials of a Corporate Event
Corporate events can get costly, especially if you try to provide everything that you think your guests will want. But it’s also the easiest way to quickly run out of budget. Here’s what you should cover if you want to create a successful event:
Tackle the very basics: food and shelter
Guests will care more if they go hungry and feel uncomfortably hot or cold during your event rather than if your photo booth had only a handful of props to choose from. Hire a reputable caterer that you trust to create delectable dishes for your guests to enjoy. Choose a venue that will keep your guests relaxed. Check if the temperature is okay. Also check if there’s enough room to move around freely, or if it’s a conference or a sit-down meal, you don’t feel cramped or there’s enough elbowroom for each guest when seated.
Show respect and appreciation to your VIPs.
When people from higher management (aka the bosses!), speakers, and other VIPs take time to attend your event, you have to not only make them feel welcome, but you have to show how much you appreciate their presence. Before whipping out their loot bag, souvenir, a token of appreciation or even their talent fee, you have to go back to the basics (again). If you can, assign a point person for the VIPs to talk to, should they need any assistance (from getting water to fixing their PowerPoint presentation). Reserve a special table for them. And make sure to acknowledge their presence—get the pronunciation of their name and their designation correctly!
Have a flexible program.
Planning out every second of your event is great, but what’s better is the ability to think on your feet and adapt when your schedule doesn’t get followed. Have a solid script and a seasoned host or facilitator who can adlib and go with the flow. Assign a point person who can act as a stage manager or event director of sorts, to make sure the program sequence is followed accordingly. But if it doesn’t, keep on going and move on—what’s important is that you were able to accomplish what the event sought out to do.
Getting comments from colleagues about how you ran your event is better when done anonymously. Some people are uncomfortable to give criticism, even if they are constructive ones, in person. Do it in writing, and promise to keep things anonymous and confidential.
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