Corporate events are excellent platforms to promote brand awareness and your company’s capabilities to your current and prospective customers. Events of this type can also help the sales process which usually stalls in the early stages of newly-launched businesses or the release of new products or services.
Since corporate events come with these important goals (and sometimes more), it is crucial that they go smoothly and be a resounding success. Knowing and implementing the best corporate event management and planning practices will go a long way in helping make these occasions certified hits.
Below are the seven best practices you need to keep in mind when planning all your corporate events:
1. Establishing clear goals for the event
Planning your event without identifying and setting your goals can lead to poor results. Because of this, it is important that you and your team spend the time to define the core objectives of your event before you start planning and strategizing.
Once you and your team know these objectives, you will be able to organize a focused event that meets those goals.
When setting your goals, make sure they are measurable and that they align with the objectives of different teams. At the very least, these goals should be shared by the sales and marketing teams and management.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to set over-reaching goals. By being thorough with the initial goal-setting process, you will ensure that the successive steps will fall in line with the bigger picture.
2. Facilitating open and constant communication across your team
Corporate events always require working with a team of people with various delegated responsibilities. It can be easy to assume that everyone knows what the event is all about and how what they are doing ties in with what everyone else is doing. However, making this assumption throughout the event planning stage can be disastrous.
To avoid any issue that can arise from miscommunication and misunderstanding, at the beginning of the event planning effort, ensure everyone in your team knows and understands the goals of the event. Discuss in detail your overall plan for executing it with them as well.
In addition, have regular meetings with your team to assess the progress of the event and to be sure that everyone is on the same page and the right track.
3. Prioritizing budget control
There is no way around it; corporate events can cost a lot of money. It is not unusual to hear companies running into financial difficulties as a result of staging certain events.
Because of this, it is important to set a budget for the event. With this budget, you will be able to make smart financial decisions regarding the choice of venue and your expenditure on other aspects of the event such as catering, promotion, and equipment rental.
In case you plan on having multiple corporate events this year, planning in advance will help you control costs as well. Ironing out an agreement with a hotel chain to stage your events in their facilities throughout the year, for instance, will help you secure an affordable corporate rate. You will save a lot of money when you follow this strategy.
4. Planning in detail
To ensure all the money and time you will spend on planning a corporate event won’t go to waste, organize all related information. Start by having a written schedule of all pre-event tasks with definite dates of completion and the specific individuals responsible for completing them.
You can also assign a team member to coordinate all logistics. By doing so, you and everyone will avoid confusion and costly time-consuming mistakes.
5. Promoting the event
Marketing and promoting your event is the process of spreading awareness, building anticipation, and driving participation. Using a multi-channel event marketing approach is the most effective strategy since this will ensure that you will be taking advantage of all useful resources.
Some of the most effective and cost-efficient cross-channel marketing strategies are:
- Website promotions
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
6. Making the event memorable
Giving all the guests or attendees a memorable experience will give you a greater chance of landing that widely coveted top-of-mind position with them.
Knowing who your audience is and what they want is a good start to giving them a positive, unforgettable experience. You need to have an idea of what they expect and/or want to get out of the event. Next, brainstorm with your team to know what you can do for your audience to make them feel like you know who they really are and that you care about them and their needs.
And if you really want to give your guests a truly memorable experience, give them something unexpected; a surprise element they have never seen or experienced before.
7. Proving event ROI
Lastly, once the event is over, you have to measure and document the results. Focus on the returns and find out if your goals for the event were met.
Make sure you properly analyze the numbers and communicate them well to the right people. Do not consider the campaign complete until you have conducted a detailed post-event analysis and debriefing.
Don’t forget to create one or two follow-up reports as well. Most of the time, the outcome of an event can only be fully understood after a few months. Allow these metrics to mature over a period of time, then create and send a report to management informing them of how the event is still influencing various areas of the business.
When you employ all these practices in planning all your corporate events, you will ensure their success. Your company will reap several benefits both in the short and long term as well.
Charlotte Manzi is the Creative & Project Director at BlueInk Event Management in Dubai. Launched in 2012, BlueInk provides its clients with bespoke, best-in-class event management services. The team’s pursuit of going beyond satisfaction enables them to advise, manage and execute extraordinary experiences that are exceptional and unforgettable.