The Ultimate Event Planning Checklist [with A Concise Guide]
Imagine you’re going about just the perfect day of the year. You woke up to a moderately sunny day accompanied with pleasant weather, right on time to observe the morning dew. You warm up a nice cup of coffee, grab the day’s newspaper, make the most perfect toast of your life. Read the newspaper, get ready for work, drive without ever needing to stop for traffic. You reach your workplace, get your favorite parking spot and walk in with a positive outlook on the day ahead. As soon as you step in, the first thing your boss asks you to do is place you in charge of planning the next corporate event.Day ruined! Or is it? A common mistake made by corporate event planners is taking the event too seriously. Don’t try to impress your boss. They probably won’t be even if you manage to get Beyonce to perform for the night. Once you learn that hard fact, planning an event comes down to a simple rule of life: keeping your cool. Since time is of the essence when planning an event, we get down to it with our checklist/guide. Go on ahead and read.
Select a themeTime is of the essence, so let's begin by selecting a theme. I understand that every event would be awesome with a Monster Hunter cosplay theme, but this is a corporate event. Stick to a simpler theme!Unfortunately, most themes are extremely overused. Try and find a theme that everyone can relate to. Make sure that the theme is easy for most of the attendees. Compile a list of ideas for a theme and move on to the next step: understanding the audience. Analyzing the potential audience is the first step in finding a good theme for your event. Understandably, you have a say in what the event theme should be. However, an event planner should always be wise enough to understand that the event is for the audience.
Budget nicelyThe budget plays a crucial role. Experiment with ideas if you have a good budget. Although, that’s usually never the case. It’s a given that no matter what the budget, a majority of it goes into the venue. I would recommend spending a healthy 20-40% of your budget on the venue. Better the venue, more successful is the event’s social media promotion. Location sells.The venue will provide the decorations for your theme in the final price. Some venues have fixed decorations which might go well with your theme. Research the venue nicely before setting it. If that is not the case, 10-20% should be spent on the decorations for the place. A little cost-cutting on the decorations should be possible and is necessary when on a limited budget.Out of the remaining budget, you should plan the giveaway gifts, food and entertainment. Those three will be explained later.
Select a venue and mark the calendarChoosing a good venue is half of the problem. The next aspect is setting the date. Try and set dates that do not clash with festivities, tragedies, or the weekends. While setting events on the weekend is the norm, there is a gradual observable shift in major events to weekdays especially Fridays. Try not to keep your event on a Sunday since Sundays are less likely to attract the people you want in your event. Everybody deserves a break before the horrid reality they have to face on Monday!Saturdays are perfect for both client and employee events. Saturdays usually have a bigger crowd for corporate events and the ‘important’ members among the crowd usually are more likely to show up on Saturday-based events.
Appoint PositionsDon’t try to do the entire event yourself. While doing everything yourself ensures that you have control over the event, you are not likely to handle all the pressure. Learn to appoint people to handle various aspects of the event. Your job as an event planner is to delegate important work to people. Make sure they are relatively well-versed with the task they’re being given for the event.
Promote & MarketThe most important part of any corporate event that involves people outside the organization is its marketing. A properly marketed event can generate significant buzz and coverage. This assists in improving your brand image. Take the example of Tesla. It always markets and ‘launches’ its cars two years before release (the recent CyberTruck) whereas other companies
Don’t forget the foodThis is my favorite part of most events. The food is frequently a rushed aspect of event management and I believe that is a huge miss. So many well-organized events skimp out on having a good budget for food that they end up with sub-standard food. You don’t need to serve expensive gourmet cooking but having good food isn’t a challenge. Having good food should not be a challenge for an event. Set a budget for it and make sure you don’t skimp on it. Delegate this job to the foodie in your organization. They’ll manage to find the right caterer. Events are incomplete without spirits, so include some of them where you can. Try to keep them mild and ensure that they are of a relatively higher quality.
Set the spotlightEntertainment during the event is another aspect of the event that you should delegate to someone who has ties. Entertainment is one place where many corporate events both overspend and underspend. Rates in the entertainment industry are not standardized and entertainers bloat their prices for corporates.Stick to your budget and make sure to avoid too much involvement of the audience with the stage and the spotlight. It’s often counterproductive.
Provide an itineraryOnce you’ve decided on the entertainment, create an itinerary and distribute it among your party guests. You could also include this in the flyer/invitation to the party. Providing an itinerary allows your audience/guests to plan their attendance accordingly.
Get it on camera and adorn your social mediaCorporate events are marketing opportunities and a way to show off your culture. A good event is a great way to boost brand image and fill your social media. A well-captured event helps your YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts gain much-needed traction. Why would you want to lose that opportunity? Go for it. Hire the best cameraman you can find. Get some delectable clicks and make people appreciate the events your company organizes. It’ll get you, the event planner, a thank you from the highest places.
A small gift of appreciationEvery corporate event must have a giveaway with your brand logo on it. Call it a way of making sure your attendees remember it. If the event was for your employees, it’s okay to skip this step but if this was an actual corporate event, make sure you have a giveaway gift in place.
Don’t forget the goalThe event planner that you will tend to get lost dealing with that huge checklist mentioned above. It is likely that you forget some things along the way or you delegate tasks to others. Whatever you do, make sure you do not forget the original goal. Every corporate event has a goal, be it employee reward, product promotion or simply a show of power. Whatever it may be, the end goal is what decides how everything else will be done. Good Luck with the event the boss left on your shoulders!
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