Planning an event for your company is not necessarily an easy task.  Unless your company executes automated events on a consistent basis, it’s likely that you need to take special care in attending to every detail with each new event.  Here are a few essentials to think about when you first start planning.

Purpose

Before even thinking about your budget, think first about the purpose of the event.  Is it to educate and inform, or motivate and inspire?  Is there a call to action you want your guests to take at the end of it?  Knowing what you want the end result of your event to be is a great place to start.

Budget

Budget should be in mind next, and throughout the rest of the planning process.  How much do you have to work with?  Is there any wiggle room?  Make a list of everything your event is going to entail purchasing, and start filling in the blanks with costs, or estimates at the very least.  Is your budget dependent upon your numbers?  When creating this budget list or spreadsheet, be sure to include a little cushion in case of price changes or incorrect estimates.  It’s better to overshoot now than underestimate and then go over later.

Guest List

Now that you have a budget, you can start thinking about what your guest list is going to look like.  Are you planning an intimate event for c-level executives?  Or is this party going to include every Bob, Nick, and Suzy?  Find out who you can afford to invite before planning the entertainment or food.  Your guest list will strongly determine the final details.

Activities & Entertainment

Your guests will likely attend your event with two things already in mind: food and entertainment.  (More on the food later.)  You’ll need to factor in some kind of program, show, speaker, or other form of entertainment to get your guests in the door in the first place – and keep them there for the duration of the event.  Having a giant cocktail hour prior to the entertainment portion?  Hire a small band to play in one corner for background music, or create something visually entertaining that will give your guests something to talk about while sipping and munching.

Food

Possibly even more important than the entertainment?  Food.  In our opinion, every event should have some kind of food available at some point.  The last thing you want are a bunch of hungry guests roaming the floors with a scowl on their face and their eyes on their watch.  Full guests = happy guests.  Not sure what kind of food to even start looking at?  Ask your caterer for suggestions.  They’ll likely offer a few great ideas for munchies that will best complement your event.

Feel confident to start planning?  Have at it!  Just focus on these essentials when you start planning, and your corporate event is bound to be a home run!

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