A Complete Guide to Corporate Event Planning

For corporate teams that put together industry events, product launches, conferences, award ceremonies, and employment training, to name just a few, understanding the most effective way to plan a corporate event, to execute it well, and to implement effective post-event analysis is important.

What is corporate event planning?

In some cases, a corporate event is where company employees come together to devise corporate strategy, for staff training purposes, or for sales initiatives and team incentivisation proposals. Corporate event planning is more than just that initial meeting, including the execution and details of the schedule. An event plan should outline the specific details of the event and all necessary logistics to organise and execute within the parameters that have been set. It serves as a blueprint and roadmap where you can see clear objectives, targets, and the responsibilities of everyone concerned. Corporate events can be for both internal and external purposes.

What are different types of corporate event?

The best way to look at corporate event planning is to split them into internal and external categories: 

Internal corporate events

  • Sales meetings – bringing together your team of sales representatives to plan targets for the upcoming period, to look back on previous successes, and to highlight the road ahead.
  • Staff training – it is important to bring staff together in a comfortable space where they can genuinely learn and improve their skills.
  • Team building – corporate teams require team building event ideas to facilitate authentic relationships. These types of events are usually outside of the workplace and can include social elements.

External corporate events

  • Industry conferences – a conference can be any shape or size, but the larger the number of attendees, the more planning it entails, including the provision of break-out sessions alongside keynote speakers and large delegate areas. 
  • Trade shows – if your company is attending a trade show, you’ll need to plan your stand and its design, as well as how you plan to interact with attendees to showcase your brand in the best light.
  • Product launch – a product launch requires skill and expertise, as you need to trigger the right types of emotions from potential customers and investors in your product or service. 
  • Hospitality events – building your brand reputation sometimes requires a soft sell, and corporate hospitality with clients, investors, and suppliers, goes a long way to strengthening relationships.
  • Networking events – bring people together in a space where there can be friendly and honest communication. It should be relaxing, inspiring, and a safe space for people to come together and share expertise and make new contacts. 

How to set event objectives

The first thing you should do when planning a corporate event is to figure out the objective. From here, you can understand what needs to be delivered and when. For instance, planning a staff training day within your work premises will have a very different plan to a big industry conference. Be as specific as you can with your objectives, think about how to measure and achieve these targets, and make it relevant to your business and employees. Your event objectives should be clear and visible throughout the event planning and execution, to see when your team is hitting targets.

Planning with a budget and number of attendees in mind

Once you have your objectives set you need to consider the number of attendees and the required infrastructure around that number. This, and the timeframe, will help shape the budget. There are complexities and challenges to every event type, so look to past events that are similar or use a previous budget as a starting point for this event. Flexibility is key wherever possible though, as things can change in any line of work.

How to find a corporate event venue?

Choosing a date and venue is a crucial part of the plan. There are different considerations for this, such as the number and type of attendees, the location, season, local events and holidays that could clash with your event, as well as the availability of potential venues. Accessibility is key, to ensure the maximum number of attendees, with good access to public transportation and accommodation (if necessary).

Should you go online with a corporate event?

Corporate events do not have to solely be a physical event with attendees on site. In the modern age, hybrid and fully virtual events are viable for event organisers. This should be decided as early on in the planning process as possible, as it will shape how the event looks on the day. A fully online event will not require the same physical space, but there are challenges of providing a suitable, secure, and accessible online platform for virtual attendees. For hybrid events, how much will be live streamed and how much is available after the event for attendees to digest. 

How to promote your corporate event?

Once the logistics of the event have been planned, marketing and promotion should take centre stage. This helps to create awareness of the event, increases interest and ultimately attracts attendees to sign up. There are different marketing strategies that can be used, including email marketing campaigns, social media, targeted advertising, industry advertising, and other methods. It should all be under one cohesive branding banner and be timed to coincide with key timing posts within the schedule of the event plan. 

How to measure the success of your event

Effectively measuring the success of your corporate event will only be achievable if you have set clear targets and definitions at the very beginning. This is why the collection and analysis of data collected before and during your event should be part of the planning phase. There are a few ways to gather the data, including surveys, attendance numbers, the revenue generated. It will all depend on the type of event and the objectives you have set out. It all helps to improve the process and make it more likely that your next event will be even better.

If you are planning on putting on a corporate event of any kind, working with specialists is always a good idea. Our expertise in putting together a wide range of corporate events, for both internal and external purposes, ensures that the planning stage is extensive, the execution down to the detail, and the analysis and future events are thoughtful and accurate. Contact our team today.