It is easy to underestimate the planning and work involved in hosting corporate events. There are many factors that can contribute to poor attendance, event productivity, and overall satisfaction with the affair. If you are planning a work-related event, retreat, or work-shop, there are a few things that can help to make it more successful, more focused, and more appreciated by attendees.
Whether you are planning something big or small, and regardless of if it involves productivity or folly, the most successful events start with a corporate event planning calendar. Every task and objective should have a timeline, which means scheduling reservations, purchases, and materials according to the calendar. The biggest way to derail an event is to have something not arrive, have venues all sold out, or be unable to schedule speakers. Creating a timeline and a succinct calendar that lays out each and every task will ensure that nothing gets overlooked and that no detail slips through the cracks.
Some other suggestions for making your corporate event a success include the following:
Prioritize the Planning
Don’t underestimate the time and energy involved in hosting a corporate function or event. Be sure you have a willing and able team when planning large gatherings or overnight functions, and ask for assistance when planning smaller-scale events, such as with a committee that put time aside routinely to make event plans. The most important aspect to consider will be budget and the most successful events have a clearly defined budget which enables you to know early-on what you can and can not afford.
Timing is Everything
If you want a good turnout at a work-related or educational get-together, don’t stray too much from conventional work hours. Many staff may have family obligations or commitments that make altering the hours a bit tricky to accommodate. It is always prudent to inform attendees of a start time that is actually an hour earlier than the first scheduled activity or speaker. This eliminates latecomers from interrupting the event and also provides those attending a more relaxed setting to meet one another and converse.
What is the Goal?
Outline an agenda for the event and consider the overall benefit that is going to be received by those attending. For instance, don’t settle on speakers that may not be inspiring or intriguing. Don’t try to squeeze too much in one day, either. Write down distinct goals for the day, for example, improve customer support skills, reward achievements, guest lectures, team building whatever the goal for your group might be. Strive to provide something concrete and beneficial to those present rather than risk overwhelming them with too many activities and too much information.
Treat people right.
Reward those who take the time and effort to attend your event, even if it is deemed mandatory at work. Even simple things like promotional products or takeaways are appreciated by those that dedicate their time to the business or company. Conduct raffles or contests to give away a few higher-ticket items. This contributes to morale and a few very happy winners!
Put some thought and money into the food at your event. This is often the most anticipated and rewarding part of the day for many attendees! Serve a menu that will maintain participants’ focus, and that appeals to a wide range of dietary preferences. Provide quality foods that aren’t strictly sugar and white-flour sandwiches as these could result in an afternoon “crash” that leaves attendees tired and less participatory. Food is a great way to lure individuals to attend functions and good food can go a long way in overall satisfaction in the event.
It is more valuable to host one successful event than it is to throw together a few disappointing ones. Give those in attendance a break; give them something to look forward to and benefit from, and attendance and progress will thrive. People often bow out of work-related functions and affairs if they are not mandatory make your event something that nobody will want to miss! The excitement and word-of-mouth from attendees will serve to raise the bar for the next event, creating more engagement and participation at future functions.