A big corporate event requires meticulous planning. It also needs a healthy budget to make sure it is a huge success. Having a good team of people working with you helps everything run smoothly. This often involves bringing in outside agencies to provide the assistance you need. Gathering the right people and services is essential. After all, a corporate event needs to be memorable. It should be effective in boosting your business sales and PR.
1. Why A Corporate Event?
There are many reasons for putting together a big corporate event. You may be about to launch a new product or service that could really put your business on the map. Or maybe you’re keen to woo that all-important corporate client? Many businesses like to hold big fundraiser events for their favourite charity. This can translate into excellent PR for the company as well as raising much-needed funds for the charity in question.
Corporate events aren’t always reserved for Saturday nights. Your staff don’t necessarily have to give up their weekend to participate and help out. But it is worth considering how changing the day or time could boost numbers of people to the event. Of course, if you’re trying to woo a big client, you may prefer to do this within normal business hours. But if you’re trying to promote a new service or product, it may be best to do it at the weekend when people are relaxed away from their workplace.
2. Where To Host It
Of course, it’s not just the time of day or day of the week you need to be most concerned with. You also need to bring your event to the people you want to attend. You may pick a venue away from your head office so you can cater for more people. Do you have product demonstrations or entertainment in mind? It can be worth hiring a good sized premises that can hold more people with enough space.
If your company sells through retail channels, why not hold a launch event at your flagship store, or within a large-scale shopping mall? This brings a lot of people to you that may not have received an invitation or even heard of your product. This kind of campaign is ideal for raising awareness to consumers. If your business has mainly corporate clients, why not make the most of a relevant trade show? You can bring your product and your best people to a gathering of the kind of companies you want to impress.
3. How To Plan It
Once you’ve planned the details of where you will be and when, it’s time to put a full campaign plan into action. It’s very important you define the objectives of your corporate event. You might be holding a party to motivate staff and thank them for their continued hard work. The kind of event you hold for this will differ from the sort of event you hold in a mall to increase sales of a product. Define your intentions and detail the outcomes you wish to achieve. This will help you keep on track and save you from wasting time and money.
Use an event planning template to help you keep track of all the tasks that are involved. Many of them are detailed in this article. But every event is unique, and you will likely have many ideas of your own to add to the mix. A spreadsheet is ideal for this kind of project or event management. Be sure to find enough people to help you. You will also need to keep an eye on the budget to ensure you don’t run out of money.
When you’re planning, work from the event backwards. This will help you figure out the timescales needed. Of course, you may want to speak to your third party services to determine how much time they need to get ready. Printers can take a couple of weeks. Caterers may only need a few days. You will also have a lot of contracts to check and sign, especially if you are working with entertainers. If you require a legal sign-off, be sure to allocate enough time for this to happen.
4. Getting Your Clients To The Event
One of the most important things to do is to ensure your key clients are aware of your event. It is a good idea to book a limo to pick them up and bring them to where you are holding your event as well. You want to make things as easy and enjoyable for them as possible. This is especially true if you are pitching to them, or trying to close a deal. You can find out more about this or learn about American Limos if you look online. There are a number of different types of limousines available, so pick one that is appropriate to your client.
Invitations are one way to promote your event. You should also use print media such as leaflets and posters to build awareness. Press can also be a useful channel, particularly trade magazines if it is a corporate event. Beauty magazine or blogs are a good place to promote your products if you are looking to boost consumers or launch a product in that area. If you are in the fashion industry, look for publications or blogs relevant there.
Social media is usually free to use, and can boost awareness of your product, services or event quite quickly. Why not produce a short video for YouTube, or a couple of articles on your website to promote through Twitter and FaceBook? If you’re launching a product to consumers, provide plenty of photos and details about it on Instagram and other social media. If you have a corporate event to attract one or more business clients, try using LinkedIn. You should also email your prospective clients directly. Why not try a newsletter format as well?
Any big event needs catering. Refreshments and even a dinner can be provided. This if often booked with a third party catering specialist. Your event will also need bartenders or waiting staff to serve and clear drinks. If you are having a seated dinner, you may need to consider the choice of menu. Think about what would suit the image of your business. If you are a local company working with local business, be sure to source your produce locally too.
If you wish to serve alcoholic drinks, be sure your venue and catering teams are legally allowed to do so. Ensure local laws are adhered to. Negative PR from an event can be very damaging, so you don’t want to make any mistakes. It’s good to provide a mix of healthy and indulgent options, so everyone is catered for!
Decorating your venue is very important. But the essential things that need to be seen in the room are your company logo and the products you are promoting. There are plenty of printed marketing materials you could use. Be sure to have some leaflets or brochures printed up that people can take away with them. All these materials should be well presented. The decor in the room shouldn’t detract from the point of your presentation.
If you are hosting a formal evening with a sit-down meal, you will probably want to provide name cards and centrepieces for the tables. If you are giving a presentation, be sure to provide a staging area, and lectern to stand at. Corporate events don’t need to be flowery like weddings or parties? But it is a good idea to provide some decor to make the event attractive, friendly and inviting.
Many corporate events bring entertainment to wow the crowds. This may include performing artists. Be careful to check their contracts regarding actual performance timings. Spectacle is a good way to be memorable. But don’t let it take over the whole event. After all, you’re there to sell your company and boost its image! Celebrity endorsements were very popular in the past. It drew large crowds of consumers. Be careful your message doesn’t get lost in the excitement.
8. Closing The Deal
Whether you are entertaining a single key client or you have two thousand consumers in the room with you, there is a purpose for all your hard work. You need to close the deal. Your customers need to buy the product. Your client needs to sign on the dotted line. It’s important you have your say and action your intentions before they leave.
9. Follow Up
You may also want to follow up with your client after the event. Thank them for their time and for making the event so memorable. For consumers, why not distribute goody bags of merchandise to promote your products, services, and brand? Emails are a nice way to thank people directly. Use social media to summarise the event too.
A big event is a lot of hard work. And it can be quite costly. It’s all about the finish and the follow up though really. After all, you want to close that deal and make those sales!