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Event Planning & Management
12 January 2016 

How to Plan a Corporate Event

David Epstein
How to Plan a Corporate Event

What is the most valuable resource for any company?

The employees. People are what separates a successful company, from ones unable to adapt to changing times, or execute to reach ambitious goals.

Event planners whether they’re in-house or are brought in as consultants plays a critical role in bringing value from a company’s people.Corporate events is one of the most important forums for businesses, because it provides an opportunity to present the best ideas from within a company to management and other departments. As an event planner, it is your job to design inspiring and innovative corporate events that bring these great ideas to the fore.

Following this multi-step corporate event planning guide will get readers pointed in the right direction, so that first-time corporate event planners, or seasoned pros will have a few proven tips to add to their event toolbox.

Gather Goals From Key Stakeholders

In order to plan an awesome corporate event, you’ve first got to understand what key stakeholders expect to get out of the event. Schedule time to sit one-on-one with the most influential voices associated with the company before you get into the nitty gritty of planning.

Create a checklist of the key deliverables each stakeholder expects to see from this corporate event, and refer to it throughout the event planning process.

Common goals stakeholders will share with you include:

  • Bring the company together to analyze historical performance and set future goals
  • Collect the best ideas from within the company to spark innovation
  • Align multiple departments to enable more efficient day-to-day operations
  • Establish a company wide “vision” or “purpose”

Once you understand what key stakeholders expect from the corporate event you’re planning you can then use this inside information to do things like secure the venue, select event management software, or find the perfect event speakers.

Build A Memorable Marketing Campaign

Just because you’re planning an internal corporate event, doesn’t mean that event marketing shouldn’t be a focus of your corporate event planning efforts.

To plan a corporate event that is truly successful, you’ll need to generate excitement from attendees building up to the event, and buy-in from attendees after the event.

Successful event marketing campaigns center around creating and event theme or brand. Then the best organizers use channels like email marketing, community building and content creation to inspire and excite attendees leading up to event day.

Organizers can still use email marketing even if emails are being sent internally. Bizzabo’s recent Event Professionals of Tomorrow Report shows that the majority of event organizers rely on email to generate pre-event buzz.

Above: A Slideshare presentation of our Event Marketing eBook

To plan a corporate event that captures people’s attention, consider turning to an email marketing or all-in-one event planning software platform to manage event contacts and send emails.

Organizers can use these emails to encourage recipients to join a  pre-event networking community hosted on a dedicated event networking platform, on a private corporate forum or on a social media platform like Facebook or LinkedIn.

Organizers should share thought-provoking content that helps to put in perspective what attendees should expect from the event. Do attendees need to be prepared to provide innovative ideas, or to adopt a new decision making matrixes? Either way, for organizers to plan a corporate event they must use content to establish excitement while educating attendees prior to the event.

To become an event marketing expert, download our in-depth event marketing eBook by clicking the button below!

Invest In Thought Provoking Speakers

If you find the right keynote speakers for your corporate event, you’ll be providing attendees with an experience they won’t soon forget.

In 2016, forward thinking corporate event organizers are looking for speakers who can provide attendees with deep insights, rather than simply relying on those who are big and recognizable names.

To plan a corporate event that captures the imaginations of those in attendance, consider looking for speakers from inside the company. There are doubtlessly a few employees who have a memorable story to tell, or who have stumbled upon major insights that everyone in the company could benefit from.

As the organizer, you can collect presentations to be reviewed through a call for papers during the event registration process.

Alternatively, organizers can ask key stakeholders to recommend a few stand out employees. Then organizers can approach those employees to see if they’re interested in sharing insights with the company at large.

Collect Attendees’ Great Ideas

As was said earlier, a business’s employees are by far the company’s biggest asset. That means it’s critical for event organizers to find ways to accurately collect innovative ideas throughout the event.

One way to do this is to select and event networking platform that supports sharing and messaging, after the event organizers can look through posts for innovative ideas.

In addition, event organizers should consider investing in video recording, capturing every moment of the event means that those who were unable to attend the event, including those hired after the event happened, will still be able to get value from the sessions hosted.

This also makes it easier for the ideas of attendees to be captured when shared through Q&A sessions.

Corporate event planners can also deploy “reporters” throughout the event to interview attendees. These interviews make it easier to find out what the average event attendee is thinking, while also making it easier to present great ideas in post-event content (like eBooks or blog posts).

Conduct A Post-Event Debrief

One of the often overlooked keys to planning a corporate conference, is the post event debrief. After an event has concluded it’s critical that the organizer evaluate the overall performance of the event based in part by the expectations communicated by key stakeholders at the very beginning.

To evaluate success, organizers can use post-event surveys, or they can collect and analyze the data provided by event planning software.

A performance review should be presented to management, with recommendations for future corporate conferences.

Conclusion: How To Plan A Corporate Event

Planning a corporate event is no easy task. It can be even more stressful when the event planner involved is a member of the organization. In order to plan a successful company event, organizers must first understand what key stakeholders hope to achieve, then they must set out to market the event in a way that inspires those who will be attending.

To excite the audience, organizers should try to find event speakers who have something substantive to contribute, while also being sure to collect attendees ideas throughout the event.

Once the corporate event has concluded, conducting a post-conference debrief is a great way to collect feedback and learn for the future.

Want to learn event more event planning best practices? Download this free eBook on event design principles by clicking the button below!

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