Corporate Event Planning Checklist | Corporate Event Planning Tips | Corporate Event Planning Resources | Corporate Event Venues | Corporate Conference Venues

A well-planned corporate event brings people together in creative ways and leaves a lasting impression, but a haphazard one will have people looking for the door.

Whether you’re holding a trade show, gala, board meeting or award ceremony, engaging and inspiring attendees is a significant undertaking filled with countless little details. To ensure your corporate event is set up for success, we’ve made an easy to reference corporate event planning checklist.

How to Plan a Corporate Event | Planning a Corporate Event Checklist | Corporate Event Planning Process | Corporate Event Venues | Corporate Conference Venues8-12 months out

Set event goals and desired outcomes

This will provide a clear direction for your corporate event planning, which will guide your decisions throughout the entire process.

Establish a ballpark budget

A rough budget will help you estimate the overall cost of the event and ensure you can stay within a set cost.

To guide you:

Make sure there is room for a contingency. There will always be an unexpected expense that comes up, whether it is extra rental tables or a last-minute menu addition.

Choose a date

You can’t plan an event without a date! When selecting, keep in mind holidays, vacations, community events to avoid potential scheduling conflicts.

Here are some tips for picking a strong date:

Choose a location and venue

The venue will ultimately depend on the size of your event. But it’s also important to consider options that offer everything you need and don’t want to outsource. For example, if you don’t want to work with a catering company, then you should search for an event venue that offers in-house catering services.

To help you choose the perfect venue, ask yourself the following questions:

You can also schedule venue tours to help narrow down your selection. Think about the location and travel time for your guests. Make sure it’s accessible for the type of audience you are planning to accommodate.

Select a format and theme

A theme sets the tone for your corporate event and can drive home your overall purpose and message. The format, whether in-person, virtual or hybrid, also impacts decisions made along the way.

To guide you:

Create your guest list

Your guest list should align with the goals of your program. For example, if you’re hosting an awards ceremony, all honorees should be invited. A guest list will help you ensure the number of guests is within your budget as well.

To guide you:

When all the above is settled, you can move onto the physical invite, which should include the most important information including date, time, location and agenda.

Research speakers

A strong speaker can keep your guests engaged while also reinforcing your event’s purpose. Unless you are planning your event 2-3 years in advance, your dream speaker may already be booked. So it’s important to approach this task with an open mind.

To help with your search, you can:

Begin sponsor search

Sponsors can help provide support and resources to your event, including cash donation and merchandise. Securing a sponsor can also help increase your reach and broaden your audience.

To guide you:

Planning a Corporate Event | How to Plan Events for Corporations | Corporate Event Planning Blog | Corporate Event Venues | Corporate Conference Venues3-4 months out

Once you have the foundation, you can start confirming the details of your corporate event.

Finalize your speaker(s)

All speakers should be confirmed 3-4 months out to provide them with enough time to prepare their presentations. This also gives you the time to determine the A/V and stage setup. You can also obtain bio information and photos and arrange any necessary travel accommodations.

Organize your financials

This is a good time to review your budget and make any necessary changes to keep you within it. You should also finalize your sponsor contributions as well as your ticket prices.

When setting a ticket price, consider the following:

Create a branded website

A website is a centralized location where attendees can find information and updates about your event. It can also create a strong brand presence and increase visibility.

Send invite to attendees

Whether it’s physical invites in the mail or a digital version via email, you will want to alert attendees of your invite. The invitation should include all pertinent information such as the date, time and location of your event, plus how you’d like people to RSVP.

Promote your event

You have an event, now make sure people attend it!

When promoting your corporate event, you could do the following:

Determine appropriate room setups

Room arrangements play an important role in how attendees will participate in your event. From half-moon to theater to living room-style, it’s recommended that you work closely with your event management team to determine what layout will keep everyone engaged throughout the program.

Determine if additional equipment rentals are needed

Decide if the space requires any additional equipment such as dance floors, podiums or tents to further elevate the experience.

Finalize catering menu

Guests always remember the food! It’s important to work closely with the catering team to determine a menu that will keep everyone energized throughout the day while meeting all dietary restrictions.

Finalize A/V package

Make sure all presentations, video conferencing and guest speakers are powered for success with a well-rounded A/V package.

Draft an event schedule

In order to manage your time effectively, it’s recommended that you create a sample schedule that allows you to make necessary adjustments.

To guide you:

Corporate Event Planning Ideas | How to Plan a Corporate Event Checklist | Checklist for Corporate Event Planning | Corporate Event Venues | Corporate Conference Venues2 months out

Your event is almost here! It’s time to build excitement and conduct one more push for registration (if you haven’t sold out yet)!

Send reminders to attendees

Reminders help boost attendance and convey critical information about your event.

Expect the unexpected!

Better handle curveballs by doing the following:

Corporate Event Planning Timeline | How to Plan a Successful Corporate Event | Tips for Planning a Corporate Event | Corporate Event Venues | Corporate Conference VenuesThe week before

Dot your i’s and cross your t’s for the final big push before your event.

Finalize the event schedule and script

Review and revise your schedule and script and make any last minute adjustments. Then, get the final sign-off from necessary parties.

Provide final count to venue and caterer

This number will affect many aspects of your event, from seating to the amount of food your caterer will need to order so it’s important to share that final count.

Firm up final expenses

Include any last minute expenses to your budget sheet. You can also compare the final amount against the projected expenses. It’s perfectly acceptable if you have differences here and there, but what’s important is having a final record.

Stay in touch with your attendees

Keep an open line of communication with guests. Inform them of any changes.

Don’t forget! We’re here to help.

If this corporate event planning checklist seems like a lot of responsibility, that’s because it is! But St. Bonavenue is here to help! Our dedicated event management team can guide you every step of the way. We offer on-site catering, A/V services, equipment rentals and lodging for a seamless event experience.

Talk to us about your event today! We will work hard to bring your unique taste, style and budget together for an event that leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

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