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Planning a corporate event is no small feat. A sampling of the myriad responsibilities you may be tasked with include finding the site, coordinating travel, arranging hotel accommodations, selecting a menu and a caterer, arranging for speakers and entertainment, hiring staff, procuring audiovisual equipment, decorating, and purchasing gifts and awards. If you find yourself responsible for putting together a corporate event, here are some basic tips to get you started in the right direction.
This may seem obvious, but why is the company hosting the event? What are the core objectives? What goals are you hoping to achieve? Dig a bit deeper beyond the surface, obvious reasons. This will give you a strong foundation for planning the event in a way that will give the desired results.
Start planning your event as soon as possible. Get together with the other people who will be helping you and make a solid plan for completing each of the necessary components. Put together a list of everything that needs to be done, and everything you will need for the event. Map out a calendar and decide by what time each decision must be made. Some things can wait a bit, while other will need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Ensure responsibilities are clearly delineated and that there is no question of who should be doing what. Schedule regular meetings to gauge progress and get up-to-date on what has been achieved so far and what still needs to be done. Some kind of project management software may be helpful in this instance.
There is a good chance you are working with some sort of budget for your event. It is crucial you figure out exactly how much you can spend and that you clearly track your spending throughout the planning process. If you don’t carefully keep track, you may find yourself having a hard time purchasing everything you need, compromising the quality of the event.
And, like anything else in life, anticipate the unexpected. There will likely be costs you cannot foresee now or unexpected happenings that require money to fix. Build in a 10 percent contingency to cover such problems.
Make sure you get all agreements in writing from vendors and the facility to avoid them springing any surprise costs on you. Make sure invoices match quotes. If something does not seem to add up on a bill, question it immediately, do not just pay it. Limit the number of people who have access to the master account being used to pay for the event. It is also important to remember very few things in life are completely set in stone. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors to get more favorable pricing. Their quotes are not the final say on what you must pay for their goods and services.
Corporate events typically host a program chock-full of speakers, or at the very least, one keynote. Finding speakers is one of the most important parts of planning the event, and often one of the most challenging. Regardless of the subject matter at hand, there is likely no shortage of experts from which to choose. Getting the right people can make or break the success of your event. Here are a few helpful hints for selecting the best people. First and foremost, what is the objective of the event? What are the needs of your audience? Does this person have a unique perspective on the subject? Will he or she be able to provide some sort of ‘’insider’’ information that the listener will not hear anywhere else or is the program just a regurgitation of all the books out there on the topic? How well does the program suit your needs and can it be tailored? Last but certainly not least, go with your gut.
About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things business; she recommends you watch this video for more information on event video production.
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