Over the past two decades I’ve learned a thing or two about party planning, and how to make a corporate event successful. The first and most important part of the event is always – entertainment. Once you get that right, the rest just falls into place.
1 – Have a Corporate Event Plan or Strategy and Stay Focused
When you’re planning a corporate event, there’s always room for ‘something else’ until there isn’t any more. Then, what do you cut? Reality check from the beginning, you have an ultimate goal, create a plan, develop a strategy and stay focused. Don’t let all the extra ‘things’ that might be part of the concept take over and ruin your time and space continuum, because if you lose your focus, your event can’t succeed.
2 – Know Your Team and Plan for Their Needs and Desires
Entertainment that qualifies as ‘show-stopping’ for a bunch of 20-somethings isn’t going to impress your 45 year-old executive staff. Plan for differences, understand their desires, and schedule entertainment that will work for both groups of people, and any others who might be on your guest list.
3 – Keep the End Goal in Mind
When the end goal is training sales reps, bringing in bigger sales, and motivating the troops, you’ll want to combine these concepts with your entertainment. Let the entertainers know who your top achievers are and encourage them to give a ‘shout-out’ to encourage and motivate. It makes a difference, and your goal for this party is motivation. Do what you need to do to make that happen.
4 – Understand Prices and Stay Under Budget
Even when you need great entertainment, if your event planner has a good grip on the budget, they’ll be able to bring in great food, find the perfect venue, and provide entertainment, if they have a plan to work with. Always, remind them to stay UNDER budget for those last minute extras.
5 – Connect All the Pieces to Your Theme
From speakers in the morning breakfast run, to food on the lunch menu, to dinner hour entertainment, your pieces must connect. You’ll need to give everyone involved a list of focused specific needs prior to the event, and then check with them frequently to make certain everyone is on the same wave length and has coordinated their message.
6 – There Can Only BE One Event Planner
You can have a team of forty people helping plan the event, but there really can only be one event planner. Make sure you have one person who is responsible for ALL the details of your event, and that one person must keep track of everything from appetizers to music. They’ll want a list of everything, from everyone who is attending to everyone who is performing and everyone in between.
7 – Time and Schedules Matter
A real professional event planner will have this down to the minute. If you don’t have the ability to manage time and schedule, use your best skill set to hire the right person who can manage time and schedules to the micro-second, and focus on other important details. Let your event planner do their job.