Are you looking to heighten your corporate event planning skills ahead of your next event? We’re going to assume the answer is yes, since you’ve found this post on your own.
Or maybe you already know, and are simply looking for a quick refresher? Either way, we here at iVent are on hand to help.
If you’ve never planned an event like it before, know that planning a corporate event might seem simple on paper, but it requires a lot more care and attention – virtual or otherwise.
It goes without saying, but your plans need to be as comprehensive as possible, taking into consideration your budget, your audience, the event format, and so on.
If you’re going to foster relationships, grow brand reputation, and increase sales, then your corporate event planning needs to be of a set standard. A standard that goes above and beyond.
Everything will be made clear soon enough, for now, though, let’s start with what is corporate event planning?
And yes, we’ll also include a step-by-step guide for those that need it.
What is Corporate Event Planning?
We know that many of you already know what corporate event planning is, but you’d be surprised to learn how many people get so lost in their planning that they, ultimately, forget who they’re making the event for.
Corporate event planning is a lot more company-focused than other events you might encounter. These events give businesses the chance to showcase themselves and what it is they offer.
There are multiple types of corporate events, each as different as the last when it comes to the objective and delivery behind it.
Here’s a quick rundown of the various corporate events there are out there:
- Product Launches
- Trade Shows
Corporate events have evolved a lot over the years, which has made them quite difficult to plan for if you’re new to all this – or aren’t keeping up with the latest event trends etc.
For example, did you know that trade shows can exist in a completely virtual space? No? Well, it’s something you’re going to need to think through, but more on that later.
The Various Types of Corporate Events
If you work in events management, then the first thing you need to do is work out what type of corporate event you’d like to run.
Some will know automatically which corporate event they need to plan for. Those unsure will need to decide moving to the next stages of corporate event planning, after all, it’s the event type that underpins every decision.
We’ve already covered the various types of corporate events there are but in this section, we’re going to go into a lot more detail – to help those undecided, or unsure.
Conferences are large gatherings where people engage with one another on a particular topic or subject. What that subject is will vary from conference to conference.
Virtual medical conferences, for example, are optimised for healthcare professionals, allowing attendees to discuss various aspects relating to their respective areas of expertise.
Many think of conferences as large meetings, probably because some of them take place within a meeting room or conference room, but they’re a lot larger in most instances – with some having around or over 1,000 delegates involved!
The number of people involved has encouraged event organisers to approach conferences a little differently in recent years. Hybrid conferences have become the norm for many, which is when virtual events are mixed with in-person events.
Conferences can sometimes be referred to as ‘networking events’ with the terms being used in quite an interchangeable fashion. However, a conference tends to reference large scale events.
Companies have the option of launching products in all kinds of unique ways in the current marketing climate.
Product launches occur all the time, these corporate events involve gathering employees, the media and members of the general public together in the same space to reveal new and exciting products fit for market. That’s right, some plan corporate events around multiple products within the same launch!
The idea is to create a sense of buzz, something that is to be shared on a grand scale to get as many eyes on these products as possible.
When planning a corporate event like this, it’s important that everything is geared towards the product, from the presenters, to the video packages shared, to the look and feel of everything about the event.
Product launches can appeal to customers and other businesses, depending on the product you’re selling and who your target audience is.
A seminar is all about spreading knowledge, offering training, and the discussion of certain topics at length, similar to a conference, only a lot less formal. Seminars are also a lot shorter too, this comes down to what is being discussed exactly.
Seminars tend to be a lot more focused on a specific topic or question. Conferences, on the other hand, cover a much broader range and are a lot more conversational in comparison.
It’s true, university lectures, and other areas of academic study, are seminars, but that doesn’t stop them from being applied in a corporate setting. Internal training within a single organisation could be considered a seminar.
Webinars, the online version of a seminar, is a great way of appealing to as many people as possible, while engaging with an international audience who might not be able to attend otherwise.
Have something to share with other like-minded businesses, people, or industry experts? or people? Running your own, or taking part in a trade show could generate the results you’re looking for.
Trade shows are unique in that you’re given your own space to play with, a booth that individuals can interact with, and learn more about your brand. Here they can ask you plenty of questions directly too!
What’s more, you can also use trade shows as an opportunity to meet with fellow industry partners and study your competitors.
You might think that trade shows need to occur in person to be viable, but that’s where you’d be wrong.
Virtual trade shows are possible, which we know for a fact having designed platforms and fully customised virtual booths for trade shows globally. Live chat and video chat make interacting with delegates so simple too; it’s like being there in person!
Corporate Event Planning: The Step-by-Step Guide
Okay, let’s say at this point you have a corporate video type in mind, and now you’d like to proceed in terms of planning.
So, the question is, what next?
That’s where this section comes into play. Here we’ll break down every step of the corporate event planning process, from beginning to end.
To make your planning as effective as possible, you should consider everything that occurs before the event, during, and after the event has taken place.
Step One: Outline Objectives and Goals
The first thing you need to do in the corporate event planning process – other than working out the type of corporate event you want to run – is to outline your event goals and objectives.
Try to pick out goals and objectives that are measurable, as these will help dictate the success or failure of the corporate event you’re planning.
These goals could cover any of the following:
- Total registrations and check-ins
- Number of messages exchanged
- Social media impressions
- Lead acquisition
- Gross revenue
- Sponsorship satisfaction
- Customers acquired
It is a lot easier to measure some of the KPIs mentioned above when running a virtual corporate event. You can measure some of these metrics in real-time using the right event platform!
Without goals and objectives, there’s no way to know for sure how effective your corporate event planning was beforehand.
This information is instrumental too, in that the results should dictate how you plan and execute all future corporate-style events.
Work Out the Corporate Event Budget
Sometimes, your event ideas are far too adventurous, to the point where your budget can’t handle everything you want to do. After all, hiring an event space, paying for promotional materials, renting lighting equipment and everything else in between, certainly adds up.
Ideally, you should create rough estimates of how much everything is going to cost based on what you need exactly for these events to run as planned.
Keeping within the budget should be the goal of every event manager, or whoever is responsible for putting these events together.
This is yet another reason why many corporate events are heading in a virtual direction as it’s more cost-effective to run events online.
Moreover, not only is it cheaper for you to run the event, it’s also cheaper for delegates to attend as they aren’t paying to travel wherever your event is held.
It’s inclusive choices like running a corporate event in a virtual space that causes attendance rates to climb.
Events Management 101: Define your Audience
You could argue that this stage comes before working out the type of corporate event you want to run, still, corporate event goals and objectives take the first spot for obvious reasons.
Knowing your buyer’s personas will come in real handy here, as you work out what type of corporate events would be the most effective. In other words, you should already have a rough idea of who your target audience is based on your established marketing or business strategies.
Try to look at the types of events they’d typically attend, how they’d prefer to interact with your events if they can’t attend in person, etc.
Here’s a great tip: check the data from previous corporate events. There’s bound to be value in what they responded well to the last time around! If this is your first time planning a corporate event then checking out your competitor’s events is always an option too.
Doing so will help you better understand your intended audience as there is bound to be crossover appeal.
Work Out the Event Theme
An event theme is different to the event type, for those wondering. Your event theme is about setting the tone right, in line with your overall corporate event goals and objectives.
Visualising your corporate events is made a lot easier once you’ve decided on an event theme. Your theme should try to be as engaging as possible, with emphasis on the brand especially.
What theme you choose will depend on the type of event you’re running, a formal seminar will often require a straightforward approach with a theme that is straight to the point.
A virtual trade show, on the other hand, could leave enough room for some creative ideas in a bid to gather social engagements. Utilising custom photo booths are a great example of trying something a little different while building brand awareness.
You can tell a lot about a corporate event by its theme, so plan accordingly!
Make Use of the Right Technology
Tech plays a significant part in corporate events these days – and we aren’t just talking about how you record the event, or how you manage your team beforehand, either. We’re talking about virtual event technologies that give you total control over said events.
When planning corporate events, events management should always work out whether or not optimised digital platforms are the right call.
If you’re undecided, the benefits of going virtual include:
- Attracting a wider global audience
- More flexibility in how you promote it
- Collect event data a lot easier
- It’s not nearly as expensive
Again, if you run a virtual corporate event, you don’t have to organise or plan things like catering for attendees, or hire a venue space to begin with!
Unless you’re planning on planning a hybrid corporate event, in which case you will need to think about finding the right location.
Get started on your events.
Are you ready to get started?
Consider Event Goodie Bags
Nothing builds engagement and brand interest than event goodie bags. You know, the items you give away at corporate events to attendees in hope that they engage with you after the event.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘grab bag,’ goodie bags also play into the theme of your corporate events by association – the same goes for virtual corporate events where organisers can send physical goodies to delegates either before or after the event.
What you offer attendees should align with what your main goals are at these events specifically.
When planning a formal corporate event, you might want to offer informative resources in the way of ebooks or exclusive newsletters – or even a demo of your product (if applicable).
If you have sponsors for the event, perhaps you could ask them to generate unique discount codes for event attendees.
You could spend hours planning what to include in a corporate event goodie bag, just remember to offer something of value – something that establishes trust and is likely to get attendees coming back to your events moving forward.
How Will You Follow Up After?
Just because the corporate event you’ve planned is over, doesn’t mean that the work is done. Comprehensive corporate event planning requires big picture thinking, as in, what will you do to capitalise on the hype surrounding the event as it happened.
Goodie bags are a great option if you’re looking to offer something physical – there’s also digital media you can offer in resources like ebooks, as explained.
Still, there’s a lot more you can do to ensure that your corporate event planning was a complete and total success from start to finish. One of them involves engaging with attendees on social media, sharing the UGC you’re tagged in.
At this point, you should also be looking to gather as much data as possible. A skilled events manager will look to make improvements so that the next corporate event builds on top of what you’ve just presented.
Your Go-to Guide to Corporate Event Planning
Planning your next corporate event benefits those working around you and those externally who visit your events outright.
Granted, it probably benefits those internally a lot more since it’s these individuals who work to make the event a success in the first place.
Still, planning a corporate event benefits external parties as planning tends to dictate the quality and effectiveness of the event overall.
Put it this way: the more you plan, the more confident you’ll be when planning your next corporate event.
This is one of the reasons why running virtual corporate events is the best move, as they tend to require a lot less planning, without missing a beat as far as the intention of your corporate events are concerned.
What’s more, virtual events can be kept on-demand following the event. This extends the value of the event not only for attendees but sponsors also!
Anything is possible with the right event platform – specifically those that are made for you, your brand and what types of corporate events you’re planning. Our platform can do all of these things and then some!
If you’d like to learn more, then get in touch with the team at iVent.
Corporate event planning can be tough, but knowing you have a fully-customised, all-in-one platform and a team of experts by your side, is a huge help.