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From Planning to Impact: Your Guide to Successful Corporate Events

Meghana Dalal
• June 5, 2024

(10 min read)

In a corporate setting, events are frequently planned to promote a variety of internal and external initiatives. Internal use cases of corporate events include addressing or conveying things around company strategy, company culture, vision, mission or policies, or even to recognise or reward employees. On the other hand, external use cases typically involve launching a new product or service in the market, educating consumers or prospects about the brand, the company and its offerings, or even bringing together an industry or a group of people via a networking conference – the possibilities are endless!

Corporate events present a great opportunity to foster pan-organizational camaraderie, promote a global marketing or sales campaigns, improve networking among peers and industry experts – and in some cases, few of these at a single event. 

To host a successful corporate event, though, involves a great deal of planning as there are several moving parts that come together on the before, during and after the event. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to host your next corporate event in a seamless and effective way, to deliver impact and value to all parties involved. 

Fundamentals of Corporate Events

Before we dive into the more nuanced aspects of hosting the perfect corporate event, it is vital to understand the basics well. Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of corporate events. 

1. What is a Corporate Event

An event that is sponsored by a business, centered around its prospects, clients or employees is called a corporate event. There are numerous objectives that drive the decision to host a corporate event, such as:

  • To inform employees or the general public about the many ideas that the organization promotes
  • To encourage staff members by rewarding their efforts and successes
  • To commemorate business achievements with clients, staff, or both
  • To launch a new product or service in the market
  • To promote networking and cooperation amongst different entities

2. Main Categories of Corporate Events

Corporate events can include anything from team away-days and client hospitality to company conferences and internal training seminars, as previously mentioned. Therefore, the easiest way to plan for any kind of corporate event is to categorize them based on their size, and proceed accordingly.

Micro Events: 

Micro events are those events that are scheduled for up to 100 attendees and frequently take the shape of more exclusive training sessions or meetings.

These micro-events may only require a room reservation, presentation space, break-out snacks, and registration for planning purposes. While micro events may involve fewer attendees compared to larger ones, they still require a proper plan and thorough execution for it to be successful, and this can be a task if done improperly.

Small Events: 

One can categorize small events as having between 100 and 250 delegates. Typically, these are departmental conferences, training sessions, or seminars.

A main stage schedule and multiple breakout sessions, in addition to lunch, snacks, audio-visual equipment, online registration, transportation, etc may need to be coordinated by event planners for events of this scale and nature.

Mid-size Events: 

These are events that accommodate up to a 1000 attendees, requiring much more planning and resources. Such events typically include a branded website, pre-event communications, a solid tech stack, and an event mobile app. It’s possible that delegates will need lodging in addition to transportation to and from the event venue. In certain cases, a complicated multi-stream conference schedule can call for a pre- or post-event reception or entertainment.

Large-scale Events:

These are multi-day events with the number of attendees going up to 10,000. Such events frequently call for a complicated schedule, such as corporate offsites, partner events, incentive events, corporate dinners, and more. Typically, they involve a huge budget, enterprise-grade tech stack, and a team of event management experts to handle the event planning. Numerous essential components, including reservations for hotels, flights, budgets, and expenditure management, among other things, must be meticulously handled.

Some of the enterprise-grade IT tools that are needed for events of this scale include event management platforms, and tools for online registration, budgets, logistics,  and hotel room reservations.

These could be multi-day events, so you might need to organize elaborate itineraries for off-site activities, banquets, partner programmes, awards ceremonies, and other events.

Selecting and finalizing the right speakers, catering partners, entertainment partners, on-site event staff, and registration crew will all require meticulous planning on a large scale. 

3. Why do Companies Host Corporate Events

Corporate events are gatherings that the company plans and finances for its partners, staff, customers or even for the industry, at large. Every one of these events serves a function, and depending on it and the number of people invited, it may be large, small, or even intimate. 

These events are methods to strengthen the corporate culture and honor the workers and clients who collaborate with it, but how exactly? Let’s look at a few ways in which corporate events benefit the host company.

1. Boost the Visibility of Your Brand

Corporate events provide a special venue for introducing a larger audience to your brand. Organising an event can help you establish your company as an industry leader and raise awareness of your brand. Through branding, marketing, and sponsorships, you can leave a lasting impact on guests, which in turn, increases the chances of attracting the right prospects and customers.

2. New Product Launches

Marketing and event management come together for corporate events where companies launch new products or services, and create a buzz around this amongst the target audience. A successful product launch raises awareness for the whole business and generates interest. Considering the amount of attendees that a typical corporate event attracts, this can bring in a ton of business opportunities. 

3. Developing Stronger Client Connections

Organising a corporate event gives you the chance to bring in both existing and potential customers and develop relationships with them in ways that you might not otherwise be able to. Working with partners over the phone, via email, or even in any formal environment can restrict the ways in which you interact with them. Inviting them for a corporate event will not only help them connect with peers from the industry, but also help you build credibility and loyalty among customers and prospects.  

4. Employee & Customer Training

Corporate events are a great way to communicate the company’s objectives, mission, vision and goals to your personnel. On the other hand, they also serve as a great platform to host sessions that educate your customers about the product’s capabilities and differentiators. You receive the audience’s undivided attention, an opportunity to share your updates, and get direct feedback from a single event. Corporate events can play a transformational role in informing employees, partners, clients as well as industry peers about anything that needs to be shared with them. 

5. Boost Employee Morale

Acknowledging and rewarding exemplary employees at a corporate event can play a crucial role in defining their future with your company. When employees receive credit for the work they out in, it makes them feel valued and respected. Doing this at a corporate event inspires them further, because they ar ebeing recognized amidst all their colleagues, industry experts and possibly their mentors. It helps lifting their spirits, and also encourages other employees to do better, positively impacting the company’s overall productivity.   

4. Types of corporate events

Conferences

Businesses host conferences, which typically span at least one day, to provide information to target audiences. They are a chance to boost teamwork and engage the audience in addition to being frequently leveraged as a tool to inform and inspire participants.

Exhibitions / Trade Shows

These are sizable industry-specific gatherings where companies rent out space within the greater event venue to advertise their goods and services to prospective clients. A company may occasionally serve as the exhibition’s host or general organizer. However, companies typically participate in these as exhibitors. Businesses that take part in expos or exhibitions frequently, need advertising materials, driven and successful sales staff, exhibition stands, and a special way to draw in and keep visitors.

Awards / Gala Dinners

Even though these are two distinct kinds of corporate events, they frequently take place together.

Award presentations have a variety of applications. When held by a company, they can serve as a means of rewarding and inspiring employees, vendors, resellers, and clients by recognising accomplishments with awards in a number of categories. In order to market their company, enhance their reputation, and raise brand recognition, businesses will also frequently fund and enter industry awards.

Launch Events

Launch events can be as simple or as elaborate as needed. Companies use these occasions to build anticipation and publicity for the introduction of new goods and services, as well as new locations for their offices and buildings. 

Seminars

Smaller programmes called seminars give participants instruction or useful knowledge on a certain subject. The majority of lectures are smaller, more concentrated events that can accommodate up to 100 people. Seminar attendees frequently discuss corporate strategy and personal development.

Fundraisers

For corporate fundraising campaigns, businesses typically collaborate with nonprofits, charities, and community organizations. Events for corporate fundraising can take many different shapes. Depending on the kind of event, they can be held in person or online and range widely in size.

Step-by-step Corporate Event Planning Guide

These seven steps of planning a corporate event can help you put together a show that your attendees will remember and recommend!

1. Define event objectives, target audience and budget

Identifying your event’s objectives and goals should be your first move, once you decide to host a corporate event.

A successful event also depends on identifying your target audience and knowing how to reach them effectively. You can adjust the programme to your audience’s requirements and interests once you’ve identified who they are.  

Alongside the goals and the target audience, another critical factor to decide is the budget. Only when you know the scale of the event you wish to host, will you be able to assign a budget to all the aspects of the event. 

Define event objectives, target audience and budget

2. Create an Event Timeline Calendar & Assign Responsibilities

Organizing the event means managing a lot of different variables. The creation of a comprehensive master checklist can help with this. You can stay organized and streamline all of the little things with the use of online project management software.  

Create an Event Timeline Calendar & Assign Responsibilities

Throughout the planning phase, the master checklist is a useful tool for teams to stay on top of milestones and timelines to achieve.

You may manage your checklist without specialized software by making a spreadsheet with separate tabs for every event category, including speakers, venue, agenda, timetable, and transport.

Once you have established a solid timeline calendar for your corporate event, assign responsibilities to relevant resources and delegate tasks to team members such that every activity or task has an owner. Make sure the team is accountable for their tasks and share timely progress updates to ensure seamless flow of things.  

3. Finalize the Ideal Event Venue, Vendors, Suppliers & Staff

Finding a location that will enable you to realize your vision for the event is the next step.

No matter how tempting a venue or the deal they offer you is, create the event architecture first, and then look for a location that satisfies all the requirements for a successful event.

Finalize the Ideal Event Venue, Vendors, Suppliers & Staff

Make a comprehensive list of all the activities and items involved and identify the best suppliers and vendors for those. This includes everything from AV equipment, to customized swag bags to food, beverages & alcohol (if applicable) entertainment partners and any other item that needs to be addressed. 

Encourage local vendors and suppliers as far as you can for catering, different types of rentals, and other important things. This will help local small businesses with the chance to network and grow their businesses by doing this.

Partner with reliable agencies to find staff that will help out on the day of the event as ushers, parking assistants, security personnel, event management associates, AV technicians, etc.

4. List Out the Event Schedule 

Design a well-balanced agenda for the event and ensure that everyone involved in the event planning is aware of the schedule. 

Allow participants some flexibility in the schedule, but, at the same time, ensure that there are enough items in the agenda to keep them engaged. If there isn’t enough variety to keep them engaged, your event runs the risk of turning into a vanity project.

List Out the Event Schedule

But you also don’t want to overbook the calendar. The schedule needs to leave room for organic networking to take place. In order for them to absorb what they are learning, refuel, and form connections with other participants, your attendees also need a breather occasionally.

5. Freeze your keynote speakers, speakers and other experts

Finding the ideal speaker for your event means matching objectives to their area of expertise, taking the audience’s interests into account, and looking through their previous speeches to make sure their tone and subject matter appeal to your audience’s needs.

Freeze your keynote speakers, speakers and other experts

To find the right speakers, evaluate possible speakers, ask colleagues and peers for advice, and craft an invitation that emphasizes the advantages of speaking at your event. To guarantee a productive working relationship for both sides, negotiate contracts that specify expectations, costs, travel schedules, and other details.

5. Lock in your branded printables, swagbags, and other giveaways

In addition to improving brand recognition, branded printouts and handouts can make a lasting impact on attendees. A seamless corporate event experience depends on uniform branding across all touch points including the printables, swag bags, and other giveaways like phone chargers, water bottles, and notebooks.

Create printables that are eco-friendly and reusable to minimize paper waste. Make sure you budget for branded materials, plan giveaways in advance, and take sustainability into account. 

6. Define your Event Marketing Plan & Promotion Strategies

A clear marketing strategy is necessary for any event to be successful. Create engaging content, such as social media posts, infographics, and videos, and employ a combination of online and offline media to emphasize the event’s value proposition. Customize marketing messages to your target demographic.

Create engaging content, forge partnerships to increase your reach through social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising, and adopt a multi-channel strategy to reach your target audience.

Define your Event Marketing Plan & Promotion Strategies

Work along with media outlets, industry influencers, or related companies to reach wider audiences and attract new ones. 

7. Choose your Event Management Platform

Depending on whether you are hosting an online, offline or a hybrid event, it is recommended that you invest in a solid platform that best suits your needs. Investing in a virtual event platform can help you effortlessly organize both virtual and hybrid events, at a fraction of the cost. 

There are also tools that are designed to help you streamline your on-site events. Conduct thorough research and identify the best tool for your company and your event’s specific needs and budget. 

Tackling the logistics of Corporate Event Management

The logistical aspects that guarantee a flawless event experience for both organizers and guests are covered in this section.

1. Registration & ticketing

  • Platform Choices: Look at options like free registration, custom-built registration systems, or paid ticketing platforms.
  • Registration Form: Create an easy-to-use form that advertises event details, collects the required attendee data, and works with the ticketing system of your choice.
  • Confirmation and Reminders Emails: When the event date approaches, send out automatic emails to confirm registration, offer logistical information, and reminders. 

2. Audio-visual equipments

  • Determine what audiovisual (AV) gear is needed for the event – microphones, projector displays, internet connectivity, etc.
  • During the event, arrange for an AV professional and other technicians you can trust to troubleshoot any unforeseen issues.
  • Test your equipment thoroughly in advance and have a fallback strategy in place, in case something goes wrong.

3. Stage, Decor and venue arrangements

  • To choose the right stage layout and dimensions, take the event venue’s size and type into account.
  • To create a unified and powerful ambience, coordinate the décor with the theme of the event.
  • Using particular color schemes, lighting effects, props, signage, and floral arrangements can all be part of this.
  • Include signages indicating the location of the stage, registration areas, restrooms, and exits.
  • Ensure that all signage has eye-catching and coherent branding elements. 

4. Hotel reservations & transportation arrangements

  • For participants who require lodging, partner with nearby hotels.
  • If needed, set up shuttle services or offer information on parking and public transportation.
  • Make sure that participants with impairments can access the venue and the available transportation. 

5. Food & Beverage 

  • Choose between using the venue’s on-site food services, contracting a third-party caterer, or doing both at once. Take into account elements like dietary requirements, menu choices, and budget.
  • Choose a menu that complements the scale of the event, its target demographic, time of day, and theme of the event. Provide a range of choices to accommodate varying dietary requirements and preferences.
  • Select a service style (open bar, cash bar, table service) and decide what beverages (water, coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, etc.) will be provided. Think about providing non-alcoholic beverages too during the event. 

6. Safety and Security arrangements

  • Determine possible threats to public safety and create strategies to reduce them.
  • Employ security staff to manage crowds, limit entry, and handle emergencies, as needed.
  • Clearly define emergency response plans in case of fire, medical issues, or risks to safety.

Other aspects that determine success of corporate events

1. Speaker Choice and Arrangements

  • Choose presenters who are knowledgeable about the subjects they will be discussing and who are pertinent to the event’s theme. Seek for presenters that can captivate the crowd while offering insightful commentary.
  • Take into account the speaker’s presentation style and credibility. Select presenters who can eloquently and passionately convey their ideas to the audience.
  • Give presenters clear instructions on what is expected of them in terms of presentation themes, time constraints, and audio-visual needs. Make travel and lodging arrangements for them if necessary, and make sure they have a warm and welcoming experience the entire time. 

2. Event Marketing and Promotions

  • Determine who your ideal customer is and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. To reach your target audience and create interest in the event, make use of pertinent marketing platforms.
  • Make eye-catching marketing materials that showcase the speakers, agenda, and value proposition of the event. Promote the event through a variety of platforms, including industry journals, email marketing, and social media.
  • Using pre-event marketing, generate interest and anticipation for the occasion. To get your audience interested, share speaker insights, behind-the-scenes photos, or throw a contest. 

3. Tech Support

  • Investing in dependable technology can guarantee a flawless event experience. This includes investing in high-quality equipments like projectors, microphones, and internet access.
  • Bring in a team of trained technicians to troubleshoot any issues that may come up during the event.
  • Create backup plans in case there are tech glitches or other logistical issues. This can entail preparing backup gear or different presentation techniques. 

Post-Event Protocols to Follow for Maximum Impact

One of the easiest ways to build an army of loyal event attendees and promoters is to ensure that you continue to engage with your audience, even after the event is over. There are many ways to do this intuitively and organically. It is also crucial to identify areas of improvement after every event concludes, so you can improve on subsequent events.

Here are some post-event best practices that will help you boost your event experience continually.

1. Follow Up Mailers

  • Express your gratitude to attendees, speakers and other key participants via email. In addition, speaker presentations, important lessons learned from the event, and links to more resources may be included in this email.
  • To get input from attendees, including a survey in your follow-up email. Future events can be improved with the help of this feedback. 

2. Deep Dive into Event Data

  • Examine registration information to learn about the interests and demographics of attendees. Marketing campaigns and events in the future can be customized with this information.
  • Monitor metrics related to engagement, such as social media mentions, website traffic, or app downloads, in order to assess the event’s overall impact and reach. 

3. Takeaways for Continuous Improvement

  • Hold a team debriefing to go over the achievements and difficulties of the event. This will assist in determining what needs to be improved for upcoming events.
  • Make adjustments and enhancements to your event planning and execution process in light of feedback and data analysis. 

End-to-end guide to Host Online or Hybrid Corporate Events

In the post-pandemic world, several previously booming industries have seen severe revenue losses and growth slowdowns. Corporate events were among those that were rather severely impacted.

In an attempt to keep the show running and stay afloat, many turned to hosting virtual or online corporate events. Corporates began using the web to organize corporate events like virtual team-building events, award functions and training programmes to communicate with their people.

 What started out as a stop-gap solution, now has turned into a thriving channel for most enterprises the world-over. Today, every organization, regardless of their size, industry, budget or any other factor, sees immense value in hosting virtual events for the numerous benefits they offer, when compared to traditional on-site events. 

This section of the blog will walk you through how you can make the most of your corporate event initiatives by tapping into the power of virtual and hybrid events. 

1. Why Investing in Virtual Event Software is Important 

Virtual event platforms or online event software provide a robust toolkit for organizing memorable and impactful virtual gatherings. The following are the biggest benefits to expect by investing in one.

1. The Platform’s Scalability

In contrast to real locations, virtual event spaces can easily host audiences of any size, from intimate gatherings of a few dozen people to large-scale conferences involving thousands of attendees. Investing in a virtual event platform removes geographical restrictions from your audience’s reach, because they get to attend their choice of events from wherever they are, via their device of choice.

2. Features of Engagement 

Engagement features enable real-time interactions between the host, speakers, and attendees. From live polls and Q&A sessions to chat feeds to gamification, virtual event platforms offer you the flexibility to leverage all these features to engage and interact with your attendees throughout the event via multiple touch-points. 

3. Networking Functionalities

These features offer spaces and opportunities to make swift connections, facilitate formal and informal discussions, have meaningful conversations, promote relationship-building, and encourage collaborations. 

Virtual event platforms usually provide a variety of features, such as breakout rooms, virtual roundtables, one-on-one sessions, virtual booths, and more, empowering you to provide an immersive networking experience to your attendees. 

4. Branding & Customization Capabilities

With VEPs, you can incorporate your brand identity into the events and personalize the overall event outlook. Branding capabilities available within virtual event platforms empower you to tailor registration forms, email communications, event landing pages, virtual booths, networking spaces, and more. These features also enable you to incorporate virtual backgrounds, stage backdrops, and upload videos. 

5. High-value Integrations

Virtual event software offers integration capabilities, enabling you to connect with a variety of other software & tools, including CRM systems, marketing automation, event engagement tools, and more. These integrations streamline your event operations & workflow, support live streaming, enhance marketing efforts, facilitate smooth data transfer, simplify registration processes, integrate payment gateways, and improve event engagement.

6. Powerful Reporting & Analytics

VEPs provide powerful reporting and real-time analytics to enhance corporate event strategy by empowering you to make data-driven decisions. These comprehensive reports offer deep insights into overall event performance, including the number of registrations, attendee attendance & turnout, attendee behavior & interests, event engagement, and sponsor performance. 

Why Airmeet is the Ideal Virtual Event Platform for Corporate Events

With its state-of-the-art virtual event platform, Airmeet, you can host highly engaging online events. To help you maximize your event strategy and experience, we provide an extensive feature set that includes strong scalability, industry-leading engagement capabilities, smooth integrations with your preferred marketing platforms, and in-depth analytics. To increase virtual guest participation, we use interactive elements like surveys, 360-degree engagement, Q&A sessions, and breakout rooms. 

Conclusion

Planning, executing and delivering a corporate event is not an easy task, no matter what resources you have access to and how well equipped you are to handle it. But investing in the right technology can make a huge difference in how effectively and effortlessly you can streamline and manage several variables involved in corporate event planning. 

This guide outlines all that a typical corporate event entails and how you can go about managing all the factors. If you’re looking for an online event management platform for your virtual or hybrid event, look no further than Airmeet. Get in touch with us to understand how we can empower you to host the most impactful corporate events. 

FAQ

Having a clear marketing plan is essential. Determine who your intended audience is and adjust your message appropriately. Make use of a variety of marketing platforms, including industry journals, email marketing, and social media. 

Identifying your target audience is crucial for successful corporate events. Utilizing promotional strategies like social media and collaborations, offering valuable programming, and incorporating interactive features like live polls and Q&A sessions can boost attendance.

Corporate event planners frequently face financial limitations, complex logistics, and unforeseen problems. To overcome this, careful preparation and adaptability are needed. Creating a thorough budget that includes a contingency fund might aid in managing unforeseen financial restrictions. Processes for logistical complexity can be streamlined by employing event management software, assigning tasks effectively, and developing thorough schedules. 

Establish early on certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that are in line with your event’s objectives. These could be indicators for brand exposure, attendance engagement, lead generation (for business-oriented events), or registration numbers. Compare these against post-event data to see how well you’ve fared (or not) and make adjustments in subsequent events.   

The corporate event sector is always changing, with a number of trends influencing its present state. Events that are hybrid or virtual have gained popularity because they are more flexible and accessible. Other important themes include personalisation and the attendance experience, with technology providing interactive features and customized material. 

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