10 Tips for More Effective Corporate Event Management
Corporate events are often perceived to be bland and somewhat lackluster. But the truth is, such professional events can be organized to be engaging, fun, and goal-oriented. Thoroughly planned under control, event management can help achieve this.
In-person corporate event management is undoubtedly not done at the snap of a finger. Event managers must pay attention to the tiniest details since the event’s outcome directly impacts the company’s goals and brand image.
A recent survey suggests that 85% of leadership strongly believe in-person events are essential to their company’s success and significantly impact achieving business goals.
Here are some goals your company can target while hosting an in-person corporate event:
- Employee engagement: To encourage employees to collaborate actively with their co-workers and leadership. Engagement is an important goal to consider after two years of remote work.
- Lead generation: Events targeting new customers, retaining old ones, and launching new products or services.
- Brand awareness: Sessions to highlight your brand’s goals, boost recognition, etc.
- Thought leadership: To position your leaders as the go-to subject matter experts in the industry.
There is no one-size-fits-all way of planning and hosting a corporate event. However, here are some great actionable tips to get you started on the right note.
10 corporate event management tips we recommend following
1. Define success
What do you perceive achieving at the end of the hosted event? Define a goal or objective that would ultimately be the outcome. It could be to boost engagement among your employees and make them more productive, educate old customers about the launch of a new product or service, connect new customers with old ones, and so on.
To better define success, set your goals using the S.M.A.R.T goals framework (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound). For instance:
- Educate 100% of our employees about the new product launch by the end of the session
- Sign up 80% of the event attendees for our upcoming training
- Improve customer retention by 10% by the end of the next quarter
Setting such actionable goals lays out the roadmap for you to drive a successful, goal-oriented event.
2. Set aside a clear budget
Setting a precise number to your event budget ensures no last-minute surprises and better ROI. With a budget, you can spend on essential resources required to achieve the defined goal and not go overboard on your company’s budget limits.
Here’s a handy tip – break your budget into the event’s two primary drivers: expenses and revenue. Your in-person event’s expenses include venue, food, logistics, promotions, travel, software, and more. And your revenue sources can be ticket sales, product or service sales, and sponsorships.
Pro tip: Set aside a backup amount (ideally 10-20% percent of your budget) for any unforeseen expenses.
3. Deep dive into audience event behavior
In-person corporate events must keep audiences engaged to avoid monotonous sessions and see positive results. And if the attendees are taking their time out to travel and attend your events, it’s up to you to ensure you provide them with maximum value.
So, start by drilling down on what your audience needs and cares about. Your targeted audience could be your existing costumes, employees, or potential leads. Based on their needs, ensure your event covers every requirement and answers the most pressing questions your audience might have. You can also analyze your competitor’s past events to grasp expectations quickly.
To start understanding attendees’ behavioral patterns beforehand, you can get back to the basics and send a pre-event survey to your mailing list. Include questions such as:
- What motivated you to sign up for the event?
- What problems do you need to answer?
- Whom would you like to see at the event?
- What kind of food do you prefer?
- What kind of people would you like to meet and learn from?
Create attendee personas around such questions and keep a constant check to ensure your event is inclusive, engaging, and relevant to your event attendees.
4. Design for engagement
Corporate events are meant to boost networking and brainstorm brilliant ideas. Therefore positive engagement is the core of such events. So, make sure your events are designed to engage people throughout.
Here are some ideas to help you design and drive engagement in your corporate events:
- Create fun and incentive games, quizzes, or industry-related puzzles to keep the momentum going.
- Help build meaningful connections by allowing attendees to use social profiles, directly message other attendees, and network at scale.
- Leverage social media for your virtual event by using hashtags, collaborating with influencers and showcasing a social wall during the event
- Boost interaction and live engagement using custom mobile apps.
5. Choose the right venue
Your event venue must leave a lasting impression on your attendees, especially if they are potential leads. So, ensure your venue is accessible, safe, and easy to travel to, within your budget, and has the essential logistics.
In-person events must be held considering your venue’s capacity, compatibility with your tools and technology, onboard staff for technical support, and preferred food and beverage options.
Similarly, ensure you have the best-fit technology for virtual events that supports live streaming without downtime, offers customizations, live chats, and more.
A great example is the tech giant Google, which runs its annual in-person event, “DevFest,” for developers across the globe. They aim to bring together like-minded developers and answer questions about various Google tools and technologies. Attendees are offered a map to choose their desired venue for the in-person event making the fest accessible to all.
6. Create a marketing plan
A marketing plan gives you a clear picture of the before, during, and post-event strategy and the resources needed.
For instance, you need an event marketing campaign to attract attendees before the event. You can have a dedicated website landing page to communicate agendas, offer registrations, announce changes, and so on. During the event, your strategy can include using a customized mobile app to provide better experiences and keep your attendees engaged.
And finally, your post-event marketing plan could involve analyzing event data, targeting attendees’ email lists, and using them to announce future events, product launches, etc.
7. Establish seamless communication with your event-handling teams
Frictionless communication is the primary building block for successful event management. A lack of effective communication leads to most avertable disputes and discrepancies.
An open communication channel with the team handling your corporate event opens doors to pitching new ideas, smoother event execution, and preparing for worst-case scenarios before you host your event. Project management software tools have advanced communication and collaboration features and are ideal communication channels.
8. Schedule your event invites beforehand
Last-minute mishaps in capacity planning can lead to a negative brand image. So ensure you get an accurate attendee count to your in-person events at least a month prior. An easy way to do this is to include an RSVP button in your emails.
It is known that, on average, around 60% of the invited people show up at events. But to be confident about the number and for more readiness, a simple “Yes” or “No” button can fetch you a dependable ballpark number of attendees so that you can plan your logistics based on the demand.
9. Do a rehearsal at least a month prior
A complete dry run and event rehearsing help expose any hidden inconsistencies. So doing this at least a month before the event date lets you finetune and re-evaluate every aspect, such as technical support, logistics, incentives, safety protocols, etc.
Final rehearsals get your teams on the same page, and you will be able to communicate their roles and responsibilities for D-day. Also, you leave no room for any last-minute changes that may hamper the event execution.
10. Align with experts and partners
Planning a productive corporate event is not everyone’s cup of tea. Your company may lack the right technical skills or a clear-cut marketing plan to execute an event that drives expected results.
So, a more straightforward and effective way to host corporate events is to outsource event management and planning to an events expert or a partner. Doing this leaves no room for mistakes, helps you align your business goals better, and gets you the most out of your in-person corporate events.
In-person, IRL events are more prone to errors than virtual events due to the range of planning needed, from venue to food and attendee engagement. But you can avoid mishaps and rushes if the event planning starts well in advance, i.e., a minimum of six to nine months before the actual date.
For recurring corporate events, you can make way for smoother implementations, reduce manual effort, and stress-free planning each time by setting up partnerships and exclusive event management frameworks.
What is the one tip you recommend following for an engaging corporate event?
The authot Matej Mešár is a copywriter with a journalistic background based out of Bratislava, Slovakia. Currently, he has his sights set on the SaaS sphere.
He works for CloudTalk, helping to create compelling messaging in support of the next generation of cloud communication.