As a professional administrative assistant, there are several unique challenges you may face when it comes to planning a corporate event. Some of them are timeless, and some are unique to our times. From budgeting to ensuring that all the necessary resources and personnel are available, planning an event can be daunting.
With the help of our in-house event experts, Robin Polling & Shelley Gutta, we have put together some common challenges, with possible solutions, to ensure that the process is much more manageable.
Planning a Corporate Event? Get Tips from our In-House Experts
1. Challenge: Not Knowing Your Planning Style
You’re tasked with running your company’s big event but unsure where to start.
Solution: Take some time to figure out what planning style works best for you. By stepping back to explore your planning style, you can create a system that allows you to effectively plan, manage and execute the event.
Robin says, “For example, do you prefer a checklist or spreadsheet, font change, or color coding? There are many methods, but organization is key to a successful event!”
Tip: Take our Meeting Planner Style Quiz to help get you on the right track.
2. Challenge: Limited Resources
You are limited in terms of the resources and personnel available to help plan the event.
Solution: Utilize online resources for managing events, such as project management tools or software designed to help plan corporate events. You can also use vendors and suppliers to help you with the event, such as catering services or event planners.
Shelley adds, “ask the experts! Have the chef work up a customized menu, or ask the venue to provide customized teambuilding ideas.”
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Meeting Planners, Don’t Make Resolutions – Do This Instead!
3. Challenge: Meeting Budget
You have a budget, but you need to figure out how to adhere to it while still providing the best experience for everyone involved in the event.
Solution: When budgeting for the event, break down all of your costs into small manageable chunks. Research different vendors and suppliers to get an idea of how much their services cost and then use these figures to create a realistic and achievable budget. Additionally, look into payment plans or discounts that vendors offer to help you stay on budget.
“Seek sponsorships from your companies’ suppliers for special events.” Robin suggests, “They may be excited to have an opportunity to get face-time with your leadership and management. (Get your leadership’s approval first, of course.)”
4. Challenge: Managing Timelines
You may have limited time to plan and prepare for the event, and it can be difficult to stay on track when so many details need to be taken care of.
Solution: Utilize project management tools or software designed for managing events and your venue’s planning/event team. Set up a timeline with specific tasks and deadlines to ensure that everything is taken care of and completed on time. Additionally, prioritize tasks that require the most attention and focus first, so you can work your way down the list in an organized manner.
Shelley recommends you reserve time(s) on your calendar for tasks and set reminders. Don’t get hung up if a task is stalled, reprioritize and move down your list. Ask for help if necessary.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: The One Mind-Blowing Must-Have for an Effective Corporate Meeting
5. Challenge: Vendor Management
You need to ensure that all vendors and suppliers are on the same page and provide the services you need for the event.
Solution: Make sure to communicate all expectations with vendors clearly and concisely. Create an event timeline that clearly outlines when vendors should provide their services so everyone is on the same page. You should also create a contract with the vendors that outlines all expectations and requirements.
Your event venue may be a one-stop shop. Check with them to see what services they offer and if any of them can be included in the package.
Robin says, “Details are your friend. Clarify and recap in writing any phone and in-person conversations. This ensures everyone understands correctly and there are no surprises.”
Taking on the role of event planner comes with its own set of challenges, but by employing some of these solutions, administrative assistants can ensure that the event is successful and all of their hard work pays off. With careful planning and organization, any challenge can be overcome. Good luck!
Check out our Meeting Planner Toolkit for more great resources!