Event planning isn’t for the faint of heart, and the devil truly is in the details. From choosing a venue to picking the menu, the bottom line is always your ROI. For that reason, before you spend a dime or do any planning, it’s best to determine the purpose of your event and how you will gauge its success.
If your meeting is a training meeting, then a straightforward measure of success is to test for proficiency, either at the meeting or the workplace. If your meeting has a dual purpose, for instance, training and team building, it may take a little more time to determine your ROI.
Having an idea of the overall role and the expected outcome makes the planning much simpler. All decisions for the meeting should go through the filter of “will this help me meet my overall goals for the meeting?’ This helps weed out things that may seem necessary but really aren’t, given the overall mission.
Your Guide to Corporate Event Planning
Below is a checklist that can help you stay on track and maximize your time and budget while keeping an eye on your overall goals.
Six months prior:
SET GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
If your goals and objectives are clear, it makes the rest of the decision-making process much more manageable. Any decisions must be vetted against the overall goals for approval. For instance, if your meeting is for training purposes, you don’t need to order matching shirts or plan extensive team-building activities, but hiring an expert speaker could be a good investment.
It’s all about knowing your target, then making plans to get there the most efficient way possible.
RELATED: What Makes Stonewall Meetings Unique
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET – AND STICK WITH IT
Budgets rule the world, and they rule business, and they rule meeting plans. However, no matter your budget, you can build out an extraordinary meeting that will meet or even exceed everyone’s expectations.
Here are some budget-saving tips:
- Plan your meeting midweek when most venues are less expensive
- Cater dessert or Hors-d’œuvres rather than a full meal
- Utilize venue meeting planners rather than hiring an outside organizer. Venue meeting planners have seen it all, they are professional, and they often have great ideas for saving money, particular to the venue.
- Send invitations with RSVP via email rather than postal service.
FIND A VENUE & SET THE DATE
Finding the venue and setting the date go hand in hand. Be sure to avoid holidays and think through the busiest times in your business and personally. If you know there will be a big project due for some departments, plan the meeting for after so they aren’t stressed about taking a day off. Further, summertime and around the holidays are challenging times to arrange meetings because your staff is already busy in their personal lives.
Check with the venue to see if they offer discounts on certain days or times of the year as you’re planning.
Four months prior:
DETERMINE YOUR THEME
Not all meetings have a theme, but if it fits, it can add interest to the day for sure. For instance, a luau theme can be fun if you’re located in the north, and your meeting is planned for the dead of winter. Even pretending summer can cheer folks up.
Hiring a speaker can be quite an investment, but it can make your gathering much more memorable. If there is a speaker you can feasibly bring in, that will entertain or educate your team, and that you can afford, that can increase your ROI.
MEAL OR SNACKS?
As stated above, you should plan your food depending on your budget. There’s no shame in offering a small meal or just dessert rather than a full course meal. However, if you’d like to provide a full meal, start talking with your caterers early so you can get the menu and budget planned well in advance.
GAMES (if any)
Games are great for ice breakers or to break up long training sessions, but their most significant value can be in team building. Some advantages to team building games are
- Improved relationships
- Team cohesiveness
- Learn to work together
- See each other’s strengths
- Improved morale
- Increased creativity
- Greater motivation
Three months prior:
ADVERTISE WITHIN THE OFFICE
Whether it’s through a staff-only website, landing page, office email, or good old-fashioned paper invitations, build some excitement about your meeting. You’re working hard to plan an event that everyone will get the maximum benefit from. Advertise early and encourage staff to mark their calendars and get their reservations made ASAP!
Check-in with all vendors
Check-in with the event planner to make sure everything is ready
One last thing; If you have an experienced event coordinator working with you, the details are sure to be taken care of, and some of the burdens can come off of you. We’d love to have you consider us at Stonewall Resort for your next corporate event. Our event staff has the expertise to make the job much easier for you. So reach out to us here to connect with one of our event coordinators today!