In your company, are you responsible for booking venues, facilities, restaurants and organizing transportation for meetings and events?
Employing the Best for Successful Events
Event planners know just how much time and effort goes into executing a successful event. Whether it’s a small yet formal off-site business meeting or dinner or a massive 36,000-person convention, it’s a challenge to pull off the perfect event because everything has to run smoothly. To that end, it is critical to make sure you’re organized and cognizant of everything you have to do. In this article, review what research shows goes into planning the perfect event. Also, for those who are new to the process, take a look at the benefits of hiring a corporate event planner instead of trying to do it all yourself. Then take a look at some great ways you can add entertainment and fun to make your next corporate event memorable and amazing.

Planning the perfect corporate event
Successful corporate event planning is all in the details—and there certainly are a lot of them. An event that goes badly or appears disorganized and haphazard ultimately creates a bad impression of the organization as a whole and can impact business, particularly if the event is for clients or potential customers, but also for employees within the company. Planning a successful event—regardless of size and scope—takes time, resources, attention, coordination and intense follow-up to make sure every single piece of the complicated event puzzle falls neatly and seamlessly into place and nothing goes horribly wrong. Take a look at what research shows goes into planning, and pulling off, the perfect event.

Define the Purpose
Before anything else, you need to define the event. Is it to recap company success? Celebrate a holiday? Announce important decisions? Court potential clients? Launch or promote new products? Every event is different and has very different needs. To that end, it is important to match the type of event to the purpose.

Create a Plan

Checklists, checklists and more checklists… You can never be too prepared or too organized. Before talking budget and specific details, you need strategies, a firm plan and end goals in place. What needs to get done? When does it need to get done? How many people are involved? What are the desired outcomes? In addition, part of a successful plan is knowing it cannot be done by one person, so it is important to delegate. Make sure you have personnel in place to take charge of some of the details.

Establish a Budget
No one wants to break the bank, so having a budget firmly in place is crucial. When creating the budget, include every potential fixed and variable cost, including everything from venue rental, group accommodations and transportation, food and beverage, programs and special services, entertainment, audiovisual needs, printing supplies and administration sundries and funds for the unexpected. Sometimes forgotten but equally important is listing possible revenue options. Depending on the event, this could be raffle proceeds, product sales, sponsorships or exhibitor contributions and more. Consider how this can stretch the budget to get you more. Whatever your budget, it is essential to track everything you spend when you spend it so you can adjust allotment details as needed.

Book the Venue
Getting the venue set up is likely the largest chunk of your budget and the factor that ultimately will set the date and time for the event. However, once you find a few suitable locations, you must create a request for proposal (RFP) that states in detail what you want from them and submit it to the venues. After RFPs come back, search through them and eliminate venues that will not work and schedule site inspections with any possible candidates. In venue selection, consider everything: amenities, price and whether the venue includes services for design, lighting, supplies and catering or if those will be separate concerns and expenses to address.

Arrange Design, Lighting, Supplies and Catering
If these aspects are included as services when you book your venue, excellent, but often they are not. In that case, more RFPs need to be submitted to various vendors that can provide these services to you so you can get the best price and value for what you want.

Coordinate Transportation and Accommodations
Once you have the venue setup in process, you need to consider how the attendees will get there and where they will stay. Group discounts at hotels and organized group transportation can offset out-of-pocket expenses for attendees and thus go a long way toward making the event a success.

Publicize the Event
Even if the event is internal, it is important to make sure the what, where, when, why and how of the event are established and communicated clearly to all of the potential attendees. It can be in the form of printed materials, which take time and money, but more common today are online e-mail blasts and websites that significantly can cut down on costs. Explore both options depending on your needs.

Organize Event Registration
When guests come to the event, you need to determine whether there is a need for attendee registration. If so, set up a mechanism to handle this and do so well in advance. It can be a table, booth or even an online portal. At a more socially geared event, this can take on a simpler form, perhaps as nametags or place cards.

Manage the Event
During the event, your job is not done. Anything can and will go wrong, so it is important to be vigilant and aware of any problems or concerns (expected or unexpected) that arise so you can deal with them efficiently behind the scenes so perhaps the event attendees may not even be aware of them.

Evaluate the Event

After the event, it is important to know how it went, was viewed and if the goals were met. This can be done in the form of a survey, response cards, interview feedback and much more.

Submit an Article
If you have expertise in a particular area relevant to planning meetings and or events, you may submit a 400 to 750 word "how-to" article for possible inclusion in any of our magazines and/or our websites.

If accepted, your submission will be edited for length and clarity. There is no monetary payment if your item is used; instead, you can publicize yourself through a five-line biography with your contact information that will appear at the end of the article.

Send submissions to We will contact you if your submission is chosen.