Corporate event planning tips to ensure success

Events aren’t the easiest challenge to tackle. Corporate events especially present their own unique challenges, from engaging easily bored delegates to ensuring return on investment for your organisation. If you're planning a corporate event for your organisation, what can you do to ensure you deliver results to the business.

What is a corporate event and what makes it different?

Corporate events are typically staged to market externally or internally. They should be underlined with a core message related to the organisation’s brand, with a general goal of changing the behaviour of employees or external delegates, such as customers or channel partners. Your corporate event can promote a product, celebrate company achievements, unite a team or change delegate perceptions. At the end of the day, each of these goals comes down to strengthening the knowledge, affinity and outlook of corporate event delegates.

Key goals of a corporate event may include one or a mix of the following:

  • Improving delegate perceptions of the company or brand.
  • Providing a targeted team bonding experience.
  • Motivating and rewarding sales teams.
  • Generating coverage from the press or on social media.
  • Educating delegates about new products or internal initiatives.
  • Updating delegates about the direction and outlook of the company.
  • Celebrating achievements of the company and high performing individuals.

Tips for corporate event planning

It’s clear that corporate events can look any number of different ways, but are all connected to the strategic goals of the business. Corporate event organisers have a strong responsibility to deliver tangible results with every event - which may feel easier said than done, with delegates potentially attending a huge range of events every year.

1. Strategic goals should shape your entire corporate event design.

The first step in organising a corporate event should always be asking yourself: "Why am I planning this event?" Think about this in terms of both yourself as the organiser, and the delegates. While corporate events typically share similar end-goals, it’s important to develop goals that are specific to your business. At this stage, document the answers to some simple questions:

  • What do you and your company hope to gain from the event?
  • Who is the event for and why?
  • What do you want your delegates to take away from the event?
  • How will you know when you've achieved your event goals?

2. Understand your corporate event success metrics and how you'll measure them

When developing SMART goals for your corporate event, the "Measurable" criteria is particularly relevant. It’s vital you think about how you'll quantify and measure corporate event success. Determining key metrics for corporate event success ultimately depends on the goals you define at the start. Touch points should be designed to accurately and seamlessly measure the most critical metrics, helping you report on ROI with confidence.

3. Shape your corporate event identity early

We encourage clients to think about corporate event identity next. This should be informed by your event goals and overall brand. Your event’s identity should tie into the existing branding of your company, but be unique enough to stand out. Likewise, it needs to carry a story throughout the promotion of your event.

4. Know your corporate event delegates and influencers

You're designing a corporate event for two groups: First, the organisation. Secondly, your delegates. When thinking about corporate event goals, it’s easy to get wrapped up in what your organisation wants from the event. However, in order to truly achieve that, you often have to consider what your delegates want. Remember, delegates are typically either required to attend an event or are presented the event as a reward for consistent excellence. This means they have to want to go - you need to be able to communicate what’s in it for them.

5. Remember the power of a unique corporate event venue

A venue can say a lot about your event. A great venue inspires delegates, motivates attendance and feeds into the story your event is trying to tell. Further to this, business culture is going through a period of rapid change. As workplaces adopt flexible conditions, agile teams and less rigid structures, the landscape of corporate events must adapt in turn. For this reason, the demand for non-traditional venues (that is, spaces more unique than hotel ballrooms) was estimated to exceed that for any other style of venue.

6. Determine your corporate event technology landscape

Don’t overlook the power of technology when it comes to your corporate event ROI. While some event technology may require buy-in and upfront investment, the right tech touch points allow you to capture delegate data and feedback seamlessly.