How to Plan a Corporate Event

Whether you are a professional planner or you got stuck with the task for your business, knowing how to plan a corporate event can be a tricky endeavor to ensure that you cover all of the details. From food, to location, to atmosphere and more, the perfect event takes planning and effort to come off seamlessly.


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    Conceptualize your big idea, a.k.a. come up with your theme.
    • Whether you are doing a cocktail party, a workshop or the company picnic, setting a theme gives the tone of the event and gives you a starting point when picking your food, your music, your d├ęcor and more.
    • Make sure that your theme is appropriate to the crowd for which you are planning. You can find a large variety of theme ideas online to get you started.
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    Set a preliminary budget by determining how much you can spend on food, entertainment, room rental, invitations and any other additions that you would like to make for the event.
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    Start making appointments to view locations and meet other vendors.
    • Discuss room rental costs and what is included in those fees.
    • Determine what the hours are that you will have access to the room. If no one books it the night before, can you have access to get in and decorate or set up? Are they providing the service ware for the food, or do you need to bring in or rent your own linens, plates, napkins and silverware?
    • Does the food have to come from that location, or can you bring in an outside caterer?
    • If you can bring in your own caterer, start meeting with potential vendors to taste their food and determine their pricing.
    • Determine if your venue requires you to bring in outside security for your event. This not only protects you from liability, but this can help keep outsiders from crashing your party.
    • Look to hire a licensed bartender if your facility cannot provide one, and you choose to have alcohol at the event.
    • Find out if the venue can provide decorations or if you have to supply your own. Some facilities have a wide variety of items that you can use such as candles, mirrors to set on the table, glass jars, etc. So if you can take advantage of anything being provided for free, you can save quite a bit on your budget.
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    Determine your menu with your caterer or facility, and determine the timing and manner of serving. Will it be a buffet or a sit-down, plated meal? Are you doing appetizers ahead of time, and/or are you considering a dessert bar later in the evening? Iron out the exact details and timing so that your guests don't go hungry at any point.
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    Sign contracts with your vendors, and make sure that they provide you with a copy.
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    Purchase your decorations to match your theme.
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    Create and send out your invitations via traditional mail or electronically.
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    Make a to-do list timeline. If there are any details that you still need to cover or are time-sensitive, make sure that you have created a countdown list to stay on top of the little details.
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    Check and double check your list the week before, the day before and the day of to make sure that you haven't forgotten anything.
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    Have a designated errand person chosen so that you can stay and orchestrate the event while you send that person off for any additional items that need to be picked up.


  • Check with your insurance company to see if you need to take out an additional rider policy on the event. This "just in case" measure can be a safety net in case any unforeseen accident happens e.g. a fire, an injury or a lawsuit.

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Categories: Event and Party Planning