corporate event planning

The Complete Guide to Corporate Event Planning

Planning to host a corporate event? Learn how to plan and organize a successful corporate event with our 15 steps and best tips and tricks.
Hubilo
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October 19, 2022

Are you interested in learning more about corporate event planning? You can learn how to plan and organize a successful corporate event with these 15 steps and best tips and tricks.

Behind every successful corporate event- be it a company conference, a virtual summit, or even a holiday party - requires in-depth, detailed planning. If you’re unfamiliar with event planning, then corporate event planning may seem overwhelming; that’s why we’ve created a guide on everything there is to know about the topic!! 

What is corporate event planning? 

Corporate event planning is the process of arranging any kind of event for a small, medium, to large corporate company. Planning a corporate event includes everything from pre-event details all the way through to post-event details. Some companies may hire full-time corporate event planners as a way to ensure everything runs smoothly, but other times it may be up to other employees in a company to put an event together. No matter what level of corporate event planning you may have, this guide can serve as a great planning refresher or a great step-by-step guide! 

6 types of corporate events

There are a number of corporate events that require in-depth event planning. These include:

1. Conferences

In the corporate world, conferences are no joke. Conferences can range anywhere from one day to multiple days and focus on one or many industry-specific topics. These conferences can be intended for local attendees or even expand to international attendees, making it a great networking opportunity for guests. This type of corporate event is usually planned with an agenda as well, filled with guest speakers and a number of event features. 

2. Product launches

Product launches can be an exciting corporate event to plan! In this type of event, the goal is to showcase a new product of your company to new or existing customers. These are a great way to build excitement and talk about a new product or service. 

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3. Trade shows

Trade shows are a classic corporate event that has been around for years. At a trade show, businesses present themselves by purchasing a booth where exhibitors can talk to attendees about their business or whatever they choose to promote. This is a great way for companies to showcase new products or new services as well! 

4. Training workshops 

A great way for new employees to learn their new role or for current employees to sharpen their existing set of skills is through training workshops. Training workshops are a type of internal corporate event that can range from one day to multiple days of encouraging members to participate and engage with one another.

5. Fundraising Events

Whether you choose a gala, danceathon, silent auction, food drive, or benefit, fundraising events are a great type of corporate event. With so many options to choose from, it’s a great way to give back while making meaningful connections! 

6. Webinars 

With almost everything going virtual these days, corporate events are no exception! Webinars are a great way to attract people from all over to learn new information or a new product.

6 tips for a corporate event planning timeline

According to Forbes, 5 to 8 weeks is the average time B2B companies spend planning events. The time it takes for corporate event planning will depend on many different factors. We’ve included some of these details you should consider as you begin to plan your corporate event: 

1. Finding & booking sponsors

Sometimes, the key to making a corporate event great is the sponsorships you lock in. According to Sweap, 60% of event marketers see event sponsorship as a good option to increase brand awareness. You’ll want to secure sponsorships early on in the planning process, as it may take time to find one. Having a great sponsor can not only help your event financially, but it can also bring in new attendees from their customer base. 

2. Promote, promote, promote!

A key step in the corporate event planning process is ensuring you have a solid plan to market the event. You’ll want to ensure you have all marketing bases covered to bring in as many registrations as you can; this includes social media marketing, email marketing, and even paid advertising to get the word out there about your event. 

3. Finding & booking speakers

If your corporate event allows it, researching different speakers and booking them will require a certain amount of time. Make sure to account for this, as it may take some time to research and reach out to ideal speakers for your event

4. Figure out your tech 

One of the most important aspects in putting your event together is any kind of tech you have; this could be any kind of projectors or kiosks, and if your event is virtual, the platform you use. You want to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible by both double-checking your tech quality and making sure you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. 

5. Prioritize branding

Branding is a key part of hosting an event for both in-person and virtual formats. For in-person events, branding will include things like signage and any other kind of physical branded items you’ll want to promote. For virtual events, prioritize aspects like a landing page design and any other digital branding. 

6. Don’t forget food & beverage 

When hosting a corporate event, giving yourself enough time to carefully choose the food and beverages you’ll include is very important. There are many factors to consider when making these decisions, including price, your intended menu, and the food quality. 

How to create an event timeline

15 steps for effective corporate event planning

If corporate event planning seems like a daunting task, have no fear- we’ve broken down the 15 steps of the event planning process. 

1. Set goals & objectives

Not having set goals and objectives for your event could be one of the most detrimental things you could do! Collaborate with your team to see if there are any specific metrics you’d want to track, like attendee registration numbers or service sign-ups during your event. Setting and writing down your goals will help you prioritize what to focus on as you begin the planning process!

2. Decide on audience

Deciding on the size of your event is another key step to take when planning your corporate event. Do you want it to remain small and intimate, or large with plenty of opportunities for attendees to network? Also decide on who you want to attend your event - do you want to keep it to higher-up executives and C-suite members, or do you want it to be strictly for partners? Considering the type of audience you’d like to attend your corporate event will drive other important planning decisions. 

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3. Set the event’s budget

An event budget is a detailed forecast or estimate of what would be occurring financially at your corporate event. Along with setting goals and objectives, creating an event budget is a crucial step for planning any event. Knowing how much you have to spend on certain details, like marketing and the venue, can help you prioritize what to focus on. 

4. Make a guest list

No matter what size you decide your corporate event will be, building out a detailed guest list is key. This includes anyone from your target audience to any guest speaker you’ve chosen and any sponsors or partners who will be at the event. You can even share this guest list with your attendees to build excitement around your event as well! 

5. Choose a theme & format 

When planning a stellar corporate event, coming up with a theme is part of the fun! Even if your event needs to be formal and information based, a theme is still a fun way to get your guests involved! You can choose a theme based on a specific season, or around a certain area of your business to attract guests and make them excited about your event. 

6. Establish a project timeline

A project timeline will help keep you and your team on schedule! Not only is a timeline a smart idea for your company to have and follow, but it’s also a great addition to give to sponsors or partners. Providing them with a timeline will prove that your corporate event is well organized and thought out.  

7. Choose a location

If your corporate event is in person, choosing a location should be one of the first steps. According to data collected in a study, the top 5 meeting destinations in North America are Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, Dallas, and Atlanta. Consider where the majority of your attendees will be coming from - if you’re planning an event who are nearby, remaining local isn’t a bad option. If you’re thinking of hosting a corporate event with a medium to large number of guests who are visiting from all parts of the country, or even the world, choosing a major city would be a smart idea.  

8. Prioritize marketing 

In order to promote your corporate event to as many of the right people as possible, marketing should be a big priority in your planning strategy. Collaborate with your marketing team to develop campaigns, whether through social media or email marketing, to attract attendees and increase registration numbers. If done the right way, the marketing for your event will make future attendees excited, too!

9. Make logistic arrangements

As you get closer to the day of your event, whether in person or virtual, make sure to have the event logistics in order. This includes things like establishing your agenda, getting your technology ready for the event day, finalizing any details with your software platform for virtual events, and more. 

10. Make use of technology  

As you prepare for your big corporate event, don’t forget to plan out any type of technology you’ll be using during the event. For in-person events, this means thinking about tools like projectors for presentations, kiosks for attendee sign-ins, and more. For virtual events, this means ensuring that the hosting platform you’re using has plenty of capabilities to make it a memorable experience for guests. Choosing an event planning software that allows attendees to engage and participate with one another is important, as well as having a team of online experts to help with any tech troubleshooting. 

11. Keep track & evaluate

Collecting data before, during, and after your corporate event should be a big priority. For virtual events, this looks like choosing a platform with analytics features for data on just about everything. For in-person events, this looks like collecting data on the number of attendees, average time spent in the event itself, and even feedback on how they enjoyed the event. Tracking all the data from your event will not only help you evaluate the event’s performance, but it will also help to improve the experience of future events. 

12. Collect and share ideas

Once your corporate event is over, it’s time to debrief with your team! Share everything you’ve collected about the event, from what parts you personally enjoyed to areas that  could improve for the next event based on feedback and data. 

13. Encourage participation

Participation during an event is how new ideas will circulate and get the conversation started about different topics. You want attendees to engage with one another, so it’s important you include things that encourage participation. This could be anything from asking attendees questions during presentations at conferences or utilizing the engagement features on online platforms for virtual events, like polls and live chats. 

14. Network and make connections

One of the main focuses of a corporate event is to network. Corporate events are a great chance for attendees to make new and lasting professional connections. Although you may be planning the event, don’t forget to utilize networking for yourself during the event, too! 

Networking at a corporate event

15. Follow-up after the event

Even though you may know you hosted a great corporate event, following up can make it even better. Send thank you notes to speakers and guests to show how much you valued their presence and contributions. Sending out a post-event survey is a great way to gain additional feedback that you may have not been able to collect through the data you acquired. 

A checklist for corporate event planning 

  • Set Goals and Objectives
  • Decide on Audience
  • Set the Event's Budget
  • Make a Guest List
  • Choose a theme & format
  • Establish a project timeline
  • Choose a Location
  • Prioritize Marketing
  • Make Logistic arrangements
  • Make use of technology
  • Keep Track and Evaluate
  • Collect and Share Ideas
  • Encourage Participation
  • Network and Make Connections
  • Follow-Up After the Event

Use Hubilo to make your events more memorable

Thanks to platforms like Hubilo, hosting a corporate event either in-person, virtually, or hybrid has never been easier. Hubilo has a number of features that you can choose from that make hosting and planning for an online event a smooth and stress-free experience. The capabilities your corporate event can have are endless; add some fun to the event with our gamification features, and create a custom landing page with our branding capabilities. If you want your corporate event to be a success, choose Hubilo to help you get there! 

If you follow these steps, you’re on your way to a successful (and profitable) corporate event! With so many types of corporate events, the options are endless as to how you can get your company name into the world and make a difference in your industry. As previously mentioned, if you or your team needs any assistance, Hubilo has all the answers to help plan and carry out the best corporate event yet! Request a demo today to know how our event specialists are ready to show you how Hubilo's robust platform.

Author
Hubilo

Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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