Corporate Incentives, Meetings,
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Corporate Incentives, Meetings & Charters

20 Corporate Event Planning Tips To Run a Successful Event

You’ve been asked to design and plan a corporate event. But event planning can seem like a challenging job at times, as there are so many elements involved. You’re responsible for making sure that your event is not only successful, but also memorable, useful and inspiring. What’s more, you often have to do this with finite resources and time. All this, though, is achievable. With smart planning, a strong team, a clear goal, and a standout venue, any event can be a success.

By following these simple strategies, you’ll be able to avoid common mistakes and turn any event into a memorable occasion. Here are 20 corporate event planning tips to help make a success of your next event.

Pick an Inspiring Venue

When planning corporate events, it’s important to think about the venue. An impressive setting can make your event, and leave your guests feeling good about you, the host. Find a unique corporate event venue that speaks to your crowd, fits your budget, works for you as an organizer, and gives your guests a rewarding break from daily corporate life.

Edge - Classroom

Set a Budget

When planning a corporate event, you should start with a realistic budget and work with your suppliers to stick to it. Calculate what return on investment your event may have. Make a definitive list of every single element and cost out each item, getting competitive quotes where appropriate. Create a payment schedule and a running account of costs you incur.

Create a Detailed Schedule

A corporate event should run like clockwork and timing is everything. The more detailed you are about what you want, the better your venue coordinator can help you. Keep the schedule realistic, not just for the day itself but the run-up, and make sure everybody involved in the event planning buys into it.

Plan Ahead

Plan your corporate event as far as possible in advance, and spread out different deadlines and benchmarks as you do so. If there’s a snag somewhere, you’ll have more time to adjust and fix it. This also helps with budgeting and making any budget changes before your event if needed. Planning ahead also means you stand a better chance of getting the perfect venue on the dates you want.

Have a Creative Theme

Choosing a unique, creative, thought-provoking theme will both entertain guests and create lasting memories. Make sure the theme has meaning and is connected to your message and your company’s image. Come up with a name for your event, and a strategy for promoting it to the attendees, whether through teaser campaigns, competitions or straightforward “Save the Date” messages.

Delegate

One of the most useful corporate event planning tips, especially for less experienced planners, is to accept that you won’t be able to do everything yourself. Make sure you have a reliable team around you with clearly designated tasks for everybody, and a close contact at the venue who knows your event inside and out.

If you are a participant in the event, or the host, as opposed to a dedicated event planner, remember that you will want to spend time with your guests and colleagues, not be tied to a hospitality desk or backstage production.

Use Sound and Light

Work with your venue staff and technical team ahead of time to make sure your speakers and guests are properly lit, whether it’s a sit-down dinner or a motivational speech. The same goes for music: walk-on music, background music, or live music must all be smoothly coordinated and be consistent with your theme.

For really big events with multiple elements, video, autocue, and different speakers, you should consider working with a professional production team.

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Cater to Your Audience

Understanding the corporate culture, style, and specific needs of your guests is crucial to planning a successful event. Increasingly, companies expect their events to match their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and sustainability targets. Pay close attention to your target audience as you plan, to ensure your event speaks to them personally while getting your own message across.

Plan Immersive, Interactive Experiences

Corporate events often aren’t just about work. They should also entertain, inspire, build team spirit, and evoke positive thoughts and actions. Plan immersive activities involving soft adventure, food, cultural discovery, and problem-solving that your corporate group will love and remember. If you’re running an incentive program, make sure the reward element shines and motivates.

Create Breakout Sessions

For events with an educational or business element, make sure you have the space you need for breakout sessions around the main presentations. Also make sure the leaders and presenters at these sessions have the technology and equipment they need to get their message across. Smaller sessions can be essential for networking and discussing issues relevant to specific sectors of your business and should be treated with as much importance as a big presentation.

Don’t Over-Schedule

Paying attention to detail is important but it’s not helpful if every minute of the day is scheduled. A useful corporate event tip is to go for quality, not quantity when it comes to activities, workshops and meals. Also, be sure to leave ample time for your guests to enjoy things; to many attendees, the whole point of a corporate event is networking.

Sometimes, it’s about reward and relaxation, not necessarily as part of a group. If there are too many items on the agenda, it can burn your guests out and that may lead them to lose focus.

Incorporate Outdoor Space

At a corporate event with a strong work element, a lot of time could potentially be spent indoors. Break up the pace by incorporating outdoor space when possible, and have your guests get some fresh air; for example, a coffee break in a beautiful setting, or lunch outside in the sunshine, or sunset cocktails somewhere with an incredible view to set the mood.

Mix it Up

Variety is key when planning corporate events. This doesn’t just mean switching things up throughout the day or mixing up the activities you offer, but also in terms of the speakers and guest entertainers you invite. Plan to have a mix of speakers from different backgrounds or departments and levels within the company to encourage networking and collaboration.

A man ziplines through the forest with orange gloves.

Keep it Fun

People work hard for their companies and corporate events are a great way to show the team that their hard work is appreciated. Plan some activities with fun and entertainment in mind to keep everyone engaged, happy, and feeling motivated to do more. One of the most useful corporate event tips is to remember that if your delegates are bringing partners, or even kids, you’ll need to create an entertaining program of events for them.

Take Advantage of Technology

There are so many creative, interactive, and fun things you can plan for a corporate event these days thanks to technology. You can host a team-building session in VR, hold large-scale interactive presentations, and even set up scavenger hunts that utilize smartphone scanning and electronic coordination.

Provide Meaningful Gifts and Giveaways

Find unique gifts, gift bags, and prizes that are also useful to the crowd you’re hosting. Memorable gifts are a great way to brand, too. If your guests find the gifts inspiring and useful, they will remember them as a successful highlight of your event. Bear in mind that sustainability is an important element of corporate events nowadays, and this includes gifts, too.

Pay Attention To Menus

Food can invoke great memories, so a good menu and ample quantity are key here. Guests should be well fed and hydrated if you want them to concentrate, so make sure menus are carefully planned and that there are plenty of available snacks between meals.

For events with a work element, avoid long, heavy lunches that will send your guests to sleep in the afternoon. Decide whether you’re going to offer alcohol and if so, how much per person. Come up with themes for evening meals and cocktails. If the itinerary permits, think about dine-arounds, too, in which guests eat across a variety of venues in smaller groups.

Bring Extra Supplies

Events require a lot of supplies, and it’s easy to forget things. Be sure to bring extra of everything, including batteries, walkie-talkies, backup drives, marker pens, scissors, tape, storage boxes, pens and pencils, notebooks, nametags, gifts/prizes, and spare corporate-themed merchandise before the big day.

Have a Backup Plan

Events don’t always run according to plan and that’s just part of the experience, good or bad. If something doesn’t go as planned, your corporate event can still be a resounding success. Just be sure to have a solid contingency plan, and keep your team agile should things change. Plan for wet weather, speakers forgetting their presentations, flight delays, the CEO suddenly demanding a private cocktail party – you name it, it could happen. But you’ll be able to deal with it.

Celebrity Edge

Host Your Next Corporate Event on a Celebrity Ship

Planning a corporate event on one of Celebrity Cruises’ sleek, contemporary ships is stress-free, enjoyable and rewarding. A ship is also a glamorous, exotic and highly popular venue among attendees from all types of industries; a luxurious setting with an ever-changing backdrop of the ocean.

Celebrity offers cruises that start from popular ports all over the world, giving your group plenty of options to choose between, regardless of where they’re located.

When you host an event on a Celebrity cruise, you not only enjoy the full luxury of the on-board experience, but you also get to travel to incredible destinations together as a group.

Celebrity’s world-class event staff will work with you every step of the way to make sure your event runs smoothly. The idea is to create long-lasting memories for your guests while enjoying impeccable service, superb accommodation, attention to detail, and unique experiences at every step.

Celebrity’s ships are equipped with the latest in high-speed internet, and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, sound systems, and lighting in their impressive theaters. Celebrity also has unique venues in which to host memorable social events, from the Lawn Club on Solstice-series ships to the lush Rooftop Garden on Edge-series ships–or even the dazzling Magic Carpet, an al fresco lounge and restaurant with uninterrupted sea views.

Budgeting is far simpler on a Celebrity Cruises ship than it is ashore. So much is included, from technical equipment to world-class cuisine, drinks, gratuities, meeting space, and dazzling evening entertainment. Charter an entire ship, or work with Celebrity’s experienced event planners to create unique experiences on board for a smaller group.

To get started, request a quote here and Celebrity’s team of experienced event planning specialists will get right back to you. You can also call directly at (800) 722-5934, or reach out online with any questions via the contact form here.