The Christmas season is upon us (may God have mercy on our souls!) and you have been stuck with the task to create a business event for the big holiday. You have to set a budget, book the tables, hire the entertainment, design the flyers and pick out the logos for the cups. Ugh! Nobody wants to be given that task, though it could be your time to shine and impress your boss.
When the holidays arrive, businesses usually either host a corporate event at a restaurant or celebrate in the conference room with plenty of goodies, treats and beverages (sometimes alcoholic). It’s a stressful time for those who are managing it, which is why many employees hide in the washroom when it’s time for your superiors to pick the one person to head it.
Although the general consensus is that planning for a corporate event is very confusing, time-consuming and difficult, you could defy conventional logic and create the most perfect corporate event that ever took place. You can come in under budget, make sure everyone has a good time and perhaps even be rewarded with a “thank you” from the boss. Who knows? It is possible!
Here are 10 ways to play for a corporate event:
Set a Budget, Get the Approval
Before you start on this fun and new adventure, ask your superior how much they’re looking to spend. Once you’ve been provided this amount, you should create a preliminary budget and create a ballpark figure for the overall costs. After the superior has taken a look at the budget and you are given the go ahead, you can then proceed to the next steps. To make this the fastest step use these kinds of event planning budget templates.
Establish a To-Do List
What do you exactly have to do over these next couple of weeks? That’s what you have to find out. In order to stay calm, reduce stress and ensure you’re on the right track, create a to-do list and follow it. Every time you complete the item, check it off and move on to the next thing. At the end of each day and week take another look at the to-do list and make sure you haven’t missed out on anything. The to-do list is your essential guide to ensuring you’re going to do a wonderful job planning this corporate event.
Conceptualize: Think of the Big Picture
Take a moment out of your busy day and picture just how you want to create this corporate event. In other words, you should conceptualize: themes, designs, time, music, entertainment and the end result. By doing this, you have some sort of idea how the corporate will transpire. Of course, you should refrain from taking advantage of the power of delusion and instead focus on realistic objectives.
Are you stuck? Here is a great article that lists some of the best themes for a corporate event.
Perform Your Research and Due Diligence
Yes, you have done some ballpark calculations. Now you have to put those estimated calculations into action. This is simple to achieve: perform research and do your due diligence. Some of the things you can do consist of calling around getting quotes, searching online for the best companies, products and services around. Remember, don’t settle for anything. You have to find the right balance of low prices and superb quality. Otherwise, if you skimp out on the quality then everything could become a disaster.
Ask For Input From Colleagues
Walk around the office and ask if your colleagues have any input, special requests, food allergies and the like. Some may be vegetarian, while others may be allergic to peanuts. Someone may know where you can get entertainment for a low price, while someone else may volunteer to help you. Whatever the case, always ask for input from both your co-workers and your superiors. They’ll be pleased you did.
Make a List of Details (Food, Music, Special Requests)
You have your to-do list and your list of details. The latter is something that takes a look at food, music and the special requests. For instance, you have to order five loaves of bread, five different types of pizzas and a dozen bottles of Coke (this is just an example). As the days go by, you can check mark each detail and be rest assured that you won’t be low on anything come the day of the corporate event.
One of the best ways to maintain a list is to utilize a spreadsheet. The University of California has a long list of templates for event planning. Check them out.
Use Both Online and Offline to Market, Celebrate the Event
Want to make it fun? Why not use both online and offline mechanisms to market the event? An example could be setting up a Facebook page exclusively for the corporate event and also producing hashtags on Twitter to market the event.
Moreover, on the offline side, you can do something funny around the office to remind everyone about the business event. You can also customize the event. Here are a few ideas:
- Creating and putting up well-designed flyers all over the office (here is a template resource if you’re not really the creative or tech-savvy type) .
- Creating and handing out custom water bottles with the date and time of the party.
- Announcing to everyone of promotional gift bags specifically for the event.
- Handing out customized mugs, t-shirts and glasses with the company name (or even the person’s name). VistaPrint is usually the one location to check out.
You can do an array of things that aren’t forced but also good natured.
Purchase a Camera (Use it From the Budget)
If you have $5,000 in your budget for the corporate event, it’s quite likely that you can set aside $150 to purchase a camera – either for photos or for videos – for the big day. Indeed, everyone will be using their smartphones and tablets to take pictures, but a camera that is exclusively owned by the business can allow you to take nice pictures of everyone (forget the selfies for a day) and then create a collage or the ability to post these pictures online and around the office.
Try to Make the Event Memorable
One way you can guarantee success is to make the event as memorable as possible. How can you achieve this often difficult feat? Well, here are a few things you can add to the event:
- Select a master of ceremony, otherwise known as the MC, to make things celebratory.
- Hire a performer to make the event special (at Christmas hire Santa Claus or a magician).
- Use social media to liveblog the event, such as Twitter’s Periscope feature.
- Try to find sponsors to help host the corporate event.
Look Your Best For the Big Day
Last but not least, look your absolute best for the big day. You don’t want to look stressed out, fatigued or angry on the day you’ve been planning for so long now. Be clean, wear your best outfit, have plenty of rest and sport a big smile. Remember, looking the part can make all the difference in the world.
Corporate event planning is synonymous with stress. There is a ton of pressure for anyone who must organize such an event because the boss is looking at you and your co-workers are looking at you. Turn this negative into a positive! If you can manage a corporate event then you can pretty much manage anything else that comes your way. In the words of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: just bring it!
Were you ever in charge of a small business or corporate event? Let us know how it went in the comments section…