The Perfect Corporate Event Checklist

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The pressure to make your company’s upcoming event at least as good as others in your industry is on. The date of the big event nears. You can’t just wing this the way you would less important employee gatherings. You want to make a glowing impression, so there’s no getting around creating a thorough checklist. The first thing to go on that list, which is fairly obvious, will be finding the space to hold the event. Knowing how successful your event is will revolve around having a clear idea of the kind of experience you want to offer attendee. Finding the venue that will provide it will come next.

Cindy Shanholtz, who has overseen hundreds of events in the Chicago area, advises paying more attention than you may think is necessary to the size of the space you choose, emphasizing the importance of it having an adequate number of restrooms. People lining up to use the toilet is an inconvenience that can be avoided if minute details like this aren’t overlooked when scouting a location. Selecting a space that’s neither too big or small is critical to the success of an event while at the same time is a part of the planning process that’s easily overlooked.

Knowing your budget reigns supreme and will help you identify the space where you want to throw your event. It’s important to assess expenses carefully. Hidden costs beyond the rental fee for the evening have to be factored in. Hiring a deejay may be part of the plan. A PA system, podium and large screen for a presentation may have to be rented. A catering service will have to be in charge of what guests eat. Ensuring that the edibles offered are diverse and don’t leave out vegetarians is a must. Assessing the different menu options and their costs will help you to stay within manageable spending limits. There are lots of moving parts that can be forgotten if you’re not meticulous, however. They include the cost of wait staff, utensils, dishes, candles and other easy to forget aspects of the meal.

No great gathering is possible without a great selection of liquor, so renting a space that comes with a bar goes without saying. Sitting down with the owners of the venue that interests you will involve negotiating how much it costs to have an open bar with bartenders on deck. If meals are being served, it’s possible that coordination between the bar staff and catering service you choose will be needed. Again, the devil’s in the details.

Getting the food and drinks part down is key, but there are still other issues to be covered, which can involve signage. If partners are functioning as co-sponsors, you’ll need to hire a team to display banners across walls with corporate logos on them, though sometimes putting ads on napkins and cardboard placeholders can be sufficient. While simply creating an atmosphere in which everyone feels relaxed and comfortable is an important goal, large groups need structure to tie an event together. Signage builds a sense of team spirit among attendees who work for the same company. It can also help keep the ambiance professional. It’s another feature that can strengthen or weaken the success of an event.

For large national gatherings such as those which high level managers are attending, travel is often involved. Identifying the best hotels in close proximity of the space in which your event is taking place is absolutely paramount and will enable you to negotiate group discounts on lodging.

Making a flawless checklist including all the above will ensure that your corporate gathering runs smoothly and leaves guests smiling. One way to facilitate tying all the loose ends together and avoid overlooking anything is to use an event planning tool that you can plug all these variables into and manage more methodically. While using event management software can help you coordinate all these requirements, you may ultimately decide that it’s wiser to hire an outside event planner who’s a pro at organizing business affairs. According to a recent CNN article, having someone who specializes in throwing business events handle yours will free you up to focus on daily responsibilities, which in the long run may be more cost effective.

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Kevin Schultz is a professional journalist with over 15 years of writing and media experience. He is a full-time contributor to the Themocracy Online News Blog and his insightful writing has been enjoyed by thousands.