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Corporate events are always a hit-or-miss situation. Either it’s a great party where everyone mingles and socializes and networks, or it’s a boring corporate event where the focus is all on the corporate and none on the event, and everyone can’t wait for it to finish. For the latter, no matter what message you’re trying to get across with the event, it isn’t going to be heard because people don’t remember boring things. So, to make sure your event is a success, follow these five rules and it will work every time.
If you don’t have a timetable and just have a list of speakers and things that need to happen, you will most likely end up with a boring lineup with no breaks or breathers, and everything will either end too early and feel rushed, or you’ll realize you’re running out of time and you have two more speakers waiting for their turn. Your guests don’t need to know the timetable, but you and anyone involved in the organization should. After a longer speech or lecture, give people time to ask questions, ponder on the things they’ve heard and take a breather. If you are serving meals, make sure there are no events happening while the food is being served or while the guests are eating.
Sometimes, you just have to have some people speak, even if their speeches are famous for being a snooze fest. But if you know that, warn them to keep it short and give people something fun to do in between the speeches. If you have a fun picture spot, some games like a lottery or a quiz and similar fun activities, everyone will be happy. If you are in a big city where options are limitless, you can hire a mixologist in NYC to up the fun factor, especially when the cocktail master makes an event out of mixing the cocktails up.
There’s nothing more annoying than an event starting and everyone preparing to listen – just to find out that the microphone isn’t working or that someone’s presentation is on the wrong USB. Always have a tech person on-hand (an actual professional that knows the equipment and works with it daily, not Mike from IT) and make sure you do a technical check for everything before the guests start to pour in.
Not only do you want to make sure that all of your guests have enough time to schedule you in with their other plans, but you also want to make sure you have enough time to find replacements if some of the important speakers can’t come. If you’re inviting people from different spheres, make sure the event doesn’t clash with any big industry events like festivals, as well as any public holidays.
If you have a guest come to the event and can’t find a parking spot, they will be pissed off before they even get into the venue. Think of those little things: hire enough servers so that nobody needs to wait for a drink for too long, have comfortable chairs, food options for those with dietary needs, translators and interpreters, and any other specific needs your guests might have.
Planning an event is no small affair, and if you don’t have someone who is well versed in the business, you might want to hire a coordinator that will take care of the whole thing, or at least help guide you through the planning process. A good corporate event is key for the company image, so you really want to nail it.