If you are a business owner in Toronto, corporate events are a way to go if you want to build brand awareness and relationships with business partners, customers, sponsors, as well as attract new potential customers to your business. Whether it is an employee appreciation event, industry conference, product launch, or professional conference, a successful corporate event will leave guests with a strong positive impression. While the task of planning a large corporate event presents unique challenges, it can also be exciting and worthwhile. Once you get the hang of it, you will realize that you do not need to be a rocket scientist to make the event a huge success.
While corporate events are unique, we will share several secrets and actionable tips that will ensure the success of planning a large corporate event.
1. Start as Early as Possible
A huge corporate event requires adequate preparation time. If you have more than 500 attendees, you will need at least 4 to 5 months to plan the event. Even a smaller event will require at least a month of preparation.
There are different moving parts involved in an event. Planning as early as possible gives you more options for different elements of a major corporate event, including the venue, talents or speakers, sponsorships, marketing, and so on. Having more options means higher chances of pulling a successful event.
2. Identify the Purpose and Goals of Your Event
Before committing yourself, make sure to ponder on the following questions:
- What are your reasons for hosting the event?
- What is the purpose of the event?
The objective and purpose of the event will help you decide the type of event you are going to organize. For instance, if you are planning a corporate event to launch a new product, your objective may include:
- 1,000 followers for your new product’s social media page
- 1,000 social media engagements and interactions
- 1,000 pre-orders for your newly launched product
Your objectives should have a quantifiable metric to enable you to gauge your progress in reaching your goals and ensure that they are attainable.
3. Establish Your Budget
Determining how much you are willing to spend is as important as planning the event as early as possible. Your budget often determines the elements you can afford for your event. Make sure to create an outline of your estimated budget before planning anything else.
Here are some of the most essential elements to include in your budget:
- Venue: rental and required insurance
- Catering: foods and beverages served during the corporate event in Toronto
- Decoration: decors should be based on the theme of the event
- Entertainment: performers, exhibitors, talents, speakers, and others. It can also involve travel or rental cost of hiring a charter bus in Toronto and accommodation
- Marketing: methods you will use in promoting your event and in which channels
- Contingencies: Allocate at least 20% of your budget for unexpected costs to avoid unpleasant surprises along the way
4. Assign Responsibilities
Divide the different elements into sections, such as registration, catering, transport) and assign a team to each section. This allows each team to focus on their assigned section and ensure that they are able to attend to small detail changes.
5. Choose the Ideal Venue
For a large in-person event, choosing the venue can make or break your success.
For an in-person event, then your venue selection can have a significant impact on your success. Make sure you have enough time, 4 to 6 months in advance preferably, to plan the event. This will enable you to check the date with your VIP guests, key speakers, and other guests. Pay attention to national holidays since venues tend to be more costly during these times. Once you have chosen the date, start to look for potential venues that are ideal for the large corporate event:
- Size: Depends on how many guests will be attending the event. Consider if you will require separate rooms for the type of event you are planning.
- Location: For local events, choose a venue that is located near enough to the homes or workplaces of your attendees. If your goal is to attract attendees from other cities or countries, select a venue that is near the train station or airport.
- Parking: The venue should have a parking space that is big enough to accommodate all the guest’s vehicles.
- Accessibility: Check if the venue has all-gender washrooms, accessible entrances and elevators.
6. Do a Run Through
About 2 weeks before the scheduled event, meet with your team and mentally walk through everything. This will help you identify problems and address them ASAP.
7. Secure Sponsorships
Create a list of target sponsors for your corporate event. Since sponsorship is a 2-way deal, take time to research each company or individual and figure out how both of you can benefit from the event.
Here are some factors to consider when securing sponsors:
- Choose sponsors that have sponsored an event before.
- They should have a similar target audience as yours.
- They should offer complementary products or services as what your business offers.
- Tailor your sponsorship package proposals to potential sponsors.
The secret to planning and organizing a successful large corporate event is having a thorough understanding of your target attendees. When you understand how you can deliver value to them, you are more likely to be able to plan the perfect event for them.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.