Successful corporate events don’t happen by accident. Any company or organization that has planned a large event understands the significant investment of time and resources they require. With so much on the line, it’s important to get it right.
As with most things, great results require starting with a great plan. Here are five fundamental things to consider when putting together your plan for your next corporate event.
Start with Leadership
#1: Get Your Key Leadership On Board
Remember when you were a kid and you’d go to your Dad and say, “Hey Dad, can we go get ice cream? Mom said it was okay?” The same principle sometimes applies in the corporate world, except instead of “Dad” and “Mom,” it’s “your boss” and the “SVP of Marketing” (or fill-in-your-own-blank).
Depending on which part of the organization your corporate event is supporting – sales meeting, marketing to your customer base, training new staff – your event needs an internal sponsor (the “Mom” in the analogy above). The event sponsor is a member of senior leadership who has a vested interest in the event’s success, and has the power to enable it. Sometimes it’s clear who this person is, other times it’s not so clear.
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten a call from a client saying, “Well, it’s that time of year again; time to plan our annual conference.” And that’s about as much direction as they have.
Having a senior leader taking ownership in the event will ensure the project is in alignment with the company’s strategic goals. They can get the proper funding/budget, attention and support needed by necessary staff, and will help build enthusiasm for the event. We often put it in terms of “who is signing the check” for this event? In other words, which senior leader has the most to gain – or lose – depending on the outcome or success of the event?
If you are that leader, great! We’re sure you know how to move the project forward. If you are responsible for the event, but don’t know for sure who your key sponsor is, take the initiative to ask around. Knowing that sponsor’s role – and having them on your side – will be a huge support as you go about your event’s planning process.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
#2: Determine the Key Players
As is the case with a lot of our clients, there is not a specific internal person or department dedicated to overseeing their events, and ensuring they are produced & executed with precision, consistency, and excellence. Because events span so many different sections of a company (sales, leadership development, marketing, training, etc.) there is often not a single person or department naturally responsible for producing all of their events.
Sometimes that planning responsibility is overseen by senior management, sometimes it goes through the sales or marketing channel, other times it’s handled by HR, or sometimes the task falls squarely on the shoulders of the poor Executive Assistant who happened to be absent during the meeting when the task was assigned.
Maybe that person is you. No worries. Hopefully this post can help you navigate it all a little easier.
Getting the right people in the right places is key. Make a list of all the key stakeholders for your event, and then get them together to discuss their desired goals, expectations, and anticipated outcomes. Once everyone has shared their key issues, agendas, plans, and intentions, you can work together toward creating shared goals for your event.
These shared stated goals will now become the framework for determining your event’s structure and content. It becomes your foundation, and everyone will be on the same page.
Choose a Primary Point of Contact
#3: Assign One Person to Keep the Project On-Track
Too often an organization will assign various point people to plan their annual conference or meeting. It’s easy for this to happen, as many corporate events cross different company departments and lines. In a lot of events there is an HR component, a sales and/or marketing element, portions fall under leadership development, etc. Then of course there is meeting planning, procurement, travel, and accounting.
With so many people leading their own area, it’s easy to end up with a few too many cooks in the kitchen, sometimes with competing needs.
It’s important to have one person on your organization’s side act as the primary point-person or overall project manager for the event. There can be other folks managing their specific areas, but there should be one primary person whose job it is to keep an overall eye on the entire project, and be the direct contact with the senior leadership sponsor.
Your senior leadership sponsor can help determine who this point person is, and ensure the rest of your key personnel play nicely together in the proverbial sandbox.
If you’re working with a professional corporate event agency like Transperia, that primary point person will have a counterpart on the production side of things. These two key project leaders can work together to ensure one clear channel of communication and project plan. This practice will also provide for an organized approval structure and make all event planning processes more efficient.
Have Faith in Your Production Company
#4: Choose a Production Agency You Can Partner With
It’s critical that your event production company understands your event and project objectives to guarantee flawless execution for the ultimate event experience. How do we do this at Transperia Group? As your Creative Agency, we anchor communication, media, and event projects from concept to execution. Think of us as a general contractor, bringing the best of the business/industry to the table to produce our clients’ projects. As your advocate and partner, we work to make it easy for you to do your job, and not worry about any of the production elements. We’ve got you covered.
Strategize with our clients
Design (graphics, video, presentations, animation, scenic, etc.)
Fully produce media
Execute events, providing all staff, crew, staging & equipment necessary
But perhaps most importantly: we ADVOCATE for our clients.
Day of Your Event
#5: Enjoy the Ride!
With the right planning and resource partners, the day of your event should actually be enjoyable for you. At this point, you should be able to sit back and leave it up to your internal team and the production company to execute the program. The best course of action you can take is to stay present and pay attention to your attendees. Chances are, you’ll look like the hero of day!
One Final Tip
Bonus Tip: Let’s Do Something Cool Together
At Transperia Group, we make it easy for you to have your best event – ever. We’ll help you eliminate the stress, hassles, and budget anxiety often experienced with corporate events and media projects.
We do the heavy lifting, you just take the credit!
To learn more about how to ensure your corporate event is successful, get in touch with Transperia Group today.