Putting on a successful event isn’t easy.
You don’t have to be a corporate event planner for long to know this.
But there are a few tried-and-true tricks that can help.
These event planning tips that will take the pressure off and ensure your audience raves about their experience.
1. Give yourself plenty of time.
We’ve already established that planning a corporate or association event isn’t a quick and simple task.
The more time you have to perfect each detail, the more successful the meeting will be.
Plus, it’ll be easier to land the venue you want and create a team that will make everything run smoothly. Take time to review the evaluations from last year. What did you learn and improve on this year?
Even putting out fires is easier when you’ve had enough time to prepare.
2. Kick-start the conference with event software.
If you want to maximize ROI, you need to tap into the power of event software, programs that help you organize, build and market your conference.
You’ll save a ton of time and you’ll have an easy way to collect and analyze data that you can use to inform future events.
It’ll also let you create a seamless experience for your attendees.
Here are a few to try:
3. Leverage event tools.
Using the right event software is important, but it’s not the only thing that can make your meeting top-notch for your audience.
Consider using other technologies, such as:
- Trello, an app for project management.
- HubSpot to automate your marketing.
- Livestream for a better streaming experience.
- Zapier for software integration.
These are some great examples, but there are a lot out there that can make your life as a corporate event planner easier.
Find the combination of tools that works best for you and your budget.
4. Focus on what’s most important.
A lot of moving pieces need to fall into place for your event to be deemed a success.
Knowing how to prioritize your time is key.
Understanding what’s most important can help know where to start, too – and isn’t that always the hardest part?
Check out this fail-proof strategy that any meeting planner can follow:
- Step 1: Determine your overall vision and choose a theme that will resonate with the audience.
- Step 2: Create a to-do list, arranging the items by level of importance.
- Step 3: Schedule out which tasks you’ll do each day.
- Step 4: Dive in and work on one item at a time until you’ve knocked out the whole list.
5. If you do not ask, you will not get.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when negotiating with hotels:
- The larger the event, the more you can ask for.
- If possible, connect with the sales manager at the hotel during the last few days of the month. They have a quota to meet and you will have more leverage for getting a better price – either free or discounted rooms.
- Be careful with the attrition rates you negotiate, in case you have less attendees than planned. Go for 80% not 90%. Also, be aware that food/beverage gratuity usually runs around 22%.
- Remember: tax is on top of all of those costs.
- Whether you’re working with an outside production team or in-house AV team, be careful and review everything they will charge for.
6. Don’t be afraid to delegate.
Follow this piece of corporate event planner wisdom: You can’t do it everything on your own.
Repeat that again: You can’t do everything on your own.
The ability to delegate is a crucial piece of the overall puzzle that is a successful event.
Plus, you’ll be showing your team you trust them and, in turn, they will be more invested and engaged in making sure things go off without a hitch.
But don’t just pass out jobs willy-nilly.
Take the time to determine which person is best suited for each task.
One more thing: Assign the job and then let it go. You’re not doing yourself or your team member any good by peeking over their shoulder the whole time.
7. Book the right speaker.
The right speaker(s) to open and/or close you event is essential. You want the buzz in the halls, right after the morning session, to be positive.
This will make you feel like a genius for finding the perfect speaker. There is no better feeling as a meeting planner.
It is a unique skill to prepare for and connect with a diverse association audience. There are often people many who will have attended this event for 10, 20 or even 30 years. As a result, they can be hard to impress!
The speaker must be experienced and have tons of energy speaker in order to develop a great rapport with the audience.
When all is said and done, a satisfied audience is a win. Make sure the speaker effectively brings you home the victory.
Follow these corporate event planner tips and shine
These 7 tips will give you everything you need to put on an event that resonates with the attendees.
Start planning early, use tools and software that make your job easier and keep the focus on your theme.
Follow a strategy that has worked for other corporate meeting planners, delegate jobs to your competent team members and make sure your speaker can bring the energy that engages the audience.