As experts in corporate catering, we here at Plenty of Thyme have worked at countless corporate events over the years, and have learned a thing or two about what works well and what doesn’t!
We live in an increasingly digital working world, with many now working remotely from home (especially after covid). This makes live corporate events even more important, as this allows for a more personal environment in which to connect with colleagues, or develop genuine relationships with clients.
Planning a corporate event can seem like a daunting task, whether it is a team-building day for 30 staff, or a product launch for 200 guests. This is especially true if this is the first time you have been tasked with organising a corporate event for your company! Ultimately, the success of the event will depend on you, and to ensure the event runs smoothly there are several steps you need to consider.
Fortunately for you, as specialists in corporate catering (and with a wealth of experience in every type of corporate event), we have written this blog as a guide for anyone who is planning a corporate event. We hope you find it helpful!
Fully understand the purpose and ultimate goals of your event.
So you have been tasked with planning a corporate event. The very first step is to fully outline what it is that needs to be accomplished from the event. So ask yourself these questions. What is the purpose of the event? What are your goals and expectations? We cannot stress enough the importance of fully understanding the goals and objectives of the event, to help determine how best to create an event that will resonate best with your target audience.
Decide who your audience is.
Is this corporate event being planned as a thank you to staff? Or is it aimed at impressing clients? Perhaps your event will have a mix of staff, partners, company executives, and clients? Determining who your primary audience will be will help you create an event that best suits your guests and caters to their needs. Now that you understand your audience and their needs, you can tailor the event accordingly.
Make sure you set a realistic budget.
Knowing how much money you have to work with will help determine exactly what sort of event you can realistically create. A good rule of thumb is to work out exactly what you need to spend, then add an additional 10% for any unexpected expenses. Once you know your budget you can allocate funds accordingly. As you now know your event goals, you will know whether you need to spend more on decorations for a theme, or allocate more cash towards a technical team for stage presentations. It is at this point you need to consider outside suppliers. Do you need to hire a venue? Will you require corporate catering for this event? What will guests drink? Will you require a mobile bar? Are there other supplier costs that need to be factored into your budget? What other things will you need to hire, such as chairs and tables? Once you have answered all of these questions you can allocate funds. And remember! If you do require corporate catering for your event, the best caterers in Essex (us!) are ready and waiting to create delicious food for your guests!
Create your event project timeline.
When planning an event, there are bound to be lots of tasks that need completing. Depending on the size of the event you may have to delegate certain tasks to other members of your team. It is a great idea to create a spreadsheet detailing each task, and the deadline each task needs to be completed by. By creating, and then sticking to an event project timeline you take away any unnecessary stress that could come from something that was overlooked.
Time to choose a theme!
So by now you have defined your primary audience and set your event objectives. The next step is to decide whether the event should be set to a specific theme or topic. There are endless themes to choose from, so take some time to decide which theme (if any!) would suit your event. If you go down the bespoke props or event styling route, we highly recommend our friends at Rock the Day!
Decide on the perfect location.
Getting the perfect location for the event can be the difference between bringing your vision to life, or merely being ok. We recommend only looking for the ideal venue once you have decided on the overall structure and goals of the event. It is much easier to find a venue that fits with your vision than trying to reorganise your event to fit the venue. One of the benefits of planning a corporate event is the event is more likely to be held during the working week…so all of those amazing venues out there are more likely to have availability (as this avoids wedding bookings traditionally held at the weekend). There is also a further advantage, as a lot of venues charge less for midweek bookings!
Be detailed in the logistics for the event.
To ensure the smooth running of your event, it is essential that you have a detailed logistic timeframe of how the day should run. Make sure everything goes according to your plan by briefing everyone on the team and ensuring all team members know exactly what aspects of the event they are in charge of, and the exact timeframe of the day. When creating this plan we advise that you leave some space in the day’s itinerary, as not everything always goes to plan, and by leaving gaps between the next stage of the event you give breathing space for the unexpected.
Lastly, enjoy the day!!
So after weeks or maybe months of hard work and planning, the day of the event is finally here! If you have followed our steps you should be heading into the event confident that everything will run smoothly. We hope that your staff or guests will leave the event with a smile on their faces! Be sure to gather feedback from your guests if possible. After all, hopefully you have impressed the boss so much with your event planning skills you will be asked to organise the next corporate event!
Corporate catering for your corporate event!
We hope that this guide has been helpful to you when planning your first corporate event! As experts in corporate catering, we can definitely make sure your guests are satiated with delicious food, so get in touch with us today! And if you require other suppliers to bring your corporate event to life then why not check out our list of recommended suppliers?