Corporate events can be a rewarding marketing tool. Do you want to showcase your company’s accomplishments and ideas while helping you to build strong, lasting relationships with stakeholders and your target audience? Running a successful corporate event can be extremely beneficial for your employees, clients, as well as your business’ reputation.
You’ve decided to host a corporate event, but do you know how to prepare beforehand. And, do you know who to hire so that it can run as smoothly as possible? If you’re unsure, you’ve come to the right place!
As a professional event photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of corporate events and I’ve seen what works and what really doesn’t. So, I’ve collated a short guide featuring tips and tricks to help you run a successful corporate event with confidence.
While each event is different, you’ll need to consider a few main points:
What are the fundamental goals that you wish to achieve within your event?
Even before the planning process begins, having these defined goals in your mind will allow you to stay on track and base your decisions around them. For example, will the purpose of your event be to attract others and foster new relationships, to launch a new idea, or to commemorate a milestone?
To minimise the stress that often comes with event planning, it could be of interest to hire professional event staff, event hosts or even a promotional team to share their expert knowledge with you. Remember to communicate the purpose of your event to all of your staff so that they can carry the same enthusiasm and confidence that you will be demonstrating.
Set a realistic budget for the event to avoid any disappointment.
You can do this by using helpful tools like spreadsheets or event budgeting software. Remember to add any expected amounts and actual costs to stay within budget, and make note of any payment deadlines to avoid any additional unwanted fees.
Indoor or outdoor, ensure to choose a convenient, comfortable venue that is suitable for every segment of the corporate event, as well as for your outlined budget. Next, you’ll need to decide on a theme which is in line with the goals of the event, and one that inspires people to attend!
Whether it’s a client-specific event or an internal event, remember to send out your invitations well in advance, and follow up gently to those who don’t respond. Similarly to your outlined goals, determining your audience beforehand will enable you to choose the appropriate services and equipment.
Your catering and entertainment choices will play a key role on the night in ensuring that your guests have a memorable time.
For example, you may want to consider hiring professional bar staff to wow your guests, or even a comedian for a light-hearted end to the evening. Focus on creating an immersive, interactive event that will encourage your attendees to share their experience with others, and therefore promote your company in the process!
Big or small, your corporate event will need to be marketed in a way that builds up to the date that it will be held.
By doing this, you’ll be able to generate excitement and buzz among your attendees while gravitating a wider audience to your event. Here are the best strategies for you to try in your marketing plan.
Keep the energy high with impactful social media posts (including hashtags!) and ads. For the best results, choose a platform that is suited to your event and its target audience – for example, for a more corporate image, Linkedin is an ideal network to use.
Alongside social media, utilise physical tools such as engaging flyers and posters to get the word out and entice people to share the news of your event.
When done right, email marketing can be just as effective as social media.
It all starts with a great mailing list – try gathering a list of past attendees from your previous events, or start creating one by simply adding an email sign up option on your event site or page. Where applicable, use incentives such as discounted tickets for the first 100 people who sign up, or offer “tell a friend” bundle deal tickets.
Attract guests to engage with regular giveaways and competitions across your key marketing channels. In turn, this will help increase exposure to your event and allow you to reach new people.
Giveaways and competitions can be relatively simple. Try voting contests, or asking your audience to caption or comment on photos as to why they should win a ticket to your event.
When run effectively, corporate events can be powerful marketing and networking tools.
Depending on the scale of your event, you might have to deploy a team of professional planners who can help you to hire event hosts, bar staff, catering, and styling. You also need to think carefully about how you market your event.
You can have all the budget and planning in the world but if your marketing isn’t on point, you’ll lack the most important ingredient: attendees.