8 Easy Steps for Planning a Corporate Event

Planning a corporate event can be simple and easy with the right amount of planning and thought. While you may feel overwhelmed, if you break your process into steps you can manage your event one task at a time.

Here’s our breakdown of some of the important steps to get you from planning to flawless corporate event:

Step 1. Know the details

Before you even begin planning, you’ve got to know the nitty gritty details. What time of day? What date? How many people? What’s the occasion?

Once you know all of these pieces, then you can start figuring out the rest. You can’t plan an event without knowing the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where, why!

Step 2. Decide on a budget

Ask the higher-ups how much they’re looking to spend or decide for yourself, if it’s your business, what you’re comfortable spending. If your budget is $15,000, aim to spend about $10,000 leaving room for anything that may pop-up unexpectedly.

If you aim to hit exactly your budget, you run the risk of going over if anything happens. Like most events, something is bound to come up – a guest list increase, a food request, you name it. Plan to have a buffer of cash so you can rest easy.

Step 3. Pick a theme

Is it cocktails and snacks? A fancy sit down? Buffet style? Light refreshments? Before you move into finding a space and a caterer, you’ve got to know your vision. The more you know, the more your caterer and vendor can help you plan.

You also have to know what sort of equipment and tables and chairs you may need and it will depend on what style of event you’re hosting

Step 4. Find a venue

Finding a venue can be tricky, as navigating the costs, quotes, and what’s included means lots of meetings and negotiating. Give yourself lots of time for this part. Come armed with questions: How many staff will be working the event? Can you bring your own caterer? If not, can you meet the caterer? How late are you allowed to stay? Do you need to get any special event permits? Are table, chairs, and equipment included?

Make sure you’re really thorough with asking questions and don’t worry about bugging them – they are used to having to answer everything and anything.

Step 5. Find a caterer

Now, the best part! Finding a caterer can feel overwhelming, but this step includes taste testing and choosing what your guests will eat. Some argue that aside from the venue, the food is the most important aspect, so choose wisely.

Depending on your theme, you can choose a caterer accordingly. For cocktails, you will want appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. But, do you want platters on a table or servers walking around with trays? If you’re doing a dinner, is it sit down and served or buffet style? If it’s light refreshments, what types of foods do you want – sandwiches and salads, or a hot meal?

For conferences, usually buffet style works best. Food gets set up at the beginning of the event so conference goers can graze the tables and bring their food to their seats. Waiters and waitresses will go around collecting empty plates. It’s a very easy, foolproof plan for big events!

Again, make sure you ask your caterer a ton of questions [link to previous article] and taste everything.

Step 6. Get some good entertainment

If it’s a conference, get a really good guest speaker to break up the drone of corporate meetings and presentations. If it’s a cocktail event, secure an appropriate DJ or band.

Have contests or giveaways, maybe even a door prize. Order some company swag and have a welcome bag for guests.

Step 7. Schedule the logistics

Organization is your best friend and having everything scheduled to a T will save you from any hiccups. Know when your venders are coming in to set up, have a clear agenda for the event, and make sure staff is briefed on what happens when.

A flawless event is one that is carefully thought out and planned.

Step 8. Send out the invitations and enjoy

When you send out invitations, ensure that you have all of the relevant information for attendees included. Let them know where to park, what the dress code is, what style of event it is, accommodation information if necessary, and even public transit information. For corporate events, it’s also not uncommon for an agenda to be sent out as well.

If you require RSVPs, try using an online service that tracks RSVPs to make it simple and easy for guests to register. You can use Google Forms for free or a paid event ticketing service, such as EventBrite.

Now, you’re all set to sit back and enjoy your event! We recommend a post-party meeting with relevant stakeholders to always do a post-event check-in to learn from what worked and what didn’t. You’ll be a corporate event-planning expert in no time.

Need help planning your corporate event? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today! 


Written by Brad Dalli from Dalli Digital