Corporate events cover everything from exciting parties to meetings, and likewise planning them can be an enjoyable opportunity. Whether you jumped to volunteer for this role or have had the task forced upon you, here are our 5 top tips for planning a corporate hospitality event.
Your budget will play a major role in defining every aspect of your event planning, so make sure it’s clear from the get-go exactly how much this is. You should plan carefully to cover each element of your event, ensuring your priorities are clear as you do so. For example, it is sometimes worth selecting a more budget-friendly catering option for so that you can invite a greater number of guests, whereas on other occasions it may be important for your brand image that the event is notably high-end, which will probably mean that the guest list has to be a bit more exclusive.
- Find the perfect venue
First impressions certainly do count, so wow-ing your guests when they first arrive should be towards the top of your to-do list. Whether you’re looking to host an intimate dinner or large drinks reception, our range of corporate hospitality venues cover all requirements.
If the budget is tight and you have a suitable space, then hosting in-house could be an option worth considering. To make this a little more interesting you’ll probably have to go the extra mile in creating the atmosphere; maybe by commissioning a florist to create some feature pieces or hiring some professional lighting to give the space some ambience.
The size and style of the event will define your requirements for catering, along with any budget restrictions. In most cases, we recommend focusing on quality; champagne and canapés usually go down better than a cheap and nasty three course meal. Of course, this really depends on the purpose of your event and how many guests you plan to invite. Whatever decision you come to, make sure that the menu is clear to attendees beforehand; most of us would be notably disgruntled if we were expecting to be fed and turn up to find that’s not the case, which is certainly not the reaction you want from your guests!
- Think about set-up
Most of our corporate hospitality venues cater for different room set-ups according to your needs. In some cases, it’s beneficial to mix different groups of guests on larger tables, whereas other occasions will call for smaller tables to keep things more intimate. If the event you’re hosting is a business meeting, then you should think about whether the room would be best set up as a boardroom, theatre style or perhaps around small tables to encourage group discussion.
Planning a guest list is difficult for any occasion, and it’s often necessary to refine it several times. Do your best not to offend anyone and, as previously mentioned, think carefully about which people or groups of people are your priority. If missing people off is going to cause problems, think about ways you can cut back on the budget in other areas in order to extend the guest list.