In today’s fast-paced world, we’re always looking to get everything done quicker and easier than the day before. That’s why companies use third parties for so many aspects of their business that they used to handle themselves.
Companies contract outside IT professionals. Office cleaning gets outsourced. Even payroll and benefits aren’t done in-house anymore.
Supervisors and owners used to delegate office events to employees. If they were hosting a luncheon or meeting, staff members planned and executed it.
But in the last decade, businesses pulled a 180.
But is it really saving companies money? Is planning a corporate event as difficult as event planners make it sound?
We did some deep-diving and found the secrets corporate event planners don’t want you to know.
8 Secrets Corporate Event Planning Companies Don’t Want You to Know
Your first question may be, “Why would corporate event planning be such a big secret?” It’s a valid one. The answer is also valid: Because it’s a lucrative business
Depending on where you live, event planners can make an average of close to $70,000 per year. The top money-making city for an event planner? Washington D.C.
It makes sense, considering the amount of political schmoozing going on there. New York, New Jersey, and Boston are also up near the top.
When you break it all down, it’s easy money. Event planners don’t cook the food, they hire a caterer. They don’t provide entertainment, that’s outsourced, too.
They take your ideas, find the vendors, and oversee the process. Not a bad gig, huh?
Here are eight more secrets they don’t want you to know about…
Do you how to make your employees feel appreciated? You get them involved.
You’ll want to hear your top stakeholders’ opinions but you need to hear from the “little guy” too. Create a short survey asking your employees what they enjoyed about last year’s meeting or event.
You can do this with a simple email blast to your entire office. Set a deadline, allowing enough event planning time, and tabulate the responses.
You’ll find out what they liked and didn’t like, so you know what to add and leave out. Something you may have paid a premium for last year may turn out to be a total dud.
Set Realistic Goals
Every business owner has a lean business approach, right? Of course! You’re not in business to waste money, you’re in it to make it.
First, set a budget. Go over it with a fine-toothed comb and stick to it.
That means, while it may seem like a lot of fun to hire fire dancers and exotic animals to put your event over the top, it’s not worth the money. Focus on goals that are smaller and more realistic for your audience.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know all about networking and building relationships. Now it’s time to use that knowledge.
Reach out to business partners in your community. Barter services with them.
Do you use one company to print your business cards? Find out if they’re willing to provide your event with printed materials. In return, their logo can go on everything they print.
Will your IT company handle the tech? If they remain on-site for your event, allow them to set up some promotional space.
Think about which business relationships you have and what you both have to gain if they sponsor your corporate event.
Invest in Speakers
This one’s pretty simple. Find engaging speakers that will captivate your audience and teach them something.
It’s understandable that you’ll want to say a few words, and you should. But don’t have every speaker be a member of management. That gets stale fast.
Think about entertainment here as well. Is there a local comedian whose act is appropriate for a corporate event? What about a local musical act.
There are even musicians who specialize in events. View here to learn more about this aspect of providing entertainment.
Your event doesn’t have to be only PowerPoint presentations all night. Have an employee who knows a thing or two create slideshows of your business. Include photos of your staff and other fun events held throughout the year.
Create a fun hashtag that people can use to post photos to social media. If you have more than one location, it’s a fun way for those holding down the fort in other cities to take part. You can even live stream the event for them, so they feel included.
Create a Flow
A company meeting or event has to have fluidity. Things go wrong and hiccups happen on occasion.
But it also has to be organized. Make sure you manage your time wisely. Allot extra time for your speakers who may go over their limit.
Make sure your check-in process is easy and efficient. If you set up a buffet, have a table flow so it doesn’t get chaotic.
After you structure how you want the event flow, make sure the key people who help you execute it have a clear understanding of how it’s supposed to go.
And whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to hire a vendor or decide you want fire dancers after all. You may pay a premium for a rushed service and it can throw a wrench in your event flow.
Research, Research, Research
Some corporate event planning companies have partnerships with vendors. Smaller event planners still use good ol’ research to find good deals.
If you’re able to use your current business relationships to handle some sponsored aspects, you’re ahead of the game. If you’re not, that’s okay. You need to put in some legwork.
If you have interns, this is a great task for them to handle. Start with every facet of your event you need to cover, then have the interns start finding prices and availability.
This is also good busy work for employees who finish their daily tasks with time to spare.
Pay Attention to Every Detail
Finally, pay attention to every single detail. If you’re a smaller company, you may have to handle a little more of the planning and executing. If you do delegate tasks, don’t micromanage.
Have faith in your team members. If you trust your employees, they’ll be more engaged.
Besides, some of them may even surprise you.
Think You Can Pull it Off?
You may not have the workforce to pull off a meeting the way corporate event planning companies can, and that’s fine. What you do now know are ways to cut some of the costs when planning a party.
You may have a staff member who moonlights as a DJ. There could be one heck of a home-caterer in your midst. There are two expenses right there you won’t have to pay a markup on.
You can even assign different departments to handle different aspects of the event. The possibilities are endless.
If you need more tips, hacks, and advice so you can know things better, check out our business blog.