When planning a corporate event, there is a lot to think about. Not only do you want to deliver the best presentation or pitch possible, but you also want to ensure all of your guests are having a good time and learning from the experience. Here at Mottram Hall, we offer a great venue for corporate events in Cheshire and are able to help you with every part of your function.
In this article, you can find a few of our perfect tips for planning corporate events which will help you get ahead of the game and put on the best function possible.
Before you even put pen to paper and start writing a presentation or crafting a guest list, you should work out what your goals are for the event. Depending on the kind of event, your goals should reflect everything you want to achieve. Whether it is new client opportunities or gaining new contacts, having these goals written down, making sure your team knows them and planning your event around making them happen is a must.
We spoke to Alex from Make Events, he told us more about the business: “Where Make Events go the extra mile is to think about every step your audience makes; from anticipating your event, arriving at the venue, being wowed by the food stations, getting totally inspired by what they’ve seen and heard, looking at their colleagues in a new way and putting what they’ve learnt into practice the next day.
“And then we make every moment count. By adding creative flourishes you haven’t yet imagined, using technology to truly engage and doing it all with superhuman levels of efficiency.”
Alex gave us his top tip for event planning: “Start with what you want the audience or guests to THINK, FEEL and DO as a result. If you keep coming back to these objectives you will create an event that delivers on your goals.”
We also spoke to Ali from event planning company Mr Flavour. He told us more about the company: “When we plan our events we pride ourselves on adding the characteristics and personality of that company into their event, be it company branded cocktails to our entertainers performing in the colours of the brand, the emphasis of the event is on branding the event. From when attendees arrive, to the second they leave you are inviting guests into your client’s message and it is paramount that the brand’s message is portrayed consciously and sometimes even subconsciously throughout the event!
“A corporate event planners role can range from planning private parties to private dinners. Every event is different and requires an individual approach. One common component of corporate event planning is whatever the occasion, you need a detailed creative brief and a venue that fits into that brief.
“Events in a corporate environment are usually tools to market externally or internally a message by the brand. Be it to celebrate record sales or a showcase to clients, understanding the brief is critical to corporate event planners. So our key tip, understand why your client/company is having a corporate event and what is the purpose of it.”
If you want your event to go as smoothly as possible, thinking of every detail in the planning can make a big difference towards the final success. With your details being considered and sorted, you’ll know that everything is taken care of. In order to go in there and deliver the best presentation or seminar possible, or to truly woo clients, knowing you’ve thought of every single thing makes a big difference.
As well as thinking of every detail, you need to ensure that you are meeting all of your guest’s needs. Here at Mottram Hall, we are able to work with you to create the perfect corporate events in Cheshire, and to ensure your guest’s needs are all met.
This can mean a whole range of things, from ensuring there is parking available for everyone, to knowing about any dietary restrictions when crafting your menu. It’s small touches like this that mean the day progresses without a hitch and means that all you’ll have to worry about is making the best impression possible.
Questions to ask your guests before a corporate event:
- Are there any dietary restrictions we should be made aware of?
- Are there any medical conditions we should be made aware of?
- How do you intend to travel to the event? Will you require parking?
We spoke to Ella from Assured Events, she told us more about the importance of personalisation: “Business events can often run the risk of being too stiff and formal if the event objectives aren’t clear in the planner’s mind. This is where small touches can make all the difference. In a room of 100 businessmen and women, it’s a real talent to make each individual feel important whether that be through a personalised gift or a favourite drink. Consider the whole attendee experience, from when the invitations are sent to when the event is over. Think it through and do your research.
Ella also discussed the importance of planning your goals correctly: “Corporate events are often used as a tool to build a company’s relationship with their clients, suppliers and their staff. It’s really important that there’s an understanding of who the audience is when you start the planning process. Why are you putting this event on and what do you want to achieve from it? Being clear on this from the beginning will help to guide you during the key decision-making processes. Of course, it is important that the event is enjoyable, but your attendees need to take away something valuable too.”
What will be the run of the show?
Knowing the run off the show is important for a multitude of reasons. It allows guests to know what to expect, it allows you to keep control of the event, but it also means you can be ready for any unseen eventualities. If guests are late, they’ll know the timings so will be able to judge what they may have missed/the best time to enter. If something goes awry, you can ensure you have a back-up for that time, and it means that everything is more likely to run smoothly.
Although your event should be formal, it should also be fun and immersive. Whether this is done within the event itself, or after hours by jumping on the golf course or relaxing over a glass of wine at the bar, it’s always good to have a more relaxed portion of your event.
Depending on how long your event is, you may only have an hour of downtime before guests have to leave or for weekend functions you may be able to allocate half a day to these activities. Either way, it’s a great way to make your guests feel more comfortable and get to know one another on a more personal level.
We spoke to Emily, event planner at Entertainment Today, who told us a bit more about their company: “Creativity is key when planning an event, in order to ensure that your event stands out from the crowd. We ensure we provide attention to detail to every element, this sets the bar higher than others, leaving delegates keen to return. We provide personal contact with all clients, with a dedicated account manager. Thus, ensuring confidence every step of the way, without hassle. Clients have often been quick to thank us for how on-hand we are, in regard to updates and dealing with queries.”
Emily then told us her top tip for people planning to organise a corporate event: “It’s important that the event is relevant to delegates and that it fits with the core goals of the company and the outcome they hope for, from the event. But be creative with this, and keep the delegates engaged with immersive activities.
“The more engagement, the more likely it will be future proof and keep the event and company evolving. Always maintain a position as a front runner in terms of both creativity and technology, look at what’s working for other events and make it your own!”
Even though your event may be over, it isn’t time to stop yet. Post-event follow-up is a must for any corporate event. Depending on who you’ve hosted, guests may attend myriad corporate events and conducting proper follow up can help encourage a lasting impression. There are four main types of people who will attend your events, and below we’ve outlined the best way to follow-up with each of them.
Sending follow-up to clients
If the event you’ve conducted has been with clients, perhaps a meeting or presentation, following-up allows you to summarise everything that was discussed. Sending a follow-up email that lists everything you may have discussed, whilst attaching any presentations or documents you may have referred to whilst together will not only give the client points of reference for the future but will help cement what was discussed in their minds.
Sending follow-up to potential clients
If the event was with potential clients, a solid follow-up could mean the difference between you winning their business and not quite signing it off. For this, as well as sending a follow-up email with everything you may have discussed within it, it’s good to have a more informal follow-up call. Ask about their journey home, if they felt they learnt a lot whilst at the event and whether there is any more information they’d like to see from you. It is the little touches like this that show them not only are you thorough, but you are approachable and care about them on an individual level.
Sending follow-up to other people in the industry
If your event was talking to other people in the industry, sending a follow-up can ensure that the event stays in their mind. It’s a great way to touch base with potential new hires or to continue to make yourself a thought leader in your area. Depending on where your guests fall, a courtesy email, or even a call for those you wish to establish lasting connections with will go a long way.
Sending follow-up to members of your business
For members of your own business, follow-up can be a much simpler affair but should still be done. Everything from team building events to seminars are an important part of work life, and often people can learn a lot from these. Ensuring that all of your attendees not only had an enjoyable time but learnt something can be done with a simple email. You can also find out privately if they have any further questions and ask their opinion on the event so you can make improvements for your next function.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if this is your first time planning a corporate event it’s okay to look into working with event planners. Organising a professional event is a skill and something that can be perfected over time. There is a great range of Cheshire based event planning companies (many of them featured in this article) that can help your big day be a success.
We spoke to Tracy of Tracy Lavin Events. She told us more about her history in the business and Tracy Lavin Events: “I trained and managed hotels for 18 years prior to event planning so when working with venues, we understand their side even more than most and know what we can ask for that maybe is not on their menu or details. Having booked various hotels and unique venues, we know what works well and even suggest items that venues have never done before but when they see the finished look, they love it!
“We plan and organise high profile worldwide events for corporate and private clients and the detail in every aspect of the event has to be on point, so when doing events in the UK, it’s easier for us because there’s not as much travel involved. We have built relationships with great suppliers we use locally plus we bring new concepts from abroad which we can use for our clients and in venues.”
We then asked Tracy what tips she’d offer: “For a low budget event I would say try and choose a venue that can do most of your items on site and get a rate that includes everything from audio equipment to all food/drink for delegates.”
“For a larger event and higher budget, I would say choose an experienced event planner like ourselves as it not only saves you time, but a good one saves your company money as they negotiate discounted rates with venues and suppliers that should more than pay for their fee. We often get clients say to us afterwards ‘we could not have done that without you’ because they soon realise all the work that is involved in organising and delivering large events to a high standard.”
With these professional tips and this advice, you’re ready to plan your corporate event in Cheshire at Mottram Hall.