Throwing a perfect business party does not come easily for most of us. When thinking about a business party, the stresses are sometimes larger, and depending on your budget, your ability to throw a perfect business party may be hampered by differing management tastes, location, and more. The first thing I tell anyone planning a business-related party is to decide on a purpose for the party and a theme that fits as many of the needs of your team as possible. Business parties are not like weddings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. The party is not about merely one person being celebrated and the budgets can vary from very small to extremely significant, with very different goals in mind.
Once you have selected a theme, it is wise to select a party planner who understands your type of business, the kind of party you are planning, and the location it is to be held in. If you are having a local party, but the majority of your participants are from other areas, it is wise, depending on your location, to have your theme integrate well with your location. That way, you can plan multiple events at the same time (if need be), or you can merely give your guests a taste of the local area. Bringing in large-scale decorations or event ideas will almost always increase your party cost significantly.
The time has come to select your event location. Most people in organizations tasked with planning events are typically unaware that, almost always, utilizing a party planner will reduce your party cost. Not only does it decrease the amount of time an employee puts into planning the party, but most party planners already have relationships with locations, caterers, florists, and other necessary providers. In most instances, they can help arrange the details, help negotiate the contracts, and save you some money at the same time.
Working with a professional enables you to have your proverbial cake and eat it too. Even if you want to use someone for just part of the event management, it is always worth the cost. Putting together a perfect business party is so much more than merely choosing a location and a menu. There are corporate gifts to be gotten, when appropriate, seating to be done, decorations to be planned, and more. Your theme should transcend everything seamlessly, from your speeches to your music, from your food to your corporate giveaway. Doing this efficiently and on budget is not an easy task.
More importantly, how is the transportation being managed for guests that are staying at hotels and how are the hotels being handled? Have you booked a block of rooms at a corporate discount rate and what about car rentals? Are you going to use car services to transport your guests or a bus? Perfect corporate parties have a very different flow and timing to them. How is that being handled? Do you have a script and a schedule for the party and how is that being handled? Who is the emcee and how is their script being done?
While some of the details are similar for a personal event, for a business one there are significantly more to be aware of. Keeping them in order and making sure the event goes off without a hitch is the event planners job. For example, when selecting the date for your event, are there other competing events that can impact yours? Doing something as simple as checking the calendar (both yours and a local one), can have a huge impact on the success of your event. Have you delegated responsibilities for the pre, during and post-event details? This is one way to ensure that your event will be a success.
Is your event a private one or a public one? If it is a pubic one, how will you fill your seats and market your event to your target market? Is your time best spent on marketing your event instead of merely planning it? Many times people have put together events with a public feel and have fallen short because they have run out of time to market it properly. In contrast, if your event is a private one, how are you handling the registration and sign-up for it? How will your guests be invited and what is their RSVP method?
While it is not possible to touch on every detail of a perfect business event in one blog, it is my hope that I have given the internal corporate event planner some stepping stones to planning a perfect event. They say that “the devil is in the details” and nowhere is this more true than with a corporate event. The issues surrounding business events may be different than those with personal ones, but in the end, there are also similarities. While corporate ones have very different pressures, especially with the myriad of personalities and tastes that come with planning them, and significantly more details to oversee, when properly executed they have a very similar reward.