While there is a lot to do when planning a company event, these 5 steps are a great way to make the most of your planning time and bring your project back on track.
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This can seem like an overwhelming task, but breaking it into smaller pieces can help a lot, if you have a team to help you, don't be afraid to delegate, give the task of securing catering to one person, entertainment to the next and so on, having a team that is all on the same page can help too, apps like Wunderlist are fantastic for making sure everybody is on the same page and has the same information.
Budgeting-This is probably the most important aspect of the planning process, most people create a budget without a realistic idea of what each aspect of the event will cost, this will cause shortages in one area and a blow-out in others. When putting together your budget for review, make some phone calls and talk to vendors about fees, be sure you know a few things before you call to get an accurate quote,
1) Where you plan to have the event?
2) How many people in attendance?
3) How long is the event?
4) Who is the event for?
It's better to know what everything will cost and ask for that amount for the budget, than to get a budget and try to make everything fit it, this tip alone will save you lots of stress down the line. Also it's important to listen to the professionals you are speaking with, chances are, if you were convinced to call them, they are experts in what they do and know how to best serve you, and if they aren't the right fit they should tell you, in that case, ask for a referral, they probably know who you should talk to and this will save you time from having to hunt down another vendor.
Program-How will the flow of the evening go? It's a good idea to imagine the event like a story, there is a clear beginning, middle and end. What will people be doing as they come in? Do you have name badges? While not always necessary they are helpful when having a large company party where everyone might not know each other.
Break up long sessions with other activities, if people have to sit for a long time they will become bored and uninterested, nothing worse than a crowd that doesn't want to be there!
If there are people speaking or awards being presented, know who will be speaking, and for how long, we all know that person in the office who can pontificate for hours, checking in with all the speakers and giving them a time limit and signaling them how much time they have left can do wonders for keeping things on track.
Choose your venue carefully and early on, this is the foundation for everything else you'll need to plan. Think about space, how many people are you fitting into this room? If it's too large, people will feel distanced from each other and the party will end up like a middle school dance, too tightly crammed and people will be cranky. This is also important for vendors. Caterers will need to know how much space they will have, DJ's or musicians will need to know how much space they have for their equipment and Entertainers will need to know if their presentations will work in the environment.
Without entertainment, you run the risk of people forming cliques and not interacting with each other, this is a big problem if your goal is to strengthen cross department relationships. People can also become bored and want to leave early or maybe not even show up at all, nothing kills a party faster than low energy. Unique, engaging and meaningful entertainment gives everyone something to talk about besides the weather and can be the difference with how enjoyable and memorable your event is or isn't.
About the Author-
Alan Paoletti is the owner of APMagic, a corporate entertainment company in Plano, Texas and specializes in creating unforgettable experiences for his clients all around the country.
He can be reached at 972-835-1283 or firstname.lastname@example.org