Mastering the Art of Preparing Memorable Large-Scale Corporate Events

large scale event

Preparing for any corporate event brings challenges. And the larger the event, the bigger the challenges that accompany it. So what do you need to know to ensure the success of your large scale event?

The fact of the matter is that the larger the event, the more you need to prepare ahead of time. Whether you are wondering how to prepare for a networking event or you are putting together an itinerary for a major product launch, there are traps you need to be aware of before they drag you down.

So what do you need to be aware of if you want your event to succeed? 

Preliminary Knowledge

Before you can start thinking about what a successful event will look like, you need to have some basic knowledge about what you are in charge of planning. You need to know why the event is happening, who your audience is, how large your audience should be, and what kind of budget you are working with.

These are things you need to know if you’re planning a large scale event or a smaller, more intimate corporate event. By getting a clear understanding of these baseline pieces of knowledge, you set yourself up for success.

Objectives

Understanding why your event is happening gives you a framework to determine your success. Every corporate event has a goal or an objective. By knowing your goal, you have a target to aim for and can create a framework by which to evaluate your success after the fact.

This is not to say that you only have one objective for a large scale event. What is more realistic is that you will have one overarching goal and each part of your event will have its own objective that also serves your primary purpose.

But without knowing your primary objective, you can’t effectively plan out your primary or secondary sessions for your event. 

Information About Your Audience

You also need to know who the target audience for your event is. An event for industry insiders will look very different from a product launch designed to entice new customers or drum up interest in a new product.

Knowing who your audience is also includes knowing how many people you want to attend your event. Planning for a casual get together for the people in your office and their spouses is a lot different than planning for a huge industry event.

Knowing who your audience is and how many people you will need to accommodate also allows you to better plan your venue selection and to determine your budget.

Budget

You must know your budget. You simply must. Some corporate events have budgets determined by an allocation made well ahead of time, and some set their budgets based on the estimates made by a corporate event manager or planning committee. 

No matter how you establish the budget for your event, that money will determine what kind of venue you can secure, what speakers you can bring in, how long your event can be, the quality of food you can serve your attendees, and so on.

All the plans in the world don’t matter if you can’t afford to make them a reality. So be sure you know your budget well in advance of your event so you can make sure you throw the best event you possibly can.

Planning a Large Scale Event

Once you have all the key building blocks for your event in place, you can begin preparing in advance for an event that will achieve your goals. The larger your event, the more lead time you should give to your planning.

If the event you have been tasked with organizing is one that happens every year, you can use previous years’ plans as a guideline for your current plans. If this is your first time as a company holding an event of this size, the planning is a bit more challenging.

One of the first things most experts recommend is establishing an event preparation timeline. Establishing deadlines for securing a venue, hiring speakers and entertainment, finalizing the event schedule, reserving a block of hotel rooms if necessary, and so on is invaluable.

Whether you are working alone or have an event planning team working under you, clearly establishing the timeline for your event prep lets you and your team know exactly where you stand and what you need to prioritize.

Planning out a large scale event is an enormous job. A good timeline helps you break that huge job into several achievable tasks. It keeps you moving and allows you to celebrate little accomplishments along the way.

corporate large event planning

Getting the Right Venue

You cannot have a successful corporate event of any size if you don’t have the space to accommodate the people attending and the sessions you need to schedule. It doesn’t matter if you have creative event planning ideas—you need a venue that can handle everything you require.

You need a venue that provides room for your primary events, any breakout sessions you’ve planned out, can facilitate the use of your required technology, and has space for your attendees to eat their catered meals.

Many venues will even provide a planning consultant to help you make your plans a reality. These planners’ expertise can be extremely valuable. By providing them with information on your corporate culture and event requirements, they can help you ensure that you get everything you need from your venue—and they can recognize those things you may have missed in your event plan.

As you work with the people at your venue, they can introduce you to quality companies they have worked with in the past to provide catering, entertainment, and so on. They can even provide you with event venue building plans so you can effectively map out every inch of your event.

A great venue will also be able to enhance your event by highlighting important elements they have that you may not have thought about. Good lighting and sound equipment, for example, can be the difference between a memorable keynote address and a forgettable speech.

Lighting helps focus the audience and quality sound equipment and music ensures that everyone can get the message your speaker intends for them without straining to hear. But most people don’t know how to set up good lighting and sound. The experts at your venue have that knowledge, though.

A really great venue will have different rooms with different atmospheres to facilitate the different aspects of a large scale event. For example, The Lumber Exchange Event Center has nine different locations within the building that can facilitate everything from live entertainment to social activities for adults to breakout sessions that can be either casual or formal.

The key is to make securing your venue a high priority as soon as you have your key information about your event. The people at your venue may have event planning packages that will help you make your budget stretch as far as possible—especially if you secure your venue well in advance of your event.

Know When to Delegate

Another major key to throwing a successful large scale event is knowing that one person can’t do everything. Part of effective leadership is knowing when to trust the people you are leading to do what they are supposed to do. This is as true when planning an event as it is in any other aspect of business.

When you establish your event planning policy and procedures with your team and with your contact at your venue, you can rely on your team to run the aspects of your event that they’ve been tasked with.

That can mean that you focus on the big picture items like securing the venue and establishing the goals and themes of your event while other members of your team handle more logistical aspects such as coordinating speakers and entertainment or reserving hotel rooms.

Delegating tasks also frees you up to handle last minute emergencies. If you don’t have to focus on every little aspect of a large scale event, you will have the bandwidth to address any unforeseen issue that arises. And unforeseen issues will arise.

Delegation is not just limited to your event planning team. It also applies to your speakers and entertainment. If you hire an experienced host who already knows how to be a great emcee, you don’t need to worry about micromanaging the person introducing your speakers.

From your team at your venue to the people planning your event alongside you to the educators and entertainers you bring in for your event, the more people you can trust to achieve their goals, the more you can focus on ensuring the overarching aspects of your event go smoothly.

More than Another Perfect Party

Putting on a successful large scale event takes a lot of planning. The sooner you are able to begin your preparation for one of these events, the better. And the more experienced people you are able to work with, the more effective your plans can be.

Take advantage of the resources available to you. Your contact at your venue may have sample event planning packages that will help you map out your event layout and schedule. Your emcee may have valuable insights when it comes to the order of speakers and entertainment.

Take advantage of every resource available to you as soon as you can. The more preparation you are able to do ahead of time, the more you will be able to focus on the little things and minor emergencies that pop up after your event begins.

While a large scale event has a lot of moving pieces, you can make yours memorable and successful by planning ahead and working with a competent team. That team will not just be internal—it will include the people at your venue and those you bring in to run sessions at your event.

So make sure you work with the best people. The better the team, the more planning and preparation, the more memorable the event.

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