Planning and hosting a business event can be a time-consuming task. Depending on how large your event is, there are various vendors to book, registration, scheduling, and more. Hosting a successful business event can work wonders to help you achieve your business goals however, whether it be sales, networking, or something else. Learn how to successfully host a business event to promote or celebrate your business or industry.
Step One: Set Goals
Before you get into the details, step back and figure out the main purpose or goal of your event. Are you looking to connect with others in your field, or other small businesses in your local area? Are you trying to promote your business and bring in new customers? Are you celebrating a successful year with your team? The range of possible business events is broad, so figure out what the goal of your event is before you begin planning.
If you’re hosting an all-out, day-long conference, you’ll need more time to plan. If you’re hosting a simpler corporate event, there’s still plenty to coordinate, but it will take less time and effort. Figure out why you’re hosting the event, what you hope to accomplish, and more first. This will help you figure out the scope of the event so that you have more direction when inviting guests, planning details, and booking vendors.
Step Two: Figure Out Your Budget
The next step is to plan your budget. Depending on the type of event and your business, you may have a nice budget or it may be up to you to find sponsors. If you need corporate sponsors, plan out a list of who to ask, along with backups, and start reaching out. For larger events, it’s helpful to have a team to delegate some of these tasks so that you can focus on the big picture issues.
Once your overall budget is established, break down your costs and prioritize what you can spend the most money on. Venues can be pricey, especially if you’re hosting a large event or a business conference. The size of your event will also affect catering prices, so keep your guest list in mind when planning your budget. For certain business events or conferences, you may charge attendees a ticket fee, so planning your budget can help establish what tickets will cost.
Step Three: Pick a Date and Book Your Venue
With your budget established, you can book your venue. You may have a certain date in mind, in which case you’ll have to find a venue available on that date. On the flip side, if you have a perfect venue in mind, you may have to be more flexible on dates. Shop around for different venues to see prices and other accommodations before you commit.
Booking your venue is the first big vendor you can cross off of your list. This will also officially set a date for your event, which means you can start counting down the days until the event or conference.
Step Four: Book Vendors
Once your date and venue are set, you can begin booking any other necessary vendors. Many venues have their own vendors or a list of pre-approved vendors that you will be required to choose from. Make sure you discuss this first with the venue, especially if you had specific vendors in mind outside of their list.
Depending on the purpose, size, and activities at your event, you may need different vendors. Figure out what you’ll need for your specific event. Most likely you’ll be in need of a caterer for food and beverages for your guests, although if your event is at a restaurant or a hotel food and drink may already be provided.
For larger corporate conferences, consider booking a business conference production company to handle audiovisual and other staging needs. If there is a speaker or presentation of any sort, you’ll need to have the technical equipment set up correctly; an event with shoddy sound or visuals or other technical difficulties will look unprofessional. Depending on the event, you may also need to book a photographer or videographer to record the conference.
Step Five: Confirm Your Agenda
For smaller corporate events, this step may be easy. If you’re hosting an all-out business conference, however, it’s vital to confirm your agenda and work out schedules for guests and employees, volunteers, and vendors.
Confirm all vendors and their arrival times for the day of the event. If there are presenters or speakers, confirm their participation and see to any of their scheduling, transportation, or other needs that they may have. Set a schedule for the event activities as well as for yourself to ensure that everything runs smoothly when the big day comes.
Step Six: Promote Your Event
You may have a list of invited guests, or you may promote the event to the public to bring in new customers or interested participants in your industry. Whatever your target audience is, be sure to promote the event in advance, sell tickets, or confirm RSVPs. Considering all the effort you put into your business event, it would be disappointing to have an underwhelming turnout.
Once the day of your event of conference has arrived, stay on top of the schedule to ensure that everything is on-time and running as planned. Hopefully, you’ll have a team to help you execute the details of the event on the day of, so you can enjoy your event and see your hard work paid off.