When planning a corporate event, knowing and executing the purpose is the most important piece. Is the goal to bring in new clientele or candidates for employment, educate current employees, launch a new product, or simply get the company name out? Each of these requires something different. Once the purpose has been decided, take time to set out a budget. Hosting a glamorous event is all well and good, but in the end if the message is lost all the hard work was for nothing.
As far as venue, there are numerous options to choose from and almost anything goes these days. Whether the event is held in house, in a conference room, or at a restaurant, the host has the ability to commission items that may not be available with the space. For example, a restaurant’s private dining area is a fantastic choice for a luncheon, however they may not keep presentation apparatus (e.g. a projector or screen) on hand.
Choose a place that is easily accessible and will allow for flexible arrangements in seating. To promote interactivity, set the room up so that it will be easy to connect with each other and the speaker. Have enough chairs to ensure that the seats in the front will not be empty, with any extras stacked in the back for use if necessary. A classroom structure is a great way to make guests or employees comfortable for an informative event. Seated facing forward at conference tables will allow the attendees to focus attention to the front of the room and jot down notes as needed.
Integrating technology into the presentation is key to involve the audience. With laptops, tablets, and smartphones being used constantly, a great way to boost involvement is to use engagement tools that incorporate these. Free audience response systems are available online that allow the crowd to participate via multiple choice questions and surveys.
In the end, be sure to appreciate the attendees. At the registration table be sure to get either physical or email addresses, this will help later on with when it comes to sending out Thank You notes. Sending out a post event note is a nice touch and a great way to follow up.