After two years of uncertainty and restrictions, corporate event planning is back in its upgraded, more engaging version. Corporate events are crucial for companies’ success as they communicate the newest changes within leadership, announce new products, or simply bring employees together to facilitate a sense of connection and a stronger company culture.
At Endless Events, we specialize in supporting event planners in creating unforgettable corporate events, be it conferences, trade shows, or product launches. Our team has put together the best corporate event planning tips to help planners reach success. The first step is knowing the ‘why’ behind your event and who your audience is. Together with our advice, let that be your main guide in corporate planning.
Establish Corporate Event Goals & KPIs
As with all types of events, corporate event planning starts with clearly defining the goals and objectives. Without them, the event lacks vision and can therefore quickly turn into a money pit. The most common goals of corporate events are:
- brand awareness or loyalty,
- lead generation,
- thought leadership,
- attendee engagement.
Event goals need to be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The base of quality corporate event planning is therefore establishing event KPIs (key performance indicators) that inform event planners whether they achieved their goals.
How? Corporate event planners can lean on event technology that can automatically track KPIs and create in-depth reports. Additionally, they assist event planners in achieving said goals by offering features, such as seamless registration, communication channels, gamified challenges, and more.
Based on this wide variety of goals, there are many types of corporate events:
- trade shows,
- fundraising events,
- product launches,
- board meetings,
- team building events.
Decide On Format & Size
Event goals and KPIs serve as a guiding light in the overall strategy of corporate event planning. Will they be best achieved in an in-person, hybrid, or virtual format? Event KPIs should affect an event planner’s decision to host a digital event or not – and not the other way around.
From there, event planners can start assessing the budget needed to reach their goals and create a memorable experience for their attendees. When in doubt, event management companies can help build a comprehensive event strategy that promises an ROI for any given budget.
In-Person Corporate Events
In-person events are the gold standard in the events industry and have made a glorious comeback in 2022. However, most planners are still hesitant to plan large-scale corporate events. Attendees, too, are still cautious about the notion of flying across the globe for a conference. In-person events in 2022 are smaller, but can in turn be more frequent.
Hybrid & Virtual Events
Hybrid events bridge the gap between in-person-only and virtual events. For example, large-scale events can be executed as a Sattelite hybrid model where many smaller venues connect via live stream.
They might be challenging to pull off from an operations standpoint, but hybrid events come with many benefits. Attendees can decide how they want to attend corporate events. Additionally, hybrid and virtual events’ innate reliance on event technology ensures planners can accurately measure event ROI and offer sponsors or exhibitors more opportunities for exposure and lead generation.
Best Venues For Corporate Events In 2022
Corporate event planners traditionally sourced hotels and ballrooms as venues. But as the pandemic has put a stop to many event industry practices, new venue trends have emerged. The main purpose of the venue is to wow attendees and to offer them new experiences, which in turn increases the attendee retention rate and long-term ROI.
As outlined in our 2022 Event Trends guide, venues in 2022 for corporate event planning should stand out as unique and representative of the local spirit. The perfect venue for corporate events also provides (or allows) the following items:
- great internet connection (especially when including a live stream for hybrid event audiences),
- security and safety measures (COVID-19 compliance, cybersecurity, etc.),
- unique catering (no buffets allowed in 2022).
2022 is the best time to experiment with venues; attendees are happier than ever to simply get to see each other face to face and are much more lenient towards event planners. Better yet, surprise them by thinking outside of the box of corporate events. For example, have attendees get lunch offsite and allow them to explore the destination and network outside the walls of the event venue.
Experiential Corporate Event Planning
Corporate events run a risk of being boring as they follow a predictable blueprint. Networking opportunities, content delivery, and schedules were rarely subject to change. Instead, corporate events should strive to be more experiential and designed to make a lasting impression on event attendees.
Content delivery: Content should be engaging. Hire keynote speakers who make shorter and impactful presentations, encouraging the audience to participate, ask questions, or vote on opinions that matter to them.
Build a community: The best place to build a community around your brand is at the corporate event itself. If you implement event platforms – and you should for hybrid and virtual events – you can keep the energy of the event alive for weeks or months after the event. Community platforms foster year-round audience engagement and help market your large-scale in-person events.
Ensure enough white space at your event: People are excited to see each other in person again. Give them sufficient time to meet and catch up at their leisure. The schedule does not need to be packed back-to-back with sessions.
Don’t Forget About Sustainability
Corporate events are incredibly wasteful, but there are many ways corporate event planning can become more sustainable. And they should: a major study reports that 60% of the global population considers sustainability when making major purchases. Events are not a product, but an experience, yet the same logic applies.
Virtual and hybrid events are more eco-friendly by design. Additionally, planners can introduce plastic-free or paper-free initiatives. The latter can be easily achieved by moving all event communication and signage onto event apps and platforms.
Finally, Analyze The Success Of Your Corporate Event
Our final corporate event planning tip brings us back to the beginning: taking a look at event goals and KPIs and evaluating whether the event goals were reached. Use event data and attendee feedback to plan better corporate events in the future.
Endless Events is a strategic event management partner that helps event professionals create memorable experiences for their prospects and customers. We’ve managed and produced corporate events all across the country and abroad. If you have any questions for our team, reach out. Our team is here to help.