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How to Create Attendee Personas for Your Next Event

Your presentation? Unforgettable. The execution of the last seminar or conference you hosted? So flawless you’re pretty sure it made angels weep. Your return on investment? Eh, decent—you can live with it. It’s fine if you love mediocre ROIs, but don’t you want to get the most out of your efforts? What could you possibly have done differently? Could creating attendee personas be the key to getting more out of your well-planned event?

Strategic marketers know their audience; therefore, they know how to connect to their audience. This is important for not only acquiring new clients but building brand loyalty by keeping in touch with the wants and needs of your existing customer base. But this event isn’t made up of 500 of your closest friends whom you know all the details of their lives including their likes and dislikes. You may have a professional relationship with some attendees, but most if not all are going to be strangers. This is where attendee personas swoop in make the win.

What is an attendee persona anyway?


Similar to a dating profile, attendee personas are semi-fictional profiles (probably less fiction than a dating profile, though) of event guests. Based on real data that you gather you begin to build profiles for various groups of attendees based on similar information. For example, you can group those looking for a mentor/mentee, attendees looking to network, introverts, extroverts—the list can go on.

Why are attendee personas useful?


It’s a similar concept to targeted marketing only instead of a target customer base, you are looking to zero in on the wants and needs of specific groups of attendees (who in some cases may be customers or potential customers). This way you are not just throwing information or other resources up into the air and hope they are landing on someone who wants it. Give the people what they want!

How do I even start this?


We understand how it can seem overwhelming, especially if you are inviting a big crowd. If your company has any previous information either from surveys or other events, don’t just let that data sit in a computer file collecting digital dust, use it!  If you’re company has created event personas before, lucky you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Check out previous information that might have been collected to see who/what types would be a good match for your event.

If you’re company has ever done a swot analysis, take that o for opportunities and use as your opportunity to find out where to begin. Who might have the potential to benefit from your event? Opportunities might even give you a fresh look at things or help you think out of the box to groups who you might not have thought of inviting before.

But what if your starting from blank pure white scratch with zero previous information? As scary as that may sound, keep reading and you will find the answer in the subsequent segments.

How many personas does one event need and how do you know what they should be?


Let’s just get it out there right now that there is no set magical number for how many personas should be created. Honestly, you can come up with an almost limitless number of profile groupings (personas) based on specific characteristics of people. That being said, it’s not really practical to break down your attendee personas into hundreds of niche micro groups (attendees with creepy doll collections, attendees with more than 5 cats, people who have a very rational fear of clowns, etc.) On the other hand, you don’t want to group them so broadly that it doesn’t focus in on anything specific at all.

Some might decide to pick a manageable number and make up personas based on that number. Or you may decide to gather data and make personas based off that information with no particular number to restrict you—however many personas you need are what you are going with. However, the number is not the important thing to focus on, but the data you’ve received about your attendees.

What kind of data am I collecting?


That’s up to you to decide (we can’t do everything for you)! What kind of data do you need? Most event hosts start with basic demographic info like age, location, and job title (possibly even gender and income when applicable). Although that information may be useful, it’s not the real core material that you need—an emotional based framework of answers is necessary. You want to pinpoint useful behaviors like:

  • buying and decision-making styles (ex. impulsive or thinks things over for a long time)
  • core values
  • what impacts their buying and decision-making process (positively and negatively)
  • hobbies
  • motivations
  • career goals
  • what do they feel may be holding them back from reaching certain goals
  • event goals (what do they hope to gain from the experience)
  • influences (online and offline)

There can be many others and they should be tailored to the invitees (are they customers, potential customers, corporate employees, etc.). Think of this as very similar to market research—the more detailed the better so that you can build targeted personas. Create templates to help you organize the information for each persona.

How do I go about collecting this data?

Creating personas isn’t about guessing what your attendees may like, want, or need. You need to hear it straight from their mouths (or pens, or computers, whichever). Polling surveys are a great way to get some prime information—you can snail mail them but who uses paper and stamps anymore? You’ll be less likely to get a response than if you email the poll or put it online on your event page.

A fun way to survey people is through personality style quizzes (who doesn’t love a good quiz about themselves?). You might even make it so they get the results of what category they fit into. Either way, it will help you get enough information to start putting together some solid personas that really reflect who your attendees are.

Start gathering information early so you have time to gather the information needed (you know there are going to be those who will procrastinate about doing the survey). Send a link with the invitation to the event, giving possible attendees the chance to give you the information you need as soon as possible.

Don’t confuse segments and personas


You’re going to receive a PILE of information, a lot if it demographic, some of it bordering on useless (though it could be fun (or horrifying) to find out what weird hobbies some of your attendees have). But when creating personas, take care to group them in a way that is meaningful. You might be tempted to group segments of the attendee population into slots like millennials, CEOs, etc. Even though demographic segments can help you learn about certain averages or percentages of the group, they are not personas.

You are looking to create a persona (think personality), so that means creating a profile based on things you need to understand like behaviors and thinking. You can’t get that from knowing attendee stats, and you can’t build a persona (or personality type) from stats.

Why am I going through all this trouble?


We know, we all have enough work to do and unless you’re the staff of Cosmo, who has time to devote to creating quizzes? We promise though, that you won’t regret taking the time to build attendee personas. It is the key to creating a more appealing event to those who are attending. We mean, wouldn’t you want an event that felt tailored specifically to you? If you’re an introvert, wouldn’t you feel relieved and grateful to have event segments that allowed you some alone time to read and research? If you were an entrepreneur, wouldn’t you love it if there was a micro-event that allowed you to network and connect with people just like you?

Your attendees want to get the most out of the event as well and creating personas can help you do that. In fact, it can help everyone to achieve their goals, and the best part is, you’ll know what all those goals are.

How to Plan an Entertaining Company Party Your Employees Will Love

Before everyone starts taking time off to spend the holidays with their friends and family, getting employees together for a company party can be a great idea. Even though people spend their workdays together each week, it can be fun to let loose outside of the office. This is a great way for people to get to know each other better.

If you’re in charge of planning an amazing company party, there are some things you can do to make sure your employees love the event.

Fun Party Games

It’s a good idea to include some sort of games for your company party. If you just provide food and drinks, the conversation can dry up pretty quickly. People will be going home after they make a brief appearance. Incorporate some fun party games into your event, including popular casino games or other card games are a great addition to a company party.

There are themed locations that you can host your party at which will provide games. There are even locations now that let you have ax-throwing competitions. Bowling is another fun and classic activity that people love to partake in.

Get a Bartender

A bartender can be hired to provide drinks to guests throughout the night. This is a fun addition to the party, and people will appreciate the investment. You can even talk to your bartender ahead of time about creating a signature cocktail for the party. It frees up other people from having to make their own drinks or serve other people.

Hire Live Entertainment

Live entertainment is another way to keep people engaged at your party. It makes for great conversation; it gets people mingling around, and it’s something that everyone will enjoy. Live bands are great for corporate event entertainment. They can play holiday music, popular songs, or both. You don’t have to utilize live entertainment the whole night.

Sometimes, a couple of hours are all you need to turn the night into a great party. Plus, live entertainment can get people up and moving. There’s nothing better than a company party where everyone is dancing and having a great time. live bands are great for corporate event entertainment

Food

Great food is another thing that people love. If you provide a delicious meal or great hors d’oeuvres, people will stick around and enjoy themselves. Don’t feel like you have to get too elaborate. You can have people bring a dish to share, you can have the event catered, or you can have your party at a local restaurant. People can order items off the menu, or you can order large quantities of food to share.

Gift Exchange

It isn’t really practical to get everyone at work a gift. This is especially true if you work in a large office setting. In order to get everyone involved, you can host some sort of gift exchange at your company party. The gift doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

In fact, you can set a theme to make things interesting. You could inform everyone that they have to bring a gift they made themselves for under $20. Use the White Elephant process to exchange and swap items among everyone to make the gift exchange more exciting.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to get really elaborate with your party plans in order to ensure everyone has a good time. Keeping everything basic is all you have to do. You can also ask employees what they want to do for a party. Giving everyone input will allow you to pick something that is going to be enjoyable for the whole office.

For more information on how to have a successful corporate event, check out our corporate events.

4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

Entertainment can add a lot of value and enhance the success of your corporate event. And live performances, in particular, can become focal points for attendees. With the help of corporate event budget software, you can book outside entertainment such as bands to help in adding spice and interest to the occasion. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider booking live entertainment for your corporate event.

It engages guests


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A live performance is entertaining and fun, which improves interaction among guests at a corporate event. It boosts the energy and mood, thus making it easier to pass important messages to them when the time comes since they remain interested and upbeat throughout the event.

It reinforces the values, mission, and vision of a brand


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You can tailor the performance at an event to reflect the values, mission, and vision of your company and give a befittingly positive impression. The same can be done to reinforce the image and value of the event itself by matching it to the intended goals. Guests will more likely be interested in learning more about the company or the event, which generally enhances your brand.

It helps in forging useful business links


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Using the live performance as a talking point can be a great way to network. By breaking the ice at a corporate event, entertainment creates the best environment for starting informal conversations that may finally become formal and land your business good partnerships or deals. Good entertainment has been known to create memories that are talked about long after the event is over. This may help in spreading your message to potential partners who did not attend the event through word of mouth referrals in ways you never imagined.

Revitalises and enhances the morale of employees


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At the end of a long and hectic year, entertainment at a corporate event might be what your company needs to motivate and give a refreshing break to employees. A properly organised corporate party with entertainment rejuvenates them and gives them a much-needed break before they resume their duties with a more satisfied and refreshed mind.

Common Budgeting Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning A Corporate Event

Planning a successful corporate event can be a daunting task, especially when the company is running on tight financial restrictions. It is imperative to remain conscious and careful when budgeting for a corporate event to avoid pitfalls that may negatively affect the financial position of your business. The following are some of the common budgeting mistakes that event planners should avoid.

Guessing And Estimating


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Making guesses or estimates about anything on the budget is a mistake that can dearly cost you during an event. The company might end up spending much more money if the estimates were below the market values.

Failing To Have A Buffer Or Contingency


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Just like any other business activity, corporate events may have unexpected occurrences that were not considered as part of the main budget. Lack of a contingency or cushion makes it challenging to handle unforeseen circumstances. You may end up blowing the budget and going off track with your event by spending money meant for one activity on another.

Heavily Relying On Paperwork


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Corporate events can usually take up substantial printing costs. With modern technology, your corporate event can go green and paperless by using event apps where guests or attendees can access everything they need without spending money on printing.

Forgetting Taxes And Gratuities


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Failing to consider small expenses such as taxes and gratuities may adversely affect your budget. Some sales taxes can be large enough to damage your budget buffer. It is essential to conduct due diligence about taxes through event vendors and double-check from other sources to ascertain the accuracy of the quotations.

Wrong Selection Of Dates


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Selecting the date of an event may seem to be the simplest thing to do but can actually affect the costs involved. Dates may lead to conflicting events that may cause a skyrocketing of bookings. Specific periods such as holidays may also sometimes lead to higher prices.

Limited Flexibility


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Being rigid on a particular vision of what a corporate event should turn out like can make you miss on budgeting opportunities that can lead to cost savings. Flexibility makes the management of deadlines possible and also ensures strategies can be re-evaluated. With modern corporate event budget software, you can address most of your budgetary needs with considerable flexibility and precision.

User Conference Budget Tips For A Successful Event

Conference budgets are complex because of unorganized expenses, endless line items and last-minute details. The good news is that you can seamlessly organize your conference budget by being creative and critical the right balance will guarantee a stress-free process. Here are user conference budget tips that will save you a lot of money.

1. Review The Budget For Accuracy

If you hosted a similar conference last year, simply editing the budget can save time and money. However, you must critique the budget with a smart eye to avoid a repeat of past mistakes. Create two columns in the spreadsheet: estimated and actual costs. Compare these two columns to get a vivid picture of any potential mistakes that should be rectified.


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2. Create A Priority List


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Ask yourself; are some items on the budget more important than others? Take a hard look at all items and assign a priority status to each. Decide whether they are critical, important or nice to have. Critical expenses are those that the conference cannot do without while the ones that are nice to have can easily be removed if need be.

3. Analyze The Costs

Always get quotes from at least three different vendors before you settle on one. Although you might feel loyal to a particular vendor, the weight of financial costs ought to be more important. However, ensure the cheapest vendor you go for is reliable as well. Before switching to a different vendor, you can obtain multiple quotes and use them as negotiating leverage because your current vendor might be willing to cut down their price.

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4. Automate Where Possible


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Computers can work just as well as human beings so automate your conference budget wherever you can. Automation helps to increase efficiency and reduce staffing costs. Some tools to use include MailChimp, Vertical Response, Sched, Hootsuite and Zapier .  Don’t forget to revisit your revenue because if you can increase your spending power, you can automatically increase your budget. Search for new partners who can bring in more investments as well. All in all, being innovative goes a long way when you want to succeed at budgeting for your event.

How To Stay In Budget When Planning A Corporate Event

When planning for a corporate event, it is easy to spend more money than you had initially budgeted. A lot of people worry about under budgeting and therefore end up spending more money. The last thing you want when planning a party is to have inadequate food or drinks, so question is, how do you properly budget for a corporate event?

Make a budget

When calculating the budget, you can use a corporate event budget software. There are several corporate event budget software in the market for you to choose from that are guaranteed to make work easier for you. Once you have the software, you can start making a budget. The number of people attending the event will help you estimate how much money you need for food, drinks, the venue and other items. As you shop, try as much as possible to fit everything into the allocated funds.


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Regularly update your budget
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As you continue preparing for the event, you will need to update your budget. Sometimes you will find prices a bit higher or lower and it is therefore necessary to make adjustments as you go. Having an event budget software on your phone makes it easier to make updates since it is with you all the time.

Plan for the unanticipated

When planning for any event, you will almost always need extra cash for the unforeseen expenses. Unavoidable circumstances can lead to last-minute changes, so it is imperative to have a pool of money to cater for such things.


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Do your research
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It is important to get quotes from several vendors when planning for an event. Doing so will give you the chance to select vendors with the best prices and products. You can also use these quotes as bargaining tactics to convince your go to vendors to lower their prices.

Do it yourself

You do not have to pay for everything. If you are in apposition to do something yourself then do so. If the corporate event is for employees only, you can ask for assistance from your colleagues. Event planning is a great way to promote teamwork in the office, as well as enabling you to deliver the exact event that you imagined. If you’re looking to book affordable entertainment for your corporate event, contact The Brass Animals today. Your guests will love our live brass band, and we try to accommodate every budget.

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35 Epic Office Party Ideas That’ll Have Everyone Buzzing for Weeks

Office parties are a great way of building a positive community in the work place and adding fun elements to our daily grind. However, organizing them can be a bit stressful especially when it feels as if every possible theme party has been planned before. I am here to offer some help with the creative “writer’s block” that may happen when organizing an event for the company. Here are 35 epic office party ideas that’ll have everyone buzzing for weeks!

1. COMPANY TRIVIA NIGHT

There is one day of the year where the perfect excuse to throw a party arrives and that is your company’s anniversary! This is the ideal moment to celebrate the years that the company has been able to achieve its visions and goals, and what better way to celebrate than by hosting anniversary party games?

Make things interesting by creating a list of questions related to the company (its founders, the year it was created, the color of the logo etc.) and hold a company trivia night. Of course, like every good trivia night, the winners will take prizes! The prizes can include anything from coffee gift cards to an extra holiday day.

To add the cherry on top of this great event, make sure you have a few anniversary decoration ideas under your sleeve. They can be really funny ones such as embarrassing pictures of your boss and co-workers (with their consent of course), or classy such as big numbered balloons that showcase the number of years the company is celebrating (you can purchase the balloons here).


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2. TROPICAL CHRISTMAS

Office Christmas parties might seem like the hardest ones to organize since it may feel as if all the cliché parties have been planned before. However, one really cool office party idea for this holiday is “Tropical Christmas.” If there is one thing that Friends taught us, as Hello Giggles says is that, “If your radiator won’t shut off in time for your holiday shindig… Just call it a tropical Christmas party.”


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Not only does this office party have a killer Christmas party theme name, it is also a great example of Christmas party costume themes. Feel free to get creative with dressing up in your finest tropical vacation attire so that you can enjoy Christmas in the tropics.

The decorations can be simple; just buy a few cool inflatables with fun shapes (such as watermelons, flamingos or donuts) and Hawaiian necklaces (and don’t forget to give one to Santa). Don’t forget to buy some refreshments such as Hawaiian punch, lemonade or Popsicle sticks so that you can beat the heat!

3. DECADE THE HALLS

Decade the halls is a 2 in 1 party! Not only is it an amazing example of creative Christmas party names and funny Christmas party names, it is also a really cool dress up party theme. This office party idea consists of a Christmas of decades where your co- workers can pick their favorite era and come dressed up as such. Whether it is the Roaring 20’s, Rocking 60’s, or Groovy 70’s, this party will be an epic one!

Feel free to make a playlist that includes the best and most memorable songs of those eras so that the guests can show off their best moves, and the office can “throw back” in style. Get creative with the decoration; there are so many possibilities! Pick lots of funky lights, a disco ball, and maybe an old-school photo booth so that your co-workers can make memories of a night they will want to remember.

There are also many office Christmas party games for large groups that you can add to the event. You can plan a secret Santa exchange that goes along with the theme of “Decade the Halls,” where co-workers buy fun and cool gifts so that they can give out to other peers. You can also include a fun raffle where the winner gets a free trip to the movies where they showcase old- school movies such as Back to the Future.


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4. UGLY SWEATER PARTY


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Yes, we all have that situation where your Uncle Jerry twice removed gave you something that you could barely call a sweater that you simply wore once in front of him and then locked it away so it would never see light of day again. However, this is the one time of the year where you can pull out the sweater and wear it with absolute pride. Hey who knows, thanks to your Uncle Jerry’s questionable taste in fashion, you might win a very cool prize. You might want to send him a holiday card this year after all.

5. END OF THE YEAR KARAOKE FEST

End of the year parties are the best way to welcome the New Year. Stray away from boring and bland by hosting the coolest end of the year karaoke fest! Start by renting the karaoke machine here and simply sit back and watch the magic happen. Enjoy performances by your boss and co-workers as they get up on stage and jam out to their most embarrassing guilty pleasure songs (The Piña Colada song anyone)?

Amp up the party by adding extra party activities such as limbo, pin the microphone on the singer, Hoola hoop competitions, and fun new year’s resolution activities. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Karaoke is one of the coolest entertainment ideas out there and it will guarantee an epic office party to wrap up the year and welcome an even better one.


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6. AROUND THE WORLD

We are extremely lucky to live in such a globalized world where we can learn about and appreciate all cultures. Celebrate your office’s diversity and team by hosting an around the world party. Office potluck themes often lack, well, a theme, so this is the perfect way to give some direction and focus to the gathering.

Ask your peers and boss to cook and/or buy a dish that is representative of their culture and upbringing. This around the world themed party will be the perfect excuse to show off your fabulous cooking skills and to eat as much food as possible! Add a finishing touch to the office party by hiring a corporate band such as Brass Animals to add some live music to the event; they are super funky and take requests! Check out their website here.

7. BEERS & BBQ BASH

Although the end of the summer may be quite sad, you can make it a celebration by hosting end of summer parties. There are endless summer party themes that you can host, but there is no better way to say goodbye to longer and hotter days by hosting a beers and barbeque themed bash! Make use of your office’s nice balcony or rooftop, or, if you don’t have one, find a rooftop that you can rent! The fresh summer air will be the ideal setting to celebrate the season’s ending. Nothing pairs better with a delicious barbeque than beers, so go out on the grill, crack the can open, and enjoy this epic office party.

8. FURRY FRIENDS & FOOTBALL

There are three things that are impossible to dislike and they are: fall time, football and furry friends. I can’t think of better sports theme party ideas to host than one where all
three are involved. Celebrate the start of a new season (both sports and weather) by having all of your office co-workers and peers bring their friendly pets to the office for a day. Further down the list I have included more fall party themes that will inspire you!


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9. THROWBACK THURSDAY

College was easily one of the most exciting times of anyone’s life so why not get creative with college theme party ideas? My favorite one, which is also a summer theme idea, is Throwback Thursday. Have everyone at the office dress up as they did or would have back when they were in college! They can also wear their Alma matter’s t-shirts and bring in their coffee mugs in order to celebrate the four amazing years that was college. Feel free to decorate with different college banners and logos and to play the music that was popular back in the day. Make this a throwback Thursday to remember.

10.HOME RUN RAFFLE

Aside from American Football, there is one other very important sport that is embedded in American culture and that is baseball. Baseball season is the perfect excuse to throw an epic baseball themed office party that will have everyone on their toes. You can set up four different bases around the office that include a variety of snacks, music and activities. To end the night on an even better note, host a raffle where the winner gets two free tickets to go catch (pun intended) a baseball game!

11.MUSIC MONDAY


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The start of the week is an extremely difficult time, so what better way is there to beat the Monday blues than by having a day where music is played in the office? Office party ideas don’t necessarily have to happen only once or twice a year, but may sometimes take place once a month in order to shake up the work environment.

Once a month make a raffle that picks one employee to take the lead on DJing. They get to pick the music that will be played in the office that day. This is a great example of an office party that offers cool entertainment ideas while still promoting a productive working environment. Make sure to leave a “quiet-room only space” in case people need to take phone calls or host meetings.

12.YOGA AND MIMOSAS​

There is something extremely refreshing and inspiring about the springtime. Theflowers, the rain, and the freshness of the air all make me want to plan different springparty themes. However, there is so much time in the season for a party to take place, which is why I picked my favorite theme, yoga and mimosas!

End of the year can be incredibly saturating and draining both mentally and physically. This is why starting the year with an office community yoga class followed by mimosas is the perfect way to refresh and reconnect with your mind and body. Watch yourself spring back to life!

13. ANTI-NEW YEARS

There are endless ideas for office parties, but my personal favorite is one that falls under the category of funny party themes. It is what I like to call the Anti-New Years party. It is a summer party theme, preferably held in June so that it falls in the middle of the year. The idea of the party is to celebrate our anti-resolutions! As Forbes so kindly highlights, “Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.”


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Instead of sulking over these statistics, we might as well pay an omen to them and celebrate our inability to follow through with these resolutions! Have fun with it, at the end of the day we still have another 6 months to accomplish them, so you might as well party right now.

14.ST. PATRICK’S POTLUCK

This idea is easily the best example of my proudest party name idea. St. Patrick’s Potluck consists of bringing in different dishes in order to celebrate the luckiest day of the year. Feel free to come up with extra party activities that will have everyone buzzing about this holiday. Also, remember to wear green for luck!

15. AMERICA’S GOT NO TALENT

Similar to the anti-New Years party, America’s got no talent is a funny party theme. I am sure most of us have watched America’s Got Talent in complete awe as someone puts a sword in his or her throat while they juggle. So why not do the complete opposite at the office? Come up with your best-worst talent and showcase it at the office. Set up a small stage and performance setting and pick three judges that will be in charge of picking the winner.

This party is ideal for last minute talent show ideas and to put on funny skits in front of your co-workers and have a good laugh. The winner can get a prize that is worth a free ticket to a comedy show or something similar. Have fun with it and show your office that America’s got no talent.


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16. TIK TOK, PARTY WON’T STOP

Tik Tok is easily one of the most popular apps, which allows you to record a short music video to some of your favorite songs and artists. Organize an epic office party where you divide your peers into different teams and you challenge them to record the best and most creative video on the app! Select three un-biased judges that will decide the winning team. The winners can get a free subscription to their choice of app on their smartphones.

17. MURDER MYSTERY (HALLOWEEEN EDITION)

Halloween, in my opinion, is one of the coolest and more creative holidays, so it would be a shame for it to go uncelebrated! Use this spooky time of the year as an excuse to organize a murder mystery office party. It is super easy and convenient since there are many online resources that offer “party ready pack.” Simply purchase it and start using immediately! Check this one out. No one knows how to celebrate in style more than Michael Scott from The Office, so go ahead and copy their murder mystery idea and watch the fun unfold.

18. EARTH DAY (APRIL 22)

As fun and entertaining as hosting a party may be, it is equally as rewarding to celebrate a holiday by giving back to the community and world. Celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd) by taking an office trip to go plant a tree together. This is a great team-buildingactivity and it is also a really productive way of giving back to our beautiful mother earth.


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19. INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY (SEPT. 29)

The world in general, I am convinced, runs on caffeine. Luckily September 29th gives us the ideal reason to celebrate our favorite morning drink. Although International coffee day, unfortunately, is not a national holiday it can be an epic office party idea. Bring in free coffee and donuts to the office as a way of showing appreciation to the employees as well as our best friend, caffeine.

20. THE DUNDIE AWARDS

Every Office fan knows that the most important time of the year (after Christmas) is the Dundie awards. This is the day where the boss celebrates his or her fellow employees by giving out tailored awards. These awards, although funny, are a great way of showing appreciation to one’s peers. Make a reservation at the company’s favorite local restaurant and share an evening of laughter, applauses and memories that will result in an epic office party

21. SUMMER FOOD TRUCK

Food seems to pair beautifully with absolutely anything in the world, including trucks! One really great summer party theme is a food truck festival. Pick a day of the week designated for the office to take a long lunch break under the summer sun. There are endless types of food trucks so there will be enough options for everyone at the office to eat. This is a great way of socializing and connecting with your peers and co-workers, and I have learned from experience that some of the best friendships are made over food.


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22. 4TH OF JULYING

4th of July celebrations tend to involve the same things year after year. And although barbeques and fireworks are great, there are ways of getting a little bit more creative with the holiday. Gather up some of the funniest and weirdest historical facts about America and play the trivia game that I like to call “4th of Julying.” The game basically consists of having participants guess whether the historical fact is real or fiction. The winner can get a cool prize like a cooler or a new barbeque set.

23. BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

Battle of the books is the cooler version of a book club. Pick 3 different books that your co-workers and boss have to read over a given period of time. Then decide different teams that consist of your peers. Define a given date when the battle of the books will take place. What will happen the day of is that different teams will battle one another by answering trivia based on the 3 book selections. The competition will go in rounds, and the last team standing wins! Come up with creative prizes such as amazon book gift cards that the winning team will get.

24. LIVE MUSIC

Similar to music Monday, pick a day of the year where you bring in live music to the office. There are so many bands that play corporate events around the United States, such as the Brass Animals. They let you pick the songs you want them to play and also take requests. Check them out here. This is the best entertainment for a Summer Friday at the office.


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25. HAT PARTY

If you need to find an excuse to host an office party, pick out your favorite hat and call it a day! Hat parties are the easiest way to showcase your sense of your style and fashion and simply have a good time!

26. BARTENDER BATTLE

Bartender battle is a really cool event that can easily be done in the office kitchen. Pick out your favorite mixology drink and challenge your co-workers to compete against one another to decide who made the best version of it! The winner may win a bartending kit. This is a great and fun way to tap into employee’s inner bartender and to try a few new drinks while competing.

27. BAKE-OFF

Admit it, we have all wanted to participate in Gordon Ramsay’s famous Master Chef TV show. This epic office party is the ideal way to make your dreams come true without having the pressure of Mr. Ramsay himself yelling at you. Along with your co-workers, pick out 3 recipes, once for an initial plate, another for the main dish and lastly a dessert. Create different teams and watch the magic happens as they compete one another for the best dish of the night. Best part of the event? You get to eat the food at the end of the night!

28. CHAMPAGNES & CHARADES

There may be a better pairing than champagne and strawberries, and that is champagne and charades! Watch your peers tap into their inner actor/actress as they act out different actions, movies, or songs. This can get really funny real quick so get ready for a night of intense laughter and tears of joy. Make sure to bring a camera or use your smartphone to capture some of the night’s highlights and make a short video of the best moments from that epic office party.

29. FAVORITE TV SHOW CHARACTER HALLOWEEN DRESS UP

Whether you are currently obsessed with Khaleesi from Game of Thrones or the ever so classic Michael Scott from The Office (US), make sure you come ready to represent your favorite TV show character this Halloween. You’d be surprised to see the wonderful and creative outfits that your co-workers come up with, whether they are DYI’d or purchased. Put out some of your favorite candy so that there can be some trick or treat fun during the day and pair it out with really spooky decoration. At the end of the evening, choose the 3 winners!


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30. CIDER, CHOCOLATE AND SWEATERS

What would the fall season be without cider, chocolate and cozy sweaters? That’s right, nothing! This is why organizing a fall celebration at the office is the perfect way to spend a cozy week at work. Bring in some of the best local hot cider and hot chocolate and ask everyone else to come in with their coziest and favorite sweater. No need to have a fireplace, just use the magic that is the internet to look up some fireplace sounds so that you can create a super snug atmosphere. Something that will make the event even more memorable is a smores station where you can make your own. Cooking smores is a really great way to connect with one another and to celebrate the beginning of one of the coziest seasons.

31. HOLIDAY CARD PHOTO BOOTH

There is no better way to depict a close-knit company culture than by taking and sending an annual Christmas holiday card. Rent out either a photographer or a photo booth station that is Christmas themed and simply say cheese! Have fun with the event by taking cute, funny, and serious photos! If you want a picture of all of you in the air, like Michael Scott in The Office (US), make sure you all jump on 3! To top it off, add a nice message that you think best represents the company so you can send it out to all of your partners, clients and supporters in order to wish them happy holidays.

32. CINCO DE MAYO


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Margaritas, piñatas and traditional Mexican music make the perfect combination for a good time! Luckily, Cinco de Mayo is the ideal day of the year for that combination to take place! Host an epic office party by decorating the office, buying ingredients to make office margaritas, and ordering food from a local Mexican cuisine restaurant. Don’t forget to buy a piñata and fill it with gift cards, candy, and other goodies.

33. WHO IS THAT BABY?

Getting to know your co-workers can be more efficient when it involves embarrassing pictures. To bring the people at the office a little bit closer, host a “who is that baby?” party. This consists of asking your co-workers and boss to bring pictures of when they were babies and have a guessing game of who is who. To make it even more challenging, ask those who are parents to bring pictures of their babies (if they feel comfortable with that) and make the game more interesting.

34. WHO SAID IT?

Similar to our 4 th of July event (# 22 on the list), “who said it?” is a pop culture trivia game that consists of picking tweets from politicians, artists, celebrities and so on and picking quotes that kids have said and asking your contestants to guess whether a politician or a kid said it! It can be incredibly funny and surprisingly challenging. Add some delicious snacks and refreshments to the equation and you got yourself one of the most epic office party ideas ever!

35. MENTAL HEALTH DAY

Mental health is extremely important in our day-to-day life and spending time to work on ourselves mentally ensures that we live a more relaxed and fulfilling life. This is why it is extremely important for company’s to promote positive mental health, and what better way to do that than by planning an office party that focuses on providing beneficial services to your employees?

Take a day to commemorate your peers and yourself by setting up small activities such as free massages, yoga and meditation sessions. Set up hydration stations with flavored water, tea and other snacks that can help everyone de-stress. Enjoy a day off and watch how working on your mental health with result in amazing and positive changes.


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Advanced Corporate Event Planning Guide (2019 Edition)

 

Whether it is the holiday season or time to celebrate your company’s anniversary, event planning can be a very tricky project to take on. It is a task that requires creativity, leadership and planning months in advanced. And depending on the pre-production process, the outcome of a corporate event can range from completely bland to memorable and successful. There are already high levels of expectation and stress involved in your day to day and having to build an event from the ground is no different. This is why we have created an advanced corporate event planning guide so that you know exactly what is involved and expected in a task such as this one.

WHAT IS A CORPORATE EVENT?

Before organizing an event, it is important to understand what a corporate event itself is. This includes the definition, as well as common mistakes. These events can be described as social yet professional gatherings that include employees, clients, both current and prospective as means to offer networking opportunities and entertainment. The company that is hosting said events are generally the main sponsors (they may sometimes include other businesses that are partners or that are helping the event through their products). It can also be expected that they are the main source of funding for it as well.

There are many details embedded in the fabric that is a corporate event, which is why there is a big possibility of things turning out disastrously. In order to avoid an unsuccessful event, it is important to highlight some common mistakes when it comes to pre-production.

The first common mishap is that most events aren’t really planned. This sounds counterintuitive since one would think that planning an event involves, well… the planning aspect. However, many people overlook the level of detail that has to go into each step of the way from having enough pens so that people can take notes to having enough restrooms! Having assumed that only minimum organization is required to take this show on the road, people tend to overlook the planning and simply expect the event to fall together on their lap.


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The second mistake is intertwined with the first in that many people underestimate the time that the planning will take. Depending on the type/purpose of the event (which we will discuss further on) the pre-production of a corporate event can range from 3 to  months or so. This involves everything from the brainstorming to the contacting of different venues, and companies that will help set up every aspect of the event. By underestimating the correct amount of time that it will take to build an event, you might simply end up organizing a last-minute disaster.

A leader cannot do their job properly if there aren’t any people for them to lead. This takes me to the third mistake, which is the fear of asking for help. Most amazing things in life cannot happen without a good team, which is why it is extremely imperative for the event planner to assemble a reliable team of people that he/she trusts so that any time they may need help, they can simply say so. The point of being a leader is to delegate different tasks among a diverse group of people that everything is organized and set in motion. There are deadlines to meet and people to make happy, so having a well-equipped and trustworthy things will make things run a lot smoother. It’s hard to know what road to take if you don’t know where you are going. Surprisingly, this applies to event planning; if you don’t know the purpose behind the event, then how will you know to plan it? There are so many reasons as to why corporate events are organized, whether it is a product launch, an internal team building activity or simply a form of entertainment. If you forget the purpose behind the event, you will most likely lose the vision and fail at the overall execution. In order to avoid mistakes such as these, I will be discussing the possible purposes/types of events that can exist so that you can better define, plan and execute accordingly.

WHAT ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CORPORATE EVENTS?

As mentioned previously, there are many types of corporate events depending on the special occasion. It is very important to understand what type of event you are in charge of planning in order to properly organize everything. As part of the corporate event planning guide, below I have listed, defined and given examples of the 8 most common types of corporate events:

1. INTERNAL TEAM BUILDING

One of the most essential components of a business is the people that are working in and forming part of it. Whether your company is an international corporation or a mom and pop local business, it is imperative that the team is a functional and trusting one. Ideally, this internal relationship is built organically as the company grows; however, this is not always necessarily the case. This is why many companies organize corporate events as an opportunity to focus on internal team building.


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Organizing this type of corporate event is very different from any other because your main focus is to create an environment where your team can grow. This will most likely require group events, leadership-based tasks, and personal activities so that the team can bond and get to know one another on a deeper level. Events like these aren’t about your clients or the media, but rather the strong team that you want to keep nourishing so that your company can keep growing and thriving.

It is not always the case that these events are organized in a positive light. Unfortunately, we do live in a complicated world where one person’s actions can reflect negatively upon a specific company that they are representing. Which is why many companies organize corporate events in order to work on internal team building and re-emphasize the company’s core values and morals.

One famous example of this type of event is Starbuck’s Diversity Training Day that occurred a little over a year ago. After an unfortunate incident that sparked a lot of anger throughout the United States, Starbucks decided that they would shut down almost all of their stores around the US so that they could focus on the issue and re-train their employees regarding diversity. As Time Magazine wrote, “The intention of Starbucks’ company-wide training day was perhaps to show commitment from corporate leadership.”

Whether the reasoning behind this event is a positive or negative one, it is important to understand, while planning the event, that your main focus should be the team and employees rather than the media or possible clients. This will allow you to prioritize based on the right reasons rather than go off track and create an event that isn’t related to the task at hand.

2. NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH

There is no better way to celebrate months of hard work in creating a new product than with a product launch. Not only is it a way of rewarding your company and team, but is also a great marketing tool to give your most prized customers a sneak peek and preview of your product before it is out in the market.


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In order to successfully organize said event, it is important to first and foremost make sure that your product(s) is/are ready to enter the public market (even though it won’t be for a few more days). Failing to have a fully functioning and successful product can completely impact the company’s reputation especially if your business is part of the tech realm. It is also imperative that communicate and organize with relevant media outlets, press and PR companies so that the event can get good media exposure and coverage. Another thing to take into account is to have available prototypes of the products so that your clients and customers can take a look at them and try it out themselves. It its this attention to detail that will make an event like this stand out and leave a good impact on the market.

Apple is easily one of the most successful company’s in executing these corporate events. Not only is there an extremely high demand for their groundbreaking products, there is also an immense amount of expectation and anticipation for an event, that some may argue, is their event of the year. This level of expectation is of course created with the help of media outlets and press releases from companies such as Business Insider or CNBC weeks in advanced. They also take advantage of more modern social media outlets such as YouTube by posting hour-long videos on their official Apple YouTube account so that aficionados who couldn’t attend the event can still take part of that legendary annual event.

It is important to think of small details like Apple does when planning an event such as a product launch. Consider what would be appealing to your audience and target market, make us of all the modern technological outlets that we have so that you can increase your marketing, and be creative! Show your company’s personality through an event that is made to not only showcase but also celebrate.

3. ENTERTAINMENT (CELEBRATIONS & ANNIVERSARIES)

Sometimes the reason as to why a company organizes a corporate event is simple, entertainment! What better way to celebrate achievements, anniversaries or holidays than with a party where everyone gets together to have a good time? These events are a great way of incentivizing or rewarding employees by giving them a night off where they can relax and enjoy. It can also be an amazing way of making the boss happy, which is always a good thing. If the reason for celebrating is an anniversary, then this is also the perfect way of shining some light on the company via media and press outlets.


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Feel free to get creative when it comes to the pre-production of events like these; there are no rules! However, for celebrations such as these ones, it is absolutely important when planning the event to not overlook three very important aspects: food, drinks and music! It doesn’t have to be too complicated; start by picking an interesting and enjoyable theme for the corporate event and then simply pick the food, drinks and music based on that.

There is no celebration without dancing, and the best way to do that is by making sure you hire a DJ or live band that has experience in playing at corporate events. Bands like the Brass Animals are a great example of an entertaining and versatile group. Not only will they add joy and groove to your party, but they will also accommodate so that your special requests are played!

It is also really important to pay attention to detail when picking out the decorations for these types of celebrations. If the company is celebrating is 25th year anniversary, then make sure to really market that number and display it in the party, whether it be in napkins that say the company’s name and the # 25 or in a photo booth that has a backdrop with the anniversary and company name. It is details like these that will make the occasion stand out and create a memorable night for everyone.

4. AWARD CEREMONIES

Award ceremonies are very much similar to the nature of the previous type of event; however, it is a bit more focused in terms of organization. There is a clearer vision and purpose behind this corporate event since we know that it is about commemorating specific employees in the company for their achievements.

 

This type of event requires a lot of personalized touches including the choice of venue, the invitations, the overall program of the night, the awards that are given out and guests. It is important that the people attending the event feel important and recognized in positive ways.

One way to do this is to make the event open to employees and family members so that they get to celebrate with those that they love. With that in mind, it is important to have very well thought out seating charts so that those people who are related will be sitting with one another and so on. There can also be creative ways of giving thanks to those employees such as a wall with a blank sheet of paper and sharpie markers so that other people can write on the wall who they are thankful for and why! These little event considerations can really make this a memorable celebration, which is a good way of motivating employees and promoting good company health.

For an example of this type of celebration, feel free to watch any of The Office episodes where Michael Scott hosts The Dundies. This will give you a very clear idea of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to the organization and execution of award ceremonies.


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5. SEMINARS

As much as corporate events can be for the purpose of entertainment, there is an equal amount of events that lean towards the education side of things; seminars are a great example. Seminars are usually organized in the form of a conference where different meetings, discussions and panels take place. Another important component, aside from educational purposes, is networking. This is the perfect environment for your employees and attendees to mingle with panelists and other invited professionals as well as with one another.

Corporate events of this nature usually take place throughout a number of days that are divided by categories and segments. Because of this, organizing seminars, compared to a celebration, is a bit more complex in terms of timing. Another way in which organizing this type of event can be challenging is when it comes to hosting special panelists and guests who will most likely be traveling for said event. This will require a lot of travel accommodations so that the invited speakers will feel at home and comfortable in a place that isn’t their usual environment.

Another important thing to keep in mind when planning an event like this one is the schedule. It is imperative that the event names, times, locations and descriptions are laid out clearly in the event’s schedule so that there is no confusion and everyone can arrive to their destination without any trouble. Also, remember to leave either an hour or hour and a half break between panels so that attendees can go grab lunch, coffee and/or network.

Adding small details to the conference can really make a difference. For example, making brochures for each panel with the guest speaker’s name, profession and general information is a great way to keep the audience engaged as well as give them detailed insight on who the speakers are.

One example of a seminar that is held in New York City is the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC), which is sponsored by The Orchard, a music distributor. Every year musicians, businessmen and women and overall fans of the Latin culture gather in order to discuss the current and future market of Latin Music in the United States; “With panels, showcases, and networking events, the conference brings everyone together to share and discuss Latin music within the US market” – The Daily Rind Blog.

Conferences such as this one, which is held in New York City, need to be extra specific when it comes to timing and location of their events because of how hectic transportation can be and how overwhelming the city itself is. Make sure to send all your invited guests an organized and clear schedule at least 3 weeks before the event so that they start getting used to their commute for those 3 days.

Lastly, remember to give your attendees a gift bag where you include sponsor items (as a way give thanks and promote them) as well as items that have the name of the event and the year. This is definitely exciting for your guests since it is always nice to get memorabilia from an event that you attended whether it is a shirt, sticker, CD, or discounts at the partner stores.

6. NETWORKING EVENTS

Although similar to seminars and panels, a networking event can be its own form of gathering so that employees, clients and other special guests can get to know one another. Events like this tend to only be one day, unlike seminars, which can last 2 or more days. This will make the organization aspect of things less hectic since you only have to focus on one day.


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The main difference between an internal team building event and a networking one is that the internal team building only involves people from the company (employees, managers, bosses, CEO’s etc.) whereas the networking event can include clients, prospective customers, partners and other special guests.

Similar to entertainment events, it is very important to focus on the organization of food, drinks and music. Although networking is a key factor in one’s professional life, some may find it challenging to approach someone they have never met and strike up a conversation. This is why food, drinks and music are critical since it will allow people to make more meaningful and organic connections without the pressure of thinking, “I have to network.”

I have mostly seen networking corporate events in the music & entertainment industries especially when they want their artist to meet possible producers, agents, managers and so on. I had the wonderful opportunity of working at a digital media company based in Los Angeles called Black Box, where I helped organize a few networking events that were hosted in-house. The main purpose of the event was to showcase one of our artists and allow him to connect with old fans, meet new ones, and get to know other industry people as well.

In order for the event to run smoothly, we made sure to create a very warm and welcoming environment. We added decorating night lights, an open patio, a table set up in a “buffet” manner offering all kinds of food, and an area with refreshments both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. We moved around our office furniture so that there were enough seating spaces for people to chill-out and lounge as well as enough standing room space in case people preferred that.

I think that it is very important to have a main activity that the networking event “surrounds,” so that they have more incentive to attend rather than just the idea of networking. We implemented this by having our artist perform an acoustic set, which then smoothly allowed all guests to mingle at the end of the night. I think the most important aspect to keep in mind when organizing an event like this is that you want to create an atmosphere that isn’t really forcing anyone to mingle, but rather a “no-pressure” environment that allows guests to get to know one another in an organic manner.

7. CHANGING/CONFIRMING CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE

A lot of the events mentioned in this list, such as internal team building or award ceremonies, focus solely on the company’s employees. However, there are other events that focus on the other equally important component of a company, their clients! Most of a company’s success comes from their trusted clients and customers who, year after year, choose their product or service over anyone else’s. Therefore, every once in a while, it is important to host an event that is focused on them and that shows them the reasons as to why they are their company of choice.

Events that are made to change or confirm customer’s perspectives are tricky in that you want to be able to find the right balance between effective and authentic. Some events, although effective in changing customer’s points of view so that they think that company is better than what they thought it was, may end up coming across as dishonest or inauthentic. It is therefore really important that you maintain the core values and integrity of the company while organizing an event that is meant to demonstrate to your clients why you are their choice in the first place.


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One really great example of this type of corporate event planning was done by U- Haul! When St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s, one of U-Haul’s main partners, anniversary came up, U-Haul celebrated alongside by, “Renewing and expanding its Food Drive Box title sponsorship while making a push to fight hunger in Arizona” –U-Haul. They also donated 50,000 meals as a way of honoring their longtime partners and also helping a humanity cause and those in need.

An event like this creates the perfect balance between being authentic and making their client’s happy by showing that they are a company made up of people with values rather than just a corporation. The event also commemorated their long-standing partner,

St. Mary’s Food Bank, which shows that U-Haul shows appreciation for those who have helped and supported them along the way.

An event like this doesn’t have to be anything upscale and crazy, it can be a simple yet kind act such as U-Haul’s example that shows your customers that your company is built on passionate people with driven missions and visions. Be authentic and don’t be afraid to showcase what makes your company the number one choice for your clients!

8. INCREASE MEDIA/PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARENESS

With the rise of technology came new innovations in the form of social media. Although social platforms may be overwhelming, there is a huge advantage in making proper use of them, which can lead to massive exposure. Although all the previous events do include press coverage in one way or another, there can also be events that are meant to focus solely on media and public relations awareness.


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These can include the following: press conferences, social media content creation, and exclusive interviews, among others. The most important aspect of this type of corporate event planning is having the proper media outlets present in said event. The sole purpose behind this event is increasing media and public relations awareness, and this couldn’t happen without the proper people present in the event.

Another important aspect to take into consideration when planning these events is the content itself. If what you are organizing is a press conference, the topic should be clear and the people speaking should be determined with time so that they are aware of how they will address the given matter. If you are in charge of an interview, making sure that the interviewee has received the questions in advanced and knows how to answer is critical. Also, make sure that the interviewee has received some form of media training so that they know what is proper to say in front of the camera and so on. And things aren’t so different when it comes to creating social media content. You have to have a good sense of direction both visual and purpose-wise so that the event can run smoothly and produce appropriate results.

A great example of this type of event was Banco General’s (a bank branch that forms part of the BG Financial Group) event in Panama. They organized an event called Banco General “A La Central” so that they could re-establish their identity as a company over music, art and local food.

Although this event could fall into the category of “changing/confirming customer perspective” it is mostly an event to increase social media and public relations awareness since they are promoting this event as a social media campaign. They created a specific logo and design for this event and they constantly posted and advertised it on their socials including Instagram.

By posting on their social media platforms, they created a ripple effect that reached the local mass medias such as press, newspapers, and other public relation companies. This helped increase the awareness of their presence in Panama through outlets and a specific event that otherwise wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t organized it.

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IDEAL CORPORATE EVENT PLANNER?

After reading the previous sections on the different types of events, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of that information was overwhelming. Normally, in a large corporation with multiple business units, the marketing department will probably know how to plan an event. However, this isn’t always the case. It takes a very specific person to assemble a team, lead and plan a corporate event regardless of what department he/she works in. Below, I have made a list of characteristics that the ideal corporate event planner has, which will help you define whether this is the right job for you:


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    • Communication skills

Planning a corporate event is not an easy task. There are multiple players involved in the process with which you need to communicate constantly. From the very first moment, you need to be able to express clearly and concisely what it is that you are expecting and what tasks your team members are in charge of.

There should be little room left for doubts, misunderstandings or confusion because once the event planning begins, you are on fast forward motion. However, make yourself available in case anyone has any questions or things that they would like to run by you.

Make sure you express yourself clearly in both written and verbal manners since most of the event communications will be done either in person, via email or on phone calls.

• Organization skills

Equally as important as your communication skills are your organizational ones. If you prefer the old school route, I would suggest keeping an agenda where you can write down your daily and weekly tasks and memos. If, however, you prefer the modern way, then feel free to use your smartphone’s calendar and reminder tools so that you can get a heads up before important meetings or events.

Emails are a very overwhelming especially when you are already receiving plenty of emails that are not related to your event planning tasks. Make sure you properly label your email subjects and keep any that are related to your planning in the same folder. This will make it easier to search for any emails that have important information that you need to look back on.

A last point that can really help the organization element of corporate event planning is delegating. One person cannot do everything, which is why it is really important to learn to delegate and trust other people to properly execute their tasks.

• Not afraid to ask for help/outsource

It is unrealistic to assume that one person is capable of handling every single detail of corporate event planning, which it is important to not be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are outsourcing for specific tasks or simply asking your co-worker to help you out with social media marketing, it is better to reach for help than try and handle everything yourself.

This doesn’t mean that you are not capable of organizing an event; it simply means that you are being proactive and efficient. It is important to allocate your time wisely, and if trying to understand a task is going to take most of your day, then you might as well ask someone that is an expert in that area so that they can help you out.

I am including this characteristic because, even though it seems self-explanatory or maybe obvious, you would be surprised how many people hesitate to ask for assistance in fear that it will make them look unqualified.


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• Tech-Savvy

In the modern world that we are living in, it has become essential to adapt to the vast technological advances that have surged. Businesses have learned to integrate technology into their models. For example, they are now using social media platforms when dealing with marketing, data, promotion, press, to name a few. This is why the ideal corporate event planner has to have a good level of comprehension when it comes to technology.

You will most likely be setting up marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, which requires a “tech-savvy” characteristic so that you know your way around the ins and outs of all of these platforms. It is also important that you are able to understand the vocabulary that tech-driven companies speak. For example, if you hire videographers and photographers to create content during the corporate event, it will be much easier to communicate with them if both of you understand one another and there are no misunderstandings when it comes to the vocabulary that they may use.

• Time management skills

Lastly, and probably one of the more important characteristics for an event planner is time management. Proper timing is one of the most imperative aspects of event planning; it defines how much in advanced you need to start planning, when you need to reserve the venue, when you should start promoting the event, when you should send out the invitations, and many more factors.


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As an event planner you will have to decide all of those factors and work around them. If you establish a set date for the occasion to take place, then you have to make sure that you have enough time to find a venue that will have an opening for that date. You also need to take the guests into consideration and think about whether or not it is a convenient day of the week, month etc.

One thing that will help you with time management is getting a physical agenda or planner so that you can brainstorm, in advanced, the ideal timing of every aspect of the event. I would also suggest using your smartphone and take advantage of apps such as calendar, reminders, alarms, contacts and email. These will really help you take more control of your time and will allow you to prioritize based on the things that you have to do for a given week.

WHAT ARE CORPORATE EVENT PLANNERS IN CHARGE OF?


We have covered the characteristics that an ideal corporate event planner shouldideally possess, but what exactly are they in charge of? Below is a list of the main tasks that corporate event planners are in charge of:


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• Brainstorming, planning, designing and producing an event

• Creating a team and delegating tasks to them

• Establishing an ideal date for the event to take place

• Define location and venue where event will occur

• Create the guest list

• Line up guest speakers and book traveling accommodations

• Determine the budget for all aspects of the event
o Venue
o Food
o Music
o Drinks
o Decoration
o Sound systems
o Transportation
o Content creation

• Act as an intermediary between clients and other stakeholders

• Provide periodic communication and feedback to the stakeholders

• Coordinate marketing and PR

• Problem solve as different challenges or problems arise

• Make sure that the day of the event everything runs smoothly


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These are some of the most important tasks, however, depending on the type of event there will be a few more tasks that the event planner will be in charge of.

WHAT ITEMS SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON YOUR CORPORATE EVENT CHECKLIST?

There are some tools that will definitely come in handy when getting ready to organize and lead a corporate event. Therefore, part of this corporate event-planning guide includes a list of items that should be included on your corporate event checklist. Many corporate event planners make good use of them, and they are the following:

• “How to” books – these will give you more insight on the ins and outs of planning a corporate event. There are different kinds including the following:
o Event planning books
o Party planning guides
o Party planner book


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• Large monthly planner – for those people who are visual, large monthly planners are perfect for envisioning the big picture. This one is great!
• Checklists

o Meeting planning checklists – I suggest bringing one for each weekly meeting that you hold with your team so that everyone is on the same page

o Meeting planner checklist – it’s also good that you have an individual checklist with your tasks and to do’s


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• Agenda – this will help you create a corporate planning network so next time you plan another event, you know who to contact.

• Talking stick seating chart – this is ideal when it comes to defining the seating placement of the guest list.

• Fractured but whole headshot locations – in corporate events such as networking ones, it is good to give your employees the chance to renew their headshots. This gives the event a very professional feel and is also taking the employees necessities into consideration. Check this one out!

• Charging station organizer for multiple devices – in the tech-driven world that we live in, it is highly important that you give your guests a place to charge their devices. Check out this option.

• Event in a box – if it is the case that you don’t have all the details of the event figured out, there are many companies that offer different things including: check-in systems, iPads, printers, as well as digital packets with tips on event planning. Check this event in a box.


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WHAT MAKES A CORPORATE EVENT PERFECT?


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Before you go ahead and use all of the tools that have been outlined in this corporate event-planning guide to start planning, it is important to think about what makes a corporate event perfect. Based on experience, I have noticed that some of the best events that I have attended made an impact because of their attention to detail. Yes, you do have to think about general things that will help with the overall functioning of the event such as clean and accessible restrooms, cater services, and music.


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However, thinking of smaller things such as having a good balance between seating and standing areas, making sure there is AC or heat depending on the weather, having umbrella services in case it rains, having both inside and outside spaces is incredibly important. I have been to events that are located in cities such as Boston where it was extremely helpful to get a map of the general areas where the event would take place. Not everyone is accustomed to the city so it is important to provide little things like maps and organized brochures so that everyone is accommodated properly.


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Another very important thing to consider, especially when the event you are planning is a seminar, is to have impeccable timing when it comes to the starting and ending times of the panels. There have been events that start up to 20 minutes later than they are scheduled and that just leaves a really bad impact on the organization. Remember that you have special guest speakers and attendees and their time is valuable.

Entertainment services, such as music, can also make a huge difference and really help establish the perfect environment for the corporate event. Booking fun, live bands such as the Brass Animals is a great way to approach this for celebrations and networking events; you’ll have people dancing and socializing in no time!

Lastly, remember to give thanks to your sponsors, partners and guests by giving them a gift bag at the beginning of the event. These gift bags can include anything from pens, name placards, stickers, discounts or free subscriptions to your sponsor’s products or services and any other creative thing that you can think of! This is a great way to end the conference and leave a positive impact on all those who attended your event!

I hope this corporate event-planning guide will come in handy when it is your turn to plan a corporate event. Whether it is a celebration, networking event, internal team building or seminar, you have all the tools in order to create a well-organized and memorable event. Remember to always consider the purpose behind the event so that you can plan and execute accordingly. Don’t be afraid to get creative or ask for help; remember that the ideal event planner is never afraid to outsource or ask other for help. As much of a challenge as this may seem, if you use this guide, consider the tasks that you will be in charge of and make use of the checklist your results will be perfect! After the event is over, remember to do a post-production analysis so that you can improve and tweak certain steps of the way. You’re ready, so take this guide and get started!


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Best Practices for Serving Alcohol at a Corporate Event

If you are planning a corporate event, one determination you will need to make is whether or not you will serve alcohol. Alcohol can help employees relax and socialize, but there are liability issues to consider. Companies must serve alcohol responsibly so that they are not seen as a responsible agent in the event of a drunken brawl or a drunk driving accident. Fortunately, there are steps you can take as host to reduce your risk while still serving alcohol at your next function.

Set A Specific End Time For Your Event

Set a specific end time for the planned event to keep the situation from getting out of control. An early end time sends the message that you are planning a fun social gathering, but not a wild college-style party. Setting an end time keeps the party from becoming too rowdy.

Hire Professional Bartenders

Another way to keep your event classy and prevent guests from becoming out of control is to hire professional bartenders. Guests allowed to serve themselves (or friends) are more likely to pour strong drinks and keep the beer flowing freely. Trained and licensed bartenders know how to diplomatically but firmly cut off an overly-intoxicated guest. Professional bartenders are an easy way to keep alcohol consumption moderate.

Issue Drink Tickets

Some companies issue drink tickets before an event to limit excessive consumption and help them budget appropriately. Keep in mind that employees who do not drink will give away their drink tickets to those who do. If you need to be strict in your enforcement, print each ticket with the employee’s name and caution them before the event that drink tickets are non-transferable.

Facilitate Safe Transportation

Finally, you can ensure that your guests arrive safely at their homes by arranging transportation. You could hire a van service to provide rides to employees at the end of the event. This can be a costly option, however, but there are alternatives. You could offer an incentive to employees willing to serve as designated drivers. Designated drivers might be allowed to come in late the next workday, for example. Another option is to make sure that guests know the number and contact information for local cab and car service companies in the area.

Although there are risks associated with serving alcohol at a corporate event, if you follow these tips your guests should be able to enjoy themselves thoroughly without putting either themselves or the company in legal or ethical danger.

References:

9 Reasons You Want a Bartender at Your Next Party or Event

End of the Night Holiday Party Transportation Basics

Aim To Serve

How To Market Your Corporate Event Online Like A Pro

Planning a corporate event, like a happy hour or holiday party, is a lot of fun, but you also want to make sure that enough people show up. With so many options for promoting your event online, it can be difficult to know which ones to choose. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a confusing process. Here are a few ideas for effectively promoting your corporate event online.

Create an excellent event page with important info.

Your online marketing for the event has to direct people somewhere: to your event page. This is where people will learn everything they need to know, such as when and where the event will be, why they should attend, and how to purchase tickets. Your goal should be to keep people on the page for as long as possible so that they convert. You can do this by adding images and videos to showcase how much fun your event is going to be. For example, if you’re having a live band or a comedian at your event, put up a short video of them performing to give guests a taste of what they can expect.

Include your event in your email signature.

You probably email a lot of people every single day. Every time you send an email, that’s another opportunity to promote your event. You can include a single sentence at the end of your email about your event, or you can put a tiny bit of info and a link in your signature. If you’re going to include the promo in your signature, make it short and to the point so that people know exactly what you’re promoting by reading the anchor text.

Make it easy for Google to find your event.

When you use SEO, especially local SEO for your specific area, you have a better chance of showing up in search results when people in your area look for your specific event or a general event nearby. A good start is to think about how people would search for your event. For example, if you’re throwing a party with live music in Brooklyn, you’d want to show up in search results for “live music Brooklyn” and “Brooklyn music.”

The beauty of online marketing is that there are several options that are either free or low cost. Plus, you can pick and choose the promotional methods that suit your style and event best, instead of spreading yourself thin by taking every avenue available to you.

Promote your event on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an extremely popular social network for professionals. So if that’s who you’re trying to get to come to your corporate event, then you should definitely make sure to spread the word on LinkedIn. You can do this by posting on your company’s LinkedIn profile, as well as any LinkedIn groups that are relevant to the type of event that you’re hosting. This will certainly increase your chances of generating a few extra RSVPs.

References:

Neil Patel

Nashville Marketing Systems

Billetto