Depending on company size, corporate events can be daunting for an organization to pull together. These galas can take months of meticulous planning, with assistance from individuals across multiple departments. And even with help from all sides, the planning process can be rife with stress. All that frustration can be worthwhile, however, for the right cause. From finding the right venue to getting the word out, your corporate gathering has the potential to be a smashing success, or a quiet failure.
The following five steps can help you plan and execute the perfect corporate gala:
Build An Event Committee
No matter your event's purpose, assembling the right team to help organize, strategize and achieve each stage can go a long way to ensuring success. What's the theme? Will there be a keynote? Who's on the guest list? What is the best venue? Besides the many advantages that come along with group brainstorming, clearly defining and assigning tasks among members also creates a shared sense of responsibility and determination to accomplishing goals. one of the first matters for the committee to discuss, of course, is budget, which will dictate many of the answers.
Figure Out The Gala’s Purpose
Every gala has an objective. Is this a fundraiser for a special cause? Is this event meant to honor contributors within the community? Is it simply a team-building party meant to bring your various departments together in one room to strengthen bonds, reinforce workflows, and address problem points? Deciding your gathering's purpose is a key issue to address either in that first committee meeting, or something that has been determined long ahead of time. Either way, every other choice will hinge on answering that first, simple question: Why are we holding this event?
Choose A Set Of Dates
Target a specific date, then pull back from the calendar and choose several others around that same time. With so many moving parts to planning an event, having a couple of alternate dates are imperative when considering the availability of your company, any potential guests, and the venue you eventually select. The night of the week will also factor into the event's cost, as weekend galas (Fridays and Saturdays) are often more expensive than weekday events.
The most important takeaway should be that you should never go it alone.
Decide On A Venue
Once dates are marked in a calendar, call some local venues to see which have those days available. Then, ask if you can go see the spot in person rather than relying on website galleries or customer reviews. Oftentimes, online photos don’t do a venue justice, and customer reviews can be unreliable. Once you have settled on a venue, check for guest capacity, audio-visual capabilities, whether or not the venue provides on-premises catering services, and what other amenities they might offer.
Sketch A Gala Timeline
What time should guests arrive? Is there a cocktail hour? Is dinner being served? Is there time set aside for guest speakers? When are the awards being given out? All of this should be sketched out by the planning committee in a timeline so that the evening doesn’t run over the allotted time, and everything you want to focus on gets its proper due. Consider printing an official copy for your guests, too, so they have a general idea of what to expect and where to be.
We Love It When A Plan Comes Together
As with any corporate campaign, planning a successful gala is no small task, with many moving parts. The most important takeaway should be that you should never go it alone. Companies promote teamwork for a reason—there are few undertakings that don't benefit from multiple people, all working together, to achieve the same goal.