Events 101: Corporate Events
Corporate events may not be the most action-packed of events, but there are ways to keep the audience engaged without compromising its quality and objectives. Here are 5 tips on mounting corporate events.
1. Know your objectives
The objectives of the event can come from the client or the organiser. Wherever this comes from or whatever these objectives are, this is your starting point and guide until the very end. This will guide you in your program design, setup, and team design. And anytime you feel lost in the planning process, you go back to these objectives. If you don’t have objectives, the event will simply be all over the place.
2. Utilise opportunities for interaction
Interaction is an important element for any kind of event. Allowing the guests and audience to share feedback not only keeps the program engaging, but it also allows the client and organiser to gather information that would improve future events. Don’t stop with a Q&A at the end of a talk or presentation. Engage in meaningful dialogue with the guests on a smaller scale. Approach them yourself and ask them about their experience and what specific details they enjoyed or feel need further improvement. If guests observe your interest in improving the event, this is one thing they can look forward to with the next event.
3. Invest in a professional technical team
When clients insist on a straightforward presentation of their content, it doesn’t mean it’s boring. This is a chance for you to tighten up the way the content is presented. If client just wants a video followed by a speech, invest in the right technical team and equipment to make sure the transition is smooth, seamless, and clean. Keep things tight, concise, and clear to maintain the audience attention span. For programs with heavy speaking parts, consider the use of a voice over host, music to fill in dead air, and a rehearsal for all the speakers with their allotted time limits. Just because it’s a simple black and white program, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be rehearsed. Anything that will be presented requires a rehearsal.
4. Entertainment doesn’t diminish the professional setting
Some corporate clients shy away from providing entertainment for fear that it might take away from the professional atmosphere of their event. They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not like you have to hire a pop star to spruce up the event. But if you want to provide your guests with a chance to unwind a little so they can clear their minds leading up to the presentation or after it, you should provide some sort of relief or breather for them. For even the stiffest events, a violinist or pianist should do the trick to provide a breath of fresh air during the event. The more stressful the content, the better entertainment you should have.
5. Always conduct a post-mortem
No matter how your event goes, if it’s a success or requires some much-needed improvement, it’s important to conduct a post-mortem that assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (look up SWOT analysis) of the event and all those involved in making it happen. This feedback amongst the organising body is just as important as your feedback with the guests of the event. Any event or event organiser that cannot look back at the event that just took place and assess the strengths and weaknesses, will be bound to commit the same mistakes again.
When it comes to mounting your event, the best way to approach it is with the mindset that there is a purpose that the event should serve. Corporate events are designed to produce a certain outcome like share information, solve a problem, or develop a skill. This is not the time or the place to turn it into a party. However, as long as you prioritise meeting each objective, you can’t go wrong.