Your Guide on How to Plan a Corporate Event

Table of contents.

Any business that wants to build lasting relationships , which is crucial for your company’s growth, needs to know how to produce professional events. Hosting a corporate affair allows you to strengthen bonds with current clients and partners, while developing genuine connections and attracting future ones.

“Events provide businesses a personal way to build relationships with their target audiences [as well as] build brand recognition and loyalty,” said Myke Nahorniak, co-founder and CEO of Localist. “LinkedIn messages, Facebook status updates and tweets cannot replace the meaningful connections made through in-person communication.” 

Whether you’re hosting a product launch for 300 people or an employee training for 15, it’s key to approach each gathering with an understanding of the basic elements of event management: research, design, planning, coordination and evaluation. Once an event is broken up into these manageable stages, it is much easier to conceptualize it and pull together the many moving pieces needed to bring it to life. Here are 10 tips on how to plan an event that your attendees won’t soon forget.

1. Understand the purpose of your event.

Once you decide you want to host an event, your first step is to define what you hope to accomplish.

“It is important to know the goals and objectives of the event you are trying to produce before you can do anything else,” said Brian Worley, creative director and owner of B. Worley Productions.

Start by asking yourself why you are hosting the event and what you expect from it. Once you’ve identified your goals and expectations, you can then determine what kind of event will resonate with your intended audience.

“Rather than thinking of it as just a corporate event, think about it like you’re delivering an interactive brand experience,” said Serena Holmes, CEO of Tigris Events. “You want it to be meaningful and engaging.”

2. Decide on your audience.

An important part of the planning process is defining your target audience. Is it your company’s executives and upper management, business partners, or community members? Is it for longtime clients or potential clients? Maybe it’s a combination of some or all the above. Figuring out your target audience and understanding how to reach them is essential to a successful event. Once you can name your audience, you can cater the program to their needs and interests. 

It’s always stressful to determine how many guests to invite to these events. However, according to Julian Jost, CEO and co-founder of Spacebase, it’s better to invite too many people than too few. 

“For small businesses, empty seats and uneaten snacks look bad and are a waste of money,” he said. “In most situations, having too many people show up isn’t really going to spoil an event – with some exceptions, like venues with very limited space or where a three-course meal is planned. If too many people turn up, it’s also great marketing. You’re sure to create a buzz the next day, and it will add to anticipation about your next event.” 

Regardless of how small or large the guest list is, what people will remember is how they were treated. “Every person attending the event is a potential brand ambassador or word-of-mouth spokesperson for … your business,” said Valerie Gernhauser, owner and principal planner of Sapphire Events. “It is important to make a significant impact on the guest experience by not overlooking the finer details that each attendee will appreciate firsthand.”

3. Set a realistic budget.

You need to know how much money you have to work with to determine what sort of event you can produce. According to Worley, decide early on how much you want to spend, and then plan on spending at least 10% more. 

“Things are always changing, and you should have a cushion for added and unexpected expenses that pop up,” he said. 

Once you have a budget, knowing where to allocate most of your resources is essential. For example, if you spend more on fancy decorations than you do on a skilled tech crew or personable speakers, your event might be lacking in substance. 

Additionally, don’t skimp on food or beverages, and take into account attendees with dietary restrictions. Though this may not seem as important as other aspects of your event planning, audiences are more forgiving of missteps when they aren’t hungry or thirsty. 

4. Choose a theme and format.

Once you have set your objectives and defined the audience, it’s time to choose a theme or topic for the event and determine the best format for presenting it to your guests. 

For example, coordinating a client event with an industry expert, such as a guest speaker, can position your company as a trusted advisor, instead of just a vendor. Peer-to-peer learning with client panels, keynotes, roundtables and breakout session speakers are other popular options. 

“Always offer opportunities for attendees to do something fun, memorable and entertaining that they wouldn’t typically do anywhere or anytime else,” said J.J. Barnes, chief marketing officer at enVista. “This might include hearing from a famous speaker, comedian or band; playing on an incredible golf course; or trying something new, thrilling or exclusive for the first time.”

A successful corporate event is both immersive and educational, according to Worley. 

“The ones that are interactive – rather than sitting in a ballroom watching a speaker all day – are more successful, informative and fun,” he said. “We really try to create experiences these days that go beyond theater-style seating, and put the attendees in situations and in front of the right people for networking and learning.

“Determine what you are going to do to make this an ‘out of the box’ event,” Worley added. “Spend the time now to figure out what will differentiate your event from similar ones in your industry or even ones you’ve previously produced.” 

5. Establish a project timeline.

Designing the event requires you to keep track of a broad range of tasks. This can be facilitated by creating a master detailed checklist. Online project management software can streamline all of the tiny details and help you stay organized. 

“The overall planning checklist serves as a tool for the duration of the planning process,” Gernhauser said. She said her team starts with a list for 12 months out and works in checklist increments at nine months out, six months out, four months out, two months out, the month of, two weeks out, the week of and the day of the event. “Breaking down the task list like this helps our team foresee the schedule of milestones we need to target.” 

Even without dedicated software, you can keep track of your checklist by creating a spreadsheet and using individual tabs for each event category, such as venue, speakers, schedule, agenda and travel. This way, you can list each activity or task, the people responsible for each part of the process, and all the relevant deadlines. Though Microsoft Excel is usually the go-to spreadsheet program, there are other options. We compiled a list of free alternatives to Microsoft Office for you.

Your project timeline is linked to your budget. If you are working with a tight budget, giving yourself more time to put together the event will help with costs and services. If you have a bigger budget, you can have a truncated project timeline.

6. Select an appropriate location.

Once you’ve determined the type of event you’d like to create and outlined a budget, it’s time to find a venue that allows you to bring your vision to life. It’s tempting, at times, to jump ahead and book a venue you’ve heard good things about or that you know is an up-and-coming hot spot, even if you haven’t quite honed in on the mission of your event. This is a mistake, according to Worley. 

“It is always hard to fit a round peg in a square hole, so the same goes for an event,” he said. “Build the event architecture first, and then find the venue that fits all the specs you need to have for success.”

According to Barnes, “location is key to attendance.” She recommends booking a venue in a convenient area with a vibrant atmosphere so that attendees feel comfortable and willing to make the commute. 

If you have a tight budget, Jost suggests reducing your costs by holding the event at a less popular time when the venue is more likely to be available, such as hosting a media breakfast on a Monday morning. 

“Be sure to involve the local community as much as possible,” said Gina Argento, president and CEO of Broadway Stages. “We always use local vendors for catering needs, various rentals and many other crucial aspects. By doing this, we are supporting the local community and giving them the opportunity to network and expand their businesses.” 

7. Plan the logistics of the day.

To have a successful event, you will have to identify, vet and contract all the necessary event specialists. This may include caterers, audiovisual technicians, printers, decorators, photographers, florists and security personnel, to name just a few. Of course, you must also book speakers and presenters, including prominent figures, experts or influencers, who can best communicate the ideas you’d like to circulate throughout the gathering. 

To assure everything goes according to your plan, determine an agenda for the event, and make sure everyone on your team knows what aspects of the day they are responsible for managing.

You have to work intentionally to create a balance between keeping attendees engaged and giving them some freedom in their schedule. “People get bored easily,” said Jonathan Chan, former head of marketing at Insane Growth. “If there isn’t enough variety to keep them interested, then you’ve basically spent a lot of money on a vanity event.”

However, you don’t want to jam-pack the schedule either. There needs to be leeway in the itinerary to deal with unexpected occurrences that may arise. Additionally, your attendees need time to themselves to process what they are learning, recharge and connect with other attendees. 

When deciding how to wrap up your day, skip the typical promotional giveaways with the company logo, and think of gifts that have a big impact with a small footprint. A much better idea is a digital take-home, according to Jost. 

“That could be a promotional code, which gives guests a discount, or it could give access to online content from the event, like photos and videos,” he said. “It could also include the chance to register in advance for the next event. Give guests an incentive to stay in contact.” 

8. Make use of technology.

Gone are the days of cumbersome mile-long lists to track all the moving parts of an event. Today, there are tons of event management software platforms and apps (some of which offer a free base product) that do everything from providing seamless on-site check-in of attendees to enhancing the appeal of workshops and presentations with simulations and virtual reality games. 

The use of event apps can help you significantly streamline planning and increase engagement among attendees, according to Nick Jackson, Digital Marketing Manager at BrandX Agency. 

“Event details can be populated quickly via spreadsheet templates and published instantly into an existing event container app, or event teams can create their own custom-branded event app to use for multiple events and conferences throughout the year,” said Jackson. “Most event apps have features that keep attendees up to date with all the info they need leading up to the event and during it, and it allows them to provide feedback to the speakers and organizers.”

Interactive features, such as live polling and session Q&A, can be easily displayed on large screens in the venue, and some apps have gamification features, such as scavenger hunts. You can make speaker slides available to attendees, as long as they are in the correct format, by simply uploading them to the event app. 

Event management software keeps your affair on track, but it also makes it easier to work collaboratively with vendors and other creative partners. 

“Streamlining communication among all the parties by using a project management system we can all collaborate on has been tremendously helpful in cutting down the frustrations of relying on email communication alone,” said Gernhauser, who uses Basecamp, a popular cloud-based project management system, and Social Tables, another web-based event planning platform known for its event-diagramming and seating capabilities. 

In the planning and execution of your corporate event, you can use a plethora of software, apps and services to streamline the whole process.

9. Promote your event.

If people don’t know about your event, no one will show up, so it’s imperative to find creative ways to get the word out. For a small event with a limited guest list, you can simply send out invitations, but you need to be bolder for larger events. 

“In today’s digital age, a variety of promotional methods are required to generate attendance,” Barnes said. “We typically start by emailing our database, placing ads in industry newsletters, adding our event to industry listings and directories, and encouraging our sales teams to promote [our conference] when visiting clients or partners on-site.” 

For your event and its timeline, you want to treat the promotion of your corporate event as if you are making a marketing plan. Granted, marketing plans are typically done on a more general/macro scale to help drive your resources to bring awareness. Applying this to your specific event can be beneficial to its success. We laid out tips on how to create a great business marketing plan to give you a reference on how to translate these skills on a more micro level.

From there, you can promote on social media and have your team spread the word. Create an event website or, at a minimum, a new landing page on your current site. Your social media marketing can also include promo videos, guest blog posts, and Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter updates. Maintain uniformity by using the same handle and hashtag across platforms and consistent messaging so it’s always clear that the buzz is about one particular event. 

You can also explore possible sponsorship opportunities for your event. Sponsors can fund a portion of the event, which helps you defray the costs. More importantly, sponsors have a vested interest in promoting your affair. Brainstorm a list of ideal sponsors whose brand, mission or services complement your event in some way. You can develop a range of sponsorship packages and reach out to them about potential partnership opportunities. This works best if you focus your pitch to highlight the value of attendees to potential sponsors. 

“We partner with media sponsors to speak at our events,” Barnes said. “It’s a win-win situation, as they receive ‘free’ publicity and mindshare in return for publicizing our event.”

10. Celebrate and evaluate your event planning success.

If your event went off without a hitch, congratulations! You aren’t done yet, though. Now is the time to wrap up any loose ends, such as sending final payments to vendors, reconciling your finances and conducting a post-event debrief with your team. 

Most importantly, you want to gather feedback from guests. If you used an event-planning app with a feedback option, you can use it to ask attendees questions. This information will help you determine if the event met your original goals and what impact, if any, it had on the attendees. You can then share this information with all the relevant stakeholders so an appropriate follow-up can be planned. The lessons you learn will help you refine your planning for the next event. 

If you are managing or are a part of a team in the process of making these events, some of the feedback you get may not be positive. It’s important to understand how to give or take this type of feedback, and we broke down how important giving and accepting constructive criticism is . 

Bassam Kaado, Sammi Caramela and Nicole Fallon contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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A Must-Know Guide To Corporate Event Planning

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Events in a corporate environment are often staged to communicate company strategy, change internal company behavior, launch a product or service, motivate, train or reward staff, or influence the external behavior of customers towards the brand.

In many instances, they bring company employees together, support wider marketing or sales initiatives, incentivize team achievements, or entertain senior leaders.

What is corporate event planning?

Yet, corporate event planning goes beyond meeting planning. Although conferences and meetings may form the lion’s share of the workload, other events you may be asked to organize include corporate hospitality, client entertaining, conventions, exhibitions, and employees events—such as incentive travel reward programs, team building, motivational events, receptions, parties, and charity fundraising days.

Planning and executing a successful corporate event is no simple task. It’s typically a months-long process consisting of several stages and a variety of organizational steps.

To help you navigate the business of corporate event planning, here is everything you need to know:

  • Types of Corporate Events

Event budget

Event objective, venue sourcing, event marketing, attendee engagement.

  • Corporate event planning checklist

Types of corporate events

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As outlined above, corporate events can range from company conferences and internal training seminars to team away-days and client hospitality. When planning for any type of corporate event therefore, it’s best to assess them in terms of their size.

Micro events  (otherwise known as ‘simple events’) are planned for up to 100 delegates and often take the form of meetings or more intimate training sessions.

The planning requirements for these micro-events may simply involve a room booking, presentation facilities, break-out refreshments, and registration. However, referring to them as ‘simple events’ can be misleading, as an away-day or hospitality for 50 senior managers can be as complicated as planning a conference for 500 attendees.

Small events  are classed as between 100 and 250 delegates. They could be seminars, training days or departmental conferences.

Planners may need to manage a main stage itinerary and several break-out sessions, along with lunch, refreshments, audio-visual facilities, online registration , and transport.

Midsize events  rely more on technology. They could be company-wide conferences for up to 1,000 delegates or leadership summits for important client customers to meet with senior leaders.

A branded website, pre-event communications, and an event mobile app should all form part of the budgetary considerations. Delegates may require hotel accommodation, plus transport which takes attendees to and from the venue. While a pre- or post-event reception or evening entertainment may be required as part of a complex multi-stream conference itinerary.

Large-scale events  often require enterprise technology tools to manage elements such as hotel room bookings, delegate flights, budgets, and online registration.

These may be multi-day events so you could need offsite activities, dinners, partner programs, an awards ceremony or other complex itinerary planning.

Staffing, catering, registration, speaker and delegate management will all need to be carefully planned at scale. Conventions, for example, can attract anything up to around 10,000 attendees and can last a few days.

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The amount of available budget can impact every aspect of corporate event planning, from the choice of venue and speakers to the levels of catering, entertainment, technology, and staffing.

Decide if your budget has outgoings only, or will you be able to supplement it with income from exhibitors, sponsors or other forms of external revenue?

Has this event happened in the past? If so, use the previous budget to establish a baseline but ensure that inflation and evolving needs are taking into consideration.

Figures from past budgets are useful in providing a clearer picture of how much certain suppliers will charge. Use these to ensure you are not being over-charged when you reach out to suppliers for initial quotes.

Every event budget, however, needs built-in flexibility. Unanticipated expenditure is common and supplier costs are often provided as estimates, rather than fixed prices, so it’s vital that an overall budget is managed accordingly, and a contingency fund is in place.

Once you’ve sourced supplier costings, make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle, including venue hire, AV, food, and beverage, accommodation and travel, speaker fees, staffing costs, marketing and service fees.

For larger or more complex budget planning, look into corporate event management software suites, which include a dedicated  event budget management  tool. This will ensure accurate collection of your budgetary information, help you track expenses easily, generate budget reports, and demonstrate the ROI of your event.

Setting Goals

‘What is the event’s objective?’ This should be the first question you ask when a corporate event is requested. By gaining a deep understanding of the deliverables that key stakeholders are hoping to achieve, it’ll allow you to plan more effectively and communicate your ideas in a language your bosses will understand.

Once you’ve understood whether the event’s aim is, for example, to build brand awareness, communicate business strategy, reward and motivate, or launch a new product or service, you can then set goals, put the right metrics in place to track results, and determine who the attendees will be, along with their expectations.

When you have well-defined goals and objectives for your event, planning, promoting, and sticking to your budget all become much easier.

Event objectives should be SMART

  • S pecific: What is the desired outcome and when does it need to be achieved by?
  • M easurable: Return on Investment or Return on Objectives… or both?
  • A chievable: Ensure that the event objective is something that can actually be achieved otherwise senior leaders will consider it a failure.
  • R elevant: The overall objective needs to remain something that relates back to the company’s goals throughout the entire planning process.
  • T imebound: Plan for the event objective to have been achieved between two time periods. This may require subsequent training seminars or a follow-up event to assess the outcomes of the first.

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The event’s objectives may also determine your choice of venue. If stakeholders are looking to leave a lasting impression on valued or prospective clients, for example, the venue will need to play its part and deliver a memorable wow factor.

Other factors that will influence your venue choice include budget, capacity, location, availability, and logistics. Having a clear understanding of these event requirements will allow you to shortlist a number of venues, send out requests for written proposals (RFPs) and arrange site visits.

Some venues offer seasonal pricing, so the hire cost may be lower during certain times of the year. Find out what the costs are for your venue of choice on your desired date. If your dates are flexible, you may be able to secure a better deal at your preferred venue.

If your event has a short-lead time, keep an eye out for last-minute venue offers as there are often great deals to be found. If you’re planning an event that’s a long way off, consider those venues undergoing refurbishment or not yet opened. They’ll be eager to secure your business and may be able to negotiate more favorably.

Three steps to venue sourcing

Step One: Find Venues

  • Know the meeting objectives and requirements. By determining these at the outset, you’ll decrease the search process.
  • Take into account feedback from attendees. Is this an annual event? If attendees ranked the venue from the previous year poorly, look at the feedback to pick a venue that will resonate better.
  • Don’t feel alone. Reach out to your team, or others that have a stake in the event to brainstorm what factors are most important.

Step Two: Write the perfect RFP

  • You already know general objectives and requirements – now define your purpose. Make it clear what this event requires and hopes to achieve.
  • Get detailed. Give as much information about the event as you can.
  • No one likes to discuss money, but you need to share your budget requirements. The venue is one of the largest costs of an event and can make or break your budget.
  • Make your deadlines clear. Give a date and time that provide venues enough time to respond.
  • Don’t start from scratch. Pull a template the internet.
  • Be ready to answer any questions venues may have about the proposal or event.

Step Three: Send and evaluate proposals

  • Using a  venue sourcing tool , you can search and filter venues and send one RFP to multiple venues at once.
  • Assess proposals via the chosen venue sourcing tool or by manually importing data into a spreadsheet
  • Create a list of any factors that are less concrete – the qualitative factors.
  • Pay close attention to meeting rooms – do the sizes and layouts make sense for your event?
  • Compare how responsive and helpful the venues are to help figure out how helpful they’ll be if you choose them.

Now go on some site visits. You should be in great shape at this point. You have proposals, you know that the spaces you’re looking at are within budget and have the spaces you need, now you can look in person .

Event Marketing

By building a marketing campaign around your event, attendees and stakeholders will feel more invested and involved. It will also allow you to communicate key instructions and announcements, safe in the knowledge that your audience is already engaged.

Event marketing assets include teaser emails, social media channels, a branded website, and a mobile event app . You may also wish to design and create posters, flyers, pin-badges, and other accessories to keep the event front-of-mind and anticipation high.

A customized pre-event website will showcase event highlights and build on the notion of ‘experience’ before attendees arrive. A website can also be used to streamline the registration process and create a one-stop-shop for accommodation or transport booking.

The design and usability of your event website will be crucial to the success of your event, so make sure you pay special attention to how it is  designed and built .

With the latest corporate event management software solutions,  creating a custom event website  has become easier than ever. There is no technical expertise required, and you certainly don’t need to learn HTML. With a simple drag-and-drop tool, you can  build a complete website from scratch .

A branded mobile event app meanwhile will allow attendees to view the agenda, receive notifications of scheduling updates and plan networking. It will also enable you to signpost attendees to important information like the venue Wi-Fi password, sponsor information, local hotel details, or session sign-up pages.

On-site advertising should also be included in your marketing plan, which includes signage, banners, flyers and brochures, and other event collateral.

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According to a  survey by Cvent and Edelman Intelligence , attendee expectations and needs differ significantly on the basis of their persona, age, and region.

For example, the event expectations for a Millennial from the UK could be entirely different from a Baby Boomer from Germany. To deliver a unique and engaging experience for every attendee, you need to have a solid event management plan in place, supported by a strong digital strategy.

If a corporate event cannot generate engagement, it will impact the attendees’ ability to retain information.

The human attention span has reduced significantly in this mobile-first, digital era. As a result, event planners have needed to move away from ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations to more innovative session formats that avoid information overload.

Using the right event technology tools, implementing feedback strategies like live polls, reconciling goals and expectations, and staying authentic should all be top priorities.

Plenary sessions should be designed for delegate participation. To do this, find more engaging speakers, use live polling, real-time Q&As, table discussions, and other methods of keeping engagement high and attendee attention focused.

Conference breakouts should be designed to provide targeted and truly interactive content for your audience. A common event planning pitfall is to turn them into mini keynotes.

Two popular formats for breakouts are:

Breakout sessions:  This format is generally used for conferences or sales rallies and offers participants an opportunity to delve deep and explore a topic of interest.

Breakout groups:  Pairs, trios or small groups of up to 12 participants work together to brainstorm, complete a business exercise or analyze a specific business issue. Breakout groups are also used for skill practice during training and development programs, as well as projects during team building sessions.

Coffee and lunch breaks meanwhile should be designed for networking. So, consider ice-breakers, buffet stations and other free-flowing formats and activities to get people talking.

A strong digital strategy will build a sense of community before and after the event. Online communities can be formed via social media platforms or by ensuring that your event app is available well in advance and includes built-in social features.

The week before your event is crucial for building attendee engagement for your event.

In order to keep the energy and excitement going, create a unique countdown in the form of emails or website updates, with engaging content such as quiz contests with attractive awards, a preview of the main keynote speakers or any number of other possibilities.

The big four types of attendee engagement

1) Engaging with content:  This means giving attendees the right sessions, exhibits and other activities to maximize learning and the value of their attendance.

2) Engaging with each other:  For many, networking is the primary reason for attending an event. By creating networking opportunities — whether face-to-face or virtual, one-on-one or in groups — planners can encourage and facilitate networking and create a more valuable experience for attendees.

3) Engaging with sponsors:  If you’ve sold sponsorship at your event, then those paying customers will be looking for real connections with the right kind of attendee — rather than just signage.

4) Engaging with you:  Communication is a two-way street, and as the event organizer you’ve got to effectively communicate with your attendees — whether for promotional, consultative or logistical purposes.

Virtual Meeting and Event Planning

Not all corporate events need to be in-person. Virtual meeting and event planning is a great choice for these types of events. If you decide on a virtual event , you will need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you planning on a more collaborative environment? Does your technology allow you to do this? And if it's a virtual event, do you want it to be casual or formal? Is the content engaging? And does your technology support networking opportunities? While the planning process doesn't vary much from in-person to virtual, the main difference will be in the production and presentation of your content, as well as the virtual technology used.

Corporate Event Planning Checklist

Checklist

Use these 21 action steps, together with the aforementioned best practice advice, to ensure effective and successful corporate event planning.

  • Determine the overarching goal and the primary objectives you intend to meet by holding this event.
  • Identify the audience to determine the event’s tone of voice and what takeaways they’ll expect.
  • Agree on how the event fits into the overall company strategy. What are its long-term objectives?
  • Make a comprehensive list of all the budget line items in the event lifecycle.
  • Appoint a planning team and allocate responsibilities.
  • Establish a schedule for planning meetings.
  • Decide on the date(s) when the event will take place.
  • Prepare a preliminary budget based on historic costings and supplier quotes.
  • Create a list of venue requirements.
  • Compare venues and negotiate.
  • Plan the event layout.
  • Secure speakers.
  • Develop and activate an  event marketing plan .
  • Prepare an event timeline allowing adequate time between sessions and activities for transitioning, as well as for any potential delays or technical difficulties.
  • Reserve accommodation and transport requirements.
  • Plan menus for meals and refreshments, taking dietary needs into consideration.
  • Prepare and print event collateral.
  • Confirm or recruit event staffing.
  • Rehearse speakers if required.
  • Follow-up with speakers and attendees post-event to thank them for attending and provide key takeaways.
  • Conduct surveys, secure feedback and collate final costings for future reference.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

business meeting event planning

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Table of Contents

Types of corporate events, 5 examples of goals for corporate events, the ultimate corporate event planning checklist, tips for corporate event planning success, get started: make your next corporate event the best yet, corporate event planning: checklist and guide.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett

Every event professional has the same goal for corporate event planning: to orchestrate an engaging experience that delivers favorable business outcomes.

Corporate event planning checklists can significantly increase your chances of achieving your event goals. Plus, checklists help you stay organized, ensure everything is accounted for, and make it easier to scale your event strategy.

In this post, we’ll examine different types of corporate events, common goals event professionals aim for, what your corporate event planning checklist should include, and tips to remember as you start the corporate evening planning process.

As you begin planning your next corporate event, your approach may vary depending on the type of event, the size and scope, and what you hope to accomplish. Some of the more common types of corporate events include the following:

  • Trade shows are larger events that unite people who want to experience products, exchange ideas, learn new skills, gather leads, and meet other folks in the industry.
  • Team-building events foster camaraderie by bringing coworkers together to learn new things and get to know each other on a deeper level. 
  • Product launches highlight new products and services an organization brings to market to generate buzz and excitement.
  • Conferences and seminars , like HubSpot’s INBOUND , are typically the largest events and feature keynote addresses, seminars, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and more.
  • Networking events are designed to help folks meet other people in their industry and learn new things.

business meeting event planning

According to a report from Allied Market Research , the U.S. corporate event market — which brought in $95.3 billion in 2020 — is expected to reach $510.9 billion in revenue by 2030, growing 17.3% annually. This impressive growth can be attributed to the fact that corporate events deliver several benefits to organizations, like the following opportunities:

  • Celebrate your wins. You can increase employee happiness, engagement, and productivity by using events to recognize your team’s hard work.
  • Motivate employees. Events are a great way to motivate your team. Not only will employees feed off the energy of the event, they will also learn new things, meet new people, and develop new skills.
  • Generate leads. Hosting a corporate event creates the perfect atmosphere for meeting new business prospects and capturing leads. Since most attendees will likely head to your event because they’re interested in what you offer, you won’t have to pitch them cold.
  • Promote your brand. Events enable you to bolster brand awareness and get people talking about your company on social media, enabling you to leverage word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Improve employee retention. Since events make employees happier and help them develop in their careers, they serve as a vehicle for reducing employee turnover — a nice bonus in today’s difficult job market. 

business meeting event planning

Photo by Canva Studio

Having a checklist when planning a corporate event is paramount because it ensures a systematic and organized approach to the entire process. A checklist serves as a comprehensive guide to the essential tasks and details that need to be addressed, helping you stay on track and minimizing the chance you overlook crucial elements. It also enables better time management and coordination among team members while enabling progress tracking. 

But the best part of a checklist is that you can use it repeatedly from event to event, updating as you go for what worked best and what missed the mark. As you begin creating your event planning checklist, here are some things you’ll want to include:

☐ Goals: Decide What Success Looks Like 

Clearly define what you want to achieve with your corporate event and outline what success looks like. Ensure your event goals align with your business goals. 

☐ Logistics: Set a Date, Format, and Location

Pick a date and an event type, considering availability, attendee preferences, event objectives, and potential scheduling conflicts (e.g., holidays or seasonality). Consider second-tier cities and outside-the-box locations to save on event costs and make it easier for attendees to justify coming. 

doing more with less for event planners

☐ Theme: Choose a Memorable Concept

Select an event theme that aligns with your objectives to create a cohesive, memorable experience for attendees. Not sure where to start? Check out these “ 27 Unforgettable Corporate Event Themes .” 

☐ Budget: Assess Costs and Source Vendors

Figure out how big your event budget should be and identify vendors that can provide the services you need at price points you can afford.

☐ Venue: Choose the Perfect Location

Select a venue that suits your event’s size, location, and requirements, ensuring it aligns with the theme and atmosphere you want to create. Not sure where to start in choosing the right venue? Read our article, “ 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Conference Venue .”

The Vendry and bizzabo find venues and vendors

☐ Speakers: Decide on Keynotes, Sessions, and Entertainment

Figure out which speakers will impact your event most by engaging and captivating attendees. Don’t forget to cast a wide net for diverse and lesser-known speakers to ensure your event meets attendee expectations and that attendees feel represented. 

☐ Marketing: Craft a Promotional Plan

Develop a comprehensive event marketing strategy to promote your event and attract attendees. Be sure to include assets and promotional materials for your partners, vendors, speakers, and others to share on their social channels to boost attendance. 

☐ Run of Show: Create Meaningful Experiences

Map out the schedule and activities for your event, including breakout sessions, fireside chats, workshops, and networking opportunities. Be sure to spend plenty of time on independent activities like self-care, 1:1 meetings, and much-needed downtime. 

☐ Event Tech: Lock in Your Event Management Software

If you haven’t already, vet the right corporate event management software to power your event. The ideal solution will include a mobile event app , event networking tools , and plenty of options for webinars and virtual events. 

consolidating event tech stack ebook

☐ Registration: Invite Attendees and Promote Your Event

Send out invitations to your target audience and actively promote your event on social media, relevant media outlets, email, paid ads, and other key channels. Start promoting your event early so you can send follow-ups and last-chance communications. 

☐ Food and Beverage: Plan the Menu

Hire a caterer or local business and plan the food and beverage offerings to meet the needs and preferences of your attendees. Be sure to consider sustainable materials for your event, including compostables or reusable items instead of plastic. Choose vendors that use locally sourced and processed ingredients to ensure a low carbon footprint. 

☐ Contingency Planning: Consider All Potentialities

Prepare for unforeseen circumstances by developing an event contingency plan to address any issues or emergencies that may arise during the event. Ensure your plan includes options for speakers backing out, vendors backing out, inclement weather, and every other possibility. 

☐ Rehearse: Do Final Walkthroughs

Do a dry run of your event to address any logistical or technical concerns ahead of time and ensure a smooth experience when the big day arrives. Be sure speakers have all the information and prep they need to succeed. 

☐ Event Follow-up: Survey Participants To Measure Success

Collect feedback from attendees, speakers, and vendors by distributing surveys post-show. Consider offering incentives to encourage participation, such as gift cards, sustainable swag, or a virtual meet-and-greet with one of your keynote speakers. 

☐ Post-mortem: Gather Stakeholders To Evaluate Success

Conduct a thorough evaluation of the event’s outcomes, discussing what worked well and areas for improvement to inform future events. Be sure you take plenty of notes and add them to your event documentation so you can pivot at your next event. 

To increase the chances your corporate event delivers the results you’re aiming for, keep these tips in mind as you finalize your plans:

  • Start the planning process earlier to allow ample time for all necessary preparations.
  • Build an engaging agenda, but leave room for networking and decompressing.
  • Ask attendees what they want to see at the event.
  • Look at historical data and surveys to ensure you’re not repeating sessions that fell flat.
  • Build your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and communicate to stakeholders when you have to compromise for budget, time, or event goals.
  • Embrace technology and invest in a purpose-built event management solution you can rely on to plan, execute, and analyze your event.

Survey attendees, employees, and speakers afterward to gather event feedback and learn what you can do better next time.

Making your next corporate event one for the ages starts with meticulous planning. By creating a corporate event planning checklist and using it to guide the event planning process, you can ensure no details are overlooked as you prepare for your next event.

To help you tackle planning your corporate event, we’ve built several kits fully loaded with run-of-show templates, budgeting guidance, and much more. Whether your corporate event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, we have a kit to maximize your efforts and help you spend more time on building experiences and less time on the nitty-gritty: 

  • The In-person Event Production Kit
  • The Virtual Event Production Kit
  • The Hybrid Event Production Kit
  • The Webinar Production Kit

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How to Plan an Event: Event Planning Steps, Tips & Checklist

ProjectManager

Need to know how to plan an event? If you’re planning a big event like a conference, we can help you successfully create, structure and lay out your event plan. This blog will cover everything you need to consider when planning an event, including event planning steps, tips and an easy-to-use event checklist.

What Is Event Planning?

Event planning is the process of putting on and managing a variety of events, from something as small as a meeting to as big as a convention and everything in between. When event planning you’ll be taking into account every aspect of that event, whether it’s a birthday party or a networking event.

That means you’ll be estimating budgets, creating timelines to schedule the event, reserving the site and any panels or speakers involved, getting necessary permits, food, transportation and more. If the event has a theme, you’ll develop that, too. Plus, you’ll be in charge of securing the needed resources to make the event a success.

business meeting event planning

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Event Plan Template

Use this free Event Plan Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

What Is an Event Plan?

An event plan defines how an event will be executed. It addresses all the components of an event such as the start and end dates, budget , venue, marketing, attendees and more. The scope and complexity of the event plan vary depending on the size of the event, but the fundamental challenges remain the same.

Organizing all those disparate parts, especially for larger events, requires powerful project management software. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that lets you plan, manage and track your event to ensure it’s a success.

Our powerful Gantt charts help you list all your tasks and the associated resources and costs, assign them to your team and set milestones to track your progress. The whole plan is visible on a project timeline and can be saved by setting a baseline. Now you can track the planned progress against your actual progress to make sure you’re on schedule. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

Event plan gantt with CTA image

Event Plan Example

Most of us have some experience planning an event, be it at home, work or in our community. For this article, let’s focus on large events.

A conference is a common type of large event, so for our event management purposes, let’s talk about a TEDx conference that we were involved in to illustrate how to plan an event. This example is a good scenario to explain the structure and challenges of planning a big event, along with the benefits of planning an event with project management software .

Let’s break down the other components of setting up an event. They’re summarized below:

  • Event timeline: First, establish a timeline for your event. This timeline should include pre-event planning, event execution and post-event activities.
  • Budget: Estimate your event costs and create a budget. Your available budget will influence many event management decisions such as your venue, the marketing and advertising methods, etc.
  • Venue: The event has to take place somewhere, and that involves logistics management , food and beverages as well as the décor.
  • Marketing: Once you’ve selected a venue, you need to start drawing people to it through a marketing program that can include a website, social campaign, email and print work.
  • Advertising: Hand in glove with marketing is advertising. That can include radio, TV, newspaper and magazine advertisements.
  • Volunteers: A big event needs a big crew of people to get it off the ground and run smoothly. That means volunteers, which means writing contracts, defining their roles, setting up meetings and determining schedules.
  • Speakers: You must have a keynote speaker or a group of speakers to attract an audience. This involves contracts, curators to select the talent, a program, bios and rehearsals.
  • Sponsors: All of this costs money, and a big event’s budget is supplied by its sponsors. This again involves contracts, marketing and logistics.
  • Production: The production involves creating contracts as you work on creating an audio-visual recording of the proceedings, as well as a sound and video broadcast during the event.
  • Stage: The event takes place at a specific venue and on that venue is a stage on which the event proper will be presented. That usually incorporates a projector, screen, microphones, internet connection, batteries, cables and more.
  • Attendees: Don’t forget about the people attending the event! You’ll need communications to inform them of event information, payment processes to collect fees, emails to stay in touch, directions, badges and access points.

Related:  10 Free Event Planning Templates for Excel & Word

Free Event Plan Template

This free event plan template for Excel is a great tool to start assembling the information you need to create an event plan. It can be customized to add your event details.

event planning template for Excel by ProjectManager

The Event Planning Process: Event Planning Steps

We covered a lot on event planning, so let’s break down those tips into concrete steps. These event planning steps will guide you toward success. Let’s continue with our conference example.

  • Step 1. Determine your event goals and objectives
  • Step 2. Assemble your team
  • Step 3. Establish an event budget
  • Step 4. Choose a date & venue
  • Step 5. Select the speakers
  • Step 6. Event marketing & advertising
  • Step 7. Execute your event

When you break down the scope of your event plan into manageable steps, the process seems a lot less daunting. However, there are a few more things to keep in mind when making your event plan.

Event Planning Roles

As you might expect, there are many different roles that work together to bring an event to life. It’s easy to get confused. Are you an event manager or an event planner? Is there any difference between the two? Let’s take a look at some of the more common event-planning roles and define them.

Event Manager

The event manager is often mistaken for the event planner, but they are two distinct roles. Most simply, the event manager is responsible for event management activities, which involve coordinating and implementing the event. They take care of setting up the event, including its design, and make sure the vision of the event planner is realized.

Event Planner

An event planner organizes, coordinates and executes the event. They’re in charge of coming up with the idea, overseeing the setup and breakdown of the event. They’ll select the venue, create the budget and ensure everything is taken care of. What sets them apart is they design the strategy for the event to the smallest detail.

Related: Free Event Budget Template for Excel

Event Producer

The event producer fleshes out the strategic plan of the event planner. They are the one who takes the idea and turns it into a living event. They will take charge of the technical aspects of the event, such as audio/visual, stage design, etc. They work with the event planner to schedule the event , but the event producer uses their skills and expertise in producing events to deliver the event that’ll impress both attendees and the client.

Event Planning Tips

Unfortunately, there are always going to be variables out of your control that’ll affect the event planning process, such as the weather, delivery delays, technical difficulties and other potential mix-ups. As stated earlier, you can’t change the date of your event, so you’ll want to be as prepared as possible for any risks or issues that may pop up on the day of your event.

Do a Post-Event Review

A post-event review or a post-mortem as they’re often called, is very valuable. By looking back at the past event and seeing what worked and what didn’t work, you can better plan your next event. There are always lessons to be learned and applying them to the next project will avoid previous mistakes and increase your chances of a better outcome.

Use Event Planning Templates

Having an event planning template is a great way to make sure you’re not missing any important pieces of the larger event. It’ll help you organize your tasks and resources, costs and more. Use our free event plan template to get started on the right foot.

Use Event Planning Tools

A template is fine, but limited. You have to manually update everything and it’s not very collaborative. Event planning tools, such as Gantt charts , kanban boards, task lists and calendars, help you plan and implement the event plan. They also allow you to track the work to make sure it’s following the plan, which leads to a more successful event.

Prepare a Plan B

As important as your plan is, there can be issues with it. There might be acts of god, such as weather, which negatively impact the event. Whatever the cause, you’ll need a backup. That’s why developing a plan B is so critical to the success of the event. You might never have to use it, but in case you do, you’re prepared.

Use an Event Planning Checklist

Another tip is to have a checklist made up. That way you can collect all the things you have to do and why you’re doing it in one place. Using a checklist for event planning can be done in conjunction with project planning tools . The more safeguards, the better. Also, there are few things more satisfying than crossing something off your list.

Event Planning Checklist

There’s a lot to manage when planning an event, so it’s important to have a list of everything you need to include in your event management plan. The following is a general event planning checklist to help you get started. The more questions you ask, the better your event checklist. Feel free to add your own unique responsibilities and tasks.

Goals and Objectives

  • What’s your event’s reason for existing?
  • What are the goals this event is expected to achieve?
  • What are the revenue objectives?
  • What is your target audience?
  • How many people will attend?
  • Is there a cost associated with ticketing and what is it?
  • Where is the event being held?
  • Create an event schedule.

Event Budget

  • Figure out what the costs will be
  • If you held similar events, use and adjust an old budget for a baseline
  • What ticketing and registration software will be used?
  • Finalize sponsor contributions
  • Set ticket price

Date & Venue

  • When will the event take place?
  • Have a backup date in case issues arise
  • Is there the best location for the event?
  • Is the venue appropriate for your expected number of attendees?
  • Decide on needed infrastructure: wifi, capacity, bathrooms, near shopping & restaurants, etc.
  • Hire a caterer
  • Secure what equipment you’ll need
  • What are your security needs?
  • Do you need permits, licenses or insurance?
  • Create event signage and communication plans for attendees
  • Research potential speakers
  • Create a list of relevant speakers
  • Create a pitch for speakers
  • Pitch speakers
  • Finalize speaker selection, get bios and headshots and arrange travel and accommodations
  • Develop a list of sponsors and what you can offer them.
  • See if there are sponsors who have partnered with similar events.
  • Reach out to potential sponsors.
  • Design signoff.
  • Update the site or build a unique one.
  • Make sure the site can handle expected traffic.
  • Have a mobile-friendly site.

Event Marketing & Advertising

  • What’s your messaging?
  • Coordinate with digital tools and social platforms
  • Add the event to online calendars
  • Market the event with blog posts and other promotions like videos and online ads
  • Send reminders to all parties a month or two before the event date

Finalizing the Last Steps

  • Speakers and scripts
  • Decorations

Pro tip: That’s a lot to coordinate and plan, which is why there’s a need for project management software that has the right features for event management. It provides a common portal, where you can track costs and tasks with automated alerts. It also offers both a communication and a collaborative platform that reduces the need for unnecessary emails. Software collects all your files in one place and makes team reporting simpler by adding efficiencies and reducing stress.

ProjectManager Offers Robust Event Planning Tools

ProjectManager is online software that’s suited for event planning. We have event project management tools to keep all the parts of your events, from managing vendors to promotions, organized. Our planning software helps you keep track of all the elements that make up your event plan.

Keep Stakeholders Updated With Event Calendars

Our multiple project views mean that event planners and managers can use project calendars , Gantt charts and there are task lists and kanban boards for teams. While reports can keep stakeholders informed, they might want to have access to the project. Share the calendar view with your stakeholders, which allows them to see start and end dates for all the tasks as well as milestones. This manages their expectations.

business meeting event planning

Zoom Into Event Activities With Kanban Boards

Use ProjectManager’s kanban board to manage the daily activities that need to be executed to plan, schedule and track your event plan. Move tasks from column to column as you collaborate on work with your team, and it’s easy to spot bottlenecks and get everything over the line in time for the event.

Event plan on a kanban board

Track Event Labor Costs With Timesheets & Real-Time Dashboards

Plus, timesheets make invoicing easy for all your events. They can be submitted and approved with a keystroke. Our software also offers a variety of views, from a list to a calendar and even a kanban board that helps you visualize the workflow to keep on task.

ProjectManager's timesheets are ideal for event planning

More About Planning an Event

Event planning can be complex. There’s a lot of balls to keep in the air. If the above is too much to digest immediately, you could start with our event plan template and watch one of our planning experts. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, has years of experience and uses it to teach you the fundamentals of event planning in this short video.

Related Content

  • Free Event Proposal Template
  • Event Management: A Quick Guide
  • How to Plan a Virtual Event: Virtual Event Planning Checklist
  • Event Project Management Software

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you plan and monitor your event details. From powerful planning tools to real-time reports and dashboards that capture all of your event details, you can use our software to stay on schedule and stick to your planned budget. Try our software today with a free 30-day trial.

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

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Start planning your projects.

business meeting event planning

The Complete Guide to Corporate Event Planning in 2022

business meeting event planning

Does the word ‘corporate’ scare you? How about ‘corporate event planning?’ Are there visions of clipboards or dull keynotes dancing in your head?

While anything dubbed ‘corporate’ might conjure images of pantsuits and cubicles, fight the urge to equate it with ‘stiff’ and ‘boring’ –– especially when it comes to corporate event planning.

After all, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series –– or any Red Bull event for that matter –– is a corporate event. And we can probably all agree planning that experience was anything but boring.

In simple terms, corporate event planning is the process of organizing events for a brand or business to achieve business goals.

Here are a few examples of areas a business might be looking to make progress in by hosting a corporate event:

  • Brand awareness : A branded pop-up or conference session can make a splash. Take Bala’s Disco event for SXSW 2022 . The workout brand hosted a party with exercise classes, cocktails, and dancing to capture attention and increase brand recognition.
  • Thought leadership : Gatherings like The Atlantic Festival are designed to position event hosts as experts, leaders, and shapers in their field.
  • Lead generation or customer retention : Ever been to a car show like the North American International Auto Show ? Big companies like Ford and Toyota use those spaces to reimagine the sales process, reach new customers, and retain current ones.
  • Employee engagement : Whether you’re reinforcing company values or fostering collaboration, internal corporate events can go a long way in making your company a stand-out place to work. Holiday parties, milestone celebrations, and team offsites are all corporate events.

Ready to start planning? We’ve outlined a corporate event planning roadmap and a free checklist to help guide you through the process. But first, let’s do a deeper dive on different types of corporate events and how to think about your planning timeline.

In this guide:

The many faces of corporate events, how to make sure time is on your side, how to plan a successful corporate event, your corporate event planning checklist, how technology can uplevel your corporate events.

Before looking at the planning process, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives so you understand what type of corporate event might be right for your business needs.

Corporate events, like the corporations they’re associated with, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. They can be internal, geared toward employees or internal stakeholders, or external, delivered to a broader audience or the general public. They can also be in person, hybrid, or virtual –– the format largely depends on the goal of the event.

Let’s run through some common types of corporate events:

  • Conferences : These experiences typically happen annually and they’re big-name, big-effort events that can take months to plan. They often involve sponsors , and usually include packed agendas featuring thought leaders and expert commentary. As an example, check out how the World Wide Fund for Nature chose a virtual conference format to bring debates on ecological issues, expert presentations, and a sponsor expo to their international audience.
  • Product launches : If you’re introducing a new product or service, a launch event can help build excitement and drive adoption or sales. That’s what marketing agency N6A found when they helped their client launch a product — a cannabis-focused careers platform — via a virtual event.
  • Trade shows : These tend to work best when companies want to demo products, meet prospects, and network with peers all at once.
  • Internal meetings : Internal company meetings can be focused on specific teams –– think training sessions or offsites. But they also include company-wide experiences (an all-hands meeting, for example) and events designed for a company’s key stakeholders, like board meetings or investor updates. They can happen at scale: GitHub’s company-wide event featured more than 1,100 virtual attendees around the world.
  • Training workshops : From internal security trainings to external product workshops, training events are often designed to be hands-on and participatory. The Flemish Department of Education and Training , for example, runs cultural education training events for students and teachers.
  • Fundraising events : With galas, benefits, danceathons, silent auctions, food drives, and more, the corporate events side of charitable giving or fundraising can take many forms.
  • Webinars : These events are focused on conveying information to an audience, whether it’s a presentation, walk-through, demo, or video.
  • Team-building events : These events typically focus on building morale and positive rapport across a team — from scavenger hunts to talent shows, there’s no shortage of ways to bring employees together to help build bonds.
  • Customer Advisory Board events: Customer Advisory Board events (also known as CABs) — and other kinds of focus group-centric gatherings — bring consumers together to give feedback, perspective, and advice to a company.

When planning any corporate event, there’s one thing you’ll want to make sure you have enough of: time.

When do you need to start planning your corporate event?

That depends entirely on how complex it’s going to be, the amount of people you’re expecting, the size of your team, and the format of your event. Note that completely virtual corporate events won’t require physical spaces, travel arrangements, and other logistics specific to in-person experiences, so they can take less time to plan.

Consider the below as broad guidance:

business meeting event planning

And this breakdown of key components you’ll need to tackle:

  • Getting universal buy-in : Stakeholders will need to be on the same page about the goals of your event, which can take time.
  • Marketing your event: From email campaigns and social media messaging to paid advertisements and beyond — even if it’s an internal event — you’ll want to build excitement and rack up registrations for the big day.
  • Sourcing speakers . Need a big name that can live up to the expectations of your 100,000 attendees? Start planning early. Even for small events, subject matter experts are in high demand and need quite a bit of notice.
  • Landing sponsors : Sponsors don’t just fill out an expo hall; they can make events profitable . But finding good ones takes time, especially considering that companies often have limited budgets for sponsorship. Seek to secure sponsors as early as possible.
  • Locking in your technical setup : You don’t want to be dealing with technical difficulties on event day . So, you’ll want to work through your setup long before showtime — everything from how you’ll handle audio and video for speakers to how you’ll respond to audience tech issues.
  • Branding your event : Event branding makes it clear to would-be attendees what your event stands for. For virtual events, key branding elements will be entirely digital, like designs for your virtual event platform . In-person event branding will require even more time, as you’ll need to consider things like signage and other physical materials. No matter what type of corporate event you’re producing, make sure your brand shines on your event website .
  • Planning food and beverage : Food and beverage , especially at an in-person or hybrid event, takes time to organize as there are multiple factors to consider: menu, pricing, catering company, sustainability, health and wellness, and more.

Remember, the amount of time it takes to bring your event to life also depends on the size of your team. If it’s just you, aim to give yourself the gift of plenty of buffer room.

If there are a few dozen corporate event planners and organizers working with you, it’s possible you’ll find yourself speeding through your timeline.

Now that you’ve moved through some prep, you’re ready to start planning in earnest. Let this step-by-step tutorial help you conquer corporate event planning.

Step 1: Define success

You can’t know the right format for your corporate event until you know what your desired outcome is.

So, ask yourself a few questions: What’s the intended outcome of this event? What business objective are we driving toward?

Write your goals in the S.M.A.R.T. framework :

  • Specific : A specific goal narrows down the type of success an event organizer seeks.
  • Measurable : A measurable goal typically relates to how you’ll evaluate the goal in a quantitative way.
  • Achievable : Once a goal can be measured, you’ll be able to define what will indicate the goal has been achieved.
  • Relevant : A relevant goal ensures buy-in from your various stakeholders.
  • Time-bound : Setting a time-bound goal means that the goal is aligned with a specific timeframe so anyone reviewing it or acting upon it knows the deadline.“

Step 2: Develop your budget

Once you’ve nailed down the results you’re aiming to achieve, it’s time to build out your event budget .

An event budget helps you determine if you have the financial resources needed to bring your event to life and achieve the goals you’ve outlined.

You’ll break your budget into expenses and revenue.

Primary expenses will include:

  • Venue (whether virtual, via a tech platform, or physical)
  • Food and beverage
  • Speakers and entertainment

And your main sources of revenue will usually come from:

  • Sponsorships
  • Ticket sales
  • Product sales

Before you finalize your budget, add a contingency cost buffer (10-15% of the total is usually advised) for unexpected expenses.

Use a free event budget template to collect all your numbers in one place, then send the final draft off to your stakeholders for final approval.

Step 3: Do a deep dive on what your audience wants

An event is almost always about the audience.

Whether your audience is primarily prospects, customers, employees, or industry peers, it’s full of people looking for value. That value could be emotional, social, educational, or something else altogether. And the success of an event is often determined by how much value it drove for its audience.

So, first you need to figure out what your audience really cares about.

If you can, go directly to the source by sending surveys to your email lists, asking for feedback on social media, and hosting focus groups with would-be attendees.

Or take a more quantitative approach and build a picture of your audience’s motivations, needs, values, and goals using platforms like Google Analytics , Facebook Audience Insights , and Nielsen .

Consider questions like:

  • What motivates your audience members?
  • What problems do they need help solving?
  • What kind of people are they interested in learning from or connecting with?
  • Are there community leaders who could bring them together?
  • What’s most relevant for your audience right now?

Add an audience demographics layer, too. Look at:

  • Geography : Where does your audience come from? Consider countries, cultures, and languages.
  • Career : What industry does your audience work in? What experience levels do they have? What do they already know and what’s most relevant to their learning?
  • Gender : What is the gender breakdown? Do you have equal representation?

Constantly ask yourself: Are there things you can do to make sure everyone who’s part of your audience feels comfortable and included? Consider how you’ll make your event as accessible as possible.

Step 4: Design for engagement

Events are experiences.

Think of the most magical events you’ve been to: maybe it was a wedding that felt like a fairytale, a championship game where you were swept up in the collective energy, a product launch party where you met your new business partner.

Events become magical when they are grounded in the audience’s values, and when they’re designed to engage people .

When designing your event, think about:

  • Theme : Tie your event together with a fun event theme that will resonate with your audience.
  • Stand-out content : If your content falls flat, so will the rest of your corporate event. Focus on providing the very best event content so all your attendees are passively engaged during less active sessions.
  • Participation : What opportunities are you giving your audience to interact with your content? Can you add in workshops, breakout Q&A sections, or even get people started with some thought-provoking pre-written questions?
  • Community : How will your attendees get to know one another? Consider adding a networking session in the middle of your event to encourage conversation and debate on your first set of topics.
  • Co-creation : You want your audience to feel like they are owning the success of your event right along with you. According to industry experts, a key trend for successful events in 2022 and beyond is giving attendees the chance to make something they can take home with them — whether literally or figuratively.
  • Technology : You have no shortage of tech options at your fingertips to make your event something folks will remember. Will you add a virtual reality expo space to explore? A digital photobooth? Artificial intelligence-enabled matchmaking for networking?

Step 5: Choose the right venue

You want people to feel welcome at your event. So choose a space that conveys that message.

In-person space considerations include size and cost, as well as:

  • Wi-Fi and technical support : Do you have what you need to make sure the technical side of your event runs smoothly, and that attendees will be able to stay connected throughout the experience?
  • Food and beverage options : What can you offer attendees and how does it meet dietary, wellness, and sustainability expectations?
  • Health and safety : Returning to in-person events requires a lot of forethought, and a key consideration is the level of health and safety policies required and desired.
  • Location : How easily will attendees be able to get to your event?

Virtual and hybrid venues have their own set of considerations:

  • Capacity: How many attendees can participate at once?
  • Customization : A virtual venue should be easier to customize than an in-person one (no architects or interior designers needed). Can you add custom graphics? Names? Spaces?
  • Tech : Are live-streaming capabilities built into the platform of your choice? What about networking options? Live chats and polls?
  • App integrations : Can you combine your marketing software with your virtual event management software? What about gamification tools, data analysis, and more?

Virtual events tend to open up possibilities for attendees and speakers since the potential audience becomes anyone with an internet connection. You can bring together a diverse audience and give them multiple ways to interact with one another and your content, including:

  • Networking spaces
  • Virtual expos and fairs
  • Games and challenges
  • Options to rewatch content after the event

Step 6: Promote your experience

Effective event marketing and branding can play a big role when it comes to filling up your registration list and getting attendees excited for your live event. These tools help illustrate what your event will be about and convince audience members of the value it will deliver.

When marketing to your audience, call on the knowledge you uncovered about their values, motivations, and goals.

For example, if you’re promoting a fun employee event like Greenhouse’s employee offsite , you might do a text-heavy drip campaign of emails explaining the various games that await participants: in this case, Zombie Battle, Salty Telephone, and Beg, Barter, Solve.

But if you’re promoting a more serious event, like the UN Climate Change Conference , you might lean on sparse graphics with provocative messaging to create eye-catching advertisements.

It’s not just emails and advertisements, either. Event promotion often requires an integrated, layered effort featuring an event website, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer engagement, and more.

However you decide to approach event marketing, get started early. You’ll want attendees to have time to plan –– and you’ll want to give yourself some runway in case you need to tweak your approach along the way.

Step 7: Tackle logistics for the live show

It’s all in the details.

Running through potential scenarios could be the difference between your audience struggling to hear a speaker whose microphone died, and said speaker delivering the most engaging presentation of your corporate event.

While event promotions continue running to drive registrations, it’s time to coordinate the rest of the event’s logistics.

Logistical to-dos might include:

  • Finalizing your event’s agenda
  • Creating your run-of-show document
  • Setting up your virtual event environment
  • Coordinating presentations with speakers
  • Completing your on-site venue coordination
  • Confirming and organizing audio/visual (A/V) production needs
  • Doing dry runs and tech checks with presenters and hosts
  • Nailing down any remaining experiential elements and things that might need to be mailed out to attendees, like swag

The list goes on.

Step 8: Put on a memorable experience

This is where it all comes together. Months of hard work, planning, and coordinating all culminate in attendees gathering for your experience.

Day of, you’ll want to make sure your team members are on the same page regarding their roles and responsibilities. Make sure you talk to:

  • On-site staff , including event producers, emcees, hosts, reception workers, speaker liaisons, lead event managers, A/V technicians, guest relations coordinators, sponsor coordinators, and more
  • Virtual staff , including producers, emcees and moderators, speaker liaisons, technical support, and chat managers
  • Hybrid staff , including anyone supporting the coordination between experiences

Make sure the lines of communication stay open as your event is happening in case anything goes awry and needs to be addressed in the moment. Coordinating through software such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, or Walkie Talkies (for those in a physical venue), will make sure you’re on top of any issue.

Step 9: Evaluate your event’s results

As you celebrate a successful corporate event, remember to debrief with your team and complete post-event reporting for your stakeholders. Take a look at data and analytics to measure your event’s performance.

Look at event data like:

  • Attendance : The percentage of registrants who actually attended the event
  • Average time spent in the event : How long participants stayed at your event
  • Visitor numbers : Unique visitors to different areas of the virtual venue, like keynotes and sponsor expos
  • Connections made : How many participants connected with one another
  • Event Net Promoter Score (NPS) : A number from 1-10 that tracks how satisfied attendees were with an event and how likely they are to refer that event to others or attend again

If you use a virtual event platform , the above data should be easy to pull together. Once you have your data, collect it in a post-event report to help you — and importantly, your stakeholders — evaluate how well your event performed relative to its goals and objectives.

Follow up with thank you notes and surveys to make sure you get feedback on what your participants enjoyed –– and what you can improve next time.

A corporate event planning checklist is a simple tool that can help you keep track of all the details in front of you, and make sure you’re ahead of the game when it comes to organizing your next corporate event. Consider these tasks as you navigate the process:

6-12 months out

  • Determine your event’s goals and objectives
  • Set your objectives, key results, and metrics
  • Decide what type of event would best meet those goals
  • Decide on theme and creative direction
  • Create a budget and get approval from your stakeholders
  • Set a date and time
  • Start planning your location or venue

5-6 months out

  • Finalize venue and vendors
  • Identify speakers and start reaching out to them
  • Start looking for sponsors and reach out to them
  • Kick off your event branding, create a style guide, and start designing assets

3-5 months out

  • Build event website
  • Start event marketing and promotions to drive registration
  • Finalize speakers
  • Finalize sponsors
  • Update your budget

1-3 months out

  • Finalize details and logistics
  • Source physical and virtual swag
  • Update safety protocols, if necessary

0-1 month out

  • Do final run-of-show rehearsals
  • Get in sync with your event team on roles and responsibilities during the event
  • Communicate final details to attendees
  • Run final teaser campaigns
  • Run last-minute promotions to fill any unclaimed spots
  • Send attendee survey and thank you notes
  • Send speaker gifts and thank you notes
  • Schedule debrief with stakeholders on event performance against goals
  • Update budgets, run-of-show, and processes for your next event
  • Use event content to fuel marketing activities and branding campaigns

Want to learn more about hosting and marketing events? Read other Event Marketing Guides from Hopin.

You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to planning corporate events.

The right event technology can simplify the corporate event planning process and support you as you create the best attendee experience possible.

See how Hopin’s leading event platform can help you achieve success with every type of corporate event –– whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in person. Contact our team of corporate event experts today to learn more.

Get started with Hopin

Come join the hopin team, get started with hubspot, recommended reading.

Discover effective strategies to keep your virtual event attendees engaged during the summer months. From optimizing timings and mobile compatibility to utilizing social media, we share innovative ways to turn the challenges of summer into exciting opportunities.

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A Checklist for Planning Your Next Big Meeting

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business meeting event planning

Proper preparation will save you time.

In theory, everyone understands that preparation can make or break an important meeting. The more work you do before you walk into the room, the more productive and efficient you’ll be. But who has the time to properly prepare? Our checklist makes meeting prep quick and easy—be sure to print it out or save it for later. Each step is described in more detail below. Using the checklist and the principles behind it will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases—and that you won’t be wasting anyone’s time (including your own).

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  • HE This story is by the staff at Harvard Business Review.

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SnackNation

The Only Corporate Event Planning Checklist You’ll Ever Need

gift-bags-for-corporate-event

From locking down dates to coordinating travel, your action items may seem to multiply on a daily basis. Don’t feel overwhelmed—you’ve got this, and we’ve got your back!

Take the guesswork, panic, and chaos out of event planning and nail all the details with this indispensable corporate event planning checklist. This checklist helps you rest assured that you’re doing all you need to do, and it frees up some of your headspace for focusing on all the fun details that will make your event unforgettable.

Download this corporate event planning checklist >

What to do 24-18 months before your event:

1. research potential cities.

city-for-corporate-event

Factors to consider:

  • Nearby airports
  • Convenient public transportation
  • Number of quality venues available (You’ll want to have plenty of available venues to choose from later on.)
  • Distance from most target attendees
  • Conflicts with city-wide events (If an annual marathon closes major city roads during your event time frame, you might want to choose a different city.)
  • Walkability
  • Free attractions
  • Flight availability and cost (Use Google Flights to do a quick price scan for tickets to the city during your time frame. Are prices already skyrocketing? If so, consider looking elsewhere to increase attendance.)

Tips & Tricks:

  • Before you get too deep into research, save time by narrowing your search down to your top fives cities.
  • Explore the personalities of the cities. Practical details make your event happen, but you should also investigate notable features, the elements that give cities personality. Use handy tools like Spotted by Locals , Trover , Off the Grid , and Time Out to have some fun.

2. Choose One City

Decision criteria:

  • City personality (Does it fit with your company culture?)
  • Available venues (Have you found any promising choices in the city? Even the best city can’t make up for a sub-par venue.)
  • Available transportation
  • Travel distance
  • Flight Cost
  • Survey a few key stakeholders to get their thoughts. Your associates might have insights you never even considered. For example, someone might tell you the city is a college town where it’s impossible to find an available bar or restaurant on any night of the week.

3. Research Venues in Your City

finding-venue-for-corporate-event

Factors to consider :

  • Layouts and sizes of the rooms (Do the spaces comfortably hold all your expected attendees?)
  • Hotels within walking distance—if the venue is not a hotel
  • Look and feel (Browse pictures of the venue. Use their official websites, but also search on Google Images to ensure a true representation.)
  • Restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance
  • Customer reviews (Check on Yelp if nothing is posted on the official website.)
  • Services offered in-house, including catering, audiovisual, waitstaff, cleaning services, etc.
  • Outside vendor policies (This is important if the venue offers few services in-house.)
  • Accessibility
  • Check to see if the venues have event portfolios. What kind of events are they showcasing? It’s best to choose a venue with expertise in the kind of event you’re planning; the staff will know the drill, anticipate your needs, and help you troubleshoot when things go wrong.
  • Do the venues do weddings? If so, their rates might be higher.
  • Can you picture the event you envision taking place in the venue?

4. Choose Your Top 3-4 Venues

  • Look and feel—the venue personality
  • Layouts and sizes of the available rooms
  • Services offered in-house
  • Outside vendor policies
  • Hotels within walking distance
  • Use Google Maps to do a street view around your venue choices to get a feel not just for your venues, but also for the surrounding areas.

5. Contact Venues for Proposals

  • Keep a spreadsheet of who you contacted, when you reached out, and how you reached out. For example, did you fill out an online form, send an email, or make a phone call? This spreadsheet will help you keep your outreach flow organized and your details straight, and it will be super helpful if you need to follow up with anyone.

6. Compare Proposals to Budget

  • As you review venue proposals, keep an eye out for costs you might be able to trim. For example, a venue might include fees for their in-house catering services, but if their policies allow for outside vendors, you might be able to save money there.
  • Negotiate! If a venue you love sends a proposal outside of your budget, you don’t have to mark them off your list. Simply give your contact a call and explain your situation. Be ready to start the negotiation if the venue doesn’t take the lead; study the line items of the proposal and pick out the costs you suspect could be lowered.

7. Plan Site Visits

  • Request appointments when events are in progress. This will give you the best preview of how your event could look.
  • If you have the time, try to book visits on different days, or at least leave several hours in between visits. You don’t want to pass on a good venue just because you were tired or hungry during the visit!

8. Visit and Evaluate Venues

What to look for:

  • How do you feel when you first walk into the venue? First impressions matter, period. Even the most meticulous planning can’t compensate for a venue that doesn’t have the right personality.
  • Remember how you tried to book visits when events were in progress? Now’s your chance to pop in and see how things are going. Make sure this is okay with the venue staff before you investigate, and be as unobtrusive to the in-progress event as possible.
  • Check out the staff. Are they smiling and courteous? (Even a few rude encounters with staff could reflect poorly on your event.)
  • Is the venue clean and well maintained? Be sure to check the restrooms, where the most offensive messes can hide.

What to do 18-12 months before your event:

1. sign a contract with your chosen venue.

venue-contract-for-corporate-event

  • Take several days to review the contract with a fine-toothed comb.
  • Ask questions and record the answers you receive. It’s critical that you understand all aspects of the contract and remember all the key details.
  • Make plenty of your own copies.
  • Verify the prices include all taxes and fees. If prices do not include these extras, avoid surprises by asking your venue contact to add them or send an estimate.
  • Review the cancellation policy to be sure you know what’s at stake if you have to cancel for any reason. Is the deposit (or a portion of it) refundable?
  • Make sure the exact rooms/spaces you want are listed. You don’t want just any space; you want the space you toured and loved.
  • Check the time frames allotted for the event. What happens if you go over your time?
  • Make sure you are protected if the venue can’t deliver on any part of the contract. For example, if a hurricane causes a leaky roof in the room you wanted and you have to move, can you get some of your money back?
  • Negotiate! Like proposals, contracts are negotiable. It’s perfectly acceptable to request changes on any lines you’re uncomfortable with.

2. Run Through Meeting Flow and Make Your Event-Specific To-Do List

  • Run through your event flow minute by minute. Write it out, make a storyboard, coerce your coworkers into acting it out—do anything that helps you visualize your event and wrap your head around every to-do item, big and small. For example, if you always envisioned a slideshow playing behind your CEO as she makes her welcome speech, then you need to make said slideshow and secure all the equipment needed to project it.

3. Research Entertainment Options

  • Universal likeability (Will everyone in your office, from the interns to the veterans, be able to appreciate the option?)
  • Creativity (Have you seen this at other events you’ve attended? Try to deliver something memorable to make your event stand out. The right idea will leave everyone talking about it long after the corporate event is over.)
  • Cost (Even before you request quotes, you should be able to determine a rough estimate of the entertainment cost. Don’t get your heart set on a 15-piece swing band if you have the budget for a solo violinist.)
  • Seek referrals. Ask your associates at other companies for recommendations. What kind of entertainment did they use for recent events? How was it received?
  • Go off the grid. Don’t limit your search to online aggregators. Reach out to local schools, nonprofits, and businesses. Maybe a local coffee shop would be willing to move their weekly poetry slam to your event. Or maybe a local university choir performs for free.

What to do 12-9 months before your event:

1. send calendar invites to key stakeholders and presenters.

planning-corporate-event

  • A calendar invite is great, but you should also follow up with an email or phone call to verify everyone playing a key role in your event has all the details they need.

2. Approach Entertainment Options

  • Open up that spreadsheet you made when contacting vendors. Create a new tab for “Entertainment” and…you know the drill.

3. Research Team-Building Activities

  • Company size (If your company is gigantic, don’t select an activity that requires a lot of equipment or supplies.)
  • Groan factor (Don’t just pick an activity because it sounds easy to execute. Be sure people will actually like it.)
  • Activity goals (The goal of a team-building activity isn’t just to have fun; the activity should also contribute to team building, at least in a qualitative way.)
  • Fitness level (Only select activities with lots of motion if everyone in your company would be cool with it.)
  • Complexity (Steer away from activities that involve lots of steps that could be difficult to explain.)
  • Who will facilitate the activity during the event? Reach out to a few of your outgoing, energetic associates to see if they would like to be the “Master of Team-Building Ceremonies.”

4. Sketch a Meeting Layout to Establish Rental and Equipment Needs

Meeting-for-corporate-event-finalization

  • Revisit the event flow you created earlier. After each item, pause and ask yourself, “What equipment do we need to do that?”
  • Mark up a sketch of your meeting space with exactly what you need and where and when you need it.
  • Ask your venue to provide a downloadable floor plan for your space.
  • Share your equipment needs with your venue and find out what items they have. You can also request their expertise in creating the equipment list. Have you forgotten anything important?

5. Partner with an Audiovisual Company to Determine A/V Needs

  • You’ll benefit most from working with an A/V company that knows your space, so ask your venue for a list of recommended A/V vendors and save yourself lots of research time.

What to do 6 months before your event:

1. send save-the-dates.

  • Sending the save-the-dates 6 months in advance will build anticipation throughout the office.
  • Be sure to add the memo on all the office bulletin boards , this is a surefire way to remind everyone in the office to add the date to their calendar.

2. Choose Team-Building Activities and Sign Agreements If Applicable

  • Cost (With your venue locked down, cost might help you decide which team-building activity to go with.)
  • Coworker votes (Make your decision easier by getting 20 or more coworkers to cast votes for their favorite team-building activities.)

3. Research Dinner Locations

finding-restaurants-for-corporate-events

  • Special diets (Research appropriate restaurants if your company is 70% vegan.)
  • Reservations (Don’t risk frustration by choosing restaurants that do not accept reservations.)
  • Spaces for large groups (Does the restaurant book private rooms or accept reservations for extra-large parties?)
  • Menu choices
  • Distance from event venue
  • Local recommendations are golden. If you don’t know anyone in the city of your event, reach out to your venue staff to get their opinions.
  • Ensure an authentic local dining experience by carefully checking the restaurant website to make sure it’s not a chain.

4. Research Awards and Get Samples

What to do 5 months before your event:, 1. choose spouse or children’s activities if applicable.

  • The number of children and spouses.
  • Ages of children and spouses.
  • Ask associates who are bringing their children and spouses for some activities their families enjoy.

2. Choose name tag layout

  • Readability is the most important part of a name tag. Make sure designs and colors don’t obscure attendees’ names.

3. Order key cards

What to do 4 months before your event:, 1. send a registration link.

  • Use Google Analytics to add a backend tracking tag to your link so you can see how many people click it, especially how many people click and don’t complete their registrations. This might indicate there is something flawed or confusing about your registration page.

What to do 3 months before your event:

1. visit the location for a final walk-through, 2. send the last call for outstanding registrations, 3. collect size information for gifts, 4. find company for transport to and from the airport.

  • Capacity (How many rides can they accommodate?)
  • Flexibility (Do they only drive during business hours, or can they make off-hours trips?)

5. Send Name Tags to the Printer

6. finalize head counts for dinner(s), 7. finalize menus for all meals.

  • Diverse choices
  • Appropriate for special diets
  • Appropriate for allergies
  • Delicious (Insist on tasting all the options.)

8. Get List of Award Winners and Order Final Awards

9. draft agenda.

What to include:

  • Venue information and address
  • Dates, times, and locations of all events and breaks
  • Dates, times, and locations of all meals
  • Names and emails of speakers and presenters
  • You contact information—for taking questions or concerns
  • Important notes (If attendees need to bring anything or dress in a certain way, be sure to note that on the agenda.)

10. Draft Welcome Letter

  • Why your company has the event
  • What you hope to accomplish through the event
  • How the event connects to your company mission
  • Dates for the next event, if applicable

What to do 2 months before your event:

1. choose employee gifts and place orders..

employee-gifts-for-corporate-events

What to do 1 month before your event:

1. rent a vehicle to move items to and from the event location, 2. send rooming list to hotel, 3. finalize agenda and send to printer.

Agenda checklist:

  • Your contact information
  • Important notes

4. Finalize Welcome Letter and Send to Printer

Welcome letter checklist:

  • Is it clear why your company hosts the event?
  • Are the event goals clear?
  • Do you understand how the event contributes to your company mission?
  • Have you included dates for future events?

What to do the month of your event:

1. move essential items to one room and take inventory, 2. check for employee birthdays overlapping with the event, 3. host a team meeting.

What to do:

  • Go over the event agenda and take questions.
  • Ask for volunteers for the different roles you need to fill. (Prepare a list of duties, including time and location expectations, beforehand so the roles are clear, and volunteers understand what they’re signing up for.)

What to do 1 week before your event:

final-meeting-before-corporate-event

1. Host a Team Meeting

  • Go over job assignments in detail and give volunteers a chance to ask questions.

2. Get Remote Access for Laptop

What to do the day you leave for your event:.

  • Change door unlock timers.
  • Update voicemail and email auto-reply message.
  • Update websites you manage.
  • Clean office refrigerator.

What to do the week of your event:

day-of-corporate-event

  • Take any final questions.
  • Walk through event flow one last time.
  • Get excited!

2. Host a Pre-Conference Rehearsal with Hotel Staff, Employees, and Presenters Who Are Available

  • Make sure everyone is clear on the timing of presentations, meals, etc.
  • Make sure everyone knows where they need to be and when.
  • Check for awkwardness information or flow.

Office How To’s Resources:

36 office decor ideas to inspire your team’s best work, 25 epic office party ideas that’ll have everyone buzzing for weeks, 19 kickass office organization ideas for maximum productivity, 25 creative office bulletin board ideas that actually get read, 101 fun office games and activities that make work awesome, 15 creative office layout ideas that gets people super excited, 7 fun office birthday ideas that are as easy as pie, the workplace events calendar: office events for every part of the year, we gave office pets free rein in the workplace – here’s how it made our office better, the only office procedures manual template you’ll ever need, planning an office move here’s what you need to know, how to bring an authentic startup vibe to any office, the definitive guide on how to organize an office filing system, 18 holiday party ideas that are big fun for small companies, how to make your next company outing unforgettable, the modern guide to (responsibly) drinking at work, 7 creative ways to make memorable new employee announcements, 21 hilarious office pranks that (hopefully) won’t get you fired, 17 company swag ideas employees really want, your a-z cheat sheet for picking the best conference call service, complete guide to a successful company newsletter [with templates], how to throw a company retreat that everyone will rave about.

Interested in a content partnership? Let’s chat!

Get Started

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About SnackNation

business meeting event planning

SnackNation is a healthy office snack delivery service that makes healthy snacking fun, life more productive, and workplaces awesome. We provide a monthly, curated selection of healthy snacks from the hottest, most innovative natural food brands in the industry, giving our members a hassle-free experience and delivering joy to their offices.

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13 Comments

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Thanks for including Team Building as part of your event planning checklist. Especially since you have it being planned so far out….It’s much appreciated! People should really consider what their team building objectives are before determining their activities. Having a conversation with your team building provider about your objectives can really help to narrow down the activity or activities you select for your group.

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Very helpful. Will definitely use this checklist.

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This website is really helpfull

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Thank you ! i appreciate and value a lot this information. keep up the work.

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Other content online cannot measure up to the work you have put out here. Your insight on this subject has convinced me of many of the points you have expressed. This is great unique writing.

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Great in depth checklist, I would add that when you check locations of venues or hotels, you should look for nice neighbourhoods.

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Thanks for sharing such a great checklist to follow for planning a wonderful event. These points can help any event start-up or a well-know event agency to host a great event that can create an everlasting experience for the attendees.

Great stuff. Thanks!

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We appreciate you taking the time to read and happy you found our content to be helpful! Workplace experience is on the rise 😉

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Great work…very comprehensive article! Definitely bookmarking this one.

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wow very well explained the each and every aspect.

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I like your suggestion to check out things like the staff and restrooms when evaluating potential venues for the event. Additionally, those considering outdoor venues can ask about restrooms and if they’ll need to work with a rental company to provide toilets for their guest. Thanks for sharing this info that can be used as a resource by anyone planning outdoor events in the future!

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Fab Article!!Very Informative!!

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Perfect checklist for corporate event management.

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Corporate meetings, meeting planning services that make you the bright spot of your company.

We keep track of your meeting planner checklist while staying flexible enough to react to the unforeseeable obstacles. Rest easy knowing your corporate meeting planner has your bases covered.

With so many moving pieces, rely on a service partner that is trusted by Fortune 1000 clients. From short-run roadshows to international meetings, we’ve got it taken care of!

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It’s all in the details, and details are our specialty! As a full-service event management and meeting planning agency, our professional meeting planners help you achieve the highest ROI and deliver impactful, inspiring meetings that have attendees singing your praises.

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Our Certified Meeting Professionals manage the hundreds of details to give you peace of mind, impress your audience, and deliver on all your meeting’s goals. Take the weight off your shoulders with our dedicated industry veterans.

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Make the most of your chance to impress and fire up your team with an above and beyond spectacle that jump-starts company morale. If you feel the spark dimming, fire up the meeting with new techniques that blow away attendees and employees alike!

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The extra strength our team brings to help your organization manage both the pre-event planning and on-site logistics will take your event to the next level. Keep the show running like clockwork and stay in the loop every step of the way.

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Regardless of the industry, business meetings play an essential part of operating a  company successfully.  They bring people together from different roles, departments, and geographical locations to discuss and align on the strategy that moves a company forward. However, a n effective meeting requires more than just a group of people gathered in the same room. There are a variety of elements, such as the right venue, audiovisual, F&B (food & beverage), registration, agendas, and so much more, that when sourced, planned, and executed upon, create an  efficient meeting that yields desired results.  

business meeting event planning

Companies host Sales Kickoffs (SKOs) at the beginning of their fiscal year to gather for a critical, face–to–face, internal conference. SKOs are a great platform for sales teams to learn, grow, and re-energize for the upcoming year. It is a time to celebrate the past year’s successes and review the opportunities. The entire C-suite adds impact when they attend the kickoff, provide key strategic updates, and present defined goals.

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While many companies hold meetings for their internal staff, software and technology companies host “user conferences” to pass down knowledge and best practices to their customers or members who use their products and services. It is also a fabulous opportunity for the hosting company’s sales force to be in front of hundreds or thousands of customers to sell upgraded solutions to customers who may have a previous or older version of their product.

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When you first think about hosting an international meeting, you may think it will break the bank; however, this is not always the case. Whether you are trying to capture a new audience, enter a new market, begin a global conference, or simply host an internal meeting, your company can see the return on investment. Traditionally we think of ROI as monetary values, but international meetings provide a platform for intangible ROO (return on objectives) to outweigh the tangible. Increased brand awareness, relationship-building, knowledge exchange, and employee productivity are just a few reasons to take the risk to get the reward!

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Whether it’s a product launch, sales blitz, training series, customer hospitality event, or a demand gen campaign, roadshows are an effective way to reach many customers, potential new leads, and partners in a face-to-face setting in local markets. There are few programs more effective than a roadshow for achieving direct engagement with an audience, however, the payoff comes at the expense of new logistical and creative challenges. Brightspot custom-builds each roadshow to accomplish client goals and prove return on engagement.

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Business Meeting & Event Planning For Dummies

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Susan A. Friedmann

Business Meeting & Event Planning For Dummies Paperback – January 12, 2023

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  • Book Description
  • Editorial Reviews
  • Create effective and exciting business events and presentations
  • Keep on time and on budget, maintain group engagement, and use social media to your advantage
  • Discover best practices, proven tips, and technical advice

If you’re a professional who wants to make the most of business meetings, this is the Dummies guide for you. It’s also a valuable resource for anyone who needs to plan a large-scale event (seminar, convention, etc.).

From the Back Cover

  • Determining the value of meetings
  • Deciding how and where to meet
  • Running virtual meetings effectively
  • Planning great hybrid events
  • Hiring the right vendors
  • Bringing your events to life

About the Author

Susan Friedmann, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a well-respected niche marketer on a mission to wipe out sameness and add vitality and differentiation to entrepreneurial marketing and meetings. Well-executed events, in person and online, is her top tool for captivating a market. She’s an international bestselling author of 18 books, and has trained and coached over 10,000 people on 4 continents.

  • Print length 352 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher For Dummies
  • Publication date January 12, 2023
  • Dimensions 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • ISBN-10 1119982812
  • ISBN-13 978-1119982814
  • See all details

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How long is too long for a meeting?

Keep the following meeting lengths in mind to determine how best to break up your meeting to maximize effectiveness:

30 minutes: Tolerable, 60 minutes: Restlessness starts setting in, 90 minutes: Intolerable danger zone (people need to get up and stretch, take a bathroom break, and have something to eat or drink)

Don’t even think about going longer than 90 minutes without having a 5- to 15-minute break. Studies have shown that the average adult can pay attention in a meeting for approximately 20 minutes before starting to daydream, doodle, or fidget.

Checklists galore

Who doesn’t love a good checklist? And with all the details you have to keep track of when planning a large meeting or event, it can be a lifesaver to have comprehensive checklists at the ready. Business Meeting & Event Planning For Dummies includes the following handy checklists:

* Small Meeting Checklist * Site Selection Checklist * Food and Beverage Function Checklist * Accessibility Considerations Checklist * Audiovisual Equipment Checklist * Staging Checklist * RFP (Request For Proposal) Checklist * Meeting Contract Checklist * Trade Show Budgeting Checklist * Exhibitor Toolkit Checklist * Post-Event Evaluation Checklist *

For more than 30 years, Susan Friedmann , CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), has traveled the world training and coaching small business owners on how to become a recognized trusted authority in their niche market. One of her tools for captivating a market is through well-executed events, in person and online. She’s trained and coached over 10,000 people on four continents.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ For Dummies; 2nd edition (January 12, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1119982812
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1119982814
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • #388 in Event Planning
  • #1,234 in Running Meetings & Presentations (Books)
  • #5,359 in Communication Skills

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About the author

business meeting event planning

Susan A. Friedmann

Susan Friedmann, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a veteran business and niche marketing expert who has carved her niche by helping companies worldwide get the most out of attending trade shows and industry events. She offers programs to increase results and focus on building better relationships with customers, prospects and advocates in the marketplace.

Her client list includes some of the most recognizable names in the world: Siemens, Kimberly-Clark, IBM, American Express, as well as many large and small organizations, associations and small business owners.

A prolific author, Susan has written fourteen books including, "Meeting and Event Planning for Dummies," "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Target Marketing," "Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market," made it to #1 in hot business books on Amazon.com; and many more titles.

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Corporate Event Planning

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Planning your upcoming event for your corporation requires the expertise of a seasoned corporate event planner. At GPJ we have the knowledge and experience to insure your success from business meetings to corporate events. We are the industry leader in event management and organizing events. We have helped corporations foster strong relationships with their audiences and employees around the globe.

Event Planning

Event planning for corporate events requires the full understanding of logistics, entertainment, audio visual, fabrication, catering, presentations, breakout sessions, social engagement and the marketing leading up to and following up after your corporate event. We’ll handle all the logistics associated with Corporate event planning for optimum results. Our scope of services ranges from executing on the program topics designed to resonate with your audience and developing the schedules for presenters and catering staff. Our Corporate event planners are also pros at venue selection. Event Marketing is right in our wheel-house from creating event websites to creation of programs including speakers, agenda, social media, venue and registration.

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We’re Experienced Event Planners

Our team of corporate event planners have the full scope of skills needed to organize and manage the full spectrum of events. Wether it be virtual events on the Internet, or large scale venues. Our corporate planning team are veterans in planning conferences,industry award ceremonies,shareholder briefings,social events,product launches, press conferences,and annual company meetings. Work with GPJ to maximize attendance and provide a memorable experience for your audience. You can rely on our successful track record in Corporate Event Planning.

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10 Strategies for Planning Your Association’s Events in 2024

February 8, 2024

Posted on February 8, 2024

10 strategies for planning your association’s events in 2024.

In the dynamic world of associations and membership organizations, events have traditionally been the cornerstone of member engagement and networking. As we step into 2024, the world of association events is evolving rapidly. With shifting member expectations, technological advancements, and a renewed focus on both virtual and in-person experiences, planning successful association events requires a strategic approach.

Strategies to Plan and Execute Impactful Association’s Events 

1. Define Clear Objectives

Before planning any event , it’s essential to define clear and measurable objectives. What do you want to achieve with each event? Is it member acquisition, retention, revenue generation, or thought leadership positioning? By setting specific goals, you can tailor your event strategy to meet those objectives effectively.

2. Leverage Technology for Enhanced Engagement

In 2024, technology continues to play a pivotal role in the success of association events. Utilize cutting-edge event management platforms , mobile apps, and virtual event platforms to create engaging and interactive experiences for your attendees. These technologies can facilitate networking , gamification, real-time polling, and personalized content delivery.

business meeting event planning

3. Embrace Hybrid Events

Hybrid events, which combine in-person and virtual components, have gained prominence in recent years. In 2024, they are here to stay. Hybrid events offer flexibility and accessibility, allowing a broader audience to participate. Ensure your association is equipped to host both in-person and virtual events seamlessly to cater to diverse member preferences.

4. Content is King

Quality content remains the driving force behind successful association events. In 2024, prioritize content that is relevant, informative, and valuable to your audience. Consider inviting thought leaders, industry experts, and keynote speakers who can provide fresh insights and perspectives.

5. Implement Data-Driven Decision-Making

Leverage data analytics to gain insights into member behavior and preferences. Collect data on attendee engagement, session attendance, and feedback. Analyze this data to refine your event strategy, personalize future offerings, and measure the ROI of your events effectively.

6. Foster Networking Opportunities

One of the primary reasons members attend association events is for networking. In 2024, focus on creating opportunities for meaningful connections. Use AI-powered matchmaking algorithms to suggest relevant connections, host virtual networking sessions, and provide discussion forums to facilitate peer-to-peer interaction.

7. Diversify Revenue Streams

Events can be a significant source of non-dues revenue for associations. In 2024, explore various revenue streams beyond registration fees. Consider sponsorships , exhibitor packages, merchandise sales, and premium content offerings to bolster your association’s financial health.

8. Engage with Members Year-round

Don’t limit member engagement to event days alone. In 2024, associations should adopt a year-round engagement approach. Use webinars, online courses, and discussion forums to keep members connected and informed between events. This continuous engagement can enhance event attendance and member retention.

business meeting event planning

9. Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability is a growing concern in the events industry. In 2024, consider implementing eco-friendly practices in your events, such as reducing waste, offering virtual attendance options, and selecting green venues. These initiatives not only align with global sustainability goals but also resonate with environmentally-conscious members.

10. Evaluate and Evolve

After each event, conduct thorough post-event evaluations to gather feedback from attendees. What worked well, and what can be improved? Use these insights to refine your event strategy continually. Embrace a culture of evolution to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of your members.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, planning association events in 2024 requires a holistic and adaptable approach. Embrace hybrid events , prioritize safety, leverage advanced technology, personalize experiences, diversify revenue streams, and commit to sustainability. By following these strategies and maintaining a year-round engagement with your members, your association can successfully navigate the evolving landscape of events and deliver exceptional value to its members in the years to come.

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Meeting Room

Key features

5 meeting rooms

230 person max. capacity

Catering service

Printing services

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Meetings & Events facilities

Fully renovated meeting and event facilities are ready for your successful events in Kyiv near the Golden Gate. Our conference area of 407 square meters offers flexible event space for business meetings and banqueting. Host up to 230 guests in comfort and style when you book one of our ground floor rooms, offering natural daylight, the latest audio and video systems and a spacious pre-function area. For presentations or company trainings, we offer a cozy and very private Presidential Meeting Room on the 3rd floor with a separate coffee-break zone.

Car presentations

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre offers venue to fuel your success. The hotel's ballroom is the ideal space for product or car presentations. The large space accommodates up to 4 cars for a launch event.

The drive-in doors have a width of approximately 2.1 m and a height of approximately 2.4 m.

A secure two-level underground parking in Kyiv center is available 24/7 for the participants of events booked with us. Let us know and we will take care of your delegates' cars. For parking rates, please contact our meeting and event coordinators.

Embassy Suite 1-5

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kiev - Meeting Room

Our Embassy Suite is an open pillar-free conference hall spanning 203 square meters, located on the hotel's ground floor with direct access to the hotel's backyard.

This grand Suite is full of natural light coming through its French windows, and it fits up to 230 guests in theater. It is fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems and free high-speed wireless internet.

The Embassy Suite is ideal for conferences, business training, seminars, and car presentations, as well as gala dinners, banquets, and weddings. It can be easily adjusted to any event and divided into 4 smaller rooms by movable, soundproof walls. Our dedicated event coordinator is ready to assist and advise as needed.

Embassy Suite 1

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Embassy Suite

Take advantage of our modern and light Embassy Suite 1. This pillar-free conference room of 74 square meters offers a wealth of natural light through its two French windows and comfortably hosts round table conferences for up to 40 participants and up to 80 people in theater style. Embassy Suite 1 is separated from the Embassy Suite with soundproof, movable walls and has a separate entrance from the pre-function area. This meeting room comes fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual system, built-in screen, and a ceiling projector for presentations.

Embassy Suite 2+4

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Embassy Suite

Our A shaped Embassy Suite 2+4 with sound-proof movable walls provides 86 square metersm 2 of space, ideal for focused trainings, presentations, conferences, meetings in cabaret style for up to 50 participants or up to 90 guests in theater style. This meeting room comes fully equipped with modern audiovisual technology and free high-speed wireless internet to help make your event a successful one.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Meeting Room

Presidential Meeting Room

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Zoom Meeting Room

If you're looking for an ideal venue to conduct trainings, round table meetings, workshops, or events for up to 70 people – our Presidential Meeting Room is the perfect choice. It's located separately from the main conference area on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Imagine a spacious room with natural daylight, space for coffee breaks, or group sessions, two bathrooms, and direct access to a private balcony with views of Yaroslaviv Val Street.

Car presentation

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Embassy Suite Meeting Room Auditorium Style

Flexible hotel spaces, convenient and spacious conference facilities, and a committed approach to meeting organization allow us to host the most extraordinary events, including car presentations.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre's most spacious pillar-free ballroom is located on the ground floor and offers access to the backyard of the hotel. Up to five cars can be driven into the ballroom through two French windows to set up for the presentation. The Embassy ballroom and pre-function area together will form a unique presentation space of 305 square meters in total with the possibility of versatile solutions for catering, speaking, and networking. Modern audiovisual systems will support the most ambitious ideas on car illumination, music background, and speech delivery.

Food & Drink

At the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre, the innovative lunch and coffee break menus are developed by our Executive Chef. They are created to provide optimum nutrition for maximum focus and truly productive participation during the event from beginning to end. Enjoy fresh, local, and delicious dishes — the ideal food for success.

Pre-function area

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Bistro Côté Est

Treat your attendees to a break and refresh the mind with a delicious and healthy dining experience. Enjoy lunch, dinner, or cocktails in the warm and cozy ambiance of our Bistro Côté Est. This individual venue with a permanent buffet line for 3 sections serves starters, main courses, and dessert buffet style for groups from 50 to 100 people. Your individual and balanced menu is developed by our team who prepares the food just before the event to guarantee the best quality and gastronomic experience.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kiev - Bistro Cote Est

Mille Miglia restaurant

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Mille Miglia Ristorante & Enoteca

Looking for a warm and informal atmosphere in which to serve your coffee-break or cocktail? Our Lobby Bar is designed for just this. The bar can easily be zoned to create welcoming networking areas with space for a buffet, comfortably fitting up to 50 people in a standing reception. Additional audio equipment and three TV screens are available for your presentation or speech. Our Executive Chef will take care of tasty and healthy finger foods or themed refreshments to delight the guests. Whatever the setup, our dedicated team will create the space for you.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Lobby bar

Meeting technology

All our conference rooms and meeting spaces are fully equipped with modern audio equipment, ceiling projectors, and screens, along with free high-speed wireless internet that makes it easier than ever to check emails, download files, conduct skype conferences, or just read the news during a coffee break. A dedicated team of experts will gladly help you set up and connect your equipment for the meeting. We can also provide everything from microphones to DJ mixers for corporate parties.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre - Wedding in the hotel

Your unique day. Your perfect celebration. Plan the wedding reception of your dreams in the iconic and stylish Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre. Our highly professional specialists will take expert care of you and all your arrangements, from accommodation to a luxury wedding dinner. Our celebration menus are carefully crafted by our Executive Chef offering top quality. You and your guests can enjoy fine, fresh foods that perfectly balance simple and sophisticated tastes based on local and seasonal produce. Our team will help you turn your individual vision into a beautiful reality. Perfect in every detail. Romantic. Sophisticated. Exquisitely arranged in a stunning celebratory setting. All that's left for you to do is to enjoy every moment.

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  • Growth and Jobs at Davos 2024: What to know
  • How using genAI to fuse creativity and technology could reshape the way we work

1. Generative AI boosts productivity, unevenly

In 2024, most chief economists surveyed by the Forum believe generative AI will increase productivity and innovation in high-income countries. But for low-income countries, just over a third think this will be the case.

Productivity boosts are expected in knowledge-heavy industries, including IT and digital communications, financial and professional services, medical and healthcare services, retail, manufacturing, engineering and construction, energy and logistics.

These potential benefits are in "sharp contrast with concerns about the risks of automation, job displacement and degradation", says the report.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of chief economists surveyed "do not foresee a net positive impact on employment in low-income economies".

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2. Digital jobs keep growing

By 2030, the number of global digital jobs is expected to rise to around 92 million. These are generally higher-paid roles, according to the Forum's white paper, The Rise of Digital Jobs .

Digital jobs could help to balance skill shortages in higher-income countries, while boosting opportunities for younger workers in lower-income countries: "If managed well, global digital jobs present an opportunity to utilize talent around the world, widening the talent pool available to employers and providing economic growth pathways to countries across the income spectrum."

3. Unemployment levels could rise

The labour market showed resilience in 2023, with employment remaining high, said Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), in the Davos session ' What to Expect From Labour Markets '.

But he said ILO projections in early January suggested the global unemployment rate could rise from 5.1% to 5.2% in 2024, with an extra two million workers expected to be looking for jobs.

In the US, the jobs market remained stronger than expected for the first month of the year, with more than 350,000 new jobs added. The unemployment rate for January was 3.7%, close to a 50-year low, according to The Guardian .

Houngbo said ILO data shows inequalities persist between low- and high-income countries, while young people are 3.5 times more at risk of being unemployed than the rest of the adult population and "many workers are struggling to pay bills, which is very worrisome".

The impact of AI on jobs was not going to be "an employment apocalypse", but that reskilling, upskilling and lifelong learning would be key to managing the transition to augmentation, he stressed.

4. More pop-up offices

LinkedIn has seen a drop in the number of fully remote job postings, from a peak of 20% in April 2022, to just 8% in December 2023, said co-founder Allen Blue, speaking in a Davos session ' The Role of the Office is Still TBC ' .

But employee interest in taking remote or hybrid jobs remains high, at around 46% of applications.

"The office is going to be in competition with working from home ... that’s a good thing for the office," he said, as management would need to innovate and create a workplace environment that "emphasizes dynamic human interaction".

Young people taking their first job want human connection, so they're more interested in hybrid than remote roles.

Martin Kocher, Austria's Federal Minister of Labour and Economy, said that some Austrian villages are actually paying for pop-up community office spaces, because people don’t want to work from home, and they can make use of other amenities close by.

He predicted the development of more pop-up office spaces away from company headquarters.

Have you read?

  • Davos 2024: 6 innovative ideas on reskilling, upskilling and building a future-ready workforce
  • From hierarchy to partnership: rethinking the employee/employer relationship in 2024

5. Skills will become even more important

With 23% of jobs expected to change in the next five years, according to the Future of Jobs Report, millions of people will need to move between declining and growing jobs.

Coursera CEO, Jeff Maggioncalda and Denis Machuel, CEO of Adecco Group AG, joined the Davos session ' The Race to Reskill ' to discuss the transferability of skills, and the potential of AI to help with personalized learning and productivity, which also levels the playing field for job opportunities globally.

But the key is in learning how to use AI and digital technologies, as Code.org Founder and CEO, Hadi Partovi, pointed out in the session ' Education Meets AI '.

When people think about job losses due to AI, he said, the risk isn't people losing their jobs to AI: "It's losing their job to somebody else who knows how to use AI. That is going to be a much greater displacement.

"It's not that the worker gets replaced by just a robot or a machine in most cases, especially for desk jobs, it's that some better or more educated worker can do that job because they can be twice as productive or three times as productive.

“The imperative is to teach how AI tools work to every citizen, and especially to our young people."

6. More women enter the workforce

In 2020, the World Bank found that potential gains from closing economic gender gaps could unlock a “gender dividend” of $172 trillion for the global economy.

But the Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023 found that the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap has only closed by just over 60%.

Several sessions at Davos looked at how inclusion could benefit the economy , particularly by helping mothers return to the workforce, which could close skills gaps.

“There are 606 million women of working age in the world who are not working because of their unpaid care responsibilities, compared to 40 million men," Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Moms First, explained in a session on the ‘ Workforce Behind the Workforce ’.

“At Moms First, we're working with over 130 companies in every sector, who are saying, ‘I don't have enough workers’. We are working with them to redesign their childcare packages and increase their subsidies.

“Childcare pays for itself. When you offer childcare to employees, you get higher worker productivity and lower rates of attrition, and greater rates of retention. We have to look at care as an economic issue that world leaders must actually do something about.”

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Watch Xbox’s highly anticipated ‘business update’ podcast

See what’s next for Microsoft gaming and Xbox exclusivity to be revealed

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Share All sharing options for: Watch Xbox’s highly anticipated ‘business update’ podcast

Microsoft’s update on the state of the Xbox business — whether Xbox exclusive games are going multiplatform and what the Xbox console business will look like — will be revealed on Thursday, Feb. 15. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Xbox president Sarah Bond, and head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty promise to share updates on the Xbox business in the Official Xbox Podcast, according to a post on X from the official Xbox account .

Thursday’s special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast will available to watch on YouTube “or wherever you listen to your podcasts,” Microsoft said, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts . The business update episode of the Official Xbox Podcast will go live on Thursday at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST.

The discussion between Spencer, Bond, and Booty will hopefully address roiling rumors and reports that various Xbox-exclusive games, including titles like Sea of Thieves , Hi-Fi Rush , Indiana Jones and the Great Circle , and Starfield , might be making their way to PlayStation and Nintendo consoles. In early February, Spencer addressed the flurry of rumors in a roundabout way, promising concrete details about what’s next for the Xbox brand and platform.

“We’re listening and we hear you,” Spencer said on X . “We’ve been planning a business update event for next week, where we look forward to sharing more details with you about our vision for the future of Xbox. Stay tuned.”

The future of Xbox will reportedly still have a hardware component. According to a report from the Updater newsletter, Spencer recently told Microsoft employees at a town hall meeting that there are no plans to stop making Xbox consoles, part of a strategy that involves “multiple kinds of devices.”

Microsoft is already in the multiplatform game business, thanks to acquired properties like Minecraft, Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch. But if franchises typically associated as Xbox-only, like Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and Fable, are going to PlayStation and Nintendo consoles, it would signal a radical departure from Xbox’s past. We’ll know more on Thursday.

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