When planning a corporate event, every effort is made to ensure a memorable experience for attendees. But what does it take to make that happen? There are so many elements involved in planning and hosting an event to consider that it can be challenging to know which ones make a real impact.
From the food you serve to the free stuff you may away, there are a lot of variables that contribute to the overall event experience for attendees. Your goal is to ensure that all those involved will walk away and deem it a success and worthy of the investment. (And most importantly, worthy of future investment in events.)
So, how do you set your event up for success? Here are five things you need to know to make your next event memorable:
1. Planned Outcomes
While it may seem obvious, always start by knowing your audience and what they are hoping to get out of attending your corporate event. You may have your agenda, but it is also critical to consider the expectations of your audience and align your planned outcomes accordingly. Before exploring and developing your options for content, speakers, and location, know what you want your audience to take away from the event.
2. Compelling Content
The number one thing that will draw an audience to an event is the content to be presented, and the more compelling, the better. Always keep the perspective of your audience in mind. By understanding the knowledge and insights that they are looking to learn, you put your event in the best position to connect your content with your audience.
3. Engaging Speakers
Having engaging speakers on your schedule contributes to providing compelling content. While your speakers do not all have to be paid professionals, they do need to engaging and inspiring. We suggest mixing it up and featuring a variety of speakers that complement your overall event theme. These can include the following types of speakers (some of which might reside inside your own company):
- Thought Leaders – Visionaries guiding the future of your industry
- Industry Experts – Those respected for their domain expertise
- Influencers – To add some buzz and/or celebrity
- Storytellers – Charismatic speakers with tales to tell
4. Location, Location, Location
Of course, you’ll want the venue to align with your planned outcomes, but the location of the event extends beyond the workday. Choose a location that is not only accessible for the local market but also out-of-town attendees looking for an easy commute from the airport or other mass transit. Remember, not all your attendees’ time may be spent at the event. If your event allows, they will also want to go out to dinner or happy hour. Choose a location that is within walking distance of restaurants and local attractions.
5. Networking Opportunities
For many people, a corporate event is an opportunity to advance their knowledge and connections to help advance their career or business. The chance to network with peers and industry leaders is a big reason why people choose to attend. So, build in structured group activities, informal breaks, and free time into your schedule to facilitate networking.
Focus your energy on getting these five things right, and you’ll be on your way to planning and conducting a memorable corporate event.