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Corporate Conference Planning: Tips for First-Time Planners of Internal Events

Corporate Conference Planning: Tips for First-Time Planners of Internal Events

Planning a corporate conference for the first time can be daunting, filled with numerous challenges and potential pitfalls.

As a first-time corporate event planner, you may worry about overlooking important details or not meeting your colleagues’ and superiors’ expectations. This guide provides comprehensive tips and strategies to help you successfully plan and execute a large corporate internal conference.


Michael Gregson

Michael Gregson

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Step-by-Step Guide To Planning a Corporate Conference

Planning a successful corporate conference involves a series of well-coordinated steps. This step-by-step guide will walk you through each phase of the planning process, ensuring that you cover all necessary aspects and avoid common mistakes.

Define the Objectives for Your Corporate Event

Before diving into the logistics, it is crucial to understand the purpose and goals of your conference. Defining clear objectives will guide all subsequent planning decisions. 74% of companies say employee training and development are the primary objective of internal conferences.

Identify the Purpose: Clarify the conference’s main objectives, such as training employees, team building, strategies for the future, or celebrating success and achievements.

Tip: Conduct a survey or hold discussions with key stakeholders to align on the conference objectives and ensure they meet the organisation’s needs.

Set Measurable Goals: Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Examples include achieving a particular attendance rate, receiving positive feedback from attendees, or launching a new initiative during the event.

Tip: Break down larger goals into smaller, actionable tasks that can be tracked and measured throughout the planning process.

How to Develop a Corporate Event Budget?

A well-planned budget is the backbone of your event planning process. Developing a comprehensive budget will help you allocate resources effectively and prevent financial surprises. On average, companies spend £1,000 per attendee on internal conferences.

Estimate Costs: Include all potential expenses such as venue hire, catering, AV equipment, marketing materials, speaker fees, travel, accommodation for guest speakers or out-of-town attendees, and operational expenses like registration and entertainment.

Tip: Use a budgeting tool or software to keep track of expenses and ensure you stay within budget.

Contingency Fund: Allocate 10-20% of your budget for unforeseen expenses. This ensures you have a buffer for any unexpected costs that arise.

Tip: Regularly review and adjust the budget, especially if the event scope or requirements change.

What Date and Venue Should You Select For Your Corporate Event?

Choosing a suitable date and venue is critical to the success of your conference. The venue sets the stage for the event, while the date determines attendee availability. London, Manchester, and Birmingham are the top three cities for corporate events in the UK due to their excellent transport links and facilities.

Choose the Right Date: Consider employee availability and avoid conflicts with major holidays, other company events, and industry conferences. Checking for local events that impact travel or accommodation availability is also beneficial.

Tip: Send a “save the date” notification to ensure maximum attendance.

Book a Venue: Ensure the venue fits the size of your event and has the necessary facilities, such as adequate seating, breakout rooms, AV capabilities, accessibility, parking, and catering options.  Visit the venue in person to assess its suitability.

Tip: Have a backup plan or alternative venue if your first choice becomes unavailable.

Create an Agenda That Works

An engaging and well-structured agenda is essential for maintaining attendee interest and achieving your conference goals. Plan your sessions carefully to provide value to all participants. Studies show that interactive sessions and workshops increase attendee satisfaction by 60%.

Plan Sessions: Develop a detailed schedule that includes keynote speeches, breakout sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Ensure a balance between informative and interactive sessions keeps attendees engaged.

Tip: Include a mix of session formats to cater to different learning styles and preferences.

Schedule Breaks: Include sufficient time for coffee breaks, lunch, and informal networking. Breaks are essential for maintaining energy levels and allowing attendees to digest the information presented.

Tip: Plan icebreaker activities during breaks to encourage networking and engagement.

Assemble an Event Planning Team

A dedicated planning team is crucial for managing the numerous tasks involved in organising a conference. Assembling a capable team will help distribute the workload and ensure all aspects are covered. 56% of successful corporate events attribute their success to effective team collaboration.

Delegate Responsibilities: Assign specific tasks to team members based on their strengths and expertise. Typical roles include a logistics coordinator, speaker liaison, marketing lead, and registration manager.

Tip: Create a detailed task list with deadlines and assign ownership to ensure accountability.

Regular Meetings: Hold frequent planning meetings to track progress, address issues, and ensure everyone is aligned with the event goals and timeline. Use project management tools to keep everyone on the same page.

Tip: Use a shared calendar to schedule regular check-ins and update all team members on progress and changes.

How To Coordinate Event Logistics With Ease

Approximately 70% of companies consider logistical coordination the most challenging aspect of event planning; therefore, efficient logistics coordination is essential to make it smooth and successful. From travel arrangements to technology setup, ensuring all logistical elements are in place will enhance the attendee experience.

Travel and Accommodation: Arrange transportation and lodging for out-of-town attendees. Negotiate group rates with hotels and consider providing shuttle services if the venue is not within walking distance.

Tip: Provide attendees with a comprehensive travel guide, including directions, transportation options, and accommodation details.

Technology Needs: Ensure all AV equipment, such as microphones, projectors, screens, and Wi-Fi, are set up and tested before the event. Have technical support on hand to address any issues during the conference.

Tip: Conduct a technical rehearsal a day before the event to troubleshoot potential issues.

Communicating Your Corporate Event

Effective promotion ensures high attendance and engagement. Utilise various communication channels to create buzz and keep potential attendees informed. Email remains the most effective tool for event promotion, with an open rate of 20-25%.

Internal Communication: Promote the conference using emails, intranets, newsletters, and other internal communication channels. Highlight key sessions, speakers, and the benefits of attending.

Tip: Create engaging and informative promotional content highlighting the value of attending the conference.

Registration Process: Set up an easy-to-use registration system. Collect necessary information such as dietary requirements, special needs, and session preferences. Send confirmation emails and reminders as the event date approaches.

Tip: Offer early bird registration incentives to encourage prompt sign-ups.

The Event Day

Smooth execution on the day of the event is key. Managing on-site activities efficiently will ensure everything runs smoothly and attendees have a positive experience. 80% of attendees rate registration and on-site management as critical to their satisfaction.

On-site Management: Have a team manage registration, assist speakers, and handle issues. Ensure there are clear signs and maps to guide attendees around the venue.

Tip: Use event management software to streamline on-site processes such as check-in and session tracking.

Engage Attendees: Use interactive elements such as Q&A sessions, live polling, and social media to keep participants engaged. Encourage networking by providing dedicated spaces and opportunities for informal discussions.

Tip: Designate social media ambassadors to encourage live sharing of event highlights.

Why Create Post-Event Evaluation

Evaluating the success of your conference is essential for continuous improvement. Gather feedback and analyse the outcomes to learn what worked well and what can be improved for future events. 85% of event planners use post-event feedback to improve future events.

Gather Feedback: Use surveys to collect feedback from attendees about their experience, the quality of sessions, and any suggestions for improvement.

Tip: Send out feedback surveys promptly after the event while the experience remains fresh in attendees’ minds.

Analyse Results: Review the feedback to identify areas of improvement for future events. Share key insights with your planning team and stakeholders.

Tip: Hold a debrief meeting with your planning team to discuss feedback and lessons learned.

Common Pitfalls of Planning Events and How to Avoid Them

Even the best-laid plans can encounter obstacles. Being aware of common pitfalls and knowing how to avoid them can help you avoid potential issues and ensure a successful event. Research shows that 65% of first-time event planners encounter budget overruns and logistical challenges.

Lack of Clear Objectives: Ensure you clearly understand the event’s goals from the start and communicate these objectives to all stakeholders and team members.

Tip: Document and share the objectives with the team to ensure alignment and focus.

Inadequate Budgeting: Create a detailed budget that accounts for all possible expenses. Include a contingency fund for unexpected costs and regularly review your budget as you plan.

Tip: Track all expenditures in real-time to avoid overspending and adjust the budget as necessary.

Poor Venue Choice: Choose a venue that meets your size, location, and facilities needs. Visit the venue beforehand to assess its suitability and address any potential issues.

Tip: Check the venue’s reviews and testimonials from previous clients to ensure it meets your standards.

Underestimating Time Requirements: Start planning well in advance and set realistic deadlines for each task. Use a project management tool to keep track of tasks and deadlines.

Tip: Create a timeline with milestones and regularly review progress to stay on track.

Ineffective Communication: Maintain open and regular communication with your planning team and stakeholders. Ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and any changes to the plan.

Tip: Use collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to facilitate communication and keep everyone updated.

Expert Advice From Premier Events

Start Early: Begin planning as soon as possible to give yourself ample time to address any issues and make necessary adjustments.

Tip: Develop a detailed timeline and stick to it, adjusting as necessary.

Focus on Details: Pay attention to small details, such as attendee comfort, signage, and the quality of materials provided. These details can significantly impact the attendee experience.

Tip: Conduct an event walkthrough from an attendee’s perspective to identify potential issues.

Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your plans as needed. Flexibility is crucial for handling unexpected changes or challenges.

Tip: Have contingency plans for common issues such as speaker cancellations or technical difficulties.

Seek Feedback: Regularly consult with stakeholders and potential attendees to ensure the event meets their needs and expectations. Use their input to refine your plans.

Tip: Create focus groups or advisory committees to gather ongoing feedback during planning.

Use Technology: Leverage event planning software to streamline the process, improve efficiency, and keep all information organised and accessible.

Tip: Invest in reliable event management software that integrates registration, scheduling, and communication tools.

How We Work: Steps to Delivering Your corporate Event with our Agency

Initial Consultation: We begin by thoroughly understanding your event goals, objectives, and vision.

Proposal Development: Our organisers craft a detailed proposal outlining event concepts, timelines, and budget considerations.

Planning and Coordination: We meticulously handle every aspect of event planning, from venue selection and logistics planning to creative design and technology integration.

On-Site Corporate Event Management: On the day of your event, our experienced team ensures seamless setup, coordination of activities, and attendee management, guaranteeing a flawless event experience.

Post-Event Evaluation: We conduct thorough evaluations after the event to measure success and gather feedback for continuous improvements.

Ready to organise your corporate events with Premier Events?

Contact our Agency today to speak with our expert planners and leverage our full-service capabilities. Let us create unforgettable experiences tailored to your company’s unique needs and objectives.

Get in touch with us and start planning your corporate event.

Complete Our Contact Form: Share your event details and start planning together. Our team will review your information and get back to you swiftly to discuss how we can make your event successful.

Book a Discovery Call: Understanding your requirements on a Teams call is often easier than several emails. Click here to book a call at a time that suits you.

Send Us an Email: If you prefer writing down your ideas, email us. We’re excited to read about your event and will respond with how we can help, plus some initial ideas to get the ball rolling.

Give Us a Call: Ready for a chat? Dial 0116 366 1613 and speak directly to one of the team.

Our Corporate Event Management Services

Our Corporage Event Management Services | How Can Our Company Help With Your Next Event?

Discover the comprehensive range of services we offer here at Premier Events. Our full-service event agency is divided into several specialised divisions, each dedicated to a specific aspect of event planning and execution.

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