How to plan a corporate event in London
Here at Bateaux London, we know that planning corporate events can be daunting. However, for most businesses, building professional relationships within relevant industries is crucial. Corporate events don’t always centre on building business partnerships. In many cases, companies host corporate events with team building in mind. Even planning a fun corporate event in London requires effective event management. Don’t head out to the streets of London looking for the perfect venue just yet. Read our top tips for planning a successful business event.
Define the objectives of your corporate event
There are many reasons why you might choose to host a business event. It might be to inform and educate people about a new product or service. It could be to drive change within the industry or to improve skills within your company. The purpose of the event should influence your corporate event venue. For example, driving change may be initiated through workshops and discussion. Therefore, you might decide to invite a smaller group of people, meaning that you’ll need an intimate venue.
Define your target audience
Choosing your target audience is crucial. Define the target audience early on in the planning process. After all, it will influence every decision you make, from the format, pricing, content and location. Think about it. Planning an event aimed at CEOs is very different from planning an event for internal members of your company. A team building event might include crazy golf, ping pong or outdoor assault courses, with the aim of opening up communication between different teams. An event aimed at CEOs might tackle key challenges within a particular industry. The aim is to open up interesting conversations and gain new insight. Once you understand the target audience, you can then take a structured approach to your planning.
Plan and pay attention to the details
We’ve hosted many corporate events on board our boats at Bateaux London. We work together with our clients to help them deliver their desired event. From years of experience, we can safely say that those who pay attention to the small details are the most successful. There is so much to think about. From car parking facilities, event catering, content, additional resources and entertainment. A checklist is a good place to start. Start to plan your event from start to finish and really visualise it. Think about what the day should include and consider every aspect. What’s going to be sat at each table? What food and drink will be served? How you’re going to display presentations? This level of detail will help you to understand what you need from a venue space and external vendors.
Think about your budget
Whether you’re planning a large scale event or a small team building event you should decide on a budget early. The cost of organising and delivering a corporate event can easily get out of hand. So, once you’ve settled on a budget- stick to it! Decide what is most important to your target audience because this will help you to allocate budget to the right areas. For example, the activity is the most important factor when planning a team building event. However, spending money on interesting speakers might be more important when planning an industry event. No matter how you allocate your budget, keep a record of your spending and update it regularly.
Set an agenda
You should consider how the event will be structured. Think about the activities and speakers you want to include. The level of participation from the attendees is also a key consideration. Remember that a corporate event should offer variation to keep the audience entertained and enhance the learning experience.
Choose a venue
There is a wide range of corporate event venues in London. From networking events, private parties and conferences to team building activities, there’s something to suit your needs. When it comes to making a decision, give yourself enough time to fully understand what you need from your venue. Do you need breakout rooms? Do you require corporate catering services? Perhaps your event would benefit from an outdoor space? It’s important to understand that the venue you choose should reflect the tone of your event.
Pick a date
If you’re planning an internal company event, choosing a date is straightforward. If you’re going to be inviting attendees from different companies and locations, you need to carefully consider timing. Double check if there are similar events happening around the same time that your target attendees might be attending. Remember that certain times of the year are popular for taking holidays. If possible, it’s best to avoid arranging events around these times.
Expand your event management team by delegating tasks. You can’t plan a successful corporate event by yourself because there’s just too much involved. Create a to-do list and allocate deadlines. Based on the tasks, you should decide who needs to be involved and delegate accordingly. As a team, hold regular progress meetings to check that everything is on track. Remember to communicate regularly with the hosting venue and vendors too. Here at Bateaux London, we love it when our clients keep us in the loop.
Getting people to attend
Getting people to attend an internal event? Easy. Getting people to attend a networking event? Slightly more difficult. Depending on the nature of your event, a detailed marketing plan may be needed. Understand that getting people to attend your event will require persistence. Before you begin to reach out to your target audience, define what the benefits will be for attendees. Reach out to any existing connections. Create advertorial copy that can be shared across social media platforms. Offering incentives for early sign-ups can also be an effective way of enticing attendees. Make sure you keep a secure record of those who will be attending including email addresses and telephone numbers. In the week leading up to the event, it is important to get in touch to confirm attendance. Usually, you should expect a dropout rate of 30%.
Always plan for the worst. That way, you can problem-solve before it even happens. Before the event, make a list of what could go wrong and how it can be resolved. This could include issues with the technology being used or your keynote speaker failing to show. By addressing these scenarios head on, you can effectively prepare for the unexpected.
Asking for feedback
After the corporate event, it’s important to reach out to attendees to ask for feedback. Send out a short survey within 24 hours of the event, so it’s fresh in their minds. Collate the responses and determine what went well and what could be improved. This will give you a great starting point when it comes to planning your next event!
Struggling to find a perfect venue and corporate event catering in London? Check out Bateaux London! Our corporate events package offers flexible spaces as well as fine dining. Our locally sourced produce and stunning venue on the River Thames will certainly impress your guests!