Corporate events can create a sense of camaraderie among coworkers, and they can also boost morale, foster teamwork, and help employees open up with each other. While good corporate events can bring positive outcomes, planning is the key that makes or breaks a corporate event. Eden Gardens is one of the top outdoor corporate event venues in Ventura County, California, and we are excited to share our corporate event planning guide with you.
Define Objectives and Set Goals
If you have no goal to attain, there is little point in hosting a corporate event in the first place. Your plan should begin by defining the objectives. Ask yourself what you want your employees to gain by attending the corporate event. An overarching objective for your corporate event could entail improving the business’s productivity, leading you to brainstorm things that align with that objective.
Next, set and optimize S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound) goals. Maintain your focus on the attendees since they are the ones who should benefit the most from the corporate event. Recognize that corporate events should be engaging and have a balanced schedule that allows sufficient free time between activities.
Your corporate event should always key in on audience participation. One way to keep attendees engaged is by having live Q&A sessions or polls during presentations to encourage the group to get involved. You can also set up breakout sessions where people can gather in smaller groups and interact face-to-face.
Finalize Your Budget
A corporate event budget will include the following expenses: venue rental, food, beverages, transportation, worksheets and attendee handouts, entertainment, and staff gifts. Begin the planning stages of your corporate event early on, then plan on allocating about ten percent more than your estimated budget. This cushion will give you a little wiggle room should any unexpected things pop up.
Look at the budget you spent on past corporate events to get a clearer picture of how much money you will need. You can also call on sponsors to help fund your corporate event if necessary. Always budget enough for the must-have items if you need to cut back on the initial budget.
Choose a Theme
Choosing a theme after setting your objectives and goals is essential to the success of any corporate event. Themes can drive home the message you want your attendees to take away from the offsite corporate meeting. If you can’t come up with a theme on your own, gather a group of people that tend to think outside the box and write down their ideas to help you formulate something that resonates with you.
Consider inviting a guest speaker to get the ball rolling at your corporate event. You should also plan activities that support your theme and make the event interactive and entertaining. Sitting and listening to speakers is good, but breaking things up with activities here and there can make your corporate event more memorable. Try to utilize all the space available at your outdoor corporate venue.
Plan for Food and Entertainment
Planning food for outdoor corporate events can be tricky since there is no easy access to a kitchen at an outdoor venue. Something you could consider is ordering picnic-style foods such as sandwiches or wraps. If you book your corporate event through Eden Gardens, we can alleviate the stress of food planning altogether. We have partnered with a caterer, allowing you the option to select all the food and drinks for your offsite corporate event with us.
Don’t be afraid to make things fun by hosting a dance party or a live concert to end your corporate event on a high note. Book any DJs, bands, or singers as soon as possible so you won’t have to scramble to get something coordinated at the last minute. Alternatively, you could book a comedian if that’s something you know your attendees would prefer. The entertainment you choose should be entertaining to your attendees.
Promote the Event
Promote your event as soon as possible so people can free up their schedules. Consider setting up an email marketing campaign to get an accurate head count for your corporate event. Start by sending a simple “save the date,” then send four to five follow-up emails reminding people to register for the event. Build up anticipation for the event by announcing your keynote speaker and the topics you will cover.
An email is a great way to spread the word initially. Other ways to promote your corporate event include:
- Creating an event website or landing page.
- Sharing updates on social media accounts.
- Working with sponsors to help spread awareness.
You can pin flyers and posters at the office to keep the upcoming event at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
If you have the budget, you could even set up a branded mobile event app to keep attendees in the know and send them direct notifications.
Check the Weather
Start checking the weather forecast about two weeks before your corporate event to ensure the weather won’t interfere with your plans. If you do get rained on, do what you can to boost morale and hand out free drinks or snacks as you transition to your next activity.
We hope our corporate event planning guide has given you helpful tips and wish you all the best while planning your outdoor corporate event. Consider hosting your next outdoor corporate event at Eden Gardens. Our venue features stunning fountains, a stage, beautiful walkways, lake and a serene, lush landscape, making it an outstanding venue for corporate parties in southern California.