Creating an event for your small business is an idea that could improve your organization by quite a bit. Still, throwing an event can be a proper nightmare. First of all, this will never be the only task on your to-do list, which means that, aside from running a business, you’ll now have one more thing to worry about. Other than this, the success of the event directly depends on your involvement in the matter. Sure, there are some things that you can’t control, yet, your ability to predict these events and prepare for everything accordingly may make things a lot easier. With that in mind, here are some planning tips that could make your life so much easier.
Before you start planning a company event, you need to know why you’re doing it in the first place. In general, there are four main reasons to host a business-related event. It’s important that you do this first, seeing as how some decisions, later on, may depend on your agenda.
First, you can help validate your employees, thus strengthening the bond between the management and the staff. In turn, this helps boost productivity and reduce talent abandonment by quite the margin. Also, this can paint you as a company that people dream to work at, which can increase your recruitment efforts.
Second, you get to promote creativity, thus painting your business as “different” in a positive way. Needless to say, this is what sets you apart from your competitors in an overcrowded industry or niche, thus serving the purpose of an incredibly effective marketing tool.
Third, it helps boost company morale, which is quite useful after your team has taken a hit and is uncertain of its future. Other than this, it’s also useful to celebrate an important milestone or commemorate a triumph in order to boost the sense of belonging to the team. This can sometimes give a similar effect to the first reason we’ve discussed.
The fourth and final reason is the idea of teambuilding. By giving your staff an environment where they can mingle outside of work, you help them relax and see their coworkers and managers in a more casual ambiance. Moreover, it can be a corporate way of letting everyone blow off some steam.
The issue of attendance is the next important matter, due to the fact that it mandates the number of attendees, the location and the size of the venue. For instance, if your goal is to validate your employees, you might want to do so in front of their friends and family members. This way, everyone can get a plus one (or plus several), yet, you need a bigger venue.
On the other hand, if your aim is to go for teambuilding, it’s for the best if your personnel is to attend on their own. Bringing their own people will usually make them closed off within this clique, instead of having them mingle with other attendees. Other than this, you might also aim to bring some investors, clients or outsiders to the event, in order to show your company in its best light.
Depending on this, you might also want to make plans for the evening, from decoration to presentation and activities.
Watch out for your schedule
Depending on the people you intend to invite, you may want to watch out for the schedule of your event. For instance, if you aim for your employees to attend this event in great numbers (even bring friends and family members), you may want to pick a date that’s far from the holiday season. If you want the outsider audience (in whatever form and for whatever reason), you may need to look for a date that doesn’t overlap with any other important occurrences within your industry. This way, your attendees won’t have to choose between your event and the one hosted by someone else.
Pick the location
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the choice of the location. The reason why we’re doing this just now (as a fourth step and not a third one), is because the location depends on the number of the attendees (the size of the venue) the location (indoor or outdoor) and the type of party. Other than this, transportation is also a huge issue, especially if you aim to serve alcoholic beverages, so you need to manage things like designated drivers or availability to public transportation. Local talent is also quite important, which is also something decided by the location. For instance, if you’re hosting a Sydney-based event, you’ll mostly be forced to work with agencies and talent from NSW.
As we hinted earlier on, you won’t be able to do everything on your own. This means that you’ll have to look for caterers, entertainment (DJ or a band), professional photography and much, much more. Imagine a scenario where the venue that you’ve picked doesn’t serve drinks of their own. In that particular case (if we use the example from the previous paragraph), you would have to find an agency that deals in corporate alcohol delivery in Sydney. Due to the fact that such agencies usually deliver these drinks in volumes, you might stand to relieve your budget by quite the margin.
Due to the fact that planning and research don’t cost a thing, once you have all of this covered, you’ll be able to turn all of these items into numbers and see where you stand. Now, we come to the issue of budgeting. A small business event is something that requires a tremendous amount of organization and, the better you are at organizing, the lower the cost of the event might be. Nonetheless, you can’t throw a small business event for free. Sure, sponsor donations may help you out but you can’t rely on them to pay for everything. This is why you need to have an expense budget and be realistic about your ability to meet these figures.
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that the execution won’t always go as planned. Therefore, it’s much better to head into the event over-prepared than to be underprepared. Always order a bit more food and alcohol than you need, get a tad bigger venue and push your event a tad further down the line than you need in order to organize everything. This simple step of precaution can save you from a world of trouble.