Whether you are putting on an evening for your staff and sponsors, a networking event for potential clients, or a summer ball for your current clients, any corporate event is about presenting your business in a thoughtful and generous light. To make sure you get this just right next time you’re planning a big corporate bash, consider these 5 extra special touches which will keep your guests impressed and positive all night.
The first thing to consider when planning a corporate event is the venue. There are lots of great venues available which will be able to hold the capacity you intend on inviting, however to make your venue extra special you should book somewhere unique.
If your company or clients work in a specific sector, then you could host at a related venue. For example, if you work in London and work in sport, you could book any number of great sporting venues such as the Home of Cricket Lords, The Home of Football Wembley Stadium or on a smaller scale the home of Fulham FC Craven Cottage.
If there isn’t any particularly special ties to your business then there is still plenty of places to head, and a good place to find them is on Venue Finder, who have a range of venues up and down the UK.
To make any event run smoothly, one absolute must is to have a bar at your event. Whether its alcoholic or not, drinks are at the very minimal a conversations tarter, and when alcohol is involved a conversation catalyst. Any guest at a corporate event will be expecting some sort of a bar, so it’s best to make the drinks you serve as memorable as possible.
There are lots of specialists available to hire such as The Bartender Hire Company that not only provide well skilled bar staff and bring a touch of class the average pint of Fosters can’t quite muster, they also create bespoke cocktail menus. Extra touches like this mean that you can really make your guests feel welcome by designing a cocktail after their companies name or maybe a staff member’s role in the company.
If you are booking a venue then this should be one of the most important things on your checklist before booking. It’s no secret that we all remember the toilets from any event, particularly if they are bad, so make sure they are as up to scratch as the dining space is. Unfortunately sometimes this might be slightly out of our hands if the venue is so brilliant that it’s a no brainer to choose regardless of the toilet standards.
If you are planning on holding your event outdoors then this issue is entirely in your hands, because failing to hire any will result in a lot of very unhappy guests. The obvious choice is to rent a group of portable toilets however this is most certainly not the right option. Their tacky plastic exterior, their limited space and their awful facilities make no one feel comfortable when spending a penny.
Make sure they can go comfortably by hiring some luxury toilets from someone such as Event Washrooms. These toilets have all the space, furnishings and most importantly stylings of a well-designed bathroom, so much so that after 30 seconds inside, they will no doubt forget they are outside. This removes that negative memory of clambering into a cheap plastic toilet which you struggle to forget in a hurry.
Much like the drinks, food is something that people expect to a certain standard, so it is important that you go above and beyond what they might have experienced previously. It is important to outline what food your guests should expect also. If it is a relaxed event, then you might want to go for a gourmet buffet of some sort as well as service staff offering Hors D’oeuvre to the guests. This option can keep the pace of the evening moving and can make the food a talking point of the evening (for the better). Try having a ‘make your own’ ice cream sundae station, or champagne cocktail equivalent to make the dining experience as fun as it is good.
If you are planning on a lengthier or more formal evening, then your better option might be to go for a fully catered 3 course meal. There are plenty of great catering companies available such as Chaucer Gourmet or Easy Gourmet which provide fantastic menus for all kinds of events.
One thing which is hugely important before hand is to check which (if any) of your guests have specialist eating requirements, this will go a long way to making them feel as if you care. For example, if there a couple of vegans attending, make sure your organise with the caterers to provide a number of great vegan options, instead of one.
Booking entertainment for a corporate event really depends on the crowd you wish to entertain. If you work in a specialist sector, then this might be more obvious to you than for many others (e.g. a music label getting some of their acts to perform), but for the most part it is going to take some planning.
First thing is to judge your audience age. If the majority of your staff are 40+ then it’s probably best not to be booking a Britney Spears tribute act, alternatively if you have largely younger set of guests a string quartet might not be a good option either.
With entertainment you really can set the tone of the evening, its something you can advertise on the invite and might well be the reason some clients decide to attend or chose to stay at home. If its music you are looking for then all areas are covered by sites like Band Hire UK. They have anything from Swing bands to ABBA tribute acts, from Orchestras to the easy pleasing rock and pop cover bands.
Sticking by even a couple of these tips is sure to make your corporate event live long in the memory of your guests. Not only will it present you and your company in a positive light, but hopefully it will help lead to fruitful and successful business in the future.