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Apr 28
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A Guide to Classy Corporate Event Planning

Chances are if you’ve had the pleasure of attending or hosting any corporate event, there are a couple of aspects of the gathering that stick out in your mind. Good or bad, professional social meetings hinge upon these very things. One, appropriate guests and two, the overall venue.


Planning a Classy Corporate Event

Corporate event’s typically mean blending executives with outside business development professionals, board members, foundation supporters and a handful of other privileged individuals. Depending upon industry and company size, annual events can also extend to employees and guests. The first step is intel. Here are the exact parameters for consideration:

  • Occasion
  • Budget
  • Attendees
  • Time
  • Venue
  • R.S.V.P., Accommodations, Travel; and
  • Objectives



Corporate events sometimes follow large summit meetings or quarterly shareholder sessions. They are also sometimes intended to generate money (think, golf tournament or black-tie gala). Business development is another big occasion. These events can be anything from professional sports games to wine-hosted concerts and special holiday-based events.



Event planning for senior-level professionals is a little different than pulling together an office party or a company picnic. Identify who you will be directly reporting to and who will ultimately be responsible for the event. Set a personal project timeline for yourself and have a brainstorming session for your vision. Next, schedule a weekly 15-20 minute meeting with your boss to discuss the event and make sure to take notes for details. Success, above budget, is typically the priority. When the event date draws near, calendar quick 5-minute daily check-in’s so you’re certain to cover all the bases and last-minute changes by executives.



Now that you’ve established the occasion and ball-park budget, it’s time to get to work on appropriate invitations. First, create a spreadsheet or list on your computer to line out names and contact information for who will be attending. Columns for R.S.V.P.s, special diet considerations or allergies, notes and guest information is essential. When you tally the final guest list, you’ll have a better idea of venue size and which guests will require additional travel assistance.


The time of the event will usually dictate how formal and how long an event will go. The attendee list is already a great source for determining guest availability. As a rule of thumb, always consider location and time of year. If the area receives strong weather and it gets dark fairly early like fall and winter, guests may need to stay overnight, or an earlier event may be appropriate. Guide:

  • Tuesday: Board Meeting(s)
  • Thursday: Networking
  • Friday: Corporate Retreat

The most crucial thing about corporate events is ensuring guests are comfortable and well attended. Pulling together a classy event is guaranteed as long as guests know the dress code, the venue has been secured and set up ahead of time and catering is appropriate.


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