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Sep 23
2019
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How to Get the Most Out of Your Corporate Event

The structure of a corporate event can range from the simple get-together to the incredibly complicated system of talks, meet-ups, socials, and open discussions that go hand in hand with conferences. Whatever event you decide to put on, make sure you know what you want to get out of it, and how to get it.

Plan By Budget

Before you know how much you can get out of your event, you have to know what you’re putting into it. When building your budget, you may need to account for more than money—will any of your coworkers be expected to put volunteer hours in? Has someone offered to handle the decorations, or bring in the special dessert they made for the last holiday party? Use the resources you have on hand and find vendors that help you avoid overspending. Working within the limits created by your budget can push you to take a more creative approach to event planning and create unexpected direction.

Outline Goals Early On

What exactly do you want out of this event? Gearing things towards team building might push you to look into orienteering options or team escape rooms, whereas an event aimed at networking might benefit from using the traditional setup or more unorthodox conversation starters like bingo cards or interactive displays. Before you do anything, decide what vibe is your goal, and what you want this event to do for your company.

Encourage the Flow

Think of this as the close cousin of going with the flow. Actively pushing discussion, connections, or networking during an event might not always get you the desired results, but working with the flow to lead things to a more natural conclusion helps keep things feeling organic, even if it’s not the specific conclusion that you were hoping for.

If discussion keeps trending towards the company’s green initiative when you scheduled time for a talk about parking, you can use the opportunity to bring alternative modes of transport—like biking, buses, and carpooling—into the talk. Conversation might not come back around to parking right away, but you’ll have feedback that could help with your parking initiatives anyway.

Two Birds, One Event

Approach each event with the mindset that you’re here to do one thing and do it well, but if other things happen to get some percentage of done along the way, that’s fine too. A fun event can easily provide new pictures and captions for your company’s social media, and a sufficiently interesting one might even end up trending. By setting up events geared towards specific goals, but with room for more, you can even set yourself up to do some networking while you give back to the community, or design a team building event with opportunities to develop specific skills.

Stick the Landing

The event’s over, but your job isn’t. Make sure to follow up with your attendees and find out what they loved about the event and what they could do without. While not everyone might be willing to provide this kind of feedback, you’ll be able to get a better grasp on how much of an impact the event had by how many people are, the quality of their replies, and what they’re telling you in them.

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