8 corporate event planning mistakes and how to avoid them

Successful corporate event planning takes a great deal of time, effort and attention to detail as well as exceptional organisational skills. There’s a lot at stake and how you cope with mishaps will often be the difference between success and failure.

Events by Knight are award winning corporate event planning specialists who regularly design, plan, prepare and stage all types of corporate event functions. Our extensive experience in organising conferences, product launches, award evenings, and team building corporate events has given us significant industry insight. We recognise the common pitfalls faced when planning corporate events, but most importantly, we also know how to prevent them.

Based on our in depth knowledge we’ve put together an informative guide highlighting eight corporate event planning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Failing to delegate

A common mistake when planning a corporate event is controlling everything yourself. Your reasoning may be that you’ll cut down on communication time and you’ll always know how things are progressing. In reality the opposite is perhaps more accurate. You can’t possibly do everything yourself and when it comes to effective time management there is only a certain amount you’ll be able to achieve. It makes good business sense to delegate tasks to other members of staff, but also to consider bringing in external skilled expertise too.

Failing to put contingency measures in place

Naturally you hope your corporate event planning will be successful, but things can and do go wrong and so it’s important to have back up plans. You need to consider each aspect of the event, carry out risk assessments and put together contingency measures. For example, transportation methods, availability of services / suppliers and even the weather (for outdoor events).

Failing to carry out sufficient research

Discovering your venue doesn’t measure up expectations is a difficult problem to resolve and one which is likely to have a detrimental impact on your reputation.

To avoid potential disasters, you must carry out sufficient research. Review sites, such as Trip Advisor, offer useful performance indicators and visitor feedback will highlight both the strong and weak points of a venue. In addition, it’s always advisable to visit a venue and discuss your requirements with management and staff. Don’t assume that well-known brands always deliver the best experience. Failure to carry out sufficient research is a real recipe for disaster.

Failing to keep track of commitments

It’s all very well speaking to vendors and securing great deals, but failing to write things down properly and track how negotiations are progressing are common problems encountered when planning corporate events.

Committing everything to memory leaves too much to chance. Make sure you have written confirmation on dates, times, prices, quantities, etc and all parties are aware of their obligations and responsibilities. Better to be safe than sorry!

Failing to prioritise with budgeting

Successful corporate event planning requires tight budgetary controls and an ability to understand priorities. For instance, choosing a cheap venue with a view to spending extra money on decorating it in corporate colours is unlikely to be a successful plan if the facilities provided are poor. Value for money, rather than cutting corners, is key here. Remember, you’re not spending your own personal money but that of your organisation, so think about how you can achieve the best deals. Can you hire vendors who are locally based? Can you negotiate discounts?

Failing to keep up with technology

Embracing up to date technology is vital for two reasons. Not only does it enable you to carry out tasks quickly and efficiently, but first impressions count. Do you want to be seen as a forward thinking innovative organisation or one stuck in a time warp? For example, would you check guests into your corporate event by ticking names off a list on a clipboard or would you use electronic devices to scan codes? Similarly, are you making the most of audio visual presentation aids or just giving your delegates typewritten handouts? Efficient use of the latest technology gives a good first impression.

Failing to allow sufficient time to set up for the event

Last minute event setting up can appear unprofessional and also leaves you open to being unable to resolve unexpected issues. Avoid this by estimating the length of time needed to get everything in place and then adding in extra time for coping with unforeseen emergencies. Aim to have everything ready at least 15 minutes before doors open.

Failing to strike the correct balance

A corporate event should clearly communicate a theme or concept, yet not be too impersonal. Your brand, product or service forms the major part of your event and any imagery, designs and themes need to follow through from marketing to registration to keynote speeches. Consistency is key. Failing to allocate due care and attention to your overall theme or message will reflect badly on your reputation, so it’s worth investing extra time and resources into ensuring your content, branding, marketing and overall theme are aligned.

As can be seen, there are many reasons why events fail. Handing over the planning of a corporate event to an established and reputable event planner guarantees success.

Events by Knight understand corporate planning, budgeting and marketing, but above all, we tailor events to specific briefs. If you’re planning any type of corporate event in the near future – a product launch, a business conference, a seminar, awards evening or charity fundraiser – take a look at our dedicated corporate event page and then give us a call on +44(0)203 130 4040 or contact us via the website. We’ll do the hard work, leaving you free to greet your guests assured of a successful evening. Corporate event planning really can be as simple as that!