You may not think of your business as an event planner, but if you host events (and let’s be honest — every successful business hosts some event), then you’re pretty much an expert already.
The right event planning experts can make or break your next big business event from catered meals to professional entertainment. And even if you do prefer to go it alone, there are still some facts that every good planner should know. By following these tips for hosting a successful business event, you’ll have people lining up to attend next year’s shindig!
1. Plan Ahead
There’s no way to sugarcoat this — the secret to throwing the perfect business event is all in the preparation. Plan way ahead! If you’re hosting a large function, especially one that requires several months of planning, give yourself plenty of lead time so you can scout for popular venues and negotiate prices accordingly. From tent rental fees to catering costs, many things need to be locked down months before anyone actually walks through your doors.
2. Know Your Audience
You’ve planned everything perfectly according to your timeline, but something just doesn’t feel right. It could be that your audience just isn’t responding well to what you’ve got planned. Sometimes it takes an outside opinion (like that of your best friend or spouse) to point out a simple truth: you’re not best friends with your event audience.
3. Use a Theme
A theme is a perfect way to tie all of your elements together and keep things from feeling too scattered or disjointed. You’ve got to know your audience, so use a theme that will resonate with them! If you’re hosting a summer cocktail party for young professionals, pick an under-the-sea theme complete with ocean blue décor, seashells on the candy buffet, and a mixer full of their favorite tropical drinks.
4. Decide the Venue Wisely
Last year’s Christmas party may have been a blast, but does your business really need a Christmas party every year? Too many events at one venue can get pricey and leave people with a case of event overload. This doesn’t mean you have to stop hosting parties — just find other venues! Try hiring a boat for your private party, or rent out an entire restaurant to host your next business luncheon.
5. Practice Before Your Event
First impressions mean everything to your guests — especially when you’re hosting an important social event. They’ll appreciate the extra effort it takes to prepare, so practice before your event! Test out your equipment (if you’re planning any presentations, for example), rehearse speeches, and get familiar with your ceremony order beforehand. It may sound like overkill, but leaving even just a few minutes of practice time can make all the difference to your guests!
6. Keep Things Moving
Nobody likes waiting around (with good reason!), so one way to assure their satisfaction is by keeping things moving along. Whether you’ve planned a formal dinner or casual cocktail party, set up activity stations ahead of time to keep everyone entertained while they wait for meals or drinks to be served. It also helps to have staff on hand to keep things tidy while attendees enjoy their activities. This way, you can keep their attention while they’re waiting instead of seeing them leave early just to find something else to do!
7. Take Care of the Little Things
If your event’s a success, people are going to remember it for years to come — even if there were some smaller details that could have been better thought out ahead of time. From silverware rolls at sit-down dinners to extra trash bags at cocktail parties, keeping your event clean is an easy way to impress your guests and give them positive memories from the night. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies on hand before anyone walks in the door!
8. Leave Your Details Up To The Pros
If you’re hosting an important business event, don’t skimp on the details! When it comes to things like choosing a caterer or renting special equipment (such as sound speakers or screens for presentations), take the time to make sure everything is handled professionally. If there’s any chance of something going wrong with your equipment, consider hiring tech support for the night — even if it means buying them dinner.
We hope this article helped you understand how to host the perfect business event. From choosing your venue, planning and executing a theme, or taking care of some small details, we’ve got all the tips for hosting an amazing party! If you’re still feeling unsure about any aspect of throwing a successful event — from food choices to music selection — don’t hesitate to reach out to a team of experts.