From fancy loft spaces, high-ceilinged mansions, to outdoor gardens, Chicago has plenty of great locations for an elegant, sophisticated event. Make your life easier and hire the services of one of the creative and knowledgeable corporate event planning companies in Chicago. You will be assured of smooth and complete event planning logistics where you will be provided with just the right recommendations of lighting, décor, and music services perfect for the venue of your choice.
The following are some of the popular venues you can choose from:
Lofts and Hotels
Loft spaces are now one of the hottest event venues in Chicago. Usually set within the heart of the city, unique spaces with artistic gallery and mahogany furniture can easily turn a tense meeting into a relaxed meeting of minds or inspire creativity for your brainstorming group.
If you are looking for a sophisticated urban elegance of soaring ceilings, crystal chandeliers, artisan staircases, and unparalleled view of the Chicago skyline, the following can promise you flawless classic and contemporary experience: City View Loft with modern timber architecture, Floating World Gallery which surrounds you with Japanese art, and the Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft and Sculpture Garden which promises supreme view of the Chicago skyline. For more traditional corporate functions, the hotels of Intercontinental, Allerton, and Ritz-Carlton can be your options.
Gardens and Outdoor Pavilions
Veer away from the four walls and host your cocktail reception at the larger seating area of Chicago’s botanical gardens and outdoor pavilions. Let the professional event logistics management turn the outdoor pavilion into a natural setting for your VIP event.
Try to explore the beautiful South Rose Garden located south of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park with a magnificent view of the Chicago skyline. You can also try the peaceful ambience offered by the Chicago Botanical Garden or Washington Square Park. What could be a more beautiful way to end your event than an enchanting Chicago sunset?
Mansions and Estates
Mansions and estates are your ideal options for a luxurious celebratory event. Typical mansions allow you to spend your main activity inside the classic architecture of the multi-room manor then cap the event in the garden or the Victorian ballroom.
Try to explore the open lawn of the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate, the expansive Grove Redfield Estate in Illinois, the elegant pavilion of the Orchard Ridge Farms at the countryside, or the gazebo at the Royal Oak Farm. The majestic style and customizable space of the estates are the ideal venue for large events with cocktail receptions.
Whether casual or formal, intimate or large-scale, Chicago is your best bet for a perfect backdrop to style your company event. Let the professional designers and marketers of your event management services set the creative design concepts for you and transform the space into your desired business event.]]>
For large and important events, services of corporate event planning companies are hired to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly. Their unique set of expertise also allows them to quickly respond to immediate problems and offer creative solutions. If you are in charge of planning the event, everyone especially your boss, will expect you to make minimal mistakes as it can be extremely costly or worse, damaging to the quality of the event or the company.
Here are some of the common mistakes in corporate event management you can prevent now:
Sending invitations through poor channels/methods
Have you ever received an invitation for an event with a registration instruction to fax a filled up form? The process of scouting an old-fashioned working fax machine might have made you pull out your hair. Or how about hearing a complaint from one employee that he did not receive any invitation? Sending invitations is one of the first things crossed in corporate event planners’ checklist. It is important to send early to give guests apt time to schedule their other engagement. However, it is also important to know how you can send these invitations. One email blast is not enough to demand for response. Send follow up emails and consider making announcements on appropriate bulletins or occasions.
Half-filled conferences or overcrowded apartment
What do you want: a half-filled glass of water or a half-empty one? Neither! As with corporate events planning, nothing dampens the mood of an event than having to wait for an hour for half of the conference hall to fill up. This is the type of moments you wish you could disappear. Some tips: avoid holding large important events before and after a major holiday. Some of the people, even VIPs, may still be on vacation and you may find yourself looking for replacement speakers or additional people simply to fill up the hall. Before you secure the venue, double-check the size of the expected participants.
Delegated entire marketing activities to staff
Before you throw all marketing activities to your staff, check first their history of running promotional activities. For important large company events, you might need to hire professional services of external event organizers as their expertise runs from marketing and communication to making last-minute fixes and rushed deliverables.
Extremely slow and bottleneck registration
Nothing annoys guests more than waiting in line for half an hour. Split the lines and ensure you have adequate staff for support. Estimate the size of your attendees and allocate designated manpower for your registration booth. If you need staff or volunteers, make sure to enlist them as early as possible to orient on event protocols.]]>
Establish protocols with the event staff, speakers, and exhibitors
Review before and after the inventory of all equipment and supplies
Have an orderly financial reporting system.
Think like the audience.
When we say logistics in the context of event, it means the flow of services between the event planner and the vendors. There may be some intermediaries or leg runners but specifications of services are agreed between the two and solely confirmed or cleared by the issuing organization or company.
Guide for strong logistics management
To deliver the desired results of an event, below are the absolute essential things to consider as an effective event planner:
Proper scheduling and monitoring. Logistics planners are suckers for timelines and milestones. Aside from this, they are unforgiving in terms of missed communications. Communication is extremely vital for coordination and if there is no proper protocol in reporting, tasks may fail, be overlooked, or be forgotten. An effective event logistics management has a master schedule which itemizes the tasks and the responsible people committed to deliver the duties, goods, or services.
Confirmed budget. Take note the logistics team is the cost driver. It involves purchase of food and beverage, decors, as well as rental of audiovisual equipment and payment of talent fee. Before you start selecting the silverware from your caterer, confirm first the budget then head out to negotiate on contracts.
Logistical program details. Itemize all the items in a spreadsheet. This should include the following items:
Control of people on the event-site. Good event planning logistics consider not only the control of goods and equipment but also the people on-site. Is there a crowd control? Is there adequate security for guest performers and VIPs? Good event planners control not only the attendees but also the staff and volunteers. Are they properly informed of the whole event and program? Do they know what to do and who are they reporting to? Do they have a sufficient program guide to remind them what happens next?
Risk assessment and risk management. This item is usually overlooked but should actually be one of the top items in the checklist especially for large events, especially for national and international events. Identify the potential risks of technical interruptions and always be informed of the city happenings if the event is outdoors. Liaise with the municipal or city government. Keen-to-detail event planners have road maps that indicate flow of traffic or road situation. Will there be road closure on the day of the event? Is the car parking sufficient for the guests? It is always good to have backup plans for everything.]]>
Steve Jobs once said, “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” Yes, we reflect on what happened and we rectify it, but we do not dwell on it. Those are the little experiments in our life. As Bill Gates aptly put it, “Reward worthy failure –Experimentation.”
Making mistakes is a good learning process as it improves our judgment on each situation to make smarter decisions. But it doesn’t mean that they may be repeated. Event management services leverage on shortcomings from previous events to improve their event logistics management. Corporate event planners take note of feedbacks from earlier events to ensure these will not be repeated.
If you are an aspiring event planner, below are some of the mistakes that are commonly repeated by corporate event planning companies. Learn from these failures to prevent costly and embarrassing errors.
Being the superman
An effective event planner does not do everything by himself. He or she has a group of committees with staff or volunteers that have respective field of area to take care of. You should oversee, lead, and steer. Take note that event planning entails a lot of responsibilities from financial planning down to scheduling and promotions. Make sure all details are covered by your well-selected committees/staff.
First of all, all details of your contracts with vendors should be taken into writing. Review the costs and make sure it is in agreement with the company involved. Meanwhile, make sure your contract with the company clearly states all details in the milestones such as tasks and specific number of meetings. The last thing you want to hear is that you failed to deliver the “obvious” commitments. Best is to consult a lawyer in closing deals.
One simple rule: you can never be too sure! Don’t assume your equipment rentals will arrive on time. Don’t assume the audiovisual presentation is in place. In order to have a successful event planning logistics, always confirm the timing of delivery with the vendors that you booked. Request for a finished copy of the audiovisual presentation or slides. It is always good to have backups. You can never blame a lazy employee who forgot to put into USB/hard drive the company audiovisual presentation. Make sure all slides are collected in one place and not from several laptops. Audiences can easily be impatient and can be unforgiving for a long lapse during the event.
Bad audio system
Waiting for a minute to pass microphones (or no microphones at all!) can be one of the most annoying things for the audience. If your event is interactive, make sure you have an adequate and properly working PA system, microphones, loudspeakers, receivers and transmitters, as well as connections and cables. Always do a live testing and make someone sit at the far end of the room.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning for an event. It is never easy but it is always best to prepare not only for the checklist but also for the things you must avoid.]]>
Do not decline immediately. This is a great opportunity for you to exercise your project management and collaboration skills. With the right mindset, focus, and guidance in event planning logistics, you will be able to push through the event successfully.
If you have many things on your plate and do not have time to plan the event or if you are not comfortable running an event, you can avail event management services to set your mind at ease.
A professional event planner will likely have a checklist of the things that should be covered before, during, and after your event. Nevertheless, we will share instead several tips and reminders for your event to flow smoothly as planned. After all, you deserve a glass of cocktail and enjoy your event.
Simulation of the event at the venue
Have you walked through the venue and checked the seating, lights, audiovisual equipment, layout, and decorations? Feel as if you were at the event itself to make sure everything is in place. Collaborate with the event planner and run through the checklist days before and during the event.
Reconfirmation of all logistics partners
It can be really frustrating when rental equipment or DJ/band suddenly does not show up, or when giveaways fail to print the correct texts. In a good event logistics management, the committed deliverables of suppliers and partners are reconfirmed periodically. This saves event planners a lot of headaches during the event.
On track committees/staff/volunteers
The closer the event day, the more short meetings should be conducted among your committees, staff, or volunteers. This will make them on board by being informed and motivated all the way. This will make your time a lot easier as each of them will be responsible for a specific area.
Is there already an ongoing promotional strategy being conducted? Depending on how large your event is, make sure you have a proper timing of press releases, calendar notices, and interviews prior the event. Make sure any expense is within your budget limit. If you are organizing a non-profit event, this will attract potential sponsors.
Always check your running actual expenses vis-à-vis your budget. Are the prices of hotel as well as food and beverages already negotiated? Work closely with your event planner so they will be aligned with your price structure. Rule of thumb when money comes in: set everything in writing. You will need a comprehensive review of your expenses versus budget in your expense report. There will be a lot of invoices especially for big events so be prepared for financial reconciliation.
Out-of-town VIPs or speakers
Corporate event planners always consider out-of-town VIPs or speakers for company events. The transportation (pick-up and transfers, car rentals) and accommodation (hotel reservation) of the guests should be considered as well as little things such as welcome totes.]]>
No doubt you had stressful days but at the end of the day the feeling was surely rewarding especially if you received positive feedback from the company employees or even the boss.
Then you find that your event management services are requested again to plan and cover a company’s next event. Will you use the same checklist from your previous event? Using the same template is extremely tempting as it makes planning any corporate event a lot easier. However, just like forcing the same dress on two different persons, no two corporate events are exactly alike.
There will always be several factors that set each one apart. Hence, there will be things you need to take into consideration when using your corporate event planning checklist.
Now, before rushing to those potential event sites and suppliers, here are a few tips to add to your checklist. As the saying goes, “You can never be too prepared!”
Reflect on your previous corporate event.
Did you make a post assessment session of the last corporate event you planned? How did it go in general? Were there a few unforeseen incidents in the manpower, logistics? Or were there mistakes that were actually your fault?
Mistakes happen, sometimes inevitably and other times our fault. It is a great learning experience for corporate event planners but an experience that should not be repeated. Hence, review your previous checklist and mark those that needed closer watch. You can also have a short survey for attendees to have a third-party insight on the outcome of your event logistics management.
Check for the need for outside consultants.
Check the manpower of your site options. Do they have adequate staff to handle the specifics of your event? Set criteria and clear them with the company. Do they meet the specifications of your current logistics?
Little things count.
Things that you normally do not think could come up during the event unfortunately do come up when you least expect it. Will some speakers or VIPs come from outside the country? You may need to secure car rentals and hotel pickups. Are all security and legal passes secured and available? The last thing you need is a security person or an administrative officer telling you that your event pass is not valid.
There are many things to consider in organizing large corporate events. To set your mind at ease, you can hire the professional services of corporate event planners. With their service, you can sit back and enjoy your next company event.]]>
Whether the event is a large concert or a simple team building, there will always be distinct steps to make it happen, which even the big boys of event management services follow. Simply follow the steps below and they will believe the successful event was pulled off by a pro:
GMS Global Management Services has been helping corporations design motivational programs that stand to produce the highest impact on the company’s bottom line. Beginning with defining the program objectives, followed by benchmarking standards, our approach is intended to yield the highest return on investment (ROI) for the participating company. While the critics of incentive travel argue that it is hard—if not impossible—to accurately measure the impact of a motivational incentive trip, our studies show that the impact on ROI is indeed relatively easy to measure provided the corporation established correct benchmarks at the outset. Based on our internal studies over 95% of our clients indicate that they feel their incentive trips have been effective in meeting the company’s goals—i.e., increasing ROI.
While some companies shy away from introducing incentive travel as an integral part of their motivation programs companywide, at GMS we deal with program design, management and tracking routinely. When we are engaged as an incentive service provider, we consider ourselves in partnership with our clients in identifying objectives and designing the right qualifying process to ensure the desired results are guaranteed. We view our role as helping our corporate clients design effective programs that result in measurably-enhanced motivation among participants while safeguarding the corporations ROI objectives.]]>
As a corporate events planner, you have to regularly deal with many stakeholders such as clients, vendors, suppliers, entertainers, and venue providers. You also must find a way to meet the demands of these people so that everything transitions smoothly to the day of the event. In order to meet everyone’s expectations, you must have: