Whether you are planning for a grand opening, a product launch, or a company-wide Christmas party, a comprehensive checklist is a must-have for a successful corporate event planning. You can hire corporate event planners so they can handle all the nitty gritty details of the logistics such as coordinating and communicating with all suppliers and vendors needed for your event. But if you are looking to amaze your boss by willing to take your hands on managing the event planning logistics, below is a perfect checklist of the things you have to consider:
Establish protocols with the event staff, speakers, and exhibitors
- Make sure everyone is on board with the event objectives. There should be no excuse for other people involved that they are not informed. Schedule preliminary meetings discussing actual milestones achieved versus planned. It is recommended to prepare meeting agenda and disseminate to staff prior to meeting. Also, secure in calendar all planned meetings and conference calls.
- Establish reporting procedures. You want to reduce headaches and frustrations by enforcing committees to report updates via e-mail at a specified time and message extremely important details via SMS. Emphasize on the importance of communication lines.
- Establish financial budget for everything and confirm with the company. You can base your negotiations on the limit for each cost area.
- During the event, some speakers may have cold feet or some staff may suddenly not know what to do. It is tempting for others to take control, but establish early on the authority levels to your staff and volunteers.
Review before and after the inventory of all equipment and supplies
- Prepare master schedule of specific items indicating the responsibility. It is better if the item has label to easily account ownership.
- Check which equipment needs to have backup. Extra microphone? Extra printer? It is always good to have a replacement if the equipment suddenly becomes defective.
- Communicate with the speakers and presenters and confirm if your current audiovisual system suffices their needs. If not, rent or order equipment as necessary.
Have an orderly financial reporting system.
- Depending on the size of your event, accounting for the expenses during and after the event can be overwhelming. There will be a lot of invoices from big amounts to small amounts covering receipts from snacks. Regardless of the size of the expense, they have to be properly accounted for. And if you did not establish a cost limit on each area, you might be surprised by how the little receipts accounted for an over-expense in one area. Always update a running balance of your total event cost. Aside from always being updated with the event expense versus budget, you can identify the cost drivers that are overspending. You can also make reasonable recommendations if you feel there is a need to update the budget.
Think like the audience.
- Try to envision yourself as the participant of the event. Will you like the food that you prepare? We have all become an event participant at some times of our life and food is one of the anticipated things in the event. Make sure you have a good variety of options to please the audience. Take time also to check for allergies or preference (vegetarian, seafood, etc.) from VIPs or keynote speakers.
- Basic things such as bathrooms must not be overlooked in event planning logistics. Are there no available restrooms within a few meters? Are the only available restrooms located outdoors? Make sure your ushers know the layout of the event and can easily direct participants.
- Is the goal of the event to socialize participants or learn new strategies? Check if your entertainment is aligned with the tone of the event. Appropriate sounds and emcees are just as important in setting the right mood of the event aside from lighting and decorations.