Holding a successful corporate event can have many benefits, from the obvious, such as team building and problem solving, to the not so obvious, such as increased productivity and morale. But what’s the best way to go about this sometimes daunting task?

Define your goals, e. g. team building
Before you think about the event itself, you need to identify what you need to achieve from it. You may need to reward your employees for a job well done, or perhaps have a fun day to increase staff motivation. Several events are designed to enhance skills such as team building, problem solving or leadership, and most events might be a combination of fun and learning. Compile a list of goals in order of importance so you can stay focussed on the aims of the day when deciding which event to run.

Organise internally or out-source to an event management company?
The next decision to make is whether to organise the event internally or to out-source the event to an event management or training company. Organising a corporate event internally is time consuming and costly, but it could be given as a development task to suitable staff. One of the pitfalls of organising corporate events yourself, is using an inexperienced facilitator, as they may not be capable of keeping the event on track or preventing things getting out of hand. Not only could an event management company provide an experienced facilitator, there is also the advantage of having an independent presence (or referee in any instances). Several companies have been shocked at the amount of time organising an event actually takes, from designing the event, sourcing the venue, booking the venue, sourcing and organising the equipment, preparing the venue, sorting out transport, organising the food and refreshments and obtaining public liability insurance, to paying the bills to various companies. An event management company will quote you one price covering everything, which leaves you free to enjoy the event, rather than worry about it.

Choose your event
So you know what you need from an event, and you know whoever will be organising it, but what exactly will you be doing on the day? The event needs to be chosen carefully to make certain you meet your desired goals whilst getting the most from the participants. Consider your audience. If one of your goals is to give people new experiences then you may need to run a very creative event for IT people or a chaotic event for auditors, but otherwise you may not get the best out of the staff if they are feeling way out of their depth and uncomfortable. Event management companies will offer a list of events to suit your goals and people, leaving you to choose the most appropriate one. They will also tailor events to your requirements, and will have run these events many times before, so you might be sure of the outcome. If you are organising the event yourself, you need to make certain it does actually give you the required benefits. It is all too simple to get carried away and an idea, and later realise it changed so much that the event didn’t achieve many of the original goals. If you are organising it internally, you’ll also need a practice run, preferably at the actual venue, to iron out any practical problems before the big day.

Analyse the outcome
Particularly if the event had goals other than just having fun, it is important to analyse the outcome. You, or the event management company, can obtain feedback from the participants in the form of questionnaires. You also need to consider the less tangible benefits from the event, for example, are the team now gelling better together, is productivity up due to a better team morale, or has sickness reduced? Think about what you can learn from the feedback, such as understanding your staff better, making changes to the workplace/procedures, or shaping future events. An event management company will commonly help with this analysis if required, and even facilitate follow-on sessions if necessary.

Good luck with your event!