Corporate Event Planning Guide: Los Angeles
Planning a corporate event can be a monumental task. Whether it’s a conference, an industry summit, or simply corporate lunch catering, there is no doubt there are a lot of moving parts. That means as a corporate event planner, you need killer organizational skills along with sharp attention to detail. Not only that, you have to be able to see the big picture as well, so that you can effectively communicate the vision to staff, vendors, and the venue. The truth is that everything runs more smoothly when everyone is on the same page and can envision the end result. But how do you do that? How can you plan a successful event, communicate the vision, and juggle all those parts successfully without pulling your hair out in the process? Keep reading to learn our top tips for everything from organic catering to entertainment!
Map Out Your Timeline
Most events, whether corporate or private, have a lot of the same elements. Things in corporate event planning that aren’t that different from other types of event planning. These include budgeting, mapping out the details, creating a timeline. The best way is to start is simply start. You can begin with organizing your task list and writing down all of the things and details you can possibly think of that you will need to address, along with estimated timelines for completing those tasks.
Create your budget, figure out how many attendees you expect, choose a date and venue for the event. Then start plugging in different elements and tasks that are specific to your corporate event and go from there. Set milestone dates for major things that need to be completed so that as the big day approaches, you know everything is on track and headed for a smooth execution. Set dates for when registration begins and ends, when insurance policies need submitting, and dates for obtaining things like promotional items and pushing out marketing media.
Budget Your Resources
You don’t want to spend any more than you have to, especially if this event is intended to turn a profit or raise money for a charity. So, it’s important to decide on a budget before you do anything else and allocate how much money goes where. For instance, how much are you willing to spend for entertainment? How much are you willing to spend hiring guest speakers? How much are you willing to spend on corporate catering services? How much do you have in the pot for location and venue? You also need to consider decor, equipment rentals, and any other odds and ends.
You have to budget for all of these things and plan ahead how much you want to spend because it makes it that much easier to hunt down venues that fit, caterers that fit, and other vendors that fit. Not to mention, corporate budgets can often be a lot stiffer than the budget for say a bar mitzvah or a wedding. You might have more money to play with but your boundaries are a lot tighter, and you have to account for every single dollar spent. Despite that, if you know your Los Angeles catering budget is only going to be $5,000 then that’s a start. In event planning, any start is better than no start.
Enlist Funding Help
If you haven’t considered having sponsors, now is a great time to start thinking about it. Sponsors can help reduce costs and even make your event more exciting, depending on what kind of services they offer. Write down who you plan to approach for potential sponsorship, how the partnership can be a win-win, and the final date you need confirmation by to include them in the event sponsorship roster.
Estimate Your Number of Attendees
Once you know your financial budget, you can move on to figuring out how many guests you expect at this event. Corporate event planning in Los Angeles can be small and intimate, or large and in charge. But sticking with our previous example, if you know that your catering budget is $5000 and you expect 150 guests, then that means you have to feed everyone for roughly $33 a plate. That at least gives you a starting point for hiring the best caterer for the job and it helps your caterer immensely in providing menu options tailored to your budget and needs.
Get Your Team Together
Any Los Angeles corporate event planner worth their salt knows they can’t do it all themselves. Creating and running a successful event takes a team of people, industry experts, volunteer worker bees, sponsors and exhibitors, caterers, entertainers, tech people, creative people, media people, and more. As head bee, it’s up to you to begin delegating tasks in these areas. Maybe that means bringing on an event manager, making subcommittees of event organizers to handle different aspects of the event, or just means delegating like a boss. The bottom line is that there are way too many pieces of the puzzle for one person to handle on their own. It takes a team that is committed and united in the vision and making it happen.
At the end of the planning process phase, you should have at least a rough timeline of tasks that are either in progress or upcoming so that you can begin delegating the work it will take to put this event together. You should also have a timeline of how you expect everything to go the day of the event, so that there is flow and continuity and no moments that are stagnant or stalled out. You can rearrange those tasks as needed as the big day approaches, but always have a final cutoff date for when all plans are now set in stone and nothing on the calendar or timeline changes. Really, corporate event planning often boils down to getting your list together and checking things off. Everything flows from there.
It’s just that simple, and just that complicated.