November 1, 2012
Eight tips for planning a large corporate gala
One of the most difficult events to plan, even for a certified meeting planner, can be a corporate event gala. Smaller corporate event galas that have less than a hundred people can even pose a problem for most veteran event planners.
Galas have many different features that can add to the stress of planning the event such as sponsors, auctions and entertainment. In addition, dealing with vendors, meals, special accommodations, etc. can be a challenge as well. Here are some areas to think about that can make your event less stressful:
- You need to plan early! If you plan on renting a popular venue, make sure to secure it far in advance. Most places that are extremely unique can book up to a year in advance. By booking a venue early, you can put down your deposit and ensure that venue for the event.
- Always plan a very strict budget – though you must set extra cash outside your budget for unexpected expenses that may occur.
- Always make extra copies of everything. These can be of contracts, lists, seating charts, etc. You never know when one of these important documents could go missing.
- If you are sending out invitations, make sure to send them roughly eight weeks in advance. If the event is in high demand, or during a holiday, you may want to also send “Save the Date” cards up to six months in advance.
- Create a seating chart. Putting together a seating chart will be the best possible scenario to avoid faux pas in your seating choices.
- If you would like good attendance at your event, try to schedule it for earlier in the week and away from major holidays. Most people have plans during the weekends and travel during the holidays.
- Make sure to put together a list of all the equipment you will need, such as microphones, projectors, speakers, video, etc. Make sure to have a technology professional onsite who can fix any technical issues that may arise with any of the equipment.
- When planning any type of event, you should always have an emergency or contingency plan in case of a disaster: rain with an outdoor event, illness, or any other type of emergency that may come about.
Good luck with your corporate event gala! Few events instill such pride and excitement as these corporate functions, and they can have a positive impact on the moral of your clients for months to come.