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5 Tips For Planning an Amazing Corporate Banquet

So you’ve been placed in charge of planning your next corporate banquet. Here are 5 tips to make that corporate banquet planning go smooth and the event an amazing success and to have your boss smiling ear to ear at you for a job well done.

The first step to corporate event planning is to determine an approximate budget. Some considerations are location of event, meal expense, corporate entertainment expense, and awards or recognition costs. Keep in mind this is to be approximate so you have a rough idea of what management is at least minimally going to agree to spend. This can always be negotiated with them down the road once your ideas are in place.

The second step is to survey the people at your company to find great ideas of what they’d like to see or have at your upcoming corporate banquet. Simply send out a short email blast with a survey form asking your fellow employees what they’d like to see in the event.

Some typical categories for a survey are: banquet location, meal choices, corporate events or corporate entertainment. By soliciting ideas from all employees from the top to the bottom, you’ve given everyone a chance to take some ownership over the event, which can help boost attendance.

The third step is to select potential locations. Most banquet and convention centers will have package pricing with a variety of meal choices to choose from. Some companies have outdoor events that require a catering company to provide the meals onsite. Whether you choose an outdoor location such as a park or an indoor convention center, talk to past clients of the service providers to ensure you go with a location, and catering group that has a track record of successful events under their belt.

The fourth thing to procure is corporate event entertainment. Some ideas to consider are djs, bands, and live entertainers such as stand-up comedians, magicians, comedy hypnotists, or motivational speakers. Budgeting in this area can sometimes be tricky. Many planners think you can get by with spending a few hundred bucks on this area. Some will even make the disastrous mistake of trying to have all the corporate entertainment be done in-house. Nothing spells a bored, disappointed group of mumbling and upset employees than when a convention planner tries to skimp in this area. You should plan on spending at least $2000 – $5000 in this area to ensure you get quality entertainment.

Another mistake is to do the same thing every year – such as having the same dj or band every year. Try something new, such as a corporate comedian or a corporate comedy hypnotist – mix it up to help ensure you always keep your events fresh and exciting to attend.

To find a good live entertainer can also be a challenge – especially if you think you have to get the local guy or gal. You may have to bring an entertainer in from another state if there are no good local choices available. You must also make sure the entertainer is squeaky clean and politically correct. While you can’t always make everyone happy in every audience, do your best to find someone clean and funny. It can make your job simpler to work with an entertainment agency that has many years of helping companies just like yours bring good entertainers in for events.

The fifth and final tip is to make sure you present the choices for your event to your final budget approval team correctly. Never simply go in and pitch your ideas simply on price – especially if you think management may balk on the total event price. Always sell your ideas with the benefits to the company. This can be especially true when it comes to corporate entertainment. Common benefits for brining in good quality entertainment are: 1) an entertained crowd is a happy crowd, 2) exciting events boost attendance – because people like to go have fun 3) it’s a lot easier for management to make employees feel good about their jobs and companies, when they’ve seen that management actually cares enough about them by letting them know it’s not all about working together but they can actually play together too.

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