Corporate events are a way to show off a variety of different sides to your business. They can be fun, informative, or a way to show off a new product or major development in your company.  

But how do you plan a corporate event? We break down some easy ways to have a memorable one with our corporate event checklist below.  

Step 1: What Type of Corporate Event Should You Plan? 

The kinds of major company events can be broken down into seven different types: 

  • Holiday party  
  • Networking event 
  • Charity event 
  • Business dinner 
  • Product launch 
  • Seminar/professional development presentation 
  • Trade show 

Your decision on which type here will be the backbone of how the rest of your event is planned, so keep this in mind when making your choice. 

That’s not to say there aren’t more event types or that you couldn’t mix and match (for example, a charity event that’s also a holiday party). Don’t feel your event has to be pigeonholed into these types. 

Step 2: Come Up with a Theme 

Not all events need a theme, so this step is optional, but it can really help to add an extra layer of atmosphere to your event. Don’t feel you need to dive deep into creating an original theme though. Depending on your goals, having nicely set up seating and tables with some complementary colours could be all you need.  

Step 3: Compile a Guest List and/or Target Audience 

If you’re just planning on keeping the event employees only, this step is much more straightforward. Just make sure to account for each person within every department in your business when creating a guest list. 

Otherwise, consider how you’re going to reach your target audience, and what needs they are going to have once they arrive at your selected venue. This will set you up for narrowing down decisions with upcoming steps. 

planning a corporate event budget

Step 4: Put Together a Rough Budget 

Planning without a budget is planning to spend significantly more than you set out to! It doesn’t have to cover everything, but it should cover key items you’ll need for your event, like a venue space, seating, vendors, and any entertainment. 

Step 5: Select a Date 

Now it’s time to select a day and time for your event. It’s also good to plan with a couple of backup days in mind just in case weather conditions or other factors don’t make it possible to host. 

Step 6: Select a Venue 

In general, you should find a venue that has all the facilities your guests will need, enough room for the maximum number of guests, and any additional vendors or equipment that will take up space.  

Remember, you want your guests to feel comfortable, not crowded.  

microphone on stage in front of corporate audience

Step 7: Choose Vendors, a Caterer, and Equipment Rentals 

What you need at this point in your event planning will be highly specific to your event type and length. If you’re planning on a day-long event, or one that is close to a major mealtime, then you should consider getting a caterer so your guests aren’t distracted or feeling hungry.  

Otherwise, vendors and equipment rentals will depend on factors like any booths you want to have set up. If you’ll be having a presentation, audio equipment and speakers shouldn’t be forgotten. 

Step 8: Schedule All of the Logistics 

Now comes the hard part, scheduling with vendors and planning your event details and time slots. Don’t forget to allow for ‘buffer’ times between event presentations in case anything goes wrong. 

Also, remember to account for set-up and take-down times of any equipment you’ve rented for your event. 

Step 9: Set Up Marketing Campaigns 

This is another optional step if your corporate event is internal, but if not, marketing your event will be a major component when planning it.  

Consider the best platforms to reach your target audience and find ways to let them know on social media and through email newsletters. You could even reach out to some of your speakers to see if they could post it to their channels too to get even more reach.   

Step 10: Set Up Post-Event Cleanup and Send Out Surveys 

You likely don’t want to be the solitary person cleaning up your event, so plan for who and how your event will be cleaned up and any final arrangements with your venue for closing up. 

If you’re looking for feedback, make sure your guests know how and where to fill out any surveys you’ve set up. This way, you can find out how to make an even more awesome event for next time. 

And that’s it! You’ve successfully planned your corporate event. Viewing your event from the eyes of a guest will help you miss any details you might think of as well. As you can see, event planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task that fills you with dread by following our helpful steps 



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