Our 'Top 5' tips for planning a business event
Never organised a business event before?
Many of our clients are first time event organisers so we’ve put together our top 5 things to think about before you get planning.
Designed to start you off on the right track and make executing your business event a breeze, keep reading to make sure you have a stress-free planning experience.
Tip #1 - Understand your guest list
Knowing a bit about your guests and what their requirements and preferences might be is almost as important as event basics like how many people are attending.
For example, mainly expecting males? Make sure your menu selection reflects that.
Tip #2 - Pick a date, but be flexible if you can
Once you have chosen your preferred date, it could take some time to find a suitable venue with availability that matches yours. Try and have several date options in mind so if your ideal venue isn’t available you'll have the flexibility to move. Obviously, the earlier you are able to book the more likely you'll be able to get your preferred date.
Pro tip: Tuesdays are the busiest day of the working week at Ellerslie, whereas Mondays are often the quietest. Something to keep in mind, especially if you’re booking last minute.
Tip #3 - Room to grow, or small and intimate?
Knowing total guest numbers is a big part of what size room you'll require, but you also need to think about what else you might need to pull off a successful event.
Do you want your guests seated at tables, or is theatre style seating enough? Do you need a large stage, a dancefloor, a networking space, or even an exhibition area?
All of these things take up different amounts of space, so before diving into venue hunting, make a list of the basics. The more you know about what you want at the beginning, the easier it will be to find a room that is the right size with the right specifications. Make sure you ask for a room plan, so you can visualise what your set up could look like and how everything will fit.
Tip #4 - Location, location, location
Take time to think about the little things that will make your guests experience a positive one. Unforseen stresses or challenges for attendees can alter their whole perception of your event. Do you need to be close to main highways? Do you need a hotel for out of town guests? Is free parking or public transport important? We've all experienced the angst associated with driving around and around, as the start time to the event gets closer and closer. Your guests will be eternally grateful for a well thought out venue!
Tip #5 - Work with your budget
Build a budget for your event and then request quotes from your various suppliers to lock in your costs pre-event. Our suggestion is always allow an additional 10% for unexpected incremental costs should you need it - that way when the boss asks for all attendees to be supplied with personalised conference shirts (#stylish) you'll have the finances to make it happen.
Pro tip: Your event account manager can help you source great contractors and some might have preferred supplier discounts.
Once all these things align and you find that venue to suit, make a provisional booking and you're on your way to a seamless event.
And don't forget toline up all your other suppliers and key attendee’s calendars before you sign the contract…it's best not to plan a whole event when the crucial guest is on holiday!
Guest writer: Kim Walsh, Executive Manager - Events & Projects at Ellerslie Event Centre.
Kim's an expert at events and has project managed for many of the weird and wonderful things that happen at Ellerslie. Most recently, the unique events she's be involved with are: Pop-up Globe, the temporary Lions Tour campervan park in 2017 (campervans as far as the eye could see!) as well as the multi-million dollar refurbishment of many of the Ellerslie Event Centre rooms.