When you have friends or family over, you do everything you can to make sure that they have a good time, right? The same formula should also apply to the planning of a corporate event.
To help you make your next event a real success, here are the top 5 elements that should not be forgotten.
1. The greeting
Don’t miss the opportunity to impress your guests upon their arrival! The greeting must be impeccable. Remind yourself that it is the first point of contact as your guests begin their night.
Make sure that at least one person or more (depending on the size of the event) is visibly placed at the entrance of the room to warmly welcome the guests.
What if you don’t personally know all of the guests? Quick tip: visit their Twitter page or LinkedIn profile, or think to include a picture of them beside their name on the guestlist. Of course, you might not be able to remember all of their names, but if you can manage to welcome a few guests in a personalized way, that is a good start! For the other guests, have a smile on your face and be cordial; it is the best practice.
2. The cocktail reception
The Happy Hour formula is very trendy. Generally, people arrive directly after work and do not have time to grab a bite to eat before the event.
On the invitation, make sure to write what type of food will be served so that everyone knows what to expect. You don’t want your guests to starve! To help you out, here is an overview of what each type of cocktail reception should include based on what is designated in the invitation:
- Welcome cocktail: includes 4 hors d'œuvres per guest.
- Partial cocktail dinner: includes 8 hors d’oeuvres per guest.
- Cocktail dinner: includes 17 hors d’oeuvres per guest.
For beverages, if you are serving wine, provide both white and red and count about 2 to 3 glasses per person. For beer, count on 2 bottles per person. Don’s forget to have water bottles, soft drinks and/or juice on hand.
A few tips:
- If you have a small budget, think of finding sponsors. You would be surprised to know how enthusiastic restaurants and suppliers can be in return for some exposure to potential new clients. Otherwise, using stands or doing it buffet style can be cheaper all while being enjoyable.
- If your event is during a warm season, the BBQ formula could be a great choice!
- Always think of offering vegetarian, vegan and allergen-free options – those who are concerned will greatly appreciate it.
3. The ambiance
Ambiance is crucial for any event. Besides finding a unique theme, don’t forget the music and the lighting. Here is the number one tip: keep in mind that all of these elements have to make a whole.
For example, if you are planning a festive evening where you wish to have your guests dancing, make sure that you have the following elements: music that fits accordingly, a dance floor, bar service and festive lighting.
If you are planning a formal awards ceremony, you will need to think of an uncluttered decor so people can easily get around. Having tables that are pre-assigned, as well as lighting that is bright enough will help guests to properly see the awards being presented.
4. The amenities
- Access: To make the arrival of your guests easier, clearly write the following things on the invitation: the event’s address, nearby metro stations and bus lines, as well as available parking spots. Make sure directions are clear so that your guests can easily find your event’s location. If possible, reserve a few parking spots for the guests of honour or those with limited mobility.
- Connection: Make sure that the venue has access to high-speed Wi-Fi, especially if you want your guests to post content during the evening!
- Coat check: Offer a coat check service for your guests. If it rains, think of welcoming them outside with a big umbrella.
5. The acknowledgments
Every event requires the participation of many people, such as guests of honour, sponsors or volunteers. Plan a moment in the evening’s program to thank them.
If you do not have the opportunity to speak to the guests to give these thank-yous, opt for a projector, a sign at the entrance or a section at the bottom of the invitation to give them their due. Please, do not forget them!
For additional advice or to add a creative touch to your next event, contact us!