Life is a special occasion

Corporate Event Tips : Budget and Venue

The focus on this blog tends to fall on weddings and social events, however. Lauren Daversa Events is a full service event planning company and this includes corporate events. A company might enlist an independent planner to organize any number of their functions, including: business meetings, cocktail parties, conferences, client appreciation parties, grand openings, holiday functions, luncheons and dinners, product launches, seminars, team-building events or trade shows.

Planning a corporate event is similar to - but not exactly the same as - planning social events and weddings. Many components are the same, including the planners objective, which is to execute the project for the company while at the same time maintain a practical focus and keep the company on a realistic path to their goal. If I had to pick two significant areas that will ensure a successful corporate event, I'd pick budget and venue.

Everyone wants their event to be as nice and as non cookie-cutter as possible for what their budget can afford. A corporate planner will be able to create a realistic budget for any event. The key work here is re-al-is-tic. If the budget is $25 a head, guess what: the client should not expect a steak and lobster luncheon at an oceanside venue with fire breathing magicians and an artist painting custom mehndi designs for their employee appreciation party. Be realistic, listen to your planner's suggestions and accept the budget.

Once the budget is set, it's time to move onto securing the venue. Again, many companies make the mistake of having to host their event at a Ritz Carleton or Four Seasons. There is nothing wrong with a 250 person dinner at any Ritz Carleton or Four Seasons, unless you are working with a restricted budget. Let's put it this way...for a luncheon at a hotel such as the Ritz or the Four Seasons, plan on spending $40 per head, plus service charge and tax for a salad. Then add on valet, room fee, AV charges...yada-yada-yada. Again, listen to the planner who is educated in their regional venues. They will get you the best deal at the appropriate place for your event, or otherwise, the most bang for your buck.

There are a lot of companies looking to take advantage of today's economic situation. Don't be fooled by the sound of something that is too good to be true. If you are a company who has hired a planner because they have promised you the world on a silver platter, be wary. Numbers don't lie, and in the end you will either pay more or being greatly disappointed with the event. Likewise, if you are a planner hired by a demanding company with unrealistic expectations, be wary. You will either be running around like a nut trying to accomplish the unattainable, or potentially tarnishing your reputation.

Photo courtesy of Corporate Events Barcelona

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