​​ The Ultimate Corporate Event Planning Checklist | Ultimate Experience

, Published by Endre Rex-Kiss

Ask anyone in the events industry, and they’ll tell you that the key to success is in planning, organisation, and predicting problems and issues way, way in advance. Events - whether big or small - by their very nature require a huge amount of forethought, and for those new to the industry, organising an event can sometimes seem to be a pretty daunting mountain to climb, and one which looms ever higher the closer you get to the big day. If you want to ensure success when planning a corporate event, we’d strongly advise putting together a checklist as early as possible, and sticking to it as closely as you can. This way, you can tick off the jobs you’ve done, and keep an eye on how the organisation of your event is coming along.

Here at Ultimate Experience, we know exactly how important effective corporate event planning is, which is why we’ve put together a concise event planning checklist for you to follow, which is going to make sure your event goes off with a real bang!

18 Months Before Your Event

Goals & Objectives


This might sound like an obvious point, but it’s an important one. What is your event trying to achieve? What would you like your delegates and guests to take from your event? This is hugely important when it comes to corporate event organisation - once you’ve figured this bit out, you can work backwards and make everything else fit seamlessly.

Guest List


Start thinking about the sort of attendees and speakers you want to attract, and how you can get their attention. How many guests can you expect? Where are they coming from? What are their needs and requirements? These are all important questions, even this far in advance.

Master Schedule


You probably have a good idea of what you want your corporate event to include, but now’s the time to sketch out on paper a rough idea of a schedule and a timetable. Trust us, you’re going to be making some changes along the way, but that’s kind of the point - it gives you something to play with and work around, and it’ll evolve as the time nears.

Important date or concept for busy day being overworked

15 Months Before The Event

Press & Media Coverage


It’s really important to begin developing a promotional strategy for your corporate event well in advance. Get some press releases out there, and make sure you’re reaching press avenues which are in line with your target audience.

PR


It’s never too early to start working on PR for an event, and once you’ve got a good idea of what your event is going to look and feel like, and you’ve got a time and place locked down, you can start delegating jobs to your public relations team, and making sure your website is fully updated and your social media strategies are all in place and ready to go.

Keynote Speakers


If you haven’t done this already, you need to ensure your keynote speakers are booked no later than at this point. Diaries get filled up quickly - don’t miss your opportunity to get your experts on board, as these guys are your big selling point!

12 Months Before The Event

Review Contracts


Most corporate events have a lot of contracts to review. Venue contracts, caterers, tech hire, transport providers… this is just the beginning. Whether you require translation services or florists, branded t-shirts or private planes, you need to make sure everyone’s on board and all contracts are written up correctly.

Create Brochure


Your brochure and other key bits of promotional material are going to be vital when it comes to generating buzz, and giving your guests an idea of who and what to expect at your event. Ensure it’s made at least a year in advance, as this will give you time to perfect it, publish it, and get it into the right hands.

10 Months Before The Event

Compile All Activities And Topics Covered


Ten months before the big day, your master copy of that schedule should be written up. This is going to give you a chance to refine the theme of your corporate event, and will help you highlight certain aspects of it in your promotional efforts. Talking of which...

Continue Promotion


Now’s the time to ramp up your promotional material and exposure. Use tools and apps to help you focus your advertising, and start disseminating hashtags and social media material to reach a targeted audience.

People discussing an event planning checklist

Review Your Budget


At this point, it’s always a great idea to review your budget, and make sure you’re on track and not running away with yourself. Which aspects of your event need to be trimmed down? Which could do with more spending? Now’s the time to decide, and ensure you’re staying within your means.

8 Months Before Your Event

Confirm Final Program


Up until now, you’ve given yourself plenty of flexibility regarding the running order of your event. However, with eight months to go, you really need to know exactly what will be happening and when, so you can draw up a final program and arrange your workshops, seminars and keynote speakers perfectly, as to avoid clashes and errors on the day.

Implement A Registration Reporting System


You need to know who has registered and confirmed their attendance, in order to get a clear idea of how successful your promotional efforts have been so far. A registration reporting system will give you the numbers you need, and will allow you to keep track of who’s going to be there on the day.

4 Months Before Your Event

Assemble Registration Packs


Here’s a perfect example of a time-consuming task that all too many event organisers leave until the last minute. Get your registration packs collated in advance - four months in advance - and you and your colleagues will be slapping each other on the back when your event rolls around.

Assign On-Site Staff Responsibilites


So much stress at events comes from staff members not being entirely sure what they’re supposed to be doing, or who they’re supposed to report to. By organising this well ahead of the big day, you’ll leaving no margin for error and vastly improving the running of your event.

2 Months Before The Event

Fix Your Catering Schedule


What’s the most sure-fire way to ensure attendee satisfaction when you’re planning a corporate event? Making sure your catering is as perfect as it can be, and totally hitch-free! Giving this extra attention a couple of months before the event is never, ever, ever a bad idea - trust us on this!

Security And Risk Management


Now that you know what’s happening at your event and when, it’s time to start getting your security and risk assessments down. Knowing what to do should something go wrong is a key part of events management, and it’s the kind of thing you simply can’t afford to put off until the last minute.

One The Day Of The Event

Confirm The Pickup Of All Supplies


On the day, you’re going to be up early and (hopefully) feeling less panicked than you would had you not followed this checklist. What’s the first thing you need to do? Get on the phone, and make sure all the supplies are on their way, or in their right place. Don’t leave anything to chance - not everyone is as reliable or as organised as you are!

Coffee break at conference meeting.  Business and entrepreneurship.

Brief Your Staff


On the day, you’re going to be up early and (hopefully) feeling less panicked than you would had you not followed this checklist. What’s the first thing you need to do? Get on the phone, and make sure all the supplies are on their way, or in their right place. Don’t leave anything to chance - not everyone is as reliable or as organised as you are!

Arrange Daily Invoice Reviews


There’s no getting away from paperwork, even on days like this! Make sure your daily invoice reviews are arranged, and ensure you give yourself some time (or delegate properly the task) to guarantee everyone gets everything they need.

In Conclusion

Corporate event planning takes time, effort and plenty of planning… but there’s no feeling quite so satisfying as watching everything run smoothly on the big day, with your delegates mingling, your workshops hitting all the high notes, and your social media filling up with positive feedback.

A corporate event planning checklist such as this one is a vital tool to ensure that you achieve your goals, and don’t miss anything important. Want to know more? Then check out Ultimate Experience - industry leaders in event organising and planning.

We hope you’ve found this checklist useful. However, as always if you feel we’ve missed anything, or have any experiences of your own to share when it comes to corporate event planning, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.