When planning a corporate event, there are a lot of moving parts to consider – how much seating is needed; how many speakers are presenting; what are their A/V needs; what should we serve for dinner that showcases the local flavor? Amidst all the questions you will need to answer, there are 5 key steps to corporate event planning. Follow this guide to make your next event at the Oxford Conference Center a success (after all, you’ve chosen the perfect venue; now you just need some smart, strategic planning!).
Do your homework early to book your preferred vendors before they are taken. Research venues, hotels, and caterers far in advance to ensure availability and get on their schedules. As the event gets closer you can finalize other details as needed. For example, you can confirm the caterer before deciding on the exact menu. Arrange hotel blocks early to guarantee room availability and low rates for your guests. We recommend staying at Tru by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton or TownePlace Suites Marriot for your trip to Oxford. Each hotel services the Oxford Conference Center and is only a two-minute walk from our front doors.
It is important to consider what kind of experience you want your guests to have. A clear vision of your event will help you focus on how to organize floorplans, the event itinerary, and decide on entertainment and excursions. Consider venue location, cost, and capacity to ensure both attendees, presenters, and vendors are comfortable. Keep in mind access to hotels and parking too. Guests will appreciate convenient access to these necessities. At the Oxford Conference Center, our parking lot holds 300 vehicles and is always free.
3. Branding the Event
Branding your event helps communicate what guests can expect to experience. In addition to building excitement, marketing is crucial for increasing registrations and distributing important information throughout the event. Utilize multiple communication channels available to you, like your website, social media accounts, and email. Creating an event-specific page on your website or mobile app provides a condensed way to share key information quickly and conveniently. Do not forget the power of print, either! On-site brochures and signage help guests navigate the venue space, monitor the event schedule, and follow up on topics of interest.
Corporate event planning requires thoughtful coordination between the organizer and vendors. Be sure to connect early with the meeting facility’s event and catering manager. Communicate any itinerary changes to the venue so they can be as prepared as possible for your event. For example, the venue staff can ensure bathrooms are cleaned and refreshments are refilled before high-demand times such as breaks. It is also beneficial to share details of the itinerary and event space with exhibitors so they can prepare their presentation materials accordingly.
After the event, your job is not done yet. Post-event evaluations will help you learn what worked well and where there is room to improve. Survey your guests after the event to gather valuable first-hand feedback about the venue, speaker line-up, amenities, hotel, and communications. Review your budget expenditures to gain insight into your most worthwhile costs and opportunities to streamline your budget. Evaluating your event is the first step in planning an even better event next time.
Our team at the Oxford Conference Center is here to make your next corporate event one to remember. Whatever your vision, we can help customize your event to meet your unique needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.