2018 Event
Management
Guide

Transform your events, engage your people and grow your brand. See how below!

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Corporate Event Management Guide

What is
Corporate Event
Management?

Corporate event management encompasses every aspect that goes into materializing the large meeting, conference or convention. This loaded term covers the entire process, from strategizing the corporate event’s ultimate purpose to the implementation and execution of powerful experiential communications platforms.

Everyone – from event planners to AV interns to event production agencies – plays a key role in the creation and execution of an effective corporate event. This guide seeks to explain how every aspect of corporate event management works in unison. Ultimately, corporate event planners seek to create a moment that truly impacts an audience.

With over 30 years of experience in the corporate events industry, CPG Agency uses design thinking to address the fast pace of changing event trends and client needs. One aspect remains constant, however: corporate events are one of the greatest assets a brand can use to benefit their business.

 

There is no better time than annual conferences and internal business meetings to rally your stakeholders, educate them on new products and brand purpose, or reward them for hard work and dedication.

 

Mix all three of these together successfully, you’ll foster employee engagement and increase productivity, which ultimately grows business.

Nevertheless, corporate event management requires full-service, creative attention. To ensure you’re not just creating a moment but also a movement, consider hiring a seasoned corporate event planning agency that can help your team implement a solid event management strategy.

Event management services consist of four central components:

four rings of corporate event planning event production attendee engagement and event production companies

Each event management component serves as its own piece of the puzzle. For all of them to work together as one, it’s essential to understand each piece individually.

This page (which can be downloaded and shared as a PDF) serves as a comprehensive guide to everything from corporate event planning objectives to internal communications to event production elements that bring your conference to life.

When your creative event strategy is threaded throughout the entire experience, you’ll engage attendees in a whole new way. And that’s where the real magic happens.

The Role of
Event Production
Companies

It’s a beautiful sight to witness a successful corporate event unfold.

With proper execution, you’ll maximize ROI, solidify your key message and ultimately build stronger brand advocates. To produce an immersive brand experience that checks all these boxes, strategic event planning featuring internal communication strategies must take place. Full service event production companies, like CPG Agency, tackle everything from creative direction to onsite execution to cascading the message beyond the event.

audience member laughing as speaker tells them a joke

Dedicated event agencies must go far beyond lights and sound to deliver a flawless production that showcases a one-of-a-kind experience based around your brand’s business objectives. It must transform those business objectives into people objectives.

Whether you’re struggling with attendee engagement or the non-attendee experience, event agencies specialize in crafting and delivering content that ensures your brand’s story sticks. They partner with you to design a strategy that will set, measure and achieve your event KPIs to prove your event’s ROI.

It’s no surprise why corporate event planners continue to turn to event management partners year after year to elevate their annual conference. Full service event production companies know what it takes to produce a strategic, engaging experience.

With an extensive list of event capabilities, an event management partner will design the extra mile to ensure your business meeting gets creative and gets results. When the right event planner and event agency team up, the partnership can create “Belief Through Experience.”

Corporate
Event Planning
Strategies

Large conferences and annual conventions are a critical business investment.

For corporate event planners – whether you’re the Head of Global events or the CEO of the business – the reputation of these events lies in the palm of your hands. No pressure, right?

A lot of time and money goes into corporate event production, so you need to make sure you’re getting out what you’re putting in.

Before you ever start developing your experiential platform, you need a strong plan of attack. Event planners typically develop these strategies alongside their production partner during a discovery process.

 

During the discovery phase, agency teams and production vendors identify specific goals (for attendees and the business) and map out creative solutions to the complex challenges that may arise.

 

As you create the corporate event framework for your next conference or business meeting, keep these factors in mind to ensure its success: Set Clear Achievable Event KPIs and Power the Experience with Flawless Event Logistics.

 

Setting Your Clear, Achievable Event KPIs

For your next corporate event to be a success, set clear, realistic goals. These will function as the WHY for your event.

Every single decision will stem from your event’s purpose, and having a unified purpose makes every single decision a little easier to make.

Because of this, identifying the purpose must come before budgets, venues, speakers, and everything else.

Having distinguished goals in place allows you to craft an attendee experience that targets your specific outcome.

When defining event goals and objectives, keep these two overused but fiercely important buzzwords in mind: KPIs and ROI.

Hitting your KPIs is a must. Corporate event planners must gauge their event’s success with measurable factors presented to the C-suite. Metrics like attendance rates and app participation are often used to gauge the health and effectiveness of an event.

Conducting a survey is the most direct way to measure your event’s ROI. Allowing folks to give anonymous, open feedback gives your team a greater understanding of how to make your events even more powerful moving forward.

Once these key elements are in place, the hardest part is over. Now it’s all about weaving each aspect of your event into those key objectives. With all that in mind, we can begin to map out the attendee experience…

 

Powering the Experience with Flawless Event Logistics

When you reach the event logistics phase of the event management process, it’s time to breakdown the specifics of your event. Logistics will impact a lot of the decisions you make, so it’s important to get them figured out as soon as possible.

Choosing a city that’s easy to convene your key stakeholders and identifying a venue that can seat everyone comfortably is it’s own unique challenge. This is where you might consider utilizing some non-traditional strategies to get your attendees extra involved.

You’ll also need to utilize nearby novelties like rooftop bars, historical sites and art galleries to keep attendees immersed in the experience.

These people need to eat too! Reviewing previous data to forecast your catering needs is an essential task.

attendees registering for an event

These are just the tip of the logistical iceberg that stands between you and your event’s goals.

Along with travel and hotels, event registration requires the logistical expertise to ensure a seamless guest experience. By setting up your registration system months in advance, you can boost pre-event engagement and get a jumpstart on marketing opportunities.

While all this is going on, don’t forget each part of this attendee experience should be fun! For instance, you can get creative with your on-site registration areas by incorporating your event theme into the sign-in desks.

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” If you don’t take the time to set up a centralized objective, the rest of the process will be extraordinarily difficult – and your event will suffer for it.

Confront this problem head on by collaborating with your strategic event partners and unifying them around your shared goal. With all the major pieces in place and the logistical end covered, it’s time for the fun part…

Immersive
Corporate Event
Production
Tactics

With the logistical groundwork in the rearview, it’s finally time to bring your annual event to life.

But “event production” is more than just lights and sounds.

Your creative direction must be threaded throughout the entire experience. From the big stage, where the “wow” moments happen, to the breakout sessions, where the real learning takes place.

Every element of the attendee experience plays into event production and carries the theme and messaging forward. Congruence is key here. Without it, your event might not logically flow from the attendee’s perspective.

And at the end of the day, the attendee’s perspective is the most important factor, isn’t it?

Focus on these key production elements to create an unforgettable experience for your attendees.

 

Onsite Event Production

Why do we always talk about judging a book by its cover? Or how about the importance of a firm handshake to move up the corporate ladder? It’s because first impressions matter.

In the conference and convention world, there is no other place where this rings more true than the general session. Your general session’s production sets the stage (forgive the pun) for your entire attendee experience.

wide shot behind crowd gathered for event featuring a race car

Your event’s production better be something that makes your guests say “ooh” and “ahh” or else recapturing their attention will be an uphill battle from the get-go.

To create that “wow” factor, your on-site event production needs to impress. This is done by weaving your brand and the theme across all creative, visual elements of the event, including the stage, signage, cocktail hours, entertainment, video, etc.

These on-site elements are extremely important because they physically and emotionally integrate the theme with your assets. Successful execution is critical because it all but ensures an immersive experiential event.

When attendees convene for general session, the most important component of your event, the plenary’s scenic is the first thing they’ll see when they walk through the doors. It’s the perfect opportunity to set the tone right from the get go.

Scenic design typically consists of five main elements:

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Backdrops

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Stage Sets

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Graphics

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Banners

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Lighting

As you go through the creative design process, keep your branding and theming consistent across each scenic element because it will tie everything together and reinforce your brand’s message in an unforgettable way.

While general sessions may be where all the excitement happens, breakout sessions drive results, a.k.a. learning and ROI.

Breakout sessions bring your brand message home, so it’s important to not only set clear objectives of what you want each session to accomplish, but find creative ways to share it. With proper preparation, execution and follow-up, breakouts are instrumental in providing attendees with information they can actually use.

Along with the creative elements, your on-site production can serve as a great transition tool in-between sessions and presentations.

To aid in the flow of your annual gathering, videos and entertainment break up the schedule while still keeping your audience active and engaged. As with everything, these creative tactics must tie in to the key message of the conference.

three bespoke women celebrating a victory as the hosts look on

When it comes to engaging your stakeholders, award ceremonies are one of the best ways to do so. These demonstrate in a meaningful way that you appreciate their contributions to the brand’s success.

And if your brand is successful and thriving, there’s always an excuse to celebrate. If you start and end the planning process with your people in mind, the entire experience is sure to leave a lasting impact.

With the right event management agency, your corporate production elements will bring your brand and your audience to life and tell an emotionally-charged story that optimizes the attendee journey.

You’re past telling them – it’s time to show them. This creative direction threads across your entire attendee journey.

Attendee
Engagement
at Corporate
Events

Engagement is the icing on the hypothetical event management process cake.

The ultimate goal of any conference or business meeting should always be to engage your audience. Attendance rates and bigger budgets all mean nothing if your guests don’t get lost in the experience in spades.

It’s really quite simple: your audience needs to be primed with a great experience before they can give your key message the attention and effort it requires.

If you can key your attendees in to the heart of your message – if you can facilitate full blown immersion into your event – you will create Belief through Experience.

Attendee Engagement ensures that the event’s main message is driven home. Luckily for you, there are many ways to maximize engagement on and off-site.

 

Attendee Engagement

Normal companies host normal events where they make the attendee the focus of the theme and that’s that. Great companies, on the other hand, give their attendees control of their own destiny. 

Throughout the entire event management process, your attendees should not only be a focus, but also have a say in the decisions.

Before, during and long after the event, an engaged audience is a learning audience, so include them early by creating an Engagement Council that puts their stamp on the experience.

After all, attendee engagement is a major KPI when it comes to event success. From networking events to breakout sessions, there are always opportunities to implement immersive engagement tactics to fire up your audience.

four event attendees standing and enjoying conversation over breakfast

For some, the idea of having to network at a large conference is enough to make any introvert crawl out of their skin. But for extroverts, it’s where they thrive.

To cultivate a shared experience, kick these collisions off with icebreakers that make networking possible for every type of attendee.

Team building activities should be tailored to meet the needs of your audience. For example, if your attendees enjoy being active, you could schedule a group run or hike. If they enjoy giving back to the community, you could build bikes for children in youth clubs or clean up a local park.

As long as you’re connecting your people to a purpose, your brand will be one step closer to achieving its goals.

With today’s society engulfed in technology, we forget just how powerful the human connection can be. Sometimes all it takes is one word or conversation to inspire action amongst your people.

Tech is still an extremely powerful engagement tool that should be incorporated into your itinerary whenever possible. However, balance is crucial in this regard. To create a well-rounded event experience, it’s important to have a good blend of traditional and digital engagement activities.

 

Digital & Technological Engagement

CPG Agency has seen attendee engagement results skyrocket whenever interactive technology trends are implemented into the corporate event planning.

When it comes to can’t-miss event technology, these main three each play an important role.

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Artificial
Intelligence

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Augmented
Reality

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Virtual
Reality

a bunny-eared crowd watches a speaker on stage in front of a large screen

By creating experiences that are immersive and stimulating, this powerhouse trio has completely transformed the way brands are connecting with their people.

With the perfect balance of education, interactivity and fun, this physical escape engages your audience in new, disruptive ways.

Mobile event apps help create and track engagement and participation. They serve as a conveniently-located map of your event, helping attendees navigate where to go and who to see. By utilizing must-have app features, such as scheduling and push notifications, you can leverage ROI and save big money.

Bring in outside speakers who are thought leaders in your space to help rally attendees around your top goals and priorities.

They don’t always even have to be in the room. With live, two-way video communication playing a big role in today’s events, you can easily bring in the experts anytime, anywhere and at a fraction of the cost.

By transforming your audience from passive attendees into true, interactive participants (literally and figuratively), these technology trends have become a real game changer at corporate events.

 

Internal Communications Strategy

An internal communications strategy helps counter audience disengagement by including them at each step of the attendee journey.

If you want to excite and engage your attendees before they even walk through the doors, you need to generate some pre-event buzz.

two people smiling at an ipad

Start with some teaser content or social media campaigns that garner user submissions. Gradually unveil your theme, give them a taste of what’s to come and begin building a sense of intrigue. Do this frequently and consistently if you want your audience to give enough of a damn to register way ahead of time.

Once the event is over, the party is just getting started. You need to make sure your attendees return home with what they learned at the conference.

This is where your post-event strategy comes into play. Revisit the key aspects of your conference by repackaging content in fun and unique ways. Send it out to them in email campaigns, push notifications to their mobile apps or maybe even fire up another social media campaign.

Do whatever you gotta to keep your audience buzzin’ about your event for months. 

You also can’t forget about the non-attendee experience. Just because they can’t physically be there, doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of the experience. Live streaming on social media and incorporating live, videocast Q&A sessions will make them part of the conversation, all in real-time.

Outside of the event, you can include the non-attendee with other immersive tactics that cascade the event theme to the frontline stakeholders who impact the customer experience.

All of these elements of Attendee Engagement power the event experience and take root as early as that first discovery meeting with your event management partner.

Even with mind-blowing event production elements, if it doesn’t serve the purpose of elevating your brand message, attendees won’t connect with it. Ward off the confusion by partnering with an event production partner that knows how to design events that create brand advocates and inspire action.

Putting
the Pieces
Together

To produce an event that’s engaging and memorable, every piece of the event management puzzle need to work together. Each of these components is incredibly intertwined. From choosing a third-party provider to beginning the corporate event planning process that ultimately maps out the production and engagement strategies.

Your event needs to be fun, educational, and engaging all in one. Do this well, and your conference will generate engaged employees eager to put their ideas into action and drive results for your brand. Turning a 3-4 day event into a yearlong mission is no easy feat.

 

You have to create
“Belief Through Experience.”

 

CPG Agency has spent over 30 years in the event management and production realm. Our team’s capabilities extend far beyond mere lights and sounds. We transform events into experiences and we are experts at manufacturing moments that impact.

If your annual convention or conference is missing that extra something, we’d love to develop some innovative and disruptive ideas alongside you. 

Free Event Consultation from CPG