An Event Planning Guide for Personal and Executive Assistants
By Fiona Parmley /Corporate Events Expert
Tue 11th Jul 2023 Corporate Venues
If you’re a Personal or Executive Assistant, you know what busy looks like! Whether you’ve planned events before, or have been tasked with your first recently, we know it can be a daunting task to get started with, and that’s usually why so many EAs and PAs use our venue-finding services.
From managing logistics to coordinating vendors, the process can seem overwhelming. But we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. With a little expert guidance, you’ll be able to get far more satisfaction from event planning than ever before.
In this article, we’ll cover the fundamentals of the event planning process from the point of view of PAs and EAs, delivering valuable, practical tips and insights to help you navigate planning an event that will please the most discerning executives.
What is the goal of your corporate event?
Okay, so before immersing yourself in the deep waters of event planning, you need a crystal-clear idea of the purpose of your event.
Ask yourself: What are we hoping to achieve with this event? Is it a conference, team-building retreat, or celebratory occasion? What do your attendees want to get out of it? What do you want people to remember about your event?
Try to be really specific about your goals here. For example, the primary goal of your EA retreat might be to relax and reconnect as a team without the noise of day-to-day management. Or, you might need to tackle a particular task like setting up the year’s calendar or annual financial goals.
Once you have a clear goal, it’ll be much easier to decide what kind of event and atmosphere will make your team’s event successful.
Why is knowing your event budget so important?
As with all things, money is a big factor in bringing your event to life. We always encourage PAs and EAs to kick off the event planning process with clear conversations about what the company is willing to invest in the event.
This allows you to determine how much you can allocate to each part of your event. You’ll want to break it down into different categories, including venue, food and drink, décor, A/V, accommodation, travel, and entertainment.
Keeping track of your spending throughout the planning process can help you stay within your budget. Because many venues offer all-inclusive corporate event packages, it’s actually pretty easy to stay within budget as long as you’re communicative about the comfortable budget range upfront.
If you need a hand, give us a shout about our venue-finding services. We can help you find a great setting for your event, working within your budget.
How can an event management task list help executive assistants stay organised?
A well-structured task list or timeline leading up to the event allows you to keep track of how your event is panning out every step of the way.
Break down the process into manageable phases, assigning specific deadlines for each task and creating reminders to stay on top of your workload. Don’t forget to add any deadlines from the venue or vendors, including payment schedules and dates for walk-throughs or RSVP cut-offs. A robust, detailed to-do list will ensure that you don’t miss any important details and can handle last-minute changes with ease.
What should I consider when choosing a corporate event venue?
Choosing the right venue sets the tone for your event – you’ll want to think about the size, location, and services required for your event.
You may also want to consider how people will be arriving and whether the venue has accessibility options for anyone who may need them.
If you’re having no luck picking a venue, our venue-finding services provide a curated selection of venues, considering your budget, location preferences, and specific requirements. Our expertise and network of venues will save you time and effort in finding the ideal setting for your event.
What’s the next step after booking a corporate event venue?
Got your venue booked? That’s a huge part out of the way. Now it’s time to figure out which vendors or suppliers would be best suited for your event.
Think of the tasks that will need to be carried out at your event. Will food be served? If so, you’ll need to hire catering if it’s not included in the venue. Hiring entertainment should be the next step on your list so you can ensure you’re able to book the suppliers you want.
Will you require an outside audio-visual expert to help with lights or presentations? Are you responsible for booking accommodation or travel for anyone? If so, go ahead and get everything reserved well in advance.
Once you’ve thought it through, get in touch with your chosen vendors, communicate your requirements clearly and loop them in on your timeline to ensure they know when they’ll be needed. Regular follow-ups with vendors are important to ensure everything stays on track.
How are logistics vital to the success of my event?
A venue is important. Vendors and services are too. But the logistics are the glue that holds your event together.
It’s a good idea to create a detailed plan that covers things like transportation, accommodations (if needed), parking arrangements, and any other logistical considerations.
Consider factors like accessibility, traffic patterns, and the convenience of the venue for attendees. Getting these details ironed out and communicated effectively will ensure that guests have a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Is a Plan B necessary for all corporate events?
All boxes are checked. Everything is on track, but the unexpected lurks around the corner.
Even with meticulous planning, unexpected situations can crop up. This makes creating contingency plans a must. Potential challenges such as inclement weather, technical glitches, company budget cuts, or changes in attendance can throw a wrench in the works, so plan for them.
A great idea is to make a list of potential issues and have backup solutions in place. This proactive approach will help you handle those tricky situations and keep your event’s positive momentum going.
We hope this article has helped give you an idea of what to think about when planning an event.
It’s a demanding task but by following these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the planning process efficiently and create remarkable experiences for your guests and attendees.