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Planning a Corporate Event? Here’s a Simple Checklist

Events are great fun and if you’ve ever been along to a well-run event you’ll have experienced what it’s like to be in a film. Smoothly-run events feel like a dream come true. You’re immersed in the event, the theme, the music, the food and wine, and the setting, and occasion.

Planning a Corporate Event? Here’s a Simple Checklist

Published : 21st June 2019

Events are great fun and if you’ve ever been along to a well-run event you’ll have experienced what it’s like to be in a film. Smoothly-run events feel like a dream come true. You’re immersed in the event, the theme, the music, the food and wine, and the setting, and occasion.

Running an event yourself can be very exciting but it can also be a very trying time!

Agreed to run an event, or thinking about getting one off the ground? Here are some key areas to consider early to make sure you’re on the right road to successful planning.

What’s the point?

You need a focus for the event. What are you trying to achieve with it? A party or wedding are held for defined reasons, and corporate events need that too. What’s the desired outcome? Team building? Staff recognition? Sponsorship or charity fund raising? PR?

Decide on your ‘objective’ and let that drive your activity when you’re planning.

What’s the theme?

Your objective will no doubt drive this for you. It really helps to get this nailed early on as you can send emails, notes, and have calls about the “XXX ball” or the XXX awards dinner” and it helps to make it all feel real!

What’s your event theme? Here are some tried and tested event themes to choose from.

Where will you hold it?

Next up, the big question. Where will your event be held? On-site? In a hotel? Will you hire a marquee and run the event in your grounds? Deciding on your venue will help you budget and then help you secure the date for it too.

Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. Venues get booked up a long time in advance and you’ll need time to pull all this together, too.

What’s the date?

Really simple one? Well, as we said above, give yourself enough time and get a date set that the main people can make, and one that doesn’t affect your peak times or holiday periods. There’s always a bride who has her wedding on FA Cup Final day! This will need some thought but a well-thought out plan is a good one.

What’s the budget?

How much do you have, and how will it be allocated? Is there a spare pot in case things go over budget? You’ll need to proportion a decent amount of it to the venue, food, drinks, and entertainment so getting a budget in place shows you what you can afford and who you can approach. You may need to prioritise your spending so you know you’re investing in what really matters. Once you have your overarching categories defined, you can start to drill down and fill in the costs. Be as specific as possible. Don’t lump things like “food and alcohol” together, as you may be sourcing them from different suppliers. 

Who are your team?

You weren’t planning to do this alone, were you? You’ll need help! Get a squad set up to bounce ideas off, bring new solutions to the table, and to be there when you need to rant! You’ll need some good people around you who can think on their feet if and when a curveball happens.  

What furniture do you need?

Planning on running your event on-site in a marquee? You’ll need to consider the furniture for the event. From tables to chairs, coat rails, and lecterns – build a list of the furniture you need to hire and speak to an expert like us who can guide you. We’ve been to 1000’s of events. Experience goes a long way.

What music and entertainment do you want?

The theme will heavily influence this choice but do make sure you give this area the attention it deserves. Music is the food of love and the fuel of energy to an event. Get it right and you’ll create the perfect vibe. Don’t give it a thought and you’ll affect the ambiance at your event and possibly affect the overall good vibes of your guests. Here’s a few lists of music to consider look at:



Don’t forget to capture the event! If you’re going down the PR or charity event then good photography is key to the after-event activity. Get a good event photographer who knows how to capture the moments from your event perfectly. When you’re choosing a photographer check out their testimonials, and review their portfolios, considering personality and overall vibe. Make sure you provide them with a list of ‘must-have’ shots so everyone’s clear on what’s being delivered. You might even want to commission a videographer if you’re looking to get a showreel from the event, or a photobooth to entertain your guests.


And now you need to get them there and fill the room! Don’t forget your theme, your date and time, and the venue, and then include the dress code and any extra information that your guests will need at the time. The invitation can create buzz and when you create them ‘on theme’ you’ll start the story of your event perfectly. Send out the invites in plenty of time and don’t forget that you’ll always get people who cancel at the last minute. Welcome to event planning!

Food and drink

This needs to be well thought out too. Will you be having canapés? Reception drinks? Three courses or two? Are you having an evening bar? Who’s paying for the drinks? Will there be table wine? What style of food matches the theme of your event?

Great events have the right amount of food and drink and the right mix of quality and style. Getting this planned early will mean you’ll be able to hire the right plates and cutlery too.

Food and drink are often the key to a successful event so get planning early and choose food that will add to your theme, company, and message. Here are some great ideas for you.


If you’re planning on an awards dinner or if you’re having any presentations at all then you’ll need tech and AV. Screens, mics, music, speakers, lights and more can breathe life into your theme and your event and the investment is worth it.

Poor sound, bad music, no lighting, and lack of ambience can all bring your event crashing down. Assign some budget to the AV team and give them your event theme and focus to work with. A good AV team will help you get this just right. Use their expertise and be guided by the experts.

Book a good hire company…

Well, we’re bound to say that, aren’t we? When you’re planning an event, make sure that you pick people you can rely on. There’s nothing more painful than equipment and people not turning up, leaving you to sort out the mess they left you with.

If you’re hiring equipment then the SafeHire logo will help you choose a reputable company, and recommendations and referrals are also a good way to go. We work with some fab companies so if you’d like some introductions to them please do ask.

Good luck!

Organising and running a successful event is a tough job and one that will bring you much joy and elation mixed with stress and sleepless nights! PLAN. And then plan for the unexpected. It’s the only way you’ll get the result that you want. Good luck!

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