Top 10 tips for choosing a corporate event

There has never been more choice in the corporate event market. The options in the sporting arena are well known and established, but any online research will quickly show the events, experiences and activities available to corporate event bookers extends well beyond this, from live branded versions of well known TV shows to high octane outdoor activities. When you are looking at booking an event, run through our top 10 tips for choosing a corporate event: 1. What would your group like? Are they generally sporty? Are they music lovers, or gastronomes? You may well know the group well enough not to ask, or you may want to be a little more structured than this, by sending out a group email canvassing opinion for instance. Remember that you can also combine activities that people enjoy, wine tasting and opera evenings for instance, or beer tastings occuring over a World Cup match viewing. 2. What about the weather? Will your event, or chosen event type, be a wash out if the skys open? It's easy to book an event when the sun is shining and not pay consideration to this, but always have a fall back. Will your outdoor event be equally successful indoors? If not, what would your group do as an alternative? 3. Think about the reason (or reasons) you are booking an event Is it to encourage your group to bond, to re-establish relationships with lapsed customers, to foster relationships with existing customers, or to provide rest/relaxation/enjoyment during a conference? In all instances, think about your desired outcome and work back from there. 4. Consider your numbers Whilst you may want to be reticent before specifying numbers (either with an events company or a venue), remember that a broad idea of numbers will help you in establishing suitable formats for your group and in shortlisting venues that may work for you, should your event be offsite. 5. Think about your budget Here, it pays to be realistic. You can of course allocate a budget of £7 per head for your entertainment, but consider this; what does a spend of £7 per head tell your customers or staff about how you value them? Value for money is of course crucial, but remember there is a difference between value for money and cheap. Remember as your numbers go up in corporate events, your costs generally go down. 6. What about the location? Your offices, or a 3rd party venue chosen by you or recommended by a supplier? If choosing a 3rd party venue, there are many considerations here, from proximity to public transport, to venue style (traditional versus contemporary) to venue theme (eg wine cellar). For more help our venue sourcing article should be a useful source of advice. 7. Is the event "on theme"? Does the event fit with your company ethos? With the major promotions you are running during the course of the year? Do your suppliers make a good fit with your company values? 8. Think about when you would like your event to be Microsoft Outlook doesn't include bank holiday days in its calendar function! Bank holidays are an obvious no no, but also consider major sporting days (best avoided) or other major conflicts with your company's business diary. 9. Consider post event marketing What will you do in the post event follow up? How can your suppliers help you here? How can you reinforce any message you are trying to convey? 10. Think about how much time you are able to devote to an event How much time realistically can you afford for the various tasks your event will involve? Venue hunting, price gathering for entertainment and food, invite preparation... Would you be better served through outsourcing these tasks? Most importantly don't be besieged by the options. Work through the above steps systematically and you should be on your way to a great event.

Pip Martin is the Founder of The Tasting Quarter, a Corporate Wine Tasting & Specialist Events Company. After management positions in Harrod’s Foodhall, Pip became Corporate Events Manager at Richard Branson’s online wine merchant, Virgin Wines, where he hosted over 200 wine events in a little over 15 months for companies including BBC, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers and JP Morgan. Since 2002, via The Tasting Quarter, Pip and his team have produced and hosted tastings in Spain, Russia and South Africa and co-hosted events in Ireland, Holland, Belgium, France, Denmark and Switzerland for groups of 10 to 3000+. He has run virtual, hybrid and AI augmented tastings for companies including AVMI, Oracle, Adobe, Google and Cisco. He also counts all the Magic Circle law firms in the UK as repeat clients for in-person events. Pip’s media work has included wine presenting on Sky One’s Taste programme and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. Writing credits include wine articles for Condé Nast’s Gourmet Travel and Esquire.