There are so many reasons why your business might want to host a corporate event, including product launches, conferences, training sessions, team building or simply to celebrate a successful year with a cracking summer or Christmas do.
Over the years, we’ve also learnt a lot about what makes a great event and we’ve helped many companies across the UK celebrate their achievements, grow their business or simply have a fantastic party. So, below, we’ve put together a selection of our top tips (plus a handy checklist here) to help you throw a stress-free and successful corporate event…
Understand the purpose of your event
The first thing to do, before any venue planning can begin, is to understand the purpose of your event. Who is your target audience? Is it staff, company executives, new clients, existing clients or a combination? Also, ask yourself why you’re hosting the event and what you hope to achieve from it. The two main goals of most corporate events are to promote or market the company or foster a sense of togetherness for staff. Keeping your goals and expectations in focus will help you decide on everything else.
Create an event team
Get your team together early on and start by breaking down the challenge into achievable tasks. Ideally one person will take the lead, while others are divided into sub groups for perhaps, the decor, food, branding, speakers, transportation, etc.
Allocate your budget
The amount of money you have to spend will have the biggest impact on the look and feel of the event. Work out early on what your budget is and then make a list of all the things you would like to have, in order of importance. Keep in mind what will be most important to your company, its culture and the expectations of your colleagues. Then you can start allocating budget to highest items on the list first and then work down, deciding on what you need to compromise on towards the bottom.
Choose a date and location
Now for the most important bit, when and where to hold your event. If you need a large flexible space, then a marquee is the perfect option. It means you can be in charge of every single aspect from the furnishings and decor to the lighting and the catering. What’s more, you won’t have to rely on finding a suitable venue that’s free on your chosen date. A marquee can go up in the company’s grounds exactly when and where you want it to!
How much size and space do you need?
Think about how you want to use the space. Do you need a dance floor or a stage? Would smaller break-out areas be useful? Do you just need covered space for simple refreshments, perhaps for a training day or seminars? Our marquees come in a huge range of sizes. For a smaller event we can supply a selection of small open-sided marquees. For larger events, like a conference, we have full-size marquees which can be divided as you choose. They can also be erected in and taken down in as little as 24 hours, with minimal disruption.
Don’t forget the practical stuff
Your marquee can be kitted out to suit your requirements exactly. That includes flooring, lighting, heating, air conditioning and much more. Great lighting really lifts the atmosphere and we can supply everything from elegant chandeliers and standing lamps to colourful paper lanterns and fairy lights. A starlit roof or roof lining, for example, is lovely for a celebration. Lastly, think about guest numbers and whether your event will need additional toilet facilities, which can also be supplied.
Make a great impression on your customers with smart branding. Your marquee entrance can be decorated with branded signage and you can even have a tunnel entrance with colourful printed graphics showing key messages, products, business events or staff members. We can also supply coloured roof overlays and swags that are on brand, plus customised balloons, bunting, flags and banners. How about a balloon arch over the doorway too, for some real wow factor?
Extras like projectors and TVs will allow you to show video footage, case studies, clips of happy customers and more. Think about whether your venue needs WiFi too, and the option to livestream content to remote guests. Will there be speeches? If so, you’ll need microphones, a stage and perhaps a lectern, too.
Make sure clients remember you with branded merchandise, such as pens, key rings, tote bags, etc. There also are numerous options for displaying your products around the marquee, from Chinese hat stands, as seen here, to classic display tables and shelving units of every shape and size.
Food and drink
Next on the list is great food and drink. Training days and conferences might require simple refreshments, such as tea, coffee and biscuits, but when it comes to award ceremonies or the Christmas party you’ll need a little more. An evening buffet is a popular choice, as it’s cheaper and less formal than a sit-down meal and gives guests the chance to dance and socialise. For this option, you’ll need space for buffet tables and a selection of seating areas and you may want to add a bar area too. One of the many benefits of a marquee is that you’re not restricted to a venue’s preferred suppliers. So, you can choose exactly the right people to suit your budget and event.
When it comes to decor we can supply anything you like. For a party, themes such as ‘Hollywood Glamour’, black tie or simply the company colours, work well. Most of our marquees come with an ivory lining but we can also supply coloured roof linings, with matching swags, walls and even coloured lighting. Alternatively, we have Arabian style interiors too, for a little extra drama. So, whether you want chandeliers and flowers, contemporary minimalism or a disco complete with glitter ball, the choice is yours!
Entertainment and music
Lastly, it’s the added extras that will really be remembered, particularly for a good party. Great music is essential, whether that’s a live band or a good DJ. Plus, if the budget will allow, additions such as a red carpet, a professional photographer, a photo booth or a wandering magician, will really make sure your event stands out from the crowd.
Well, we hope we’ve given you some great ideas on how to plan your corporate event. Our expert team are just at the other end of the phone if you have any queries about choosing the right marquee. Why not get started with our clever Marquee Calculator, to get a rough idea of costs. Then give us a call on 01932 620060 to chat further about your specific needs and let us find you the right marquee at the right price.