Corporate Event Planning Simplified: Back to Basics

When it comes to booking a corporate event, be it a conference, team building away day or a celebratory gala dinner, there are a few key things you’ll want to consider in order to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. From finding the perfect venue to nailing down the details of your audio visual and catering requirements, planning and executing a successful event is no simple task – ask anyone in our industry and they will wholeheartedly agree!

Choosing the Right Location and Budgeting for Success

Before you get down to the nitty gritty of planning the finer details, one of the initial tasks that any event planner will need to do is to decide on a location, determine a budget and then gather together quotes from potential venues. If you’re new to the event planning process, then this can be a little daunting as there’s a whole load of vocabulary and terminology that industry professionals throw around that might seem like another language. Before you know it, you’re being bombarded with acronyms such as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), DDR, 24hr and wondering what on earth it all means (for a more detailed understanding on this, you might like to take a read of my blog from 2023 that digs a little deeper into venue pricing – Understanding Event Costs – a guide to venue pricing)

Demystifying the Event Enquiry Process

Prior to Christmas, I led some sessions in the PA Lounge at the CHS show in Birmingham which focused on various topics; one being ‘Back-to-Basics’ where I cut through some of the jargon used in the meetings and events sector as well as advising how best to navigate through the (sometimes very confusing) enquiry process. I looked at the different ways that venues can quote when it comes to pricing and explained some of the room layouts that can sometimes be used in proposals. I also looked at the importance of getting accurate information (both from the client AND venues); not only does this avoid having to go back and forth but it can potentially save you time and money if everything has been explained and included from the outset.

Key Questions to Ask Venues

One of the key questions that I was asked during the session (and that is SO important to ask venues) is ‘what is the rack rate’? This is the published rate that venues quote and the maximum that they will charge during their peak dates, but not necessarily what they will quote for your event. Part of my role is to ensure that we get the best rate possible, enabling me to highlight the cost savings and negotiate accordingly throughout the enquiry process (and another reason why it’s so important to determine the event budget from the outset!)

Planning for the Unexpected

One of the key takeaways from the session was to always keep in mind that no matter how experienced you become, never be afraid to go back to basics and as the industry is constantly evolving. I would also recommend always having a ‘Plan B’ scenario to cover those instances when things happen that are out of your control. When it comes to events in London for example, un-planned train strikes can have a huge impact on event attendance so I would suggest to always check (and check again!) the venue’s terms and conditions so that you can be prepared.

How Park Lane Events Can Assist You

If you’re new to the industry, have been tasked with organizing your company events and don’t know where to start, then perhaps Park Lane Events can help? By working with venues directly in London and the surrounding areas, I can help prepare your proposals, negotiate on rates and assist throughout the enquiry process through to event completion – it’s all part of the service and ensures that nothing is forgotten along the way! If you’d like to learn more or understand how I can help, please drop me a note below and I shall be in touch.

    We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal data. By submitting this contact form, you consent to the collection, processing, and storage of the information you provide for the sole purpose of contacting you to discuss your enquiry. Your data will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.