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Corporate Event Planning Dos and Don’ts

Here at 360 Destination Group, we’ve definitely seen and heard it all! Very few things in this world are black and white or right or wrong. However, when you have the decades of experience in event planning under your belt that our team does, you learn a thing or two — often on what NOT to do. So, we thought we’d offer a refresher on the latest planner tips and guidelines. We’ll help you navigate when to say “yes!” and when you might want to re-route expectations. Let’s get started!

DO:

  • Include your DMC or planning partner on venue site visits. No one likes feeling out of the loop, and that’s particularly true when it comes to your event venue. While you or your team may have your heart set on a particular location, it’s our job to ensure it’s the right choice for your event goals and logistics. A DMC’s toolbelt should always include the ability to ask the questions you’d never think to ask. Rely on your experts and partners and involve us early and often, especially during on-site visits.
  • Have a contingency plan (or two or three). It’s rare for Plan A to go off without a hitch, so having multiple options ensures you’re prepared for anything. Engaging a DMC or planning partner with local expertise and operational strength ensures you’re covered no matter what life throws at you. Is Manhattan’s 57th Street suddenly shut down to westbound traffic during your event? They’ll be the first to know and will already have a workaround in place.
  • Appeal to both introverts and extroverts. We all know that inclusivity is a huge focus for our industry, and for good reason. After all, we want to provide everyone with a fantastic experience, no matter their culture, accessibility needs, or dietary requirements. However, have you ever thought about the inclusivity of different personality types? If not, now is the time to start. Sticking to a one-size-fits-all approach to activities during programs just doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead of a fixed itinerary, provide various options so attendees can self-select what they’re most interested in without feeling pressure to “fit in” or go along with the crowd. In addition to more team-oriented activations, offer solo excursions or relaxation options so participants can tailor their experience to their preferences.

DON’T:

  • Bust your budget on decor. If you have a tight budget, don’t get your heart set on large statement pieces or trying to transform a space physically. While we all love some jaw-dropping decor, the inevitable sticker shock can be a real downside. Luckily, technology is here to save the day! With the latest advancements, we can help you create immersive experiences through lighting and A/V projection to bring the walls and ceilings of any space to life. Due to high material costs, these digital decor options are far more cost-effective, too.
  • Try to plan corporate events in less than 30 or 60 days. While we love a challenge, this one is tough for even our team of certified miracle workers. Just because we can plan a program or off-site in a short amount of time, doesn’t mean it’s the best approach. Ideally, we’d like to receive an RFP at least six months before your target event date. This timeline gives our team ample time to dive into your mind, understand your brand or your client’s, and develop detailed creative proposals customized just for you. Rushing this process might mean a more scaled-back approach to ensure we can deliver a program that meets and exceeds your expectations.

Client Timeline

  • Plan more site visits than you need. As masters of efficiency, we love a good multi-purpose meet-up. To maximize everyone’s time and resources, we recommend a single site visit shortly before the program start date to encompass all needs, including décor decisions, culinary tastings, and a logistical walk-through. We recognize that signing on the dotting line can feel risky if you haven’t seen the site in person. That’s why we create videos as we tour venues for our clients so you can get a true sense of the look and feel before contracting the space. Then, once you arrive in town, we’ll walk and talk through the space together and make any necessary adjustments. 
  • Go virtual. In an uncertain economic climate, we understand the urge to streamline your budget by returning to virtual events. However, we firmly believe that transformative programs are best experienced together. We are happy to help you with ROI reporting on past in-person events, so you have compelling data to reference when advocating for live events.
  • Have a narrow sustainability scope. Event sustainability is about so much more than replacing cut floral centerpieces with plexiglass or metal. While making small green choices helps, it’s the bare minimum. Instead, focus on how to incorporate a sustainable strategy into your programs holistically — plus, a great DMC partner can guide you on how to go green. Looking for ideas? Here are some ways to power your events with sustainable strategies

We hope this list is helpful as you set out to conquer your 2024 events and beyond. Do you think there’s something we missed in either list? Shoot us a message; we would love to chat with you about any triumphs and challenges you’ve recently encountered. Happy planning!

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