Meetings can crop up for a number of routine and special occasions and you’ll want to be prepared to ensure the corporate event runs successfully. For efficient planning, an event planning checklist is a reliable tool that can help you identify priority tasks and serves as a record of what has been completed.
The required budget will vary according to the type of meeting that you’re holding. If you’re gathering the team for a quarterly check-in at the office over coffee, you’ll only need to allow enough funds to supply coffee and perhaps some snacks.
If, however, you’re inviting VIP guests to the office for a pitch or kick-off meeting, you’ll need to allow for a little more spend to ensure you make the right impression on your lead.
Submit your proposed budget to management at least three weeks prior to the meeting if possible. If your company has an established process for lodging expenses, then you can safely work within reasonable limits pertaining to the purpose of the meeting and the attendees. Lodge these expenses after the meeting.
Budgeting tip: Ensure that you keep expenses within reasonable means. You may find your request for reimbursement refused if management believe you have overspent.
To decide when your meeting should take place, you’ll need to consider a few variables. If meeting with your team, confirm that they will be in the office on the proposed day for the meeting.
For client meetings, you should consider how far they will need to travel to attend before you set a time. It is polite to allow your guests a comfortable buffer to ensure they do not need to be up at the crack of dawn to arrive at your office (assuming they don’t request a 9am meeting!)
Once you’ve decided upon a schedule, set a reminder in your online calendar and send an email invite to the attendees.
Every meeting will require some form of corporate event catering. Whether it be as simple as a cup of coffee or other beverages with some light snacks, or as complex as a finger food spread or food platters for a working lunch meeting, it's important to order enough food and beverages to keep your attendees focused. What you order will be dictated by the time of day that the meeting takes place, as well as your guest list.
Browse corporate catering menus, considering the following:
Use an office catering portal or aggregator to ensure your catering order is from top quality corporate catering services. This will also simplify your planning, as you can place your coffee, sweets, finger food and lunch on the same order, in a hassle-free transaction. Order as early as possible to ensure that your needs can be met by your preferred corporate caterers.
Every meeting will require some form of preparation. As the meeting planner, it’s your responsibility to delegate tasks to members of your team. This will ensure that for internal meetings, all required research or work is complete for review, and that supporting materials for client meetings are of a presentable quality.
As part of your preparation, we recommend that you check your boardroom projectors, screens and any company laptops that may be required for the meeting. Don't forget any other equipment needed, such as speakers, microphone, TV or phone system. Check that they are technically sound as you do not want any preventable malfunctions on the day of the meeting. Try to do this at least a week before the meeting to allow time for any repairs and replacements.
Follow-up with your attendees a week before the meeting. For large internal gatherings, confirm that your team will be in the office on the day and that relevant members of management are able to attend. If meeting with a client, you should email or call to check that they are still able to make the meeting.
Send your team a copy of the meeting agenda at least a week out and begin to follow-up on any work that was to be done on supporting materials for client meetings.
During this phase of planning, you can also call your corporate caterer to confirm that everything is in order, or to make additions and changes to your catering. It’s not too late to add special dietary options, or to cancel that extra coffee if a colleague forgot to file their request for leave!
All supporting materials and research should ideally be prepared the day before the meeting. Check your PowerPoint slides for any inconsistencies and provide any further instructions to your team.
Print out any required handouts and staple them neatly in the corner. Place them in a file folder or binder until the meeting to ensure they remain crisp, neat and tidy (you want to make a good impression!)
On the day of the meeting, place a large bottle of chilled water and glasses in the boardroom for the attendees. For client meetings, delegate a team member to watch for the client’s arrival and to greet them. You should also designate a team member to take minutes during the meeting if required.
Once all of these tasks are complete, the next step is to head on into the boardroom for the meeting. Wow your clients with a well-prepared presentation and delicious corporate catering. It’ll be a meeting that they won’t forget anytime soon!
We hope you found our corporate event planning tips and ideas helpful. Now, are you ready to get your meeting on track? If you need office catering for your meeting, or need help organising your corporate event, speak to the corporate catering experts at Eatfirst and we'll ensure everything runs smoothly.