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Think about the last corporate conference you attended. How smoothly did the check-in go? Were the speakers and workshops informative? How was the food? The venue?

Chances are, your opinion of the company that sponsored the event was shaped largely by your experiences. You probably walked away thinking you liked the company even more than you thought or, heaven forbid, even less.

No corporate conference is 100% flawless, but yours can be close. And one way to make it so is to consider some cautionary tales. In this article, we’ll share five common planning blunders that have sunk past events so you’ll know what to avoid.

1. Not Preparing Properly

One big secret to planning an A+ corporate conference is to anticipate problems and prepare accordingly. To avoid last-minute vendor or venue cancellations, always confirm with each vendor twice and sign a legally binding contract. Keep in contact with them before and during your corporate event to ensure both parties are on the same page.

Consider potential emergencies. Then, prepare an emergency response plan and a crisis communication plan. How will you disseminate information in case of an emergency? What’s your communication chain of command?

Visit the venue in advance (multiple times if necessary) and map out the flow of events. (Where will registration tables go? How about the food tables?) Make sure you have booked the venue far enough in advance that you have adequate time for setup. Maybe that means arriving the night before or getting there a couple of hours in advance of the event.

2. Competing with Other Corporate Events

You may think the date of your corporate event doesn’t matter, but the date you choose will exponentially contribute to how many attendees you have. Try to avoid choosing the same date as other local corporate events in your industry. This puts your guests in a position of choosing which event to attend and may reduce your headcount dramatically.

Reach out to others in the industry, follow local notice boards, and check social media calendars to investigate which events are happening and when. Ask your event venue if they know of any other events happening in the area. You’re putting so much time, energy, and planning into this event, you deserve a good turnout.

3. Letting Small Details Fall Through the Cracks

If you know us, you know we are all about the details. The big picture is important, but you have to get in the weeds with the details for a truly successful event.

Don’t neglect these details:

  • Logistics (music licensing, liabilities, name badges, etc.)
  • Quality of engagement
  • Digital Connections (event app, secure wi-fi, charger plug-ins)
  • Post-event follow-ups
  • Feedback (attendee surveys, insight from sponsors)

While committing to these details may seem time-consuming or daunting, they will help to bring your event to the next level and show your attendees how professional and organized you really are. If you have a corporate event organizer, they will help you with every task and take the burden off your shoulders.

4. Being Unimaginative

Who wants to attend the most basic and boring corporate conference they’ve already attended 10 times? The answer is nobody. Channel your creativity, and think outside the box. What can you do to make your event different? What can you do to captivate your audience and keep the attention of your attendees?

Being creative starts with your event promotion. Don’t default to spamming your social media with overused and cliche hashtags. Think about what is different and unique about your brand. Create a message that will resonate with your target audience and incorporate creativity in everything you do, from marketing to event day execution.

5. Not Mastering Your Tech

If you’re a technophobe, you’ll have to adapt. Tech is here to stay! And it can work wonders for your next corporate conference as long as you stay on top of it.

Solution 1: Use Tech to Solve Registration Problems

Virtually all corporate conference planners struggle to know how many people are coming to their event and who those people are. This challenge can lead to over or under-estimating food and seating. It can also lead to long lines at check-in as you seek to register each participant. Let tech help!

  1. Implement online registration options with reminders so you can get accurate headcounts.
  2. Leverage this system to assign staggered arrival times.
  3. Offer multiple payment methods and self-service options at check-in to reduce wait times.
  4. Accept multiple types of payment.

Solution 2: Check your Tech in Advance

Check your hardware to make sure it all works. The last thing you want is a video presentation that fails at the last minute. Then, check your connectivity. Make sure your Wi-Fi is easily accessible to guests (but blocked to outsiders for security purposes). Have a tech expert on hand just in case a tech emergency arises.

The Takeaway

These mistakes have derailed other corporate events, but learn from those lessons and don’t let them affect yours. You’ve got this!

If you want the help of seasoned professionals to make your event a rousing success, Andrew Roby Events has corporate event planning teams in Los Angeles, Dallas, and DC. We can attend to all the details, offer our creative magic powers, and plan for every scenario. We always have resolutions on speed dial in case plan A takes a turn.