You shouldn’t start planning your next corporate event in Washington, DC without reading this guide. While this isn’t an exhaustive list – many decisions will depend on the type of event you’re hosting – it’s meant to be a solid starting point. You’ll learn about the best practices to follow for any type of event. This guide should get you on the right track for corporate event planning in DC.
Determine Goals & Objectives
You need to come up with goals and objectives. Determine why you’re planning this event and what you want to achieve. If you’re aware of your goals before planning the event, everything else will flow from that intended result.
Do you want to create awareness of a cause? Or, do you want to collect a certain amount of donations for an upcoming project? Is it to create a networking event? Some combination of all of those? Coming up with goals that are easy to achieve can help allow your team to help you meet them.
Organize a Team
You can’t meet your goals effectively without a team. Any business event needs a team to handle all of the details. Assign one member as the Event Chair or Event Manager as well as individual leaders (chairpersons) for any subcommittees, small groups that are in charge of certain aspects like finding a headlining entertainer, selecting a venue, etc. You’ll also need to assign people for entertainment, publicity, speakers, sponsors, venue management, and volunteer management. Assigning each of your team members roles creates accountability and prevents goals and tasks from going off track.
Set a Date
The date may have already been pre-determined for the upcoming event. But if you’re planning a new event, consider the following tips before coming up with a date. You should allow yourself four to six months in advance to plan your event. Keep religious and statutory holidays in mind when setting an event. Also, keep in mind that the fall is probably the nicest time in Washington, DC. The stuffy summer weather has cooled, and the city isn’t as congested. If you’re not afraid of a peak season, though, the period from late March to mid-April is when DC’s famous cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and that always makes a memorable backdrop to an event.
Avoid scheduling an event during school holidays, such as spring, summer, and winter holidays. Before coming up with a date, check with your attendees and key participants. Once you’ve determined a date, book your venue as soon as possible. This important task needs to be done as early as possible in the planning process.
The Right Venue
As a city filled with lobbyists, special interest groups, and the grand machinery of government, there are plenty of event spaces in Washington DC. Choosing the right one is mostly a matter of availability, amenities, and location. While you can’t guarantee the first, the second and third are always under your control.
One of the most popular event hotels in the city is the Grand Hyatt Washington. It’s located right in the heart of downtown. The Metro Center has a train station right in the lobby. And the hotel has many options for event spaces, with the largest accommodating over 17,000 people. This luxury hotel has cozy accommodations, on-site dining, and is in close proximity to other attractions.
Brand Your Event
If you want to attract people to your event, you need to come up with a theme that makes it stand out among your competition. This means coming up with a compelling and dynamic theme as well as an actual name for your event. The name will be important when advertising your event online.
When brainstorming names for the event, think about what makes it different from other events in the same brand space? What message do you want to convey through this corporate event? Once you’ve determined your name, try to come up with a short tagline that describes the event. One sentence that perfectly sums up what your goals are and what spirit you want to accomplish them in.
The last step would be to come up with a logo for your event. When used correctly, it can become an effective branding tool. This logo should be splashed across all of your promo and publicity items. Once you come up with a name, logo, and tagline, make sure to use it throughout your marketing. Your event name or tagline can be used as a hashtag on social media. It’ll stand out in your audience’s mind and makes them remember your event.
Determine an Administrative Process
How do you plan to keep track of your accounting, budget, guest list, planning, speakers, and registration? You can create your event and manage it through an online event management system. This can help you manage and keep track of all of your event information. It also eliminates the need for administration. You can use event management software tools to keep track of each process of your corporate event and time out the event as it unfolds across one or multiple days.