- Tickets on sale for The Event Planner Expo 2017. Register Now! Click Here
How to Plan a Flawless Destination Event
Whether you're interested in hosting corporate events anywhere from New York to L.A. or you have your sights set on foreign shores, there's a lot of work involved in planning destination events. And the average office worker, no matter how adept at throwing together corporate meetings or holiday parties, is bound to encounter new challenges when setting up events that are not only off-site, but halfway across the country or the world. You can, however, follow some simple guidelines in the planning process to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch. Before you settle on a New York event space or a Hawaiian hotel, here are some things you'll want to consider.
Start with Professional Help
Unless you happen to be a professional event planner yourself, chances are good that you could use a leg up when it comes to arranging a destination event meant to impress your superiors, not to mention the employees, clients, and media that might be in attendance. Hiring a reputable event planning service to help you out will eat a chunk of your budget, but it is bound to be money well spent when it results in a flawless corporate event that is sure to earn you accolades.
Map Out Your Goals
If you're going to allocate funds toward hosting your event in another city, state, or country, you need to take the time to think about what you'll get for your money. Impressing clients or investors with posh corporate events must be a means to an end. And before you start spending money, you need to make sure the projected return on your investment is worth the expenditure.
Choose Your Location Carefully
The location you choose for your destination event should act as a backdrop to whatever corporate activities you have lined up. If you're going to spend the extra money planning an event outside your immediate area, you need to make sure the scenery and available venues offer something you can't get locally. And then you have to find ways to make your destination shine. Your Tokyo, London, or New York event planner can help you figure out how to make the best possible use of the amenities at any destination you choose.
Plan for Travel
There could be any number of obstacles associated with actually getting guests to the destination where your event is being held. Seasonal travel, for example, can be difficult, to say the least. So you might not necessarily want to plan lavish holiday parties out of town. Making sure that travel costs and complications are as low as possible is a major part of planning a flawless destination event, whether you're footing the bill or guests are responsible for a portion of their own tab.
Plan for Weather
You can definitely plan for outdoor components for your event, but you need to account for the weather. This isn't to say that inclement weather has to stop you from planning activities at your chosen locale. A trip that involves a winter sport like skiing could be just as successful as one that includes sand and surf. And so long as you have appropriate transportation options, sightseeing during corporate events can happen in any weather.
Create a Budget
Whenever you're planning a corporate event, you need to start with a budget. This is meant to provide transparency to your superiors and to ensure that you don't blow all of your money on an amazing event space, leaving you nothing for food and entertainment. You need to know what you can reasonably do with the funding you've been allotted. And this is particularly important when planning destination events.
Consider Your Guests
The people you invite to corporate events will have an impact on the destination you choose. For example, you might be willing to splurge on wining and dining clientele or potential investors, but you may not want to spend the same money on flying employees to a conference. And if you want to invite members of the media, assuming they'll attend on their own dime, then convenience, cost, and accessibility will be factors. So before you book your Las Vegas or London event space, consider the parameters of the destination event and whether or not they will be agreeable to those attending.
Arrange for Food
Planning food options for destination events is a lot more complex than getting a caterer for your holiday parties. Your best bet here is to go with locally-sourced food options if at all possible, and there are a couple of reasons why. First and foremost, you want guests to experience the local flavor of your destination, and cuisine contributes to this goal in a very literal sense. Second, it's bound to be less expensive and more abundant than other options. And you'll no doubt find plenty of professionals that can assist you in selecting appropriate menus for group dining.
Select Entertainment and Activities
Most corporate events have at least one built-in activity. Whether you're hosting conferences, product launches, investor meetings, or holiday parties, there will likely be pre-planned activities that relate to corporate goals. But destination events are generally designed to provide some additional fun for guests as a way to wow them and make the experience more memorable. Getting familiar with local attractions and popular regional activities can help you put together extra excursions that will make destination travel for your event worthwhile.
Prepare for Snafus
Even the most experienced event planner can't foresee every snag when planning corporate shindigs. But you should always prepare for certain hurdles, especially when guests are traveling to your event, and you should have an alternative plan on the backburner. There is extra work involved in this type of planning, but the end result will be a level of flexibility that ensures you don't get completely derailed by minor setbacks. Pulling off a flawless destination event isn't easy. But with proper planning and preparation, you can make it happen.