American Meetings, Inc. An AMI Global Company

6 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Corporate Gala

With corporate meeting and event spend increasing, Corporate Galas are coming back in to fashion.  CMO, Todd Bludworth says, “Planning for a corporate gala is often considered secondary to larger priorities, and key details can be easily overlooked creating an embarrassing faux pas for corporate meeting planners and organizations alike.”  Galas often have many different features that can add to the stress of planning such as sponsors, auctions and entertainment.  In addition, dealing with vendors, meals, special accommodations, etc. can be a challenge as well.  Here are some areas to think about for corporate event planning galas that can make your event planning less stressful:

  • Plan early!  In order to secure a popular venue, be sure to sign the contract well in advance.  Most venues can book up to a year ahead.  Start now for next year’s event.
  • Pad your budget.  Plan for unexpected expenses that may occur such as unexpected gratuities or taxes or the last minute decision to keep the bar open for an additional hour.
  • If you are sending out invitations, make sure to send them roughly eight weeks in advance.  If the event is in high demand, or during a holiday, you may want to also send “Save the Date” cards a up to six months in advance.
  • Create a seating chart.  Putting together a seating chart will ensure the right social mix at each table and allows you to maximize key relationship-building.
  • If you would like good attendance at your event, try to schedule it for earlier in the week and away from major holidays.  Most people have plans during the weekends and travel during the holidays.
  • When planning any type of event you should always have an emergency or contingency plan in case of a disaster, rain with an outdoor event, illness, or any other type of emergency that may occur.  It sounds logical, but you would be surprised how often this is overlooked.

Good luck with your corporate gala! Few events instill such pride and excitement as these corporate functions, and they can have a positive impact on the morale of your organization for months after the program.


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