Event Planning

Part
01
of seven
Part
01

Event Planning - Best Practices

In order for corporate events to appeal to the entire audience across personas, the planning process must include a scalable strategy combined with best practices ton help companies and organizations achieve key objectives such as efficient registration, improved stakeholder accountability, improved ROI, and enhanced brand presence. Some best practices that make corporate event planning successful are having well-defined goals, executing multi-channel event promotion, making use of new technologies, maximizing attendee experience, and prove the event's return-on-investment (ROI) with set metrics.

BEST PRACTICES

1. Define event goals

  • According to an article published by Cvent, it is vital in a planning process to begin by defining the event's goals. Undefined event goals can lead to poor outcomes.
  • While defining goals, companies can utilize a four-point strategy that focuses on identifying the audience, decide on the event's content, the purpose of the event, and ensure that the goals are measurable. To understand the impact of events, each objective must have a relevant KPI to measure its progress and performance at each stage of the event.
  • It is found that ensuring each goal is well-aligned across the teams is a critical aspect of the goal-setting process. Shared objectives can help teams work better together to achieve better performance results.

2. Multi-channel event promotion

  • Every touchpoint and interaction of each member of the audience during the corporate event lifecycle will provide an opportunity to strengthen the purpose of the event. By utilizing an incorporating multi-channel promotion, companies can successfully "personalize these interactions at scale".
  • The key channels that can be used for successful event marketing are creating an event website; working on an event email promotion campaign; content marketing through press releases, video series, infographics, and blog posts; social media platforms by engaging with audience to vote on speaker topics and event elements; and mobile event apps.
  • Since there are several ways to promote and market a corporate event, utilizing a multi-channel approach for event marketing will ensure that a company takes full advantage of all the available resources.

3. Making use of new technologies for the entire event

  • Since technology is advancing at every turn, event planning can be simplified and streamlined at every step of the planning process if the right technology is used at each stage. From venue sourcing to post-event evaluation, companies will be able to effectively plan each aspect of the event lifecycle with the use of new technologies such as AI interfaces and generate maximum returns.
  • Event management software can be used at the event location to collect onsite registration and check-in data. Companies can also use self-servicing kiosks, on-demand, and wireless badge printing onsite. Attendees need to have a seamless experience from check-in to the final session of the event.
  • It is found that successful corporate events have accelerated check-in process, engage the audience with live polls, have a messaging community platform, and use event apps.

4. Maximizing attendee experience

  • An article published by Eventbrite suggests that by offering interactive food and drink stations, increased networking opportunities, and have some fun activities during break time can increase attendee experience. Technology can play an important part in maximizing the audience's experience. Rather than having a PowerPoint presentation, speakers/hosts of the event can connect with the attendees better by incorporating something new such chatbots or mobile apps to help them connect with relevant content.
  • According to planner and organizer, Anna Marie Rembold, event venues should be fresh on-trend to add to the audiences' "wow" factors. Anna Marie also suggests transforming the venue in a way to excite and engage the audiences and making the location interactive. An example of Anna Marie's successful corporate event is the Spigit Ignite 2018 where her team installed an interactive photo wall for their attendees.

5. Prove the events' return-on-investment (ROI)

  • It is vital to set metrics to prove an event's return-on-investment (ROI) such as highest-rated topics and content, session/seminar with the highest attendance, and highest social media engagement and mentions. Accurate measurement of the event's ROI by properly analyzing the figures is a key best practice of corporate event planning.
  • Measuring the ROI of events must take various tangible and non-tangible aspects into consideration so that companies can implement appropriate changes in their business process to generate maximum returns. A template that defines metrics in terms of goals, key indicators, and their corresponding tangible values can be found here.
  • According to Bizzabo, to prove the ROI of a corporate event, a post-event analysis must be conducted that includes focusing on the key metrics in connection with the initial goals, connecting event KPIs with the metrics of the overall business, and scheduling a follow-up report that studies the impact of the event.


Research Strategy:

We began our search by looking through industry reports, market studies, media reports, and articles on best practices from some top corporate event management software in California to identify the best practices that make corporate event planning successful. An exhaustive search through these channels provided limited information on corporate event planning specific to California. We then expanded our search to include the corporate event planning industry across the United States. We looked into reports and articles published by the top corporate event management companies in the country to identify the best practices used to make a corporate event successful. Each practice identified on our list has been determined as a "best practice" based on the number of times it was mentioned in industry reports and by industry experts. Each best practice outlined has been cross-referenced to ensure that it is being utilized by some of the largest companies in the United States.
Part
02
of seven
Part
02

Event Planning - Case Studies

Cvent's Trimble event and InEvent's Corteva Agriscience event are the two case studies of corporate event planning on events that successfully achieved their event planning goals.

CVENT AND TRIMBLE EVENT

Overview

Goals

Event Planning

Success Metrics

INEVENT AND CORTEVA AGRISCIENCE EVENT

Overview

Goal s

Event Planning

Success Metrics

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

We have leveraged the use of industry reports, event companies' case studies, and other event-related publications such as Corporate Event News, Events Industry Council, National Association for Catering and Events, and other similar sources. We also reviewed and checked case studies from California-based event companies such as Event Solutions, Anna Marie Events, Kennedy Event, among others, but the case studies presented there either didn't match the required number of attendees, or they were not corporate events. While there was limited information on case studies from California-based company, we found one from InEvent. Next, we expanded again, and this time to look for California-based clients, and we found one Trimble event case study. We were only able to find two case studies due to the restriction of our required criteria.



Part
03
of seven
Part
03

Event Planning - Top 5 Event Planners

The top five corporate event planners in California are Entire Productions, Anna Marie Events, Kennedy Events, Jane, Hammond Events, and Blueprint Studios.

ENTIRE PRODUCTION

  • LOCATION: San Francisco Area, 650 California St San Francisco, CA, 94108.
  • PUBLIC RATINGS: Entire Production has been rated as 5-star under the category of " the Best Corporate Event Planner" with 55 reviews on Yelp.
  • PROFILE: Entire Production is an award-winning event and entertainment production company, which has clients such as Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, Microsoft, among others. The company has won awards such as the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America," "the Fastest Growing Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area," among others.
  • EXAMPLES OF EVENTS ORGANISED: Entire production has organized events such as Yelp Apres Ski holiday party which was an awe-inspiring holiday celebration for Yelp's 2,000 employees with a conservative budget. The company also organizes Oakland City Center, a concert series which the company has been organizing for the past 18 years and includes over 10,000 people who spill out of the surrounding and supporting buildings to enjoy the festivities.

ANNA MARIE EVENTS

KENNEDY EVENTS

JANE HAMMOND EVENTS

  • LOCATION: 103 Horne Ave , San Francisco, CA, 94124.
  • PUBLIC RATINGS: Jane Hammond Events (JHE) has been rated as a 5-star under the category of "the Best Corporate Event Planner" by around 91 reviews on Yelp.
  • PROFILE: Jane Hammond Events have been organizing all types of events, including corporate celebrations, product launches, gamer parties, gallery and store openings, receptions, among others since 1975. The company has clients which include high technology companies, manufacturing companies, publishing houses, among other corporations.
  • JHE specializes in corporate events and can easily accommodate up to 1,000 guests, or more.
  • EXAMPLES OF EVENTS ORGANISED: JHE organized the Twitter Holiday Party at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason, with nearly 2,000 guests.

BLUEPRINT STUDIOS

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To obtain the information of the top five corporate event planners in California, where "top" is based on the public ratings and should be in events with a large audience (1,000+), we searched through credible reviews and rating sources such as gov.in, Yelp, Social Tables, Eventbrite, among others. Through the search, we found reviews and ratings based listing of the "Best Corporate Event Planners in San Francisco, CA " by Yelp from which we filtered the above listed five top corporate events planners based on the inclusion criteria of being rated 5 and 4.5-star from public reviews, are located in California area, have corporate event planning exposure with branded and large corporate clients, have examples of events with large audiences (1,000+), and have a credible profile such as awards won, more than 5-10 years in business, versatile portfolio, among others.
Part
04
of seven
Part
04

Event Planning - Next Top 5 Event Planners

The next top five corporate event planners in California are RG Live Events, Elle A Events, Poko Event Productions, Becker and The Co. and Reason One Event Production.

RG LIVE EVENTS

 ELLE A EVENTS

 POKO EVENT PRODUCTIONS

BECKER AND THE CO.

REASON ONE EVENT PRODUCTION

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To obtain the requested information on the next top five corporate event planners in California, we looked through credible review and rating sites such as Yelp, Social Tables and Eventbrite, among others. We were able to find a list of the "Best Corporate Event Planners in Los Angeles, CA" from Yelp. We then filtered this list by checking that the event planners met the criteria of having a 5-star rating, plan corporate events and have several corporate clients and have examples of events with large audiences (1,000+).
Part
05
of seven
Part
05

Event Planning - Top 10 Software

The top 10 corporate event planning software include Cvent Event Management, Eventbrite, Monday.com, EventZilla, Bizzabo, Splash, oDash, Accelevents, Ticketbud, and Xing Events. The name and website link for each company have been provided in the attached spreadsheet in columns A-B rows 2-11 and below.

TOP 10 CORPORATE EVENT PLANNING SOFTWARES

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research team has found that Capterra features Top 20 of the most popular event software management tools annually. The index used to calculate the list is 40% on the number of active customers, 40% on the number of active users, and 20% on their social media presence.

We searched through the top 10 software featured on both software directory rating sites, Capterra and SoftwareAdvice, to ensure that their user ratings are at least four out of five stars.

Finally, the research team looked through the individual software company website to ensure each of them can handle large scale corporate events, conferences or conventions with more than 1,000 audiences.
Part
06
of seven
Part
06

Event Planning - Top 5 Software Details

The prices, features, and pros & cons of the top 5 software used for corporate event planning are provided in spreadsheet.

Cvent Event Management

Price
  • A free trial of Cvent is available which would not bill you until you start capturing registrations.
  • Cvent costs $1.50 plus 2.5% per attendee, and the average credit card fees are 3%.
Features
Pros
  • Ability to use this software as an all-encompassing platform - for contact history, event registration and tracking, reporting and data collecting, and survey collection and feedback for next event.
  • Ability to manage very simple and complex events. Integration of events, communication and association management systems.
  • No need of manually updating/manipulating spreadsheets.
Cons

Eventbrite

Price
Features
Pros
Cons

Monday.com

Price
  • Pricing depends on the number of users(2 users - 200+users) and plan(Basic/Standard/Pro/Enterprise) and ranges anywhere from $17 - $2000+ per month.
Features
  • A unique template for every use.
  • Columns can be used to capture and visualize all the info.
  • Monday.com enables easy collaboration by keeping all your conversations, files, briefs, checklists, and sheets in one place.
  • PipeDrive integration, visual progress display, execution board, motivational tool, email updates, relevant updates, time tracking by project, due date tracking, user access controls, API availability, activity logging, survey, workflow management are some other feature of Monday.com.
Pros
Cons

EventZilla

Price
Features
Pros
Cons

Bizzabo

Price
  • Planner Plan, the least expensive plan of Bizzabo is expected to be priced at $8000 per year.
Features
Pros
Cons
Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Event Planning - Last 5 Software Details

The last five software used for corporate event planning are Splash, oDash, Accelevents, Ticketbud and Xing events. The prices, features, and pros and cons of the software Splash, oDash, Accelevents, Ticketbud, and Xing events are entered in columns C-F rows 7-11 of the attached spreadsheet.

SPLASH

Price:
  • The software is free for personal events or occasional small business events and trials and features custom pricing for business licenses.
Features:
  • The event management features of the software include attendee management, badge management, surveys and feedback, social media promotion, ticketing and use for conferences, conventions, weddings and parties.
  • The event marketing features of the software include audience segmentation, email marketing, landing pages/web forms, reporting/ analytics, event calendar and website management.
Pros:
  • Some of the pros of the software include ease of use, good integration with Salesforce, and the email tool which provides insights to the open and click rates and makes email management easy.
Cons:
  • Some of the cons of the software include occasional glitches on PCs, not very robust and visually appealing data dashboards, and lack of design features and tools.

oDASH

Price:
  • The price of the software is $100/month for Premium oDash and $200/month for Premium+ oDash.
Features:
  • The event management features of the software include attendee management, badge management, exhibit/vendor management, badge management, gamification, social media promotion, surveys and feedback, sponsorship management and use for conferences and conventions.
Pros:
  • Some of the pros of the software include ease of use, visitor management tool, and the feature to send newsletters to visitors.
Cons:
  • Some of the cons of the software include lack of an app or an offline application setup that can be used at the venues, and the absence of a feature to check in the visitors in an easy way.

ACCELEVENTS

Price:
  • The price of the software is $99 plus $1 per one-time per user who participates in the event.
Features:
  • The auction features of the software include absentee bidding, bid management, buy now option, live auction, online auction, silent auction, website management, alerts/notifications, billing and invoicing, inventory management, membership management, online bidding and reverse bidding.
  • The event check-in features of the software include attendee segmentation, data import/export, guest list management, lead capture, QR codes, ticketing, guest list search, multi-event management, and reporting/analytics.
  • The event management features of the software include attendee management, social media promotion, volunteer management, sponsorship management and ticketing.
  • The registration features of the software include activity registration, event registration, online registration, payment processing, attendance management, contact management, form builder, marketing management, onsite registration and refund automation.
  • The ticketing features of the software include bar code/ ticket scanning, customer data management, online ticketing, promotions management, seating map, mobile ticketing, on-site ticketing, print-at-home and website management.
Pros:
  • Some of the pros of the software include user-friendly site, ease of use for staff and bidders and the cost-effectiveness of the software.
Cons:
  • Some of the cons of the software include the absence of outreach, lack of provision to send out blanket notices to bidders and limited options with customization and graphics.

TICKETBUD

Price:
  • The price of the software is $0.99 per time per user. Ticketbud charges a 2% ticketing fee + $0.99 service charge per ticket.
Features:
  • The event management features of the software include attendee management, use for conferences/conventions and weddings/parties, gamification, social media promotion, surveys and feedback, volunteer management, badge management, sponsorship management, and ticketing.
  • The event booking features of the software include attendee management, discount/coupon management, marketing management, online registration, wait list management, confirmation/reminders, event calendar, online payments, social media promotion and website management.
  • The registration features of the software include activity registration, badge management, class registration, event registration, group registration, online registration, payment processing, self check-in, attendance management, calendar management, contact management, form builder, marketing management, onsite registration, refund automation, and surveys and feedback.
  • The ticketing features of the software include bar code/ticket scanning, customer data management, kiosk ticketing, online ticketing, POS, promotions management, ticket reservations, seating map, onsite ticketing, print-at-home, mobile ticketing, season tickets, and website management.
Pros:
  • Some of the pros of the software include ease of use of the site, excellent customer service, and the simplicity of the dashboard to gauge ticket sales.
Cons:
  • Some of the cons of the software include high pricing and the absence of a portal to sell face-to-face tickets.

XING EVENTS

Price:
  • The price of the software is $0.99 per one time. For new customers, Xing events provides an offer price of 3.9% fee per ticket sold + EUR 0.99 per attendee.
Features:
  • The event management features of the software include attendee management, use for conferences/ convention, gamification, social media promotion, badge management, exhibit/vendor management and ticketing.
  • The conference features of the software include abstract management, client management, badge management, speaker management, social promotion, attendee management, registration management, ticketing and surveys and feedback.
  • The event check-in features of the software include attendee segmentation, lead capture, QR codes, data import/export, guest list management, ticketing, badge printing, guest list search, data synchronization, multi-event management, and reporting/ analytics.
  • The ticketing features of the software include barcode/ ticket scanning, online ticketing, POS, promotions management, customer data management, mobile ticketing, online ticketing, print-at-home, and website management.
Pros:
  • Some of the pros of the software include flexible online ticketing, broad audience reach and ability to manage complex events.
Cons:
  • The con of the software is that the software is complicated to use.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started the research by finding out the details of the price and features of the corporate event planning software using the company websites and sites such as Capterra and Getapp. We used the reviews of the software's users in Capterra and Getapp to find out the pros and cons of the software. To find the pros and cons, we only considered reviews of users who have used the software for more than six months.
However, for the software Ticketbud and Xing events, there were not enough reviews of users who used the software for more than six months. Hence, we have considered the reviews of users who have used the software for less than six months as well to find out the pros and cons of the software.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality management technology provider with more than 4,000 employees, 27,000 customers, and 300,000 users worldwide."
Quotes
  • "We use a combination of technologies, including drag and drop landing pages, email builder, online registration, meeting scheduling, QR Codes, badge printing, budget management and integrations with Marketo and Salesforce to deliver personalized experiences for your customers."
From Part 03
From Part 06