Hosting a corporate event of any size is no small feat. It takes serious planning, organization, and communication to create an unforgettable event. Between coordinating and deadlines, sometimes the finer details are lost due to miscommunication or the absence of foresight.
Here are some of those details you don’t want to skip:
1. Make the event available as a recording to attendees
Depending on the event, you may want to make a recording available to attendees either as a gift or a purchase. People love taking home memories, and if you’ve hosted an event with speakers or recognition or anything special, your guests will love a copy. It’s easy and affordable to have a company preload your content onto USB drives to give as a gift to your guests so their memories can stay with them forever.
USB drives are a special treat for event attendees with one caution: if your event is something many people are interested in, but tickets were scarce, be aware that your USB drives could end up on eBay. If your event was private and only attendees are supposed to have access to the recording, there’s no way to control how that recording changes hands afterward.
2. Choose your seating style wisely
There are countless ways to setup your chairs and tables. Whether you use the Cabaret, Herringbone, or Theater style should ultimately be decided based on your event. Each style has pros and cons that should be considered before making a decision.
3. Set up the chairs perfectly to the millimeter
When a person enters a room, if the tables and chairs are disjointed or in uneven rows, their brain will interpret the scene as chaotic. This induces stress. It won’t necessarily be a conscious observation but will occur on a subtle level.
Regardless of the seating style you choose, your chairs and tables should be organized symmetrically inside of the room and in proportion to each other. Symmetry creates the space for people to be present with your event. There’s nothing to distract them. And, on a subconscious level, they’re going to feel more appreciated because somebody took the time to give 100% effort in setting up the event.
American physicist and writer Alan Lightman wrote an essay titled The Symmetrical Universe exploring why humans are drawn to symmetry. He writes, “Why do we human beings delight in seeing perfectly round planets through the lens of a telescope and six-sided snowflakes on a cold winter day? The answer must be partly psychological. I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in… symmetry is simplicity. Symmetry is elegance.”
To create a sense of symmetry for your guests, take the time to line up every chair perfectly. If you have a center aisle, make sure that aisle is exactly at center stage. Use masking tape to mark horizontal rows so you know where to line up the front feet of each chair in each row. Make sure any aisles you create have the same number of chairs on either side to maintain the symmetry.
If you allow long breaks during the event, have a team of people reposition the chairs during the break so that people come back to a well-organized room. They’ll be fresher and able to concentrate more.
4. Set up banquet tables perfectly
Just like the tables and chairs, items on banquet tables (including the tablecloth) should be lined up perfectly as well. For example, say the table has multiple segments, and each section contains napkins and silverware. The napkins and silverware should be placed in the exact same spot on each segment, so each segment looks the same. Another option is to mirror item positions in alternating segments.
If one stack of napkins is twisted to the left for presentation, all stacks of napkins should be twisted to the left. If there’s a bowl of ice on either end of the table with tongs, then make sure to place the tongs on the same side of each bowl. If you’re serving platters of fruit, make sure each type of fruit is placed in the same place on each tray.
5. Reorganize during breaks
During breaks, you’ll also want to have a team reorganize your banquet tables, especially if you’re restocking them with more appetizers. When a portion of the table is cleared, the remaining items should be condensed and reorganized to maintain symmetry.