You might be wondering where to starting when planning a corporate party. It might seem overwhelming and stressful. Pinterest will make you feel like you should be DIYing everything and then the time on your hands says “nah, that’s not a good idea”. So, just like any good business idea, make a plan!
Well, we, at Silver Sycamore, have your back. We have planned hundreds of corporate events from businesses ranging from 20 people up to 1,000 people here in Houston. Whether you are planning a meeting day, company picnic, company awards banquet or event a leadership retreat, we can help you.
How to Plan a Corporate Party Your Guests Won’t Forget!
Not only do you want to be able to plan a stress-free event, you want your guests or employees to enjoy themselves. So we have curated a list of To-Dos to help you plan and to keep yourself on track. Don’t forget to ask for the help of our experience coordinators, as we have been doing this for over 15 years!
1. Don’t Wait Until Last Minute
This is especially important if you are planning an event during the holidays or during Spring here in Houston. The Holidays are always filled with all kinds of different events for us, like company Christmas parties, our Holiday High Tea, our Hometown Holidays & Trail of Lights and many weddings. Spring time is usually when we see the large company picnics and weddings, mostly. So, if you are planning a holiday party, we recommend starting planning no later than August in order to be able to pick the ideal date. If you are planning Spring, then starting 6 months out would be ideal. For weekday or Summer events, we have more flexibility, but if a date is important to you, then start ASAP.
2. Make a List
You might have a TON of ideas floating around about what you want your event to look like, but you will have to narrow them down.
Make a list of all of the ideas and then prioritize them by MUST HAVE to WOULD BE NICE. OR just a number system, whatever works for you.
1. Must have catering options at the venue
2. Venue must have AV equipment for us to set up on
3. Must be able to fit minimum 500 people
and so on
Knowing what you need will be able to help your venue & vendor search, by being able to eliminate those who can’t accommodate your MUST HAVES. With that being said, you need to know that every part of an event has a cost, which brings us to step 3….
3. Set a Budget
This almost goes in conjunction with step 1, but we didn’t want to pack it all in, because it’s a very important step that deserves extra reminders.
You MUST know what you are willing to spend to make the event what you want, and be reasonable about it. If you know you only have $5,000 to spend, then you won’t want to visit a venue who has a minimum rental only of $5,000. That would be useless.
When it comes to catering, think about what you would pay per person at a restaurant for a particular meal and then plan on that to cover catering and servers. For example, you chose our Fajita Party catering option. At a restaurant, you will pay minimum $15/person for fajitas, beans, rice, tortillas, etc. You cannot expect the catering option to be $8/person then. (these aren’t exact numbers, just an example)
Also, what kind of entertainment are you wanting? DJ, Live Band, Games, Etc.? They each have a cost and you must include that when picking a venue and the options they have. Also, ask your venue to help you find those things, because we often have connections with vendors to get a slight discount.
*Choose more than one date so you’ll have a backup just in case your perfect venue isn’t available on your first-choice date.*
4. Choose Your Venue
This is one of the most important parts of your actual event. A venue can set the scene & mood for the whole event.
Decide if you are wanting something casual, outdoors, rustic, elegant, indoors, professional, etc. Silver Sycamore has something for every category. Our Reception Hall is wonderful for elegant awards banquets, meeting days and more. Our town of SycamoreVille sets the scene for a party, with an option to utilize the Saloon! How much fun would that be for your guests?
Do they have lodging options if needed? We have 8 bed & breakfast rooms that can sleep up to 20. This makes it easy to relax right into your room after a day of fun, a long meeting day or a leadership retreat.
Do you have to do everything there? Or does the venue offer All-inclusive options? Do they offer a coordinator to help you? Is it private or will there be other events going on at the same time? There are so many different things to consider when choosing your venue, so make sure you find the one that fits your needs best.
Usually, once you get your venue selected, they can offer some type of assistance in selecting entertainment, food, drinks and whatever else you are needing. This can come in the form of a vendors list, or we often do the calling and make the arrangements for the companies ourselves.
5. Send Out Invitations
- 4-6 weeks from event
This can vary, depending on the type of event you are hosting, the amount of employees and guests you expect and how your company communicated. This can also vary depending on time of year.
During the holidays, people are planning a multitude of parties and events to attend outside of work, and so the sooner you can get the invitation out to them, the better.
For companies, we typically recommend 4-6 weeks before the event sending out the initial invitation. Then, maybe 1-2 more email reminders about the event, especially if you are needing a head count for catering.
*If you don’t want guests drinking too much, you can provide them with drink tickets for 1-2 free drinks and then make it a cash bar, so that no one gets too crazy*
Enjoy the Event
Let us do what we do best, and that’s run a fun, stress-free event! We will make sure we have your timeline down and we want you to just enjoy yourself. You put together a great party, and you deserve to be a part of it, not just the one who planned it!
For More Information on Corporate events
Take a look at our Corporate Events page to help you get an idea about all of the exciting options you have. We can provide you custom pricing based on what exactly you are looking to do, and you can give us a call at 281-487-4033. However, if you are ready to schedule a tour and discuss pricing then, go ahead and click the button below and we will see you soon!
How to Plan a Corporate Event | Silver Sycamore – Pasadena, TX