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Blog article 3 min read

The Key to Corporate Event Strategy for Procurement and Event Leaders

Preslea Jane

Written on

A comprehensive meetings and events program can unlock massive operational efficiency and savings. However, these are not easy goals when you are dealing with events of different sizes, decentralized planning across departments, and incomplete data.

Companies often find it challenging to establish a streamlined approach for sourcing, planning, contracting, and tracking small to large events. This leaves massive savings opportunities on the table.

They often have programs and policies for large events, even a professional event planning team to take the lead. But small and simple meetings can feel like no man’s land: somewhat chaotic and swept under the rug. The lack of structure leaves inexperienced planners with a load of responsibilities and long lists of policies rarely followed.

The first step to building a comprehensive program? Define the types of events your program will be covering and their average budget so you can start building relevant policies and workflows.

What to expect

Having an idea of what to expect and what to implement for each category can help you and your teams to define your event planning workflow and event-specific policies. While the specifics may vary, common elements across different event types include the involved stakeholders, budgets, and suppliers.

A high-level breakdown of events and stakeholders as we see it in our clients’ organizations.

Group travel often involves agencies and procurement.
Large events, such as conferences and offsites, involve agencies, planners, and workplace teams.
Small events, such as roadshows and recruiting, involve executive assistants, marketing teams, HR, and sales.
In-office events, such as team buildings or training, involve managers, workplace teams, and executive assistants.

A platform capable of supporting each of these types of events enables centralized visibility & control.

Covering the event categories

Small events

  • Type: Roadshows, recruiting, business dinners, executive meetings
  • Stakeholders: HR, sales, marketing, executive assistants
  • Budget: $1,000 — $3,000
  • Suppliers: restaurants and/or meeting rooms, transportation, food & beverage, setup/decor, gifts
  • Number of attendees: 10 — 100
  • Example of policies:

    Event planners must compare multiple quotes:
    • Less than $5,000: 1 quote
    • Between $5,000 and $25,000: 2 quotes
    • Between $25,000 and $150,000: 3 quotes
    • More than $150,000: RFP process

In-office events

  • Type: Team building, client training, employee training, celebrations
  • Stakeholders: Different companies have their own policies, but for an in-office event, the planner might coordinate with workplace, HR, Head of Events, or the executives.
  • Budget: $1,500 — $5,000
  • Suppliers: food & beverage, entertainment, audio/visual, gifts
  • Number of attendees: 50 — 150
  • Example of policies:
    • Events happening on-site must be approved by the workplace team
    • The security team must be notified about all events involving alcohol

💡What would an in-office team-building event look like?

An in-office team-building event could have suppliers come in for catering, entertainment, or other services — or it could be a lower-budget, casual affair without external suppliers apart from catering. Team-building events are often either activity-based (like a wine and paint night), game-based (like charades), or communication-based (like speed dating). Team building events can be a bit more formal with things like Lunch and Learns, where everyone gets access to a new or improved skill, and someone within the team gets to demonstrate their knowledge on a specific subject.

💡What is the difference between client training and employee training?

In most cases, a client training will be more formal than an employee training. A client training would be where the business is walking the client through the product, teaching them how it works. The details for an employee training will depend on the topic of training. Employee-facing events can also be more development-focused — instead of training on a specific policy or product information, employees are given access to information to help them in their personal work and career development.

Large events

  • Type: Conferences, offsites, retreats
  • Stakeholders: Professional events teams, working with legal, finance, procurement, C-suite
  • Budget: $50,000 — $500,000
  • Suppliers: venue, transportation, accommodation, catering, entertainment, audio/visual, gifts
  • Number of attendees: 1,000 — 10,000
  • Example of policies:
    • Invoices below $2,500 can be paid by credit card
    • Invoices above $2,500 must be paid by PO
    • PO must be approved prior to contracting with supplier 

How to centralize planning efforts

Events of every size are a significant investment of time, cost, and effort. The way to get the most out of these investments is to have eyes on every opportunity: be it for savings, enhanced experience, networking, or business opportunities.

By centralizing each of these events in one platform, your company can effectively unify processes, enforce policies, and keep track your actual spend and savings. Centralization and tracking enable automated reporting, which is the secret sauce for uncovering savings at every level.

See how a leading fintech company centralized everything from external to internal events in one platform.

Curious about how centralization could revolutionize your company's event management? Let's talk.