So, your boss assigned the responsibility of managing and arranging the big corporate event to you and you have no idea where to start. For example, how do you find a catering company?
We’re sure you must be concerned.
You need not be – planning and arranging corporate catering for your event may seem like a big task, which it is, but can be made easy simply through breaking it down systematically into parts.
Tackling each one of these individually will help you in organizing and pulling off the whole event. As consummate professionals who have years of experience in event management, here are eight important takeaways we would advise.
- The Nature of the Event
First and foremost, clarify with your boss the nature and purpose of the event as well as the intended audience. What does it aim to pull off; will it be formal or comparatively casual? What about the time duration? Will it be an internal event and employee focused or an external event dealing with potential clients and the community?
All these considerations will heavily factor in deciding the nature of your catering, whether it should be along the lines of snacks and coffee or a buffet line or chef-prepared courses.
- The Audience and Headcount
You will need to determine the audience and numbers expected on the day of the event. This is important for getting a start on your proposed budget plan since the audience helps to determine the needs to of the catering package. What types of attendees will there be – high-level CEOs or larger teams of employees?
Directly related to this will be the headcount. Depending on the size of your group, for example, 500 attendees, you can decide whether a served meal or a buffet would be more appropriate.
Always account for a slight overestimate since last-minute additions or tag alongs happen frequently and the last thing you’d want is to run out of food and drinks to serve!
- The Budget Plan
Once the above factors have been accounted for, you will have to start work on your budget proposal. This will require information on different event catering services and mixing and matching the costs of the event needs to come to a suitable proposal.
Once a budget is decided, you will need to choose the combination which best fits it. If it has been set by upper management with unrealistic goals, then you will need to request to increase it and show them the conflict between their demands and the budget.
- Menu Flexibility
One of the ways to truly make your event stand out is to have a variety of unique and exciting dishes from the norm which heighten and enhance the enjoyment of the whole event. Choose caterers that can present innovative menu items that play with different concepts in new ways or can provide a variety of international cuisine options.
Accounting for sensitivities like allergies, vegan or religious conditions will also make your event more inclusive and show guests that you have their best interests in mind.
- The Location
The venue or location for your event needs to be finalized early on, after the event details and audience size have been determined. Whether an external venue would be more suitable, or a multipurpose room in your company headquarters building, you need to decide carefully.
This will impact everything from food preparation to the audio visual setup at the venue as well as the overall budget of the event catering. Each venue will have its respective pros and cons to consider.
- Service Staff
Depending on the nature and venue of your corporate catering, you will also have to make the decision of whether your event will need service staff and what kind of service staff.
Whether you will require table-side waiters or servers passing around appetizers on trays, or if you decide on the buffet option, you will need catering staff at your event to help with the meal. Depending on the complexity of your dining choices, the number of staff will increase.
- Contingency Planning
It is vital to have a backup in case any specific detail of your plan doesn’t work out on the event day or you run into unexpected problems. For example, if you choose an outdoor venue and there is heavy rain, you will need to have an alternate plan. Business corporate events are planned far ahead of time, and barring very extreme circumstances, they cannot be put off or delayed the week they are due to occur.
A wise individual never puts their eggs in one basket, and prepares for alternative arrangements. Remember, your attendees are counting on you to plan a great corporate event, as well as the superiors who put you up to the task. Make a back-up plan!
- Choosing the Right Vendor
What is most crucial for successfully pulling off all this is partnering with right catering vendor who brings years of experience. We at Personal Touch Dining pride ourselves on the professionalism and mark of quality with which we have organized countless successful corporate events. We help your event stand out, while infusing it with our signature personal touch.
Our management team will consult with you and guide you through the process of ensuring your event is the best possible, taking into account your specific needs and requirements. Our catering team of top of line chefs will come up with exquisite and exciting dishes that are sure to get your guests talking, while served with fine wine and champagne from our bar.
Lauren is Sales Manager at Personal Touch Dining, an award-winning wedding and event catering company that provides all supplies at all levels of Party & Corporate Catering in San Diego. The Personal Touch Dining team has gained widespread recognition for their creative and diverse menus, with seasonal ingredients for every occasion. Lauren enjoys blogging about tips and trends in the wedding and event industries and sharing ideas and tips with those planning for an upcoming event.