Whether you are coordinating a small company party, annual company meeting or an industry conference, planning a corporate event can be a tricky endeavor. One thing is certain; it is not something that should be done without a good plan in place. While we’ve seen several helpful corporate event checklists online, we’ve found many of them focus on the overall planning (activities, venue, speakers, etc.) while glossing over the printing needs surrounding an event. However, from invitations that convey the important details to signs that help guests easily navigate the venue and more, the print components of an event are some of the most crucial. With proper planning and engaging design, print components can dramatically impact attendance to and satisfaction with an event. Luckily, we’ve created a helpful checklist of print-related needs and details for a corporate event. Let’s get started….
Promoting the Event: Invitations
A critical first step of any event is getting people in the door. Most often, this is done in the format of an invitation, sometimes preceded by a ‘Save the Date.’ Here are important details to consider including in your invitation:
- Parking instructions
- A dress code (if applicable)
- An agenda or schedule of events
Beyond these logistical details, for corporate events like conferences, it is important to address the following to increase event participation and effectiveness.
- A Clear Purpose – What are you trying to accomplish with this event?
- A Reason to Attend – Why should they come? What benefits does the event offer?
- How to Prepare – How can the invitee prepare in advance to ensure their time is spent productively.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the impact an invitation’s design has on attendance. An invitation is the first impression someone will have with your event. A well-executed, visually engaging design will excite people to attend your event. Conversely, a lackluster invitation missing critical info will have them dismissing your event before it even starts.
At the Event: Signage, Check-in & Materials
As a Twin Cities business-to-business printer for over 20+ years, this is an area we most often receive last-minute rush job requests for. While the detail-heavy nature of corporate events makes it easy to overlook print needs, we’ve also seen how critical these components are to the satisfaction of attendees and sponsors and to meeting your corporate event goals. Here are categories of printing needs you should look at for the day of the event.
Most corporate events involve a check-in process. Like the invitation, check-in is important as it is the attendee’s first interaction with your event. Get started on the right foot with the following elements:
- Plentiful signage that helps direct guests to and within the check-in area will help ensure a smooth check-in process. Posters on tripod stands are great for directing people on the move, from a parking ramp to check-in for example. Also consider hanging banners from the ceiling for the check-in area as posters can get lost in a crowd of stationary people.
- Consider how to make a compelling first impression with impactful visual elements that communicate your brand or corporate messaging. A back-drop, vertical banners, branded table covers, and even temporary window, wall and floor graphics can all be used to transform a space.
- Sure, you can go with regular old printed name tags or name badges but why not stand out with something unique? After all, you are guaranteed that every person at that event will be looking at nametags. Take this opportunity to do something that speaks to your messaging or your brand with custom shaped nametags, colorful graphics or booklet-style badges that hang from a lanyard and work double time as a program.
- Directional signage
Want to diminish an attendee’s satisfaction with your corporate event quickly? Neglect to consider directional signage. Nothing is more frustrating than being at an event and not knowing where to go. When considering your directional signage needs, more is better. Done correctly, signage can even cut down on the number of staff or volunteers you need assisting guests at an event. Review our list below for directional signage you may wish to consider:
- Agenda signage
- Speaker signage
- Sponsor signage
- Welcome signage
- Signage directing attendees to activities, rooms, restrooms and meals/food
- Marketing and Event Materials
What printed materials will you need to support your event or distribute to attendees? You got them to the event, now what information or message do you need to get into their hands? Depending on the event, this might include:
- Event schedules
- Brochures, flyers, presentation materials, training materials or catalogs
- Business cards
- Presentation display, possible including a backdrop, banners, posters, table covers
- Giveaway promotional items such as branded bags, notebooks, pens
- Menus (if food is being served)
- Table toppers
Event Follow-up: Thank You Cards and Marketing Follow-up
Whew! Your event is over, time to relax – right? Wrong. You’ve spent time, effort and money on your corporate event, fostering connections with and relaying your message to attendees. What you do to follow-up is the last, and some would argue, most crucial component to realizing your event goals.
Every event should be followed up with a thank you. Even if your corporate function featured the latest in technology, there is something about receiving an actual, physical thank you card. In today’s technologically advanced world, a physical (and hand-written – gasp!) thank-you can even be the ticket to standing out from the crowd.
Was the purpose of your event to market your business? Then it’s important to strike while the iron is hot. Increase the ROI of your event by reaching out to attendees with informative, helpful follow-up resources that reinforce your messaging, introduce new opportunities and keep their connection with you at the top of their mind.
Your Twin Cities Corporate Event Print & Marketing Specialist
Planning a corporate event and looking for a business resource you can rely on to ensure it’s a success? AlphaGraphics of the Twin Cities, with locations in downtown Minneapolis and Apple Valley, is a professional business-to-business print, design and direct marketing partner with 20+ years of corporate event print, marketing, and direct mail experience. We’re more than order-takers, we’re guides. Our professional team will work side-by-side with you to identify, design and implement all your corporate event print, marketing and signage needs with our high-quality production, quick turn-around, and impeccable beginning-to-end service Contact us today to set up an appointment with our team.