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How to Plan the Perfect Office Event

A simple framework executive assistants and office managers can use to take the stress out of event planning

As office managers, admins, and executive assistants we wear many different hats. We manage agendas, travel arrangements, phone calls, budgeting, office supplies, presentations, and many other things. We also are tasked with organizing company events. Company events are extremely important because they allow employees to connect on a more personal level, which increases team building, inspires creativity, and boosts morale. 

Here at Lola, I am passionate about having the best events for our employees and larger community. These range from small 10-person lunches to company-wide holiday parties. Putting on a successful company event is not always easy, but I have some tips to help!

Setting the event budget

When it comes to the budget for an event, I focus on establishing a per-head rate. This per-head rate can then be multiplied by the number of employees attending to determine the full budget. This per-head rate can vary from event to event. There are several things you should consider when deciding on the budget for an event.  

    • Catering costs - These costs can vary by provider and the type of service you choose. Remember to factor in all the different parts of the catering, including food, beverages, tips, and possible servers.  
    • Accessories - The small things can have a big impact on making an event great! Accessories can include things such as T-Shirts, water bottles, invitations, program booklets, and event signage.
    • Venue - Using your own office space is a great way to keep the costs of the event low. But offsite venues can help you change up the scenery and provide extra space for large events. When applicable, the cost of an offsite venue must be considered.
    • Transportation - If your event is going to be at an off-site location, it is important to factor in transportation cost. These include things such as buses, taxis, Lyfts, Ubers, and limos (if you're feeling super fancy).  
    • Entertainment -  Loudspeakers, lights, and entertainers are great ways to ensure the event is full of energy. 

 

Pro-Tip

  • Always leave wiggle room when setting a budget for your event. This can be done by determining your max budget and then coming in under it. This will allow you to have the funds to fix any unforeseeable problems if they arise.  


Keeping food options exciting

Judy Geller, the co-founder of the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP), said, “85% of administrative professionals say they plan events on a regular basis, and ordering food is a big part of that task.” Feeding a hungry staff is extremely important because it provides them with the fuel needed to get work done. Employees are not always easy to satisfy though.  

It is important to keep things interesting so that lunch offerings do not get stale. There are a variety of different ways I keep lunch options interesting at Lola so that our employees are happy and energized. My top tips include:

  • Using different catering platforms - This allows you to access a broad offering of lunch options. Some of my favorite sites are Fooda, EzCater, and Grubhub for Work.  
  • Keeping track of past orders - Saving past orders is essential because it allows you to look back and make sure you are switching things up.
  • Surveying the employees to get ideas and feedback regarding lunches - Ask employees what they have thought of the previous lunches, what is good/bad, and what they would like to see more of.

Pro-Tip

    • Always consider people’s different dietary needs when it comes to choosing new food options. Stale lunch options can be annoying, but it is even worse to have nothing to eat at all!  

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I hope these tips help you put on awesome office events and lunches! If you want to connect with me and other office managers, admins, and executive assistants, join our channel on Slack at www.smarterea.com. Also, follow Lola on LinkedIn to view our new “Ask An Admin” video series!  

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Posted by

Eliza Bladon
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