FEB 2010

BRISBANE’S world class facilities provide a mecca of choice for business travellers, conference organisers and event planners.

The plethora of event choices in Brisbane may present a false sense of security however, for planning any type of corporate function is not for the faint hearted.

With embarrassing event incidents reflecting poorly on the planner, the amount of consideration that needs to be put into creating a successful business event should not be underestimated.

To help you avoid a disastrous corporate function this year, Brisbane Business News has collated the advice of Queensland’s best event planners.

Vicki Dwyer from corporate events specialist V Events, says planning any corporate event is something that should be done well in advance.

“If you want to book a classy venue, especially one with a nice view of the river, you need to book 12 months in advance,” she says.

Dwyer stresses that getting the perfect place for your event can be a tedious task, so start planning early.

“Booking venues is important, you have to factor in things like dates, views, decorations and catering,” she says.

“Make lists and then cross tasks off as you complete them. Use something that works well for you, a notebook or an excel spreadsheet on your laptop, lists are important when it comes to planning a memorable party.”

Dwyer says booking through a reliable events planner can give you piece of mind that everything will run smoothly.

“If you know of a reputable company, or someone has recommended an events company to you, book through them.

“A good company, no matter what may go wrong, will have a backup plan.”

Ezy Events director Tenille Beadman, says reading over the fine print in the contract can potentially dodge a bullet.

“Larger corporations usually ask for their own area for a personalised party, however many find they end up sharing a room with other companies,” says Beadman.

“I’ve heard of one Christmas party where not a single Christmas decoration was hung up, you need these things to be in the contract so you have something to fall back on if anything goes wrong.”

Susan Graystone from Simply Great Ideas agrees the key to a successful party is checking the fine print.

“Check if there is a minimum spend in an events contract, as some companies decide to cut back costs without realising they have already agreed to spend a particular amount,” says Graystone.

The initial task of choosing the right venue to host your corporate function can seem deceptively easy.

“Employees put in charge of planning an event still have their job to do and often book venues based on photographs and information on their websites,” says Beadman.

“You absolutely have to find time for site inspections or you risk booking a place that looks great on the internet but ultimately is disappointing.”

If corporate event planners remain be cautious and careful in the preparation process, the success of the function is sure to pay off.

After taking care of the serious business during the day, the best way for staff to interact in a different sphere and enjoy themselves is to keep the function running into the night.

Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council general manager Laura Younger, says corporate functions, if done properly, are a great reward for staff.

“Parties are a great way to say thanks for the hard work,” says Younger.

“These functions are also a great way to bring people together as many staff members of larger companies often don’t get a chance to meet people from other departments.”

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