How to Plan the Perfect Corporate Event in London
Planning a corporate event can be a great way to bond colleagues, reward them for their hard work or motivate them for the year ahead. When planning a corporate event in London you have the cream of the crop to choose from, including the best venues, the world’s best chefs through to famous DJs in London to provide your entertainment. So whether you’re looking to deliver a river Thames cruise for an away day, a networking reception on a rooftop or your company’s annual conference, then we’ve picked out all the elements to consider when planning your corporate event in London.
At Noisy Kitchen we live and breathe events and entertainment, whilst also knowing every hotspot that London has to offer. So if you’d like to learn more about how to plan the perfect corporate event in London then check out our tips below.
Decide the Objectives and Goals of your Corporate Event
When planning a corporate event you will need to fully dig down into the objectives of the event. Is it a sales kick-off designed to motivate the sales team? Is it an away day to make the team feel highly valued? Or is it the company’s annual review designed to set out the goals for the year ahead? By setting out your objectives and goals it will help you to formulate the agenda, assign budgets to each different element and help determine what sort of venue you would look to book.
Pick an Event Date
When choosing a date for your event there are a few important things to keep in mind. Don’t choose a date that may cross a public holiday (consider the bank holidays also of other countries if attendees are not just from the UK). Aim to also pick dates that don’t clash with major sporting events as you may find you have a distracted audience. Think about what day of the week - earlier in the week is often cheaper when booking venue space versus later in the week.
Choose your Budget
Determining what your budget will be for the event needs to be done as a first off as this will determine all elements of the event, such as the venue you choose, the entertainment you pick, and any team-building-type activities that you wish to book.
Choose an Event Venue
When choosing an event venue there are a few things that are important to consider before you sign on the dotted line. The choice of an event venue can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful event, so make sure to always research before making your final choice.
Things to Consider when Choosing an Event Venue
Can the space fit your delegate numbers? Will it feel too large or too small or just right? Does the space give you enough leeway if more/less people confirm than planned?
Style of the Venue
Does the style of the venue suit the purpose of your event and the demographic? An event for a law firm will likely suit a different style of venue to an event for a tech start-up.
If the day involves breakouts, does the venue have space for these to take place either in a formal or less formal way?
Is the event venue rated for their food? Catering is one of the most important parts of a corporate event and you don’t want your organisation of the event to be let down by a poor menu.
Is the venue in a location that is suitable. Of course, the venue will never be suitable for all attendees, but is it easily accessible by the tube or bus without guests having to walk too far from the nearest tube station or bus stop?
Event venues can vary wildly when it comes to costs. If you choose a dry hire venue you will have extra costs such as catering, AV, and dressing of the venue, whereas if you choose a hotel venue these will likely be included in a daily delegate rate (DDR).
Unique Venues for Corporate Events
In London there are a host of weird and wonderful venues that can be used for corporate events. At the Treehouse Hotel, guests can enjoy sweeping panoramic views of London amongst an urban jungle. Or to add a bit of grandeur, why not opt for the LSO St Luke’s in Shoreditch? Home to the London Symphony Orchestra, LSO St Luke’s has flexible spaces that work well for awards dinners, conferences or a Christmas party.
Small Event Spaces in London
If you’re looking for a more boutique style event space for a smaller group then London has some great venue options. Hello Darling near Waterloo is a quirky venue that has a variety of immersive style smaller spaces to choose from. Each room has a different take and you can choose from hiring a space in their bar or restaurant through to hiring all three floors.
The TT Liquor Store is a stunning small event space in Dalston which can be used for an event with different aspects. Offering outdoor space, a cinema for presentations and a set up for cocktail classes, it’s an ideal choice if you want to keep your corporate event under one roof.
Conference venues in London
With so many conference venues in London, it can be hard to know where to start! Do you want a quirky conference venue, or one which is traditional? Does the conference venue need space for breakouts or a nearby space for a drinks reception? Consider how your delegates will move throughout the day of the conference, so that you can choose an event venue that suits the conference set up.
Sea Containers is a super stylish conference venue which takes inspiration from 1920s cruise ship glamour. It has a capacity of 30 - 300 guests across its bars Lyaness and 12th Knot and the Curzon Cinema.
Hotels with conference rooms in London
Packed full of history, The Ned is an events venue that is bound to impress your attendees. Boasting period features, panelling, vintage chandeliers and the choice of six bars and restaurants, The Ned is a top choice if you are looking for a hotel with conference rooms in London.
Newly opened this year and set inside a magistrates court, NoMad offers over 9,000 square feet of space for events. Opulently stylish NoMad has bedrooms starting from the classic through to the Royal Opera Suite.
Brand your event
Depending on the size of your event and your objectives you may want to look at branding your corporate event. This could be in line with a sales theme, a company anniversary or just around the dress code theme. Work with a graphic designer to create the branding, and then populate all your marketing material with the branding.
Choose a corporate event activity
You have picked the date, chosen the venue, planned the agenda, but you need to come up with some corporate event ideas that fit with your overarching event objectives. London has the cream of the crop when it comes to event activities, from having a well-known comedian do a bespoke set for your audience to doing a cookery class with a Michelin star chef.
When choosing corporate event activities always consider your attendees and their demographic, are they male, female or a mix? What is their age group? What are the interests outside of work? This will all help in guiding the type of activity you choose.
Corporate event activity ideas
- A spa afternoon at ESPA Life Corinthia London followed by a champagne tea and drinks at ME London rooftop bar.
- Rustle up an Indonesian feast at the Cookery School at Little Portland Street
- Do an East London wine walk, with a curated tour of some of the best wine bars
- Test out the teams icing skills at the Big London Bake
- Hire a boat and cruise along the Thames whilst having a gin tasting
- Go back to the 90s and take part in The Crystal Maze
Organise Food and Beverage (F&B)
When planning a corporate event in London there are so many F&B options to choose from that it might feel overwhelming with where to start. If your event is taking place at a hotel and you will stay onsite there, then you will be able to work alongside the venue to understand what the catering options that are available.
If you choose to go offsite for meals, then you can choose to exclusively book out restaurants, use a private dining room, or do dine-around where you split the groups across multiple restaurants.
There are hundreds of restaurants with private dining rooms from the private dining room for 30 at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester to the more intimate room of 12 at Angela Hartnett’s Murano.
What to consider when choosing F&B for your corporate event
Dietaries - Find out well in advance your attendees dietary requirements
Non-alcoholic drinks options - Don’t just leave non-drinkers to nurse an orange juice, work with the venue on creating interesting non-alcoholic options
Avoid the post-lunch slump - If you are delivering important content in the afternoon then don’t choose heavy food for the lunchtime
Choose restaurants that cater for all dietaries - Make sure to pick restaurants that can cover all dietary requirements
Hire some epic corporate party entertainment
Depending on the style of your event you may want to finish the night with some entertainment. This might take the form of dancers, DJ sets, singers, magicians or a comedian. Pick entertainment that is fitting with the style of event and the audience.
Corporate party entertainment ideas
- A celebrity DJ set
- An Ibiza style saxophone player
- An after dinner magician
- 1920s showgirls act
- Sand artists
- Tribute acts
- Circus acts
Create an Ultimate Plan for Pre, during, and Post-event Logistics
To make sure you stay on top of everything throughout your corporate event, it’s a good idea to create a thorough plan for every element of the event. Populate your plan with every finer detail, from transport arrivals, welcome desk set-up times, dietary requirements of all guests through to attendee check out times. The more information you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be when you’re onsite. Walkthrough the day/s in your head prior to the event to think of every detail that may need to be addressed.
Noisy Kitchen is a DJ booking agency, representing some of the best celebrity DJs in the industry. Built in partnership with DJ Fearne Cotton, Noisy Kitchen can provide DJs and live talent across a wide range of events including weddings, festivals and corporate events.
Please get in touch for any brand partnership enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 207 043 1746