10 Tips for Throwing A Successful Corporate Event

It is easy to become overwhelmed and stressed when given the task of planning a successful corporate event. However, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems.

With over 14 years in the catering business, we have seen our fair share of events and have learned some of the essentials for throwing a successful event.

 Follow these 10 tips to ensure a successful corporate event:

budget1. Set a budget 

Before you get started with the entire event planning process, make sure you set a specific budget for every aspect of the event including: food, entertainment, venue, décor, etc.

Your budget should be something that you have easy access to. As you begin to make decisions on event details, you will want to refer to your pre-determined budget. If something is out of the budget, you may want to look for other options or find areas of the budget that you can adjust.

2. Plan ahead

More likely than not, when you are put in charge of planning an event for your company, you are given the task months in advance of the actual event. As soon as you know when your company is looking to throw an event, start to plan! There is nothing worse than procrastinating when it comes to event planning. The longer you wait, the more limited your venue, entertainment, and catering options become.

Also, plan for the unexpected! Things happen. Life happens. When planning your event, plan ahead for things such as rain. After all of your hard work putting together a spectacular event, don’t let the weather ruin the day. What can you do in the event that the unexpected happens?

3. Get some help

Don’t go at the event planning process alone. Ask others in the office for some help, especially the days immediately leading up to the event. Eliminate some stress and allow yourself to actually enjoy the event by assigning tasks to others.

4. Choose a venue that will accommodate all guests

As the event planner, you should know how many people plan to attend your event. One of the most important questions you can ask when selecting a venue is how many people the venue can accommodate. Instead of touring the venue and then finding out the venue is too small, call around and ask first. Your time is valuable!

Need help selecting a venue? Check out our list of partners for some of our favorites here in Portland.

5. Select a date that takes into consideration time of the year

When picking the date, make sure you have a calendar in front of you that includes national holidays, company specific dates, etc. Choose a date that takes into considerations everyone’s schedules. When throwing a company party or event, you want as many employees to be able to attend as possible.

6. Set the tone including décor & attire

When sending out the invitations for the event, be sure to set the tone for the event. The invite alone says a lot about the event. Choose colors, graphics, texts, etc. that are telling about the event.

Is this a casual event that jeans are appropriate for? Or is the event more formal where suit and tie are required? Make sure your audience is informed. Not only does this help you avoid the repeat question of “What should I wear?” but it also helps you in the venue, décor, entertainment, and food selection.

Eric Youel setting up for a wedding

7. Hire a caterer to ease the stress

We all have been to at least one event in our lifetime where there was either not enough or way too much food. Avoid this problem with a professional caterer!

Rather than trying to prepare all of the food yourself or asking others to contribute, set a fairly substantial food budget that allows you to hire a caterer. The caterer will help you select a menu that fits the tone of your event and will help you to ensure you have enough food to serve everyone.

8. Invite all staff members

If it is a company party, everyone should be invited. This may seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of times an event planner has forgotten to invite someone. Make sure your invite list includes everyone within the company. If you are unsure if everyone made the list, ask HR for a company wide list and/or have another associate go through the list with you.

9. Send a reminder

We all have busy schedules and can easily forget something that we have scheduled. Besides sending the event invite, be sure to send a reminder. This could be as simple as sending an email or posting an announcement in the kitchen or break room.

10. Hire entertainment

Although the company party should be a time for interacting with your colleagues, it should also be a time to relax and laugh a little! The most successful events have some sort of entertainment. After you determine the tone of your event, look into some different entertainment options. Everyone will appreciate a break from the norm!


Are you planning a corporate event? Contact Chef du Jour Catering today for help in selecting the perfect menu for your event or to learn more about some of our partners here in the Portland area. Best of luck as you start planning!

Do you have other tips for throwing a successful corporate event? Leave your tips in the comments below and we will be sure to add them to our list!