Securing a Restaurant or Hotel
A corporate event planner should know which hotels and restaurants in his area have conference rooms and private rooms. As a result, he or she will usually establish a good working relationship with the on-site event planners at these facilities. Not all corporate functions require a private or conference room, but most will.
The corporate event planner makes arrangements for a department, the company in its entirety, a guest speaker, or department head. The corporate planner works with a contact attending the event. This person is called the on-site contact or event host.
Working with the On-site Contact or Host
Depending on the needs of the host or on-site contact, the corporate planner will handle all of the details leading up to the event. Guests of the event will contact the corporate planner for directions, special dietary requests, or transportation.
On the day of the event, the corporate planner will hand the host or on-site contact a copy of the BEO (banquet event order) and resume. The BEO provides the details of the event. The resume provides details of the attending guests and lodging and transportation accommodations if applicable.
Working with a Facility Planner
The facility planner is the corporate event planner's contact on the venue side. All of the details are arranged between the two planners ahead of time. On occasion, the on-site contact will call the facility planner to confirm the details of the event. This call will usually take place when the on-site contact receives the BEO, the day before the event. The on-site contact will then manage any last-minute details or requests with the facility planner.
The facility planner will want to set up a meet and greet with the on-site contact. The pair may quickly outline the evening's program, menu, and payment. The on-site contact usually arrives before any guests to perform a walk-through. The on-site contact may use this time to set up any printed materials, equipment, or place cards in the private room.
In some cases, the event will incorporate a guest speaker or guest of honor. As the corporate planner, it is advisable to arrange for the guest speaker's transportation to the event. This will lessen the risk of the guest speaker getting lost or running late. When the speaker arrives at the venue, the on-site contact will brief him on the evening's program.
A facility planner may start his day early taking calls and organizing events and may not attend all the events at his facility. He may begin the evening with the host and leave the event, passing the responsibility to servers and managers. His assistant or partner may come in to manage the event until the end.
In a hotel or restaurant setting, a planner's schedule will vary from company to company. Expectations regarding her presence at events are arranged in advance with the owner or manager of the facility. When a facility event planner books events, a client may assume she will be present for the event. The facility planner should alert clients whose events she may not attend.
Often at corporate events the on-site contact will request a contact person at the venue. If the facility event planner cannot attend, she should convey this to the corporate event planner in the early stages. The facility planner's replacement should be listed on the BEO.