So far this month, we’ve provided corporate event entertainment in New York City and DC for two events which came together last-minute – and when I say last-minute, I mean within less than a week each! While perfectly fine for the entertainment vendor (provided he/she is available, and has the time & resources necessary to adequately prepare) pulling off corporate entertainment in NYC on a very fast timetable is unimaginably stressful for you, the planner.
Last-minute events can occur for any number of reasons – a boss’s spur-of-the-moment decision, quick rescheduling of an event which was cancelled or postponed previously or, as was the case with one of our recent events, maybe an upcoming meeting or conference requires a team building activity, and the vendor you booked just backed out. Regardless, if you’re the person who’s now got the task of making this happen, you’re only thinking one thing: I’m screwed!
Fortunately, you are NOT screwed. Pulling off last-minute entertainment for corporate groups in New York City or anywhere is absolutely feasible – however, in order to do so successfully and without giving yourself an aneurism, I’d recommend you do the following:
- Determine Your Exact Date and Time – When will this event be? It’s the first question everyone will want to know: prospective venues, vendors, and of course your attendees
- Determine Your Exact Budget – How much money do you have available to you? There’s going to be much to think about in the way of budgeting, such as the venue, food & drink, transportation, entertainment etc. Knowing how much you realistically have to play with will save you time and aggravation as you evaluate your options
- Estimate Your Attendance – What is the absolute maximum number of people who could possibly be at your event? This will be your baseline, as every other decision will stem from it. Remember: you can have too much space, food etc. but you CAN’T have too little
- Find Competent Vendors – Don’t sacrifice quality for price. At one of our above events, the venue was quite large, and the built-in sound system was spotty at best. As a live trivia company in NYC, we have our own portable sound projection equipment – however, given the size and unusual shape/dimensions of the room, I recommended to our client that they bring in professional A/V to assist. The vendor they used was dependable, responsive and extremely competent, and were able to make the event a success. Were they the cheapest A/V guys? No way – but they were excellent, and made it happen
- Enlist Help – You can’t do this alone. No matter what the size or scope of the event, if it’s got to be put together last-minute, you’re going to have details and to-do’s coming out of your eyeballs. Ask for help, and delegate wherever you can.
While I can’t promise a last-minute event will be stress-free, by using the above tips it is possible to create a positive experience which meets your group’s experience, while keeping you sane. After all, if people can plan & pull off a 200-person wedding in just 3 months, a corporate party should be a piece of cake!