Decor for professional corporate events

Corporate Events VS. Social Events: A Planner’s Guide (Part 1)

Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms. This week, she tells us how to successfully coordinate the wedding party.

I know that many of you reading the QC blog are rooted in the wedding industry either as an event planner or floral designer. Today, however, I want to talk to you about corporate event planning. Truthfully, corporate events are a totally different world than social events (especially weddings), but there are some similarities.

Below is a list of ways that all events are the same:

Event Budget

Budgeting for a corporate event planner

All events have a budget — weddings, social events and corporate events alike. Just like with weddings, some budgets are small and some are large. But everyone has one!

With corporate events, the budgets tend to be a little larger, however, the cap is typically very solid and with little wiggle room. With weddings and social events, the emotional attachment to planning can often lead to budgets being expanded. Do not expect that to happen with corporate work.

Planning Timeline

There is a pretty solid formula for putting together an event. You must start with a budget, then identify a date and whom you are inviting. From there, you just follow the formula and eventually your event will be planned and ready to execute. There are plug-and-play elements required for any event to be successful, and they are easy to expand and contrast.

The order of things never changes, but how much time you have for each is a simple adjustment. You can plan an event in just a few weeks or months if you are organized and ready to step into motion quickly.


Event planning requires extreme attention to all of the details. Seriously. All of them. There are details related to the actual planning process and timing. There are also details involved in securing vendors, communicating with clients and your creative team. There are infinite details about when and how everything should be executed onsite.

Corporate event planning for galas

If your day-of timeline is not on point, the onsite details will begin to fall apart. These items apply to all events no matter who your clients or guests are. Social events, corporate events, even meetings. There are so many details that I couldn’t begin to list here — but that is why you are taking the QC courses so you are in good hands!

Stay tuned for Part 2 when Heather tells us the real differences between planning corporate events and planning weddings & social events!

Follow Heather’s guide to coordinating the wedding party and you’ll be ready to run the show!


One response to “Corporate Events VS. Social Events: A Planner’s Guide (Part 1)”

    Hazel says:

    It is important that you don’t mix social and corporate. Although there are many similarities, they are different and they require a separate set of skills. An excellent article that explains everything down to a tee.

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