Waffle Wednesday: How to arrange a successful corporate event

Joel Makkonen ja Emmi Lepistö Onnistuneen yritystapahtuman avaimet

In the Waffle Wednesday event last September, Joel Makkonen and Emmi Lepistö, members of Soupster’s sales team, shared helpful tips for arranging a successful business event. With their extensive background in the restaurant and event industry, they offered a unique perspective on event planning.

Emmi Lepistö, with over ten years of experience in the restaurant and event sector, has worked in sales, production, and participated in numerous events. She highlights that unexpected situations are common. Emmi excels in understanding the restaurant and event industry, having strong people skills, and the ability to solve challenges quickly.

Joel Makkonen, serving as Soupster’s sales manager, has played a role in organizing numerous events, serving both B2C and B2B needs, with some events hosting up to 3000 people. Joel prioritizes assisting clients in reaching their goals, drawing on his expertise in managing customer experiences and overseeing the entire event planning process.


Setting Goals is the Key

When you start organizing an event, the first thing to do is decide what you want to achieve with it. Whether it’s a company’s holiday party, a business gathering, boosting a brand, or giving a boost to the staff, having a clear goal helps in planning everything.

Joel and Emmi shared real examples to show how different goals can really impact the success of an event. For instance, they talked about an IT industry event at Vallila Wonderland that aimed for networking and face-to-face meetings. This required thinking about how people move around and the food setup. On the flip side, there was an event for a law firm that aimed to build a strong brand and make a good impression on potential employees. This needed detailed planning for the atmosphere, food, and overall experience to create a “wow” effect.


The Customer Journey Begins Before the Event

In event planning, the journey for guests begins even before the actual event. Invitations play a crucial role as they create the first impression and impact how many people will join. Emmi highlighted that sending interesting and well-timed invitations is important. The registration phase is just as vital because the number of participants affects many aspects of organizing the celebration.

Successful events also involve getting guests excited beforehand. People can be asked in advance about their preferences, like their favorite music or voting on the event’s theme. This way, guests have a chance to have a say in how the event will go. According to Emmi, coming to the event should be worth it, and that’s why you need an appealing program, like an engaging speaker. The event’s content should be showcased right from the invitation and registration phase so that guests understand the value they’ll get from attending.


Details During the Event

Before the event, it’s crucial to go over all the details such as when the doors open and when the welcome drinks are served. Joel emphasizes that the party should already be in full swing when guests arrive.

Thinking about the customer’s journey is key in event planning. Joel and Emmi gave an example of a 90s cruise-themed event where they carefully planned the customer’s journey from entering to the program and food service. The event had recognizable elements from cruises, such as bright neon colors, a photography spot, a duty-free shop, and karaoke.

The success of an event always comes back to the goals set in the beginning. Whether the aim is for people to connect or to make a good impression, all the details are arranged to match the type and purpose of the event. When planning the schedule, it’s also important to consider the so-called “empty time” and be flexible. Depending on the event type, attention should also be given to the later stages of the celebration. Can guests keep the celebration going after the official program, or does the event wrap up at a specific time?


 After the Event

At the end of the event, the first thing to do is thank the participants. Besides expressing thanks, it’s essential to gather and review feedback. Making it easy for participants to give feedback encourages them to share their thoughts. Also, sharing event photos with participants helps recreate the event’s vibe. Any questions raised by participants during the event should be addressed promptly after it’s over.

If there’s something that didn’t go as planned or could have been improved at the event, this feedback is considered when planning the next one.


Planning a future event?

Before a company starts planning an upcoming event, it’s crucial to think about resources. Does the company already have the know-how, or do they need help from outside? If they need extra expertise, a good first step is to ask for advice. When looking for the right partner, the company should get price quotes from different places. Comparing these offers helps make sure the chosen partner is the best fit for the event. Thorough planning and using the right resources are essential to make sure the upcoming event goes above expectations and adds value to the company.

Watch the whole talk here.

Web page: Soupster

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