Amy Rose Gould


Running an event at work? Read these 5 tips first

I don’t know about you, but as much as I love attending work dinners, parties and networking events, the planning and management behind them is one-too-many things on my PA list of things to do! And I know for sure that there are things I forget to do and other things I should have thought about doing.

I asked experienced Events Specialist Gayle Watts for her top tips for planning a work event. Gayle was an EA for years before managing events for a large company across the UK and Ireland, so she knows her stuff. Since she set up her own business this year, she’s becoming the go-to person for companies wanting to outsource their events to an experienced planner.

So without further ado, here are Gayle’s top 5 tips for planning a work event:

Plan Early

‘The longer lead time you have before an event, the better chance of venue options, flexible availability and rates’.

I think we’ve all been in the position where the top venue you want to book is full on the date you want. And if your business doesn’t have a load of money to throw at alternatives, leaving the planning too late can result in second or third choices being the only option available.

Create a work plan 

‘This is the most effective way of keeping track of event demands, accountability for who signs up for what, and setting deadlines to run a successful event’.

Gayle says that project management is essential, no matter the size of the event. Plus if you use a work plan it means no last-minute scramble when you realise things have been missed.

Gayle Watts.jpg

‘If you are using a large part of a venue for a number of days there may be wiggle room for a discount here or there’

Stick to budget

‘Always make sure that you’re working within your budget! No one likes to do a budget reconciliation at the end of an event and have to deliver the news you have gone over. If you are being asked for additional things to make the event successful, ensure you are letting whoever know the costs and how this will effect the budget before signing on the dotted line!’

I’ve used venues in the past and assumed certain things were included and they weren’t (like wi-fi), and also got swept up in creative ideas! Making the budget a non-negotiable is a must.


‘When speaking with venues/vendors/catering/entertainment always see if there is room to negotiate. If you are using a large part of a venue for a number of days there may be wiggle room for a discount here or there’.

Eek, I cannot barter for the life of me! But if you don’t ask you don’t get, and any money you save in one area can be spent on another.


Have a back-up plan

For an outside event, for example: we all know how the weather can be. Unless you are doing a tough mudder event always ensure wherever you book has an indoor option first, and outside is an added bonus!’

 Ahh, English weather. We love to talk about it and we should learn to plan for it a lot better. My daughter’s birthday is in April and we’ve experienced heat waves and torrential rain at her parties so far! We can’t even guarantee a rain-free day in August, so a back-up plan is essential.

A big thank you to Gayle for her help with this post!

If you need help running your company event (or your client’s), then Gayle can be found here: