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Your Complete Guide To Planning a Corporate Event in San Diego

It would be tough to find a better place to plan on holding a corporate event than San Diego. Nicknamed “America’s Finest City,” San Diego boasts amazing year-round weather with little rain, white-sand beaches and loads of tourist attractions. Traveling both to and through the city’s more than 300 square miles presents few issues. The SR 163 freeway also crosses San Diego’s Balboa Park and earned a reputation as one of the USA’s most beautiful drive-throughs.

Set a Budget

Determining your total budget reflects a vital first step in planning a successful event. It’s wise to plan on having about 10% extra funding to cover the unexpected costs. Proper allocation of your available funds could also play a role in your success. If, for example, you spend more on decorations and props than you’ve allocated for audio and visual needs, you could severely reduce the effectiveness of your presentations. Consider the possibility of your speakers relying upon live large-screen slides and graphics that they can project from their laptops.

Be sure to not overlook budgeting for food and beverages. Those individuals attending your event may be much more forgiving of unexpected mishaps if they’re not feeling hungry. If you’re not bringing in third-party catering, check to see what your potential venues offer in the area of food and drink. The venue that you choose can have much to do with both your budget and the experiential takeaway.

Your required budget will depend on the number of attendees. In addition to the size of the area you’ll need, the number of individuals attending will also affect your food and drink costs. You may also need to consider travel expenses and lodging. Overall, your headcount can reflect a critical factor in your budget; keep this upfront in your planning.

Finding a Venue

You won’t find San Diego lacking in available venues. You’ll discover a wide range to choose from. Create a checklist of everything you’ll need. This can include Wi-Fi, A/V technology, seating-and-table arrangements and, of course, food and drink. Some venues offer their own food services or provide listings of approved caterers.

Working with a venue’s approved caterer or on-site amenities staff provides an advantage over third-party vendors. You’ll have individuals attending to your guests’ needs who have experience working in the room. You may also need an onsite technical crew that can make sure your A/V needs are well-covered.

Consider the venue’s overall ambient appeal and the nearby attractions. The local setting will create a lasting impression that reflects on your company. In addition to its many parks and beaches, San Diego has a renowned deep-water natural harbor that offers a range of memorable attractions.

Ample space to accommodate all your attendees is important, but it may not prove helpful to go overboard and contract too large of a space. A noticeable array of empty seats can cause guests to view your event as somewhat less than a rousing success. Although a “standing-room-only” affair might cause some attendees to see things otherwise, a few scattered empty seats will make a better impression than several empty rows.

Choosing an Activity That Suits Your Team’s Interests

Learning about your audience’s shared interests can help you achieve your hoped-for outcomes. If the objective is team building, attention to your guests’ common interests works in your favor. If you’re aiming to persuade your audience to buy into a new strategy or an organizational change, determining shared interests can benefit your cause.

In addition to acknowledging common interests, you could also cater to them by including relevant activities in your program schedule. If, for example, you learn that a significant portion of your attendees share an interest in fishing, boating or other water-based activities, San Diego’s natural harbor will provide a wealth of options to choose from.

Including more than one activity type in your event schedule can pay off; it generates excitement and a sense of discovery for attendees experiencing something new. Overall, it’s best to not let your presentation drift into what guests might view as a “sell job” or “vanity event.” Balancing your goals and your audience’s interests can reward you with a more effective event.

Gathering Food & Drink

Don’t overlook the importance of food and drink. The issue should not remain on the back burner or go past the planning stage. Your guests will most likely both remember and comment on the quality of the cuisine. If you’re hoping for some positive conversations following your event, consider carefully what you serve your guests.

Choosing the type of food and drink offered can also reflect logistical considerations. Will you benefit from your guests congregating around a buffet table? If they do, it may promote greater group interaction and discussion. Perhaps your event may proceed more smoothly if the attendees took a break to head over to a nearby dining area for seated table service. This could prove beneficial if it enhances the overall takeaway to have tables grouped by managers, sales reps or IT teams.

Food quality will most likely enter into your guests’ post-event discussions. If not offered, some attendees may have preferred that the event provided a greater degree of choice in the available food and drink. In this respect, a buffet could fare better than a fixed dinner-table setting. Some attendees may also have special dietary needs.

Planning an Event at Sea

With all that America’s Finest City has to offer its residents and visitors, San Diego Bay stands out as a major attraction and an ideal venue for a corporate event held at sea. In addition to your guests enjoying a memorable escape from the demands of the office, a day at sea will serve as both a team member reward and a relaxing getaway. A chartered cruise will also effectively make a positive impression on prospective clients.

A luxurious gathering at sea aboard a privately charted yacht will enable your guests to enjoy perfect ocean cruise weather and smooth sailing in the calm waters of San Diego’s natural harbor bay. A well-trained and experienced crew will remain onboard and available to ensure that all guests are comfortable, safe and well taken care of. Don’t hesitate to learn more if you’re planning a corporate event in San Diego.