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Corporate Events vs Public Events: 5 Major Differences
Written by: Cloe Matheson
Have you ever wondered what the key differences between corporate and private events are? The term ‘corporate event’ covers a wide range of events such as team-building events, networking events, incentive events, national meetings, and end-of-year parties that are generally within a company. Public events, as the name suggests, are open for members of the public to attend and generally require a fee or at least a registration of attendance. Popular types of public events include conventions, lectures, and trade shows (which may also be attended by employees of various corporations). But what are the 5 major differences between the two types of events, and how do these differences affect planning?
Marketing is more important for public events
Marketing will look very different for corporate and public events. If marketing for a corporate event is necessary, the advertising will usually only be displayed within the company. If an event is only for employees of a company or their clients, a simple card or email of invitation to the people on the guest list may be the only marketing required.
Marketing is often more extensive if the event is public. Marketers will usually create more tailored advertising on multiple platforms to reach their target audience. Therefore, the marketing budget for a public event will often be much higher than for a corporate event.
Corporate events are limited to specific guests
Corporate event guests are usually the employees or clients of the company in question, while public events are usually open to anyone who buys a ticket or registers. Event planners must ensure they reach their target audience when advertising a public event – nobody wants to invest their time and money into planning an event that ends up being cancelled when not enough tickets are sold.
Funding comes from different sources
Companies usually fund corporate events out of their own budget, while public events are mainly funded by ticketing and sponsorship. Corporate events sometimes rely on sponsorship, too, depending on the type of event.
Venues are always important
Choosing the right venue is very important, whether you are managing a corporate event or a private event. People in charge of organising a place to hold an event must think carefully about factors such as how many guests will attend, how much light they will need, or whether the event will need to provide amenities such as WiFi.
A beautiful venue can do wonders for the enjoyment of the people attending an event. Organisers of corporate events may be less concerned with aesthetics and more with function, while organisers of public events – who must sell the importance of their event to outsiders – may be more interested in how sleek and attractive a venue looks. Regardless of the type of event, organisers must set aside enough time and resources to find the best venue to match the tone of the event.
Planning time may vary
Smaller corporate events may be more straightforward to plan than public events, since organisers usually already have a solid idea about who will be attending and because their budget probably won’t rely on sponsorship or ticket sales. There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule: sometimes corporate events involve even more planning than public events. However, when planning corporate events, planners will need to take into account the company culture as well as the age ranges of the employees and clients invited, to ensure the event is a success.