5 hints for planning corporate events


Sage and Thistle’s Grinch-themed holiday bash for Nature’s Sunshine. (Photo courtesy of Sage and Thistle)

Missy O’Gwin and Tressa Roberts of Sage and Thistle Events in Lindon know how to party like it’s their job. Take their official business titles: Party Guru and Celebration Czar. They are also the queens of themes, as they have planned western hoedowns, winter wonderland bashes and Hollywood glitz extravaganzas.

“We just like themed parties. Period,” Roberts says.

Planning corporate events takes more than glitter, glitz and glue guns. Here are O’Gwin and Roberts’ top five tips for planning a corporate event.

1. First Things First

Before planning the fun details of a corporate event, figure out the basic information: venue, number of guests, entertainment, vendors and of course, date and time. After those bases are covered, O’Gwin and Roberts start brainstorming themes based on venue and group size. They will suggest three or four ideas for clients to choose from.

2. Be Inspired

Look through magazines, Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration of how to expand your winning theme. “Look at what they did,” O’Gwin says. “How can we do it and make it look better? We don’t want to copy somebody else. That’s no fun. We want to make it our own. Something unique that you’ve never seen before — and it takes your breath away.”

3. Strategize the Details

“We are so picky about details,” Roberts says. Determine what is most important, then budget for that first set of details. The second set of details typically focus on centerpieces, tables, linens, napkins, chair backings, smells, colors and music. Everything should help make the theme come alive. Once, Sage and Thistle planned a Grinch-themed bash. “From the minute they walk through the front door, they are going to start to experience Whoville or the Grinch’s lair or Winter Wonderland,” O’Gwin says. “We try to take them away.”

4. Confirm and Prepare

“Staying in great communication with vendors is key,” O’Gwin says. “Usually about two weeks out, I’ll start making sure all the vendors are lined up,” Roberts says. After confirming all the vendors, be ready for anything. “Our toolbox is fully stocked of anything that could possibly be wired, stapled, taped or plugged in,” O’Gwin says.

5. Stick to the Schedule

Make sure everyone involved in the event production knows the schedule and can stay with it. “Everyone has to know the schedule and timing,” O’Gwin says. “Everyone has to have an itinerary because we depend on things flowing.”

Bonus Tip: When to Plan

While it’s always a good time to party, the time of year is an invisible guest. Ideally, plan three months in advance.

“You’ll save money if you plan further ahead. We can order things online — they are less expensive than if we buy them locally,” Roberts says.

For holiday events, plan at least six months in advance.

“December is rough,” O’Gwin says. “There are only so many venues and weekends. And generally, you don’t want the weekend before Christmas. It’s a short window of time.”


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