Hosting a corporate event is a wonderful way for staff to meet one another, learn more about the business as a whole and have a bit of fun. However, planning a gathering your employees will want to attend is often easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help you put together an event that employees will still be talking about the next day.
1. Consider the Purpose
Before planning your corporate event, you must first determine your reason behind hosting it. Whether you want to honor your employees or hold a fundraiser gala for a local organization, your goal should be clear to both you and the attendees.
2. Budget Wisely
Once you have a purpose, it's time to create a budget. Be sure to set aside money for decorations, food, a venue, transportation, awards and invites. Then, leave a bit of wiggle room in case you go over or under in one area or another.
3. Delegate Tasks
Even if you're the world's most efficient organizer, it's still a good idea to have a planning committee or to simply let responsible employees do some things. Delegate tedious and menial tasks like buying decorations, organizing games and other activities, and maybe even hiring entertainment for the evening.
4. Send Fun Invites
Begin looking for invites and consider how you might ask employees to attend the event. Will you send e-vites, mail paper ones or simply make a companywide announcement? Be sure to include all the details in the invitation, including the dress code and whether employees can bring their spouse or kids.
5. Promote Your Event
Of course, you want as many people as possible to attend your event. However, merely letting the invites do the talking won't necessarily result in a great turnout. Take to social media and post flyers in the office to promote the party and keep it in the forefront of everyone's minds.
6. Book a Great Venue
Some employees may find it difficult to relax if you host your gathering in the office. Consider golf clubs, wedding venues and other more upscale locations for a classy, more relaxed feel. If employees know the event is off-site, some might be more apt to show up.
7. Get a Golf Cart
If you happen to book a large venue, consider renting a golf cart to transport people from their cars to the main event area. Providing this simple on-site transportation will make attending less of a hassle for those with disabilities and the elderly. Plus, having a golf cart will make it easier to transport food and decorations over the grounds.
8. Serve Tasty Food
Skip the subs and show your team you truly care by serving quality fare. Hire a caterer or order food through the venue. Provide multiple options for the main course so those with food allergies or dietary restrictions can still eat and enjoy the evening.
9. Pop the Bubbly
You might also consider serving champagne, wine or beer at the event. Of course, it may be safer to limit alcohol consumption with drink tickets or a cash bar devoid of hard liquor. Moreover, avoid making alcohol the main focus and emphasize company culture and social responsibility instead to remind others to limit their intake.
10. Provide Post-Event Transport
Even if you take every precaution, some may still manage to overindulge. Therefore, it's wise to plan for transportation following the gathering. Hire cabs or shuttles to wait outside the venue and cover the cost of the ride for your employees. This way, they'll be more likely to relinquish their keys and stay safe.
The Devil's in the Details
When it comes to planning a unique and engaging corporate event, the devil really is in the details. For instance, if the food is amazing but the dinner music doesn't match the tone, your employees will take note. Likewise, decorations and the venue may seem insignificant. However, these are the first things your employees will notice — and you obviously want to make a good impression.
Therefore, it's wise to plan down to the minute to avoid awkward silences, disappointing entertainment and boredom. With a lot of planning and a bit of luck, you'll put on a fantastic corporate event your team will remember for a long time.
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