Osome Moments has overseen hundreds of corporate events- planning a corporate event is often overcomplicated when planners get bogged up in the tiny details, failing to see the overall big picture.
“People often overthink things when they plan the event”
“Quite often, planning a corporate event is down to several basics – once you’ve written up a plan and stick to it, the rest of the event will be a success.”
1. Create a budget
Know your limits and beware of hidden costs when organising a corporate event, especially if it is a large-scale one. Don’t get carried away with decorations and centrepieces as costs often add up in the end. Your budget will also determine if spouses, significant others, children and clients will be invited to the event.
2. Lock in a date
Avoid days near the beginning or end of a company holiday period, as employees may be away. If you can, choose a weekday so that employees are not forced to forgo their personal commitments for a work function. Also, don’t worry if people are unable to make a day you choose – you will never be able to cater for everyone, especially if you have a lengthy guest list.
3. Determine the type of event
Work out if it is best for the event to be indoor or outdoor, casual or cocktail. Factor in the seasons, the aim of the event and the guests who will be attending. If you are planning to have numerous presentations and speeches, it is best to provide plenty of seating and tables so people can sit and eat for the duration. On the other hand, stand-up cocktails and finger food is more appropriate for meet-and-greet networking events so that guests can move around and mingle.
4. Pick the right entertainment
Don’t go for a big-name entertainer, as they may not have the most professional attitudes due to their already-established fame. Select entertainment appropriate for the event and its guests, making sure you have activities to appeal to everyone attending. Hosting a creative function? Perhaps burlesque dancers and circus performers could be an option. Planning something a little more serious? A guest speaker on a relevant topic may be a better choice.
#.Plan Activities That Develop Camaraderie
The most entertaining activities for work gatherings are those that get everyone involved. Find a unique activity that allows your team to master new skills together, like a cooking class or ice skating. By taking the focus off forced conversations and placing it on an activity, awkwardness dissipates into friendly competition and camaraderie.
A shared activity also dissolves status differences between colleagues. As employees and leaders work side by side to perfect a scrumptious veal piccata, the fact that one of them determines everyone’s year-end bonuses fades into the background.
#. Choose the Right Time and Place
Though it seems like the time to party, the weekend might not be the best time for your work function. Remember when Bob had a little too much to drink and got funky to Rick James’ “Super Freak” last year?
Imagine if he had needed to be up early the next morning. Having your party toward the beginning of the week deters employees from overindulging and keeps them from missing out on weekend family time.
Some activities dictate the venue, but if not, look for a large, open space like a restaurant, sports bar, or bowling alley. Many restaurants have separate function areas, or you can reserve an entire small restaurant for your group. Buffet-style restaurants work best for larger companies with diverse palates.
#. Put Your Appreciation Into Words
The whole purpose of the company party is to show your appreciation for your amazing team. But perhaps you feel like putting this appreciation into words instead of just shoving booze and shrimp cocktails in front of them.
This is a fair and brave thing to do, but it’s important to keep it light and concise. Humor is great, but avoid poking fun at employees or making jokes about company missteps that could inadvertently single out certain people. Remember, Bob is still sensitive about that huge accounting error (for which he may or may not have been responsible). Keep it positive and sincere, and remember that it’s about making your team feel good.
As with everything in life, your company party is all about balance. You want everyone to have a good time–just not too much. Pick a fun activity (and have the party on a Monday), and Bob might just remember it this year.
5. Spend on quality food and beverages
Be mindful of both quality and quantity – make sure that the food provided is good and plentiful, as it will make or break the event. Don’t forget to check your guests’ dietary requirements ahead of time as well.
6. Make sure the right people attend
When the event begins to take shape, begin promoting the function and send invitations out. Invitations should always be personalised. If you can, make a follow-up phone call to make sure your guests received their invitations. After drafting your RSVP list, make a second round of follow-up calls to ensure they are all attending. This will also ensure that the event won’t slip from people’s minds, potentially increasing the amount of guests as well.