Tips for Planning the Ultimate Year End Event

By Anna Rembold

You and your team have been working it, working it – all year.  It’s finally time to celebrate your accomplishments, wins, and your camaraderie. What better way to do it than a party!? But how can you ensure you create a really unique year-end celebration?

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Here are 5 tips for planning the ultimate year end function at your company:

1. “APB!” Advance Notice.  Your team has a rich network of friends and family which, during the holidays, lead to many obligations outside of the office.  Giving your team at least 2 – 4 weeks advance notice before hosting a year end event is both appropriate and thoughtful and will show you really respect their time.  Be sure to send event reminders and get key players on your team to “buy in” and actively promote the event.  The more buzz you create, the better chance you have for a successful year end function.

2. Choose the Right Tone.  Only you know your company culture, so be sure to set a tone through your event’s ambiance, décor and venue that really works for your team.  If you are a casual bunch, why buck the trend by planning a formal event?  If, on the other hand, formality suits you, go for it!  A theme party may be the ideal way to customize and express your corporate culture and company style.  Just be sure you think about the comfort of the majority of the team when making choices.  Use your invitation to clearly communicate your event’s tone so guests know what to expect and how to dress.

3. Location, Location, Location.  When selecting a venue, there are obvious and important considerations like price, scale and amenities, but location can really make or break your year-end event.  Choose a location that is central to your employees, making it easy for them to get there.  Make sure you have thought about parking and transportation access.  Once your guests arrive, be sure it’s easy to find the party at the venue by adding creative entrance lighting, greeters or other signage and decoration so guests show up relaxed and ready for fun.

4. Easy Eats.  Food is a must at any party, but you want to make it easy for your guests to enjoy the delicious food you’ve planned to serve at your year-end function.  For buffets, create enough food stations to avoid bottlenecks and long lines and make it easy to find essentials like napkins and cutlery. If you prefer to serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, be sure you have enough staff to pass the food frequently and supplement this with a few stations for hungry guests.  Match your cuisine to your event’s theme if you have one and get creative with your menu.

5. Creative Concoctions.  Cocktails are a great way to personalize or even brand an event.   Adding one signature cocktail may not even add to your costs but will add an unexpected element of company fun. Get creative and consider naming a drink or two (one alcoholic, one not) that represents your company culture and brand.  If budget allows, consider unique ways to serve the drinks (i.e. poured through an ice sculpture, in take-away branded glassware, from a life-size punch-bowl, from trays passed by body painted or costumed servers).  And don’t forget, when serving alcohol at your company events, make sure to ensure the safety of your guests by providing taxis or other transportation when your guests leave your event.

Need help planning your year-end corporate function? Just call us!

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