Okay, so you’ve been put in charge of planning the annual company celebration dinner and you haven’t got the faintest idea where to begin. Your boss wants you to keep him updated regularly with the progress and has given you a budget to work with, and that’s about it. The first thing to do is not to panic. Follow these tips and you’ll end up with a celebration dinner to remember. If your boss is impressed, you may even be asked to plan all future company events, on top of receiving well-earned recognition for your hard efforts. Planning a company dinner is not difficult but there are many things to consider along the way. Read on for some great inspiration and helpful tips-
Compiling the guest list: without guests, there’ll be no party. However, you’ll need to be clear who exactly to invite. Company celebration dinners usually involve more than just the staff members. Check with your boss first, but as a general rule of thumb, invite all wives, husbands and partners along. Company celebration dinners are no place for young children, so ensure you address each invite personally to the guests rather than ‘The Smith Family’.
Organising a venue: once you have a good idea of the number of guests, you can set about choosing a venue. Ensure you hire somewhere big enough to accommodate everyone but not too big that the room looks half empty. During company celebration dinners, there tends to be a presentation and a few speeches, so ensure that all tables are arranged so that each guest can see the presentation. Speaking of presentations, you’ll need to hire somewhere that has the necessary equipment. There’s no use bringing along a USB memory stick if there’s nowhere to screen the presentation on to. You’ll also need to consider microphones for speakers if the room is particularly big, as shouting is not really considered acceptable at such events.
Invitations: When sending out invitations, address each one to the individuals you are inviting, rather than including a generic plus one. A personal touch reflects well on the company so make sure you find out the names of all respective wives, husbands and partners. Don’t forget to include an R.S.V.P at the bottom of the invite. Keep invitations as formal as possible to avoid the assumption that it’s more like a Christmas party. If you want to include a dress code, state it on the invitations.
Refreshments: When you hire the venue, ask about catering options. Depending on the size of your budget and the length of the guest list, you’ll need to decide whether the food will be a sit down meal or a lighter finger buffet. The more formal the occasion, the fancier the food should be. Remember to cater for vegetarians and find out whether anyone has any allergies or intolerances. Provide enough drinks for everyone. It’s probably better to choose somewhere with a bar as people can decide on their own choice of refreshment that way. Stock up on soft drinks for anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol or who needs to drive home afterwards.
Enjoy the party: After all that planning, you can now relax and enjoy yourself. Remember to stay professional; after all, you’re representing the company and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of your boss.
This guest blog was contributed by Janet Sandesson a wirter who often covers workplace topics involving event management.