Be it a Christmas Do, a Retirement Party, or a summer social event to thank staff for their hard work or recent sales figures, your get-together should be fun for everyone involved with the business.
Your Office or workplace may be the cheapest but not necessarily the best venue for your event. Consider your staff too – would they wish to give up a sunny summers day or a cold winters evening to attend a function in the same place that they spend most of the days of the year? Probably not! Works parties should be fun occasions for people to relax after working hard, thus your office may not be the best place for this. If you have many sites dotted around the country a central location is essential to ensure that no office feels left out. You may wish to book up rooms for your staff, or ask for a small donation towards their accommodation, however do remember that as a rule, the more money you ask for, the less people will wish to attend. If all sites are within a local vicinity, you should look into hiring some coaches or mini-buses to safely transport your guests to and from the party. For smaller parties an entrance in a limousine, with a glass or two of champagne, can be a magical start to the evening.
If there is a Conference Centre, or Suite of Function Rooms in a Hotel or similar, which you frequently use for meetings, seminars or training sessions, do enquire as to whether you would be able to hire the rooms for your party. Your employees should be familiar with the location and you may be able to get a discount on your next room hire! Local Restaurants may be able to offer both their venue and catering. If you are planning a large function, you may wish to consider using a Temporary Structure such as a Marquee, as they are adaptable if you wish to progress from a day to evening party, and can be used for an assortment of occasions, from an elegant a la carte dining area or housing a Las Vegas style casino to morphing into a massive dance-floor or a circus complete with fairground rides! If you chose to hire a Marquee, you will need to decide if you need to also hire Portable Toilets, Mobile Bars for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, Dance Floors, Stages and Furniture Hire for items such as Chairs and Tables.
Most Corporate Events are large, well organised affairs. Although this should be an enjoyable party, don’t forget that the company is still on show to your Employees. Imagine the personalities of your staff and try to achieve an event which is both entertaining and also upholds any sort of company stature; if the MD doesn’t know the accounts clerk, they may not feel comfortable seated next to each other for a seated dinner. Organised Theme nights such as a Murder Mystery or Race Nights are good ways of mingling older with younger or junior with senior members of staff without formal seating plans. For smaller businesses or for companies in which most staff know each other, lighter style catering, such as a finger buffet, Pig Roast or Barbeque, would mean that guests can chat and mingle whilst they dine. Check with your caterer and venue before hiring further crockery, linens or glasswares. Good ice-breaking games include hiring giant inflatables such as a Bouncy Castle or a Bungee Run. A Bucking Bronco will always draw crowds and laughter, or hire a go-karting track. Imagine the joy of knowing you’ve beaten your boss! Most Office Party Problems are linked with over indulging in alcohol, do ensure that your guests know what behaviour is expected of them, and make them aware if any potential clients will be attending!
If you are opting for a more formal black tie event, you will probably wish to hire a stage, a lighting rig and PA Equipment for Speeches. A small Awards Ceremony is a nice touch for these occasions; prizes don’t need to be large or significant, a bouquet of flowers or luxury hamper for Margery the Cleaner for being in your employment for 20 years, pair of cufflinks for Colin who is retiring, a gift voucher for Cheryl in accounts who is getting married. You could hire a look-a-like to present such awards and gifts, just to add a flourish to festivities! Humourous anecdotes from the past year could be mentioned here, but be careful not to cause any offence, for those who should make a speech but have no idea what to say could invest in the assistance of a professional speech-writer! You could also use the stage for your Entertainment; hire a magician, hypnotist or comedian to perform a set, as well as getting some Live Music on stage for dancing later in the evening. There are a wide variety of Musical Entertainments available; from your classic Disco and Karaoke, through to Live Bands such as Ceilidh, Jazz, Country & Western, Blues, Tribute and Original Bands. Whilst your guests are eating, consider what will also be happening; will you provide some subtle background music, perhaps a solo vocalist, a harpist or piper? Or would you rather have some entertainers who can mingle with your guests, for example Caricaturists, Mind Readers, Magicians or Tarot Readers. Circus Performers such as Fire Eaters, Stilt Walkers and Jugglers could quietly amuse your guests whilst they are dining and then create an amazing display on the main stage later in the evening.
Thinking of amazing displays, you should consider the decoration of your venue to coincide with the theme of your event, for example, if you are holding a Casino Night, with Black Tie and Ball Gowns as your dress code, your invites and other stationery should be equally as smart with classic crisp decorations, such as black and white balloons, simplistic floral decorations and classy ice-sculptures. You may wish to have a grand finale of a firework or laser display to end the evening in a memorable fashion. If this all seems a bit much, you can hire Venue Decorators specifically for these finishing touches.
For an unusual event, why not consider a day out? There are many options available to businesses for team building events, or even just a fun day out Paint-balling, Go-Karting or have a day trip to an Amusement Park! Hire a coach, ask your caterers to make a suitable picnic and let the sun shine!
To remind guests of the reason you are holding the event, you may wish to include your company logo on your invites, and personalise other items such as balloons and small novelties to give away in goody bags at your party; if using your party as a networking event, you could ask some clients to ‘sponser’ or donate goodies towards these goody bags. Having some T-shirts printed to give away as prizes in a quiz, or printing a personalised mini-magazine for the event can be of minimal outlay, but will ensure that your business is remembered. You may wish to hire a professional photographer, or videographer so that you can include the pictures in company newsletters or other future publications. A dvd of the event would be a lovely gesture to present to your guests.
PartyPages.co.uk is the UK’s favourite online Party Directory, the one stop shop for all your party requirements. After 15 years performing as Uncle Wiggy, a prestigious Childrens Entertainer, Barry is an expert on all things celebratory!
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