A corporate party is usually planned when there is something to celebrate, however large or small. Because it is a business event and not a private party, you have to take a few extra precautions to make sure that you have a very professional event. The planning process involves a few key steps, but if you feel overwhelmed by plans for a large gathering , there are people and companies who do this all of the time and can help
Start planning your corporate party at least three or four months beforehand if you are planning a big event. This will ensure that you have plenty of options for booking venues, caterers and entertainment if necessary. Enlist the help of one or two of your creative employees to help you with the planning process if at all possible.
Set a date
Set a date for the party depending on the availability of the “guests of honour,” whether they are your employees or a client.
Decide on a theme for the party to add some originality to the event. Many venues have preferred suppliers with whom you can work on this, or else some will allow you a free rein to do it yourself using your own favoured production company.
Choosing the venue
Choose the venue for the party is one of the key elements. Make this decision depending on the number of attendees and who you plan to invite to the event. For example, if this is just a small gathering of a few of your employees to celebrate a successful year or a birthday, the ideal venue is your office or perhaps a private room in a pub or bar. For a corporate gala event, then you need to look at venue options within easy travelling distance of your office so that as many people as possible are able to attend. There is a huge selection of types of venues available for this type of event ranging from hotel ballrooms to very unique venues, venues with gardens or outside space for summer events and venues with a particular interest such as museums and galleries.
What type of food would you like to provide? Would you like an informal BBQ or a more formal seated dinner? Hotels can usually provide in-house catering of different styles, but if you opt for a more unique venue you will have a range of food styles to choose from. Some will even allow you to appoint your own tried and tested caterer.
Decide if you want to offer alcohol at this event and how much. Many venues particularly in London, will offer an unlimited drinks package for themed summer and Christmas parties. This usually works fine and generally people know when they have had enough. All venues will require young people to produce ID showing their age, to avoid giving drinks to minors. You can also limit the amount of drinks that are served to avoid anyone drinking to excess – perhaps set a limit on a bar tab and then when it is used up, guests have to buy their own. You will find that people tend to drink a lot more if it is free!
It is a good idea to have some form of entertainment for your event. It could simply be a DJ to get everyone on the dance floor or even a live band. If you are having a formal dinner, you may like to consider a comedian for after dinner entertainment. Some people like to have wandering magicians during the drinks reception to add another dimension. The larger the event, the more useful hiring some form of entertainment will be as it will capture peoples’ attention initially and hopefully leave them with lasting memories of a perfect corporate party!
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