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The Definitive Guide to Hosting a Memorable Corporate Party

The Definitive Guide to Hosting a Memorable Corporate Party

Corporate parties hold lots of potential. Throw a good one, and it can show employees appreciation while strengthening client relationships. Plus, there are plenty of different types of corporate events; you could launch a product, host a trade show, put on an appreciation ceremony, and much more!

Whatever the purpose of your corporate party, make it unforgettable. When everyone leaves, you want the magic of the party to stay in their minds all night long (and preferably long after that). So, how do you do that? It’s not easy to plan and coordinate the perfect corporate party, but this guide will help you do it.

The Purpose

First, you cannot plan any of it – the location, food, or dress code – without having a well-defined purpose. What are your goals? What do you wish to achieve from the event? Perhaps it’s a simple team-building exercise for your employees. Or, maybe you want to launch a brand-new product, and a corporate party is the ideal way to get everyone in the same room (and in a good mood). Either way, it’s important to know exactly what you’re aiming towards from the event, as that will help you plan the perfect (and most memorable) one.

The Perfect Location

Close your eyes and picture the perfect corporate party. What do you see? Sure, there might be colleagues and clients toasting glasses and laughing together, but what’s the backdrop? The location of the event is everything. The right place can make your event sing, providing the perfect ambiance for everyone to chat and get along. On the other hand, the wrong location will only make people uncomfortable and want to leave sooner.

You’re going for a memorable corporate event, so think big! Don’t just hire the nearest function room in your work’s city. Instead, think about unique locations that have an air of luxury. A yacht is a great example. It’s an exciting, luxurious location that no guest will forget anytime soon – especially with the backdrop of the pure-blue ocean. Finding a good corporate yacht charter can help you get everything right, from bar services to food.

Of course, to have a corporate event on a yacht, you’ll need to be near some open water! There are things other than scenery to consider when picking the location of your corporate event, such as:

. How will guests get there?

. Is there enough space for everyone?

. Is the area accessible for all guests?

. How much budget do you have to work with?

. What other services does the venue provide (such as food and music)?

A Quality Menu

Your guests won’t enjoy themselves if they are left hungry all evening, so choose a mouthwatering menu that caters to everyone’s tastebuds. Generally, it’s best to offer small bites to keep the hunger at bay without making people too tired with a large meal. You could also stick to one type of food so that it’s more memorable. It’s better to choose a high-quality seafood display than a table of mixed snacks.

Don’t forget about the drinks! If you’re going to offer alcohol to guests, think carefully about how much you’ll need – you don’t want to provide too much so that everyone gets too drunk or so little that you run out. In terms of what to serve, you could keep it simple and elegant with glasses of champagne or wine. Or, you could hire a talented mixologist to make all your guests’ favorite cocktails!

The Entertainment

So, you’ve hired a few guest speakers. What next? Entertainment, of course! Naturally, the event will need music. You need to decide whether the music will be gentle background tunes or a DJ that everyone can dance to. That depends on the kind of corporate event you’re throwing. If the party goes on late, you could even start with a brass band through the day and then transition to a heavier band that plays everyone’s favorite tunes during the evening.

You can have more entertainment than music, too (and you probably should). If it’s a daytime event, what about some sports, like volleyball or soccer? You could even hire an entertainer like an acrobat to make the crowd say, “Wow!”. It’s the entertainment that will truly make it a memorable party.

A Defined Dress Code

Without a well-defined dress code, you may have some guests showing up in casual jeans and others in tailored suits! You want everyone to know exactly how to dress when they arrive. Not only will it reduce the stress of your guests as they try to figure out what to wear, but it will also create a more in-tune, cohesive atmosphere.

A Well-Thought-Out Guest List

Who do you plan on inviting? Spend time on the guest list, ensuring you ask the clients you want to impress. Once you have the guest list ready, you can send out beautiful invitations that will kick-start the unforgettable nature of the event.

Having a guest list early on will also help you tailor the event to your guest’s preferences. If you know a large portion of the group enjoys jazz, hire a jazz band. If it’s a lively bunch, having a fun party full of dancing is sure to be a hit.

The Format

It might be tempting to hire a suitable venue and chef and then let the guests do the talking. Surely, everyone will end up entertained – right? Not necessarily. You need to keep the event running by having activities happening throughout the evening, from guest speakers to hands-on activities (maybe hire a cocktail-making instructor?). Basically, create an event format that keeps everyone entertained from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. Always having something on or something to do will mean no one ends up looking around, wondering what they should be doing. Of course, you can also include some general mingle time in that schedule.

The Theme

Not every corporate party needs a theme. However, depending on your goals and your guest list, yours might benefit from one. Plus, a party theme goes a long way in making an event more memorable. Think about all the events you’ve attended – you likely can remember those with a theme better than those without.

When choosing a theme, you can get as creative and fun as you like. Keeping it simple with a black-and-white theme can work for a formal event, but you might also want to up the fun factor with a murder mystery or 80s-themed party. Give your guests the chance to dress up!

The Décor

Even after choosing a location, whether it’s a yacht, beach, or convention center, you need to consider the décor – particularly the lighting. The right décor can go a long way in setting the perfect atmosphere. Sparkling lights, balloons, centerpieces, and art installations will all look amazing. If you want to make the décor even more memorable, let the guests take home some of it! For example, if you’ve paid for beautiful centerpieces, allow the guests to take them home to decorate their own spaces.

Prizes and Awards

If one of your party’s goals is to show your employees some appreciation, don’t forget to hand out prizes and awards. This can be a fun part of the event that also makes people feel special. You can hand out awards for things like best team player, years of service, best salesperson, most improved, and much more. When it comes to the awards, items like a bottle of champagne or a box of chocolates are sure to be well appreciated.

Dishing Out Responsibilities

One way to make the event memorable while also releasing some of the responsibilities from yourself is by dishing out jobs to your team. For example, if you’re hosting a product launch party, you could ask one of your best speakers to deliver the speech. That way, you get to use your best talent while making the event far more memorable for that employee. After all, it’s hard to forget the time you gave a great speech!

You can also delegate tasks associated with the planning of the event. Again, this will help alleviate some of the stresses of hosting the corporate party. Plus, you might just have an employee who really knows how to decorate an otherwise drab place and even enjoys it. By getting everyone involved in the setting up of the party, people will feel more connected to the outcome, thus making it a more memorable time.

The Little Touches

While the most memorable parts of the event will be the big things like the music, food, and speeches, it’s the little things that give it that edge. Small pieces of décor on the table can go a long way. If the bathroom isn’t in an obvious location, a cute sign pointing to it can make a big difference. Small gestures that focus on the details like this make a big difference to how people view your event as a whole.

Party Gifts

Once the event has ended and it’s time for everyone to part ways, you have one last chance to make the event memorable: party favors. Party gifts give each guest a tangible item that will make them remember the event long after they exit the venue. Of course, you need to be careful when picking the right gifts, as you don’t want them to end up in the trash! Genuinely enjoyable items like food, gift cards, plants, and charity donations are sure to go down well.

Follow Up with Guests

Your work hasn’t finished once everyone is home! After everything has settled and memories have been made, it’s time to follow up with guests. Thank them for coming and ask for any feedback they may have. The follow-up will help solidify the party as a memory for guests while showing that their presence was appreciated. Plus, the feedback can help you throw an even better corporate party next time.

Host the Most Unforgettable Corporate Event of Your Career

The real secret to hosting an unforgettable corporate party is lots of planning. By giving yourself plenty of time (and enough of a budget), you can host the perfect event for everyone to enjoy. From there, you can focus on every area, from the food to the location, in absolute detail. Then, once the event rolls around, you can enjoy the party along with everyone else – with a watchful eye to ensure everything is running smoothly, of course.