A company gathering or after-work dinner or cocktail event is a wonderful opportunity for fellow employees to relax and enjoy each other’s company in a social setting. It is also an ideal team-building tool. Planning a business event, however, can be a stressful affair. With so many boxes to check off, the task can quickly become overwhelming.
Here’s a guide to planning a successful company function without all the worry.
1. The Specifics
The details related to planning an event are the first to be decided. Once the who, what, when, how many, and how much are determined, the remaining decisions will more easily fall into place.
- What is the Goal of the Event? Before any planning can begin, the reason the event is happening needs to be clarified. Whether it’s a chance to welcome new employees to the company or a mid-year thank you for management’s accomplishments, having a clear goal in mind helps guide the rest of the preparations.
- Assemble a Team. Company events are best handled by a group working together. When more than one person is involved in the decision-making and volunteers are allowed to take on specific roles, the outcome is more likely to be a satisfying experience for all involved.
- Organize a Task List. Delegating jobs is an effective way of making sure all the bases are covered. Establish deadlines for tasks and come up with a progress tracking system to keep the planning process under control.
- Establish a Budget. Decide early on what you can spend and stick to your budget. A firm grasp of a maximum dollar amount helps ensure the success of the event and keeps unwelcome surprises to a minimum.
- Set the Date. The timing of the function also needs primary consideration. Check your calendar and consult with attendees to determine the best time of day and day of the week. Even if your event is off-season, make sure you start making inquiries early. A weekend might be more convenient if a large group is involved; after work can be ideal for more intimate gatherings.
- Determine the Number of Guests. Is the whole company invited and are spouses/guests included? Once you lock down the Who, you can work on the How Many. The number of guests expected will determine if the event will require seating for everyone or if it can be standing room only. This will also help you further down the road in the planning process when you are deciding what and how much to serve.
- Pick a Theme. A holiday party is easy where the theme is concerned, but if you want to add a bit of flair, you might want your company’s logo incorporated into the decorations. A company costume party can be a lot of fun. If you decide to go this route, make sure everyone is on board with the idea.
2. Take Company Culture Into Account
Working within the guidelines of your company’s culture is very important. If you work in a law office where everyone wears suits to work, the guests might not be comfortable letting their hair down and coming dressed for a barbecue. On the other hand, a casual get-together might be refreshing. Likewise, if staff is required to dress in uniforms, a black-tie event might be just the thing to encourage company loyalty. Think creatively while focusing on everyone’s comfort. You want everyone to have a fun and memorable time.
3. Find a Location
Once you know what your event is about and how many guests are expected, it’s time to work on Where to have it. Large corporations will require space that can accommodate a sizable group. For a smaller get-together, a nice restaurant with a private dining room is perfect. For parties that revolve around holidays, venues tend to book long in advance. Keep this in mind as you may have to shop around a bit for a place with an opening. It’s good to have a few different places in mind in case your first choice can’t accommodate you.
4. Plan the Menu
There are a lot of variables to take into consideration when deciding on what to serve at an event. Catering options, of course, depend on the location and number of guests and some larger venues only work with certain caterers. If you decide to have the event in a restaurant, in-house catering will save time and headaches.
Some form of entertainment is usually required if you want attendees to enjoy the event. A band or DJ is an obvious choice. Stand-up comedians and motivational speakers are also good options, especially for smaller venues. Consider the goal, your budget, and the audience and then plan accordingly.
Have Your Business Event at The Refuge
The Refuge, on Long Island, New York, is the perfect venue for your corporate affair. Located at 515 Broadhollow Road on Route 110 in Melville, we can customize any event for up to 300 guests. Whether it’s a company meeting, casual after-work gathering, networking event or a full-on company-wide bash, we will create a memorable and unique experience for your team.
Contact us today at 631.577.444 and let our catering director guide you through menu planning. We offer themed grazing stations of different varieties, including Mexican, Italian, Asian, Seafood, and many more. Beverage packages based on consumption or an open bar feature our signature cocktails, an extensive bourbon and tequila list, bottled and draft beer, and wines by the glass. We have audio-visual equipment so you don’t have to worry about that part.
The Refuge can also cater your event off-site. Our extensive catering take-out menu is a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of fun. Choose from a wild selection of pasta specialties, fajita combos, pizzas, salads, and sandwich platters. We have options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with special dietary needs. There’s something for everyone at The Refuge.