It’s THAT time of year already when you start scrambling to look for venues for year-end functions that haven’t been booked last year already and that can handle the capacity required to have all your staff celebrate together. It’s not just “another” event either…. It’s the culmination of a long year of hard work, the proverbial silver lining on the dark economic cloud and the highlight of every employees year!
The decision on where to host the year end function may depend on logistics, number of staff to accommodate, theme and budget! For those with large staff complements and many who rely on public transport, the idea to host the event at the office may be a an effort and budget friendly solution. That dark basement you’ve never considered is a prime candidate for a makeover of epic proportions with the right lighting, décor and entertainment.
If you are going to take the party off-site, be sure to do your homework early to avoid disappointment. Whilst the party itself happens at the end of the year, it is critical to start exploring and booking venues and suppliers from the middle of the year at least! Considering the few amount of venues which have capacity for very large groups, many of these venues are pre-booked immediately after the previous years’ event ends. So don’t procrastinate thinking you have time…. Book the date, get it in supplier diaries and then you can take some time to catch your breath!
One of the hardest aspects to consider in all elements of the party is accommodating the diverse groups of individuals within a company. With different cultures, preferences, diets, levels of seniority and languages, finding a ‘one size fits all’ approach is fairly difficult. Consider the majority when deciding on themes, menus and entertainment and consider ways of proving personal touches where possible. Religions play a role in decision making too, so while some see the year end event as a ‘Christmas’ party, be sensitive to the fact that many employees may not celebrate Christmas and avoid religious references.
Whilst from a productivity perspective it may make sense to have the party after hours, from an attendance perspective there’s no question it should be during office hours. Many have transport issues and others may have prior commitments or children to consider on weekends and evenings. It’s the one event where the whole company can celebrate together and if that is the most important factor then a business hours event is a non-negotiable.
There are a number of factors to bear in mind when considering budgets for corporate events as there are elements which can significantly impact the bottom line such as transport requirements, whether employees bring partners or not, whether there is a bar tab and open drinks selection and so forth. Prepare a comprehensive budget in advance so you know exactly what will be viable or not before making decisions which require significant investment.
Use the year end function as an opportunity to say thank you to your employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Whether or not you choose to hand out formal awards to top achievers or just celebrate in union for achieving a target as a team, be sure not to get side-tracked by the housekeeping and admin and forget about the people who got the company to where it is.