Planning your company’s year end function?

   Utilize these tips to plan the ultimate event

With 2016 coming to an end, many of us are currently preoccupied with the business of securing plans; mapping out vacations, deciding where to spend the festive season, setting goals for 2017 – basically, organizing things. Taking all of this into consideration, now is the perfect time of year for businesses and societies to organize celebratory end-of-year functions. Here’s a few things to bear in mind.

Establish what you have in mind

Are you arranging a swanky night of wining and dining for a large, corporate company, or having a cozy get-together for an amateur touch rugby team? Identify your requirements accordingly. Once this has been established:

Decide on a venue

Commence browsing possible locations and compare your options. As soon as you’ve made a choice, secure the venue ASAP – they tend to get reserved very fast this time of year.

Is there a theme involved?

You don’t need to go so far as to decorate the entire venue and ask that everyone rents elaborate costumes, but coming up with something small and quirky can really aid in getting guests into a celebratory mood. For instance, request that everyone wears a funny hat to the function and hand out a prize for the weirdest hat in the course of the proceedings.

The dress code

Is it a black-tie-and-evening-gown affair? Semi-formal (whatever that means)? Or plain and casual? Your guests need to be aware of what sort of attire they are expected to don, as it largely determines the decorum of the function.

What about kids?

It’s safe to assume that most of your guests will deploy a babysitter for the evening, but there’s always someone who, for whichever reason, will have to bring their child along. Incorporate a designated area for kids with activities to keep them preoccupied (movies and the like) and get a responsible adult to look after them.

Money 

While food and entertainment should be included for the evening, it’s definitely acceptable to have a cash bar at the event. Be sure to notify guests so they don’t show up with empty pockets.

Send out invitations

Before planning your event, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that people will attend. A Facebook invitation or email should do the trick, (and cuts expenses) but be sure to notify those invited by word of mouth, and get them to RSVP as soon as possible. Remember to include important details such as the time, date and theme.

Transport

Is there parking available outside the venue? Will it be far to drive back home? What time does the function end? All things considered, you’re probably better off organizing some sort of shuttle service (e.g. a bus or taxi) for your guests.

Security

If guests are driving their own cars, will there be a parking attendant to ensure vehicles don’t get broken into? Will guests be wearing jewelry or bringing hi-tech cell phones? It’s important that your guests are able to relax by resting assured that someone is responsible for their safety.

Catering

Does the event call for a fancy five-course dinner or a laid-back braai? If the cuisine involved is something that’s best left to the professionals, or you are faced with the task of feeding a large group, you would do well to hire in the expertise of a catering company. This ensures that the food will be of an above-average standard, and means you will have one less thing to worry about on the big day.

Entertainment, sound and lighting

For bigger events, it’s pretty safe to assume that there will be speeches, announcements and some form of amusement.

Make sure you contact the entertainer (be it a musician, MC, magician or DJ) well before the event, and establish his/her fee.

Establish what technical requirements the event calls for, and hire the services of a reputable engineer. “It’s incredible how much of an event is determined by the quality of the sound and the lighting”, says JP Prinsloo, owner of events company, PriFactor. “It’s literally a make-or-break factor.”

Let the pros handle it


Overwhelmed? It’s often best to leave it to the professionals. “Many people struggle to put an event together on their own,” says Prinsloo, “or simply don’t have the time.”

In the end, the most important thing is that the function runs smoothly and allows everyone to have a ball of a time!