How to plan a Corporate Party?

Planning your staff party or an awards ceremony can be exciting but daunting at the same time. Organisation and time are key, start early and consider these key things:

Initial planning

  • What is the main objective? This could be simply for everyone to have fun or more complex involving conveying the right impression to prospective new clients.
  • What budget do I have? What has to be included in the budget? Food, drinks, transport, entertainment etc?
  • Is the planning being carried out by you on your own or are you part of a committee? If you have a committee, do they broadly represent all of the stakeholders? A committee which is all male might not plan a party that would appeal to their female colleagues and vice versa, having a mix of genders, ages and cultural backgrounds is more likely to ensure that all stakeholders needs are taken into consideration.
  • Who will be attending and that are their needs and interests? If you plan to have strobe lighting this could not suite guests with epilepsy, likewise the dietary requirements of your guests should be taken into consideration, along with cultural aspects.
  • Venue location. Do you require a venue that is central for the majority of people? You may need to consider methods of transport to and from the venue. Depending on the number of guests that you anticipate, size may be a leading factor. Send your requirements to a variety of venues so that you can compare their facilities and pricing. If possible conduct a site visit of the venue that you feel would suit your event best to double check the facilities and negotiate hotel rates with discounts for those attending the party.
  • Decide on possible dates. This is likely to be one of the hardest parts of the planning. Just bare in mind that you can’t pick a date that will suit everyone! Just try to limit the inconvenience and remember that the earlier that you set a date the more likely you will be able to accommodate the largest number of people.
  • Entertainment- do you want to have music or entertainment when the guests arrive? Maybe whilst food is being served? What kind of feel do you want, sophisticated Jazz band or a lively disco or live band? Ace Tones Entertainments have a whole host of entertainment to suit any event including close up magicians, live bands, photo booths, casino tables and fun interactive games.
  • Themed party- do you want to have a party theme? There are so many fun themes to choose from going back in time with Gatsby, Saturday Night fever or the Wild west to sophisticated glitz and glamour with a Hollywood theme or Las Vegas night. Ace Tones Entertainments has a wealth of themes that will create the perfect atmosphere with themed back drops and props.
  • Decorations/Center pieces- If you have a main colour or a theme then try to keep the decorations in line with this.

Next steps…

  • PR- don’t forget to advertise the event to those on the guest list and remember to give them an R.S.V.P deadline.
  • Suppliers – This could include security, transportation, audio visual, entertainment etc. Ensure that they have let you know what they require, this could be power supply, access arrangements etc. Have a clear plan of who is going to arrive and when, ensuring that this happens in the right order! If possible have someone at the venue to coordinate the suppliers and make the venue aware of when the suppliers will be arriving and their requirements.
  • Ticket price- If you are charging for your event then ensure that it is clear exactly what is included in the ticket price and include a refund policy too.
  • Key Speakers- Invite key speakers straight away to ensure that the date is convenient for them. Ensure you have adequate PA equipment etc. Then plan the timings in and around other aspects such as food being served or the band starting. Select and order gifts/awards that you may be giving out.
  • Seating plan- If you are having formal seating that is being planned in advance create a seating plan that can be displayed for all guests to see in a highly visible location.
  • Dietary Requirements – If possible double check with all the guests that they have informed you of any dietary requirements. It’s best to send out the menu and ask guests to pre-order as this will be crucial for the venue in order to facilitate serving large numbers promptly. Use of technology to collate the menu choices would save you lots of time.
  • Create a checklist – this should include all supplier details and contact information


The big day…

  • Check and double check – Using your check list walk around the venue and tick each aspect when you are satisfied. Speak to the event planner at the venue to ensure everything is well organised.

Finally, enjoy the party!

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