Make it stylish, but most of all make it memorable. What lasting impression do you want to leave for the end of the year?
The end of year is fast approaching, and it’s the time to stop, reflect, and say thank you to your clients and colleagues for a year of collaboration, service and business. Have you planned your end of year function yet?
“Remember, with events, it’s all in the details, and the lasting impression you will leave.”
To put on a successful end of year event, there are a few things that will make it that extra bit special. It will take some planning and now is the time to start. Here are some suggestions to produce a stylish and memorable occasion:
1. Choose the date
Generally a Friday night is ideal towards end November or Early December as the silly season is not yet in full swing, and it allows your guests to finish off the working week with a celebration. While still allowing them to have the rest of their weekend for personal time (and recovery).
2. Choose the right venue
It is so important that you choose the right location for your event. You need to consider:
- Proximity to the majority of your clients and your office as you don’t want staff, nor clients to be arriving too late or for it to be too far away. The CBD is usually a good option, keeping things central with close access to transport.
- Space must be sufficient for the number of guests, without too much furniture allowing space for mingling, but just enough seating.
- Catering & Beverages should be supplied free of charge for a set period – arrange finger food from entrée, main and dessert to be staggered throughout the evening over a 2 hour period to allow for latecomers. Provide plenty of water throughout the evening if alcohol is being served.
- Lighting & Sound can make or break an event – ensure the lighting is not too bright or too dim, and music is not so loud that you need to shout to be heard. Calm background music such as classical or jazz is usually ideal for client events, as both business and personal conversations are encouraged.
- Book in advance, bearing in mind many locations start to get hired by September-October and you don’t want to miss out on your preference.
3. Create your invitation list
Review your database, your existing clients, your prospective clients, your staff – pull together a list in excel for ease of use. This will come in very handy to manage RSVP’s.
Keep this list up to date as RSVP’s filter through, and follow up invitees 10 days prior if no reply received.
4. Design your invitation & select a theme
Decide whether you will send out printed or digital invitations. Either way, engage a graphic designer in advance to design an invite that reflects your branding and theme of the event (if you have one).
A theme can be a great way to connect your invitation, company products and services, food, venue, decorations and giveaways in a way that is subtle yet cohesive. Be sure to include an RSVP date, together with a request for any special dietary requirements and a map to easily find your venue.
Send out your invite a minimum of one month before your event. Your clients will be invited to a range of events and you want to ensure they attend your function by giving them ample notice.
5. Encourage staff attendance
Your team members’ presence will enhance the welcoming atmosphere for your clients and create a positive, friendly networking environment. It also encourages your team members to have the opportunity to bond socially out of work hours, so gently nudge them into coming along.
6. Give your guests a goodie bag
Your event can be made all the more special by presenting your guests with a branded gift bag with customised gift card. Ideally you will include a range of promotional items that are branded with your company logo such as a notepad, pen, calendar and a business card. To further enhance the contents, include event theme related gifts (if applicable) – for example if you are having a Hawaiian theme you may want to include a lei or for a Movie theme you may want to include popcorn pack. Consider also including female and male specific gifts – for example scarves, candles, umbrellas, wine, bottle openers, necklaces for a personal touch. Remember, with events, it’s all in the details and the lasting impression you will leave.
7. Rinse and repeat
If your annual client event is a success, and fosters friendships and encourages improved business relations in the year ahead, be sure to make this a part of your annual marketing activities. After all, if you have found something that works, replicate it and each year it will be something your clients look forward to and it will build in momentum and size. It will also get easier with each year that passes as your event planning process will become streamlined and tweaked with improvements as you go.
Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Pop them in the comments below.
“Life’s too short to have boring parties”
If you would like to know how we can help your end of year event be designed in style, be sure to get in touch with our team.