Every year, your company is getting older and more successful, experienced and reliable—you have to celebrate that. Having a good anniversary party is a great way to focus on the positive, launch new products or changes and reflect on your successes. Anniversary events can both inspire your employees and promote your company. It is well-known that happy and engaged employees are good employees, so how can you use your anniversary to put a smile on everyone’s face? Here are a few tips to rely on:
If you should take only one thing from this text, that’s to start the planning early—a year in advance at least. Time can be your biggest ally if you start early. Usually, the companies that benefit the most from their big anniversary events are the proactive ones, so give yourself enough time to do research, share ideas, ask questions and analyze everything. If you wait too much, you will limit the program, risk getting a bad venue and having many guests RSVP negatively. On the other hand, if you start too early, you will risk losing momentum and enthusiasm.
Come up with a theme
Being 20 years in business is not a good enough reason to throw a big celebration. The best anniversaries have a theme or a reason for celebrating. Your party needs to accomplish something—help you enter a new market, launch a new product, open a new location, start new initiatives, deal with market competition, raise the profile of your CEO, mark the shift in management, etc. Some companies use their anniversary party to change their business and become more flexible and progressive. There are many reasons to mark your anniversary, so make sure to choose one. This will be your anniversary theme!
Elect the organizer
To prevent a bunch of people from arguing over every decision, you need one person that will make it all happen and make executive decisions. This person should be organized, disciplined and capable of hyping people up. Their job will be to run the anniversary committee, assign tasks, create a budget, track expenses, keep people informed about activities and create enthusiasm for the party. This is not an easy job and it will take at least a few hours of work a day, so make sure your anniversary planning champion is up to the task.
Create a budget
Your budget will determine your anniversary choices from the beginning—the guest list, the venue, the catering, the entertainment, the program and surprises, etc. And make sure to always set some money aside for surprise costs. For instance, your management team might want to dress in matching colors so you need to get them outfits or the limo driver needs to be compensated for waiting—there are so many of these situations that require extra cash.
Pick a venue
What do you want your anniversary to look like? If you want something very upscale, choose a classic ballroom as your event venue. If you want a more laid-back anniversary and people to relax and let loose, you can rent a bar or a nightclub. If you know your employees are huge animal lovers, consider renting a part of your local aquarium or zoo. Does your city have a great skyline? Rent a rooftop venue for those amazing sunset photos and a light breeze.
Hire entertainment and catering
Anniversary events often last for hours, so you need to provide your guests with plenty of food and drinks. Hire your local caterers to provide either a full dinner or easy finger food for your guests. If you want to encourage people to let loose, hire a mixologist to come up with a signature cocktail in your company’s colors! And don’t forget to invest in an experienced DJ, especially if you’re planning a more informal event.
Decorate your event
If you want to make things festive and unique for your event, you need to invest in decoration. Your venue décor needs to be relevant to your theme and your company. Consider making company colors as your color scheme and adding plenty of logos and company icons to the mix. Since we live in a time of social media, your guests will want to take plenty of photos and share the event, so make sure to provide them with one or two photo ops. Deciding to hire light up letters that spell out your company name, anniversary number or your company slogan is the right call since everyone will want to pose there and promote your event for free.
Plan some activities
Your event needs to have a schedule of activities to keep people happy and entertained. First decide whether this will be a strictly seated dinner affair, an event with a presentation or a fun get-together with music and dancing. Grab a plan of your venue and plan out where each part of the evening will take place. One of the best activities you can organize for your guests is having a surprise appearance like a musician to sing a few songs or an industry giant to say a few words. After the event is over, your attendees will talk about this for a long time. You can also organize fun auctions, singing competitions, dance competitions or anything else that’s appropriate for your type of anniversary party.
You didn’t invest this much time and money into the event for it to be commemorated just with Instagram stories! Hire professionals to document and edit photos and videos, so you can share them with your guests. Then sharing your professional material will bring more attention to your event, company and achievements.
Finally, with everything planned, you need to invite your guests. The number of attendees should depend on your budget, venue and event type, but make sure not to squeeze in people that simply can’t fit. Your anniversary should be a special occasion where people can move freely, mingle and network, take pictures and enjoy food and drinks without being overwhelmed.
Anniversaries are not easy to plan, especially when they are delegated to people who already have a lot on their plate. However, if you choose the right person for the planning job, create a smart budget and an interesting program, your event will be a total success with staff, management and clients.