Annual company dinners are a great way to show your employees that you care about them on a personal level. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate your business and your collective working relationships.
It was only at the end of 2022 that it was reported that lavish corporate entertainment had returned for all to enjoy. Despite that, some firms may still be experiencing an awkward adjusting period as they get back to hosting these big events.
Fortunately, help is available. In this article, we’ll be sharing tips on how to host your annual company dinner effectively.
Perfect Business Invitations
Business invitations are more than just formal notices. They matter enormously because they serve as a first impression for the big day. If they don’t entice interest and other warm feelings, it can be a huge problem.
Invitations serve many other functions too. They can also do the following:
Double as a memento or keepsake from the big day
Help people feel more confident and excited if key details are shared: times, locations, and dress codes
Build anticipation as people compare their invitations and establish a growing dialogue around them
Show consistency with your firm’s eco-friendly policies, depending on what the invitation is made of or where it’s sourced
Feature special instructions, which could include requesting guests bring their own beverages for portions of the day or show up with other items
Browse Greenvelope’s collection of business party invitations for various appealing choices. Each of their sleek designs can be further customized with your company’s color schemes, logos, wording, and anything else pertaining to the brand. Whether the event is luxurious in nature or more straightforwardly chic, there are hundreds of options to choose from here.
Consider Everybody’s Requirements
An annual company dinner is for your staff most of all. You must weigh their needs very carefully.
What are their dietary restrictions like? Do they all drink alcohol? Having a range of food and drink for all is vital as it ensures everybody is included and valued. If you have any uncertainties, you can always ask. Send out a company-wide survey via email or through other relevant work communications, and people can fill in what they can and can’t consume.
Things like disability access are also essential. Some people may be traveling further away from others, too. Having suitable access and accommodations for all is imperative, so ensure those details are ironed out with the appropriate parties.
Rely on Professional Support
You’ll need help to put your annual company dinner together. Expect to do more than collaborate with venue staff.
Endeavour to liaise with relevant transportation companies to ensure guests arrive and depart safely and timely. Coordinate closely with professionals helping set up the venue and clean up afterwards. The more cohesively everybody works together, the better.
Another perk of hiring extra hands is that it can remove a lot of pressure on your colleague’s shoulders. If they’re attending the company dinner, they may feel partly responsible for how things transpire, so hiring extra help can let them squarely enjoy their guest status without worry.
Of course, if you attempt to do everything yourself, there’s a very high probability that you’ll get overwhelmed or deliver a company dinner that’s rather underwhelming. So, professional support will raise the bar for quality without you getting stressed and worried.
Plan Entertainment Appropriately
Company dinners often have many third-party entertainers in attendance, ready to put on a show. They can be live bands, DJs, and other types of performers.
Some businesses hire a celebrity comedian to bring laughs to the room. You should know that, though this choice is popular, it’s not always appropriate or recommended. Given that so many comedians today can joke about rather controversial topics (i.e. politics, social justice, or anything else to guarantee shock value), there’s always a chance their humor will either bore people or potentially cause offense. A bad song is over in three minutes and can be mostly ignored. A bad set from a comedian can be unbearable. The more people in attendance, the more chance of a misfire.
The entertainment you choose should lighten the mood and not risk being polarizing. Remember, though people attend annual company dinners to have fun, they still won’t fully ‘themselves’. It’s a company event, and people will be paying attention to how they come across and what is and isn’t appropriate to enjoy. No matter how informal the event is, some degree of professionalism is still generally required, so choose entertainment that’s a safe bet but will create a pleasant ambience.
Refine Your Speech
Many annual company dinners feature a speech of some kind from business leaders. It’s a time of celebration and reflection, and that can require an articulately worded speech to unite everybody in the same uplifting atmosphere.
There are many things to prepare before you take your shot at public speaking during the company dinner. Stay hydrated and well-fed to ensure you’re energized enough to deliver a compelling message, and practicing meditation beforehand could also help you find a stable emotional center if you’re nervous. Self-care is vital, even when you’re putting on an event for others.
Some business leaders develop a persona of sorts when they’re leading their business. After all, everybody has a ‘work version’ of themselves that’s quite different from who they are at home. So, while advice such as ‘be yourself’ may not always be helpful, treating your speech as a performance that depends on a script is all good.
Don’t talk over much about yourself, either, as that will only heighten nerves. Focus on your company’s success and praise your colleagues and staff, drawing on specific references and examples. Perhaps a few of your marketers or content writers could review your writing. Make your speech about them heartfelt. It’s far more likely that everything will click into place once you’re spotlighting others as you speak.
Hosting an annual company dinner comes with many responsibilities. However, the main thrust of this article is that you’re not alone; there’s help with everything from invitations to speech-writing. If you adopt a ‘people first’ mentality to your annual company dinner and utilize all the support at your disposal, you’re not likely to make many mistakes at all.