The backdrop for a company annual dinner event. Source: bon-events.com
Ahh, it’s that time of the year again – no, we are not talking about Christmas or Chinese New Year or Hari Raya or Deepavali – it’s about company annual dinner, a yearly affair where all employees of an organisation come together, sit and mingle around with one another while dining on delicious meals courtesy of the company itself.
And while the rest of the workers think hard about dressing up their best for the dinner event, we have a handful of employees who have to rack their brains to plan and prepare for the important occasion. Some say organising an annual dinner is an easy peasy task but no – planning an event requires PLENTY of thinking and collaborating with people, not so easy after all.
We totally get you so we put together some tips on how to prepare for your office annual dinner. Time to get some inspiration to tackle that company annual dinner task ahead!
Pick an Event Theme
An event theme spices up the annual dinner and makes the evening more interesting. Source: yestravel.com.my
Okay, so you know this event is a dinner event for the staff in your organisation so you have got the guest list nailed down. But what comes next after knowing who to invite is deciding on a theme for the night.
A common theme for annual dinner will be a colour theme like black and white, where all staff dress up either in black or white or a mix of both colours for dinner. That works if your company is not keen on fancy dresses and suits.
However, if your organisation comprises of people who would appreciate something more creative for an annual dinner, then you may have to pick a more adventurous theme like superheroes or Disney or some movie-based theme, so everyone will get a chance to dress up creatively and have fun at that.
Can’t think of a good theme? Don’t worry, Google is your friend when searching for company annual dinner theme ideas.
Choose Whether to Enlist an External Agency or Handle on Your Own
Getting an external agency to help you with company dinner reduces the stress and burden that come with planning the event. Source: thebusinesswomanmedia.com
Congrats, you finally pick the perfect theme for the dinner event. Before you proceed to do anything else, it is good to consider whether to get assistance from an event management company or to handle every single aspect of your company annual dinner internally.
If you and your team in charge of planning for the annual dinner are experienced enough and able to prepare for the dinner without a sweat, then go ahead! That is actually nice since you get to put in your own touches and ideas to make the event run successfully, possibly at a lower cost than enlisting outside help.
Depending on the scale of your event and whether you and your event handling team prefer not having to think too much, you may want to call in an event management company to carry out your annual dinner setups. Usually, an event management company provides full event services from brainstorming annual dinner proposal ideas to decor to the execution of your event but you will have to set a budget for this though.
Search for a Venue
Determine whether your company dinner requires a large space or somewhere cosier based on the size of your company.
Regardless of whether you are handling the annual dinner on your own or with the help of an event management company, picking a venue for your office annual dinner is still something you have to decide.
Do you want to have it at a grand hotel ballroom, a spacious convention hall or maybe at a cosy event space? Do you want to emphasise on grandeur for the annual dinner or lean towards warmth like a family within the company as the core message of the night? These are some questions you may want to consider when choosing a space to hold your event.
And one of the best ways to find the perfect venue for your office annual dinner is on Ask Venue! With over 200 spaces to choose from, you will simply be spoilt for choice with all the ready information of places at your fingertips. For ideas on choosing a venue for your dinner event, you can check our 15 Best Annual Dinner Venues in KL & Selangor article.
Plan Your Dinner Programme
Consider arranging dinner activities or company annual dinner games that is appropriate to all your guests. Source: kelvinsimhunbeng.blogspot.com
This may sound like something obvious but what we meant here is to plan the content of your dinner event based on the crowd you will have for the night. The programme for your company annual dinner should be arranged to cater to the majority of the staff since the annual dinner serves more like an appreciation function to recognise and express gratitude towards their hard work done for the company’s benefits.
Some companies may have an imbalance demographic – more men than women, more women than men, more youths than seniors past the age of 40, and so on. Therefore, It is important to plan dinner activities like company annual dinner games and arrange meals that are appropriate for your guests.
Track Your Budget Via A Tracking Sheet
Keep tabs on your annual dinner expenses for better budgeting and financial control for your event. Source: eventbrite.com
Budget is one of the key things all companies will care about regardless of the type of function. It is essential to keep track of the expenses made for your company annual dinner by keeping tabs of all the things and services paid for all in a spreadsheet.
Even if your company is not very particular about the finances involved in hosting the dinner event, it is still good practice to track the budget so that you know what are the financial expectations like when organising future annual dinners.
Get an Emcee for The Night
An emcee is an important character to make your event more interesting and livelier. Source: emceelester.com
Like many other events, you definitely need a host to keep your guests entertained throughout your company annual dinner. Think of an emcee like ambient music or television that you leave playing in the background to make the space or environment livelier and fill the silent void.
You can choose to outsource a dinner host yourself if you have someone in mind or leave the emcee matters to an event management company. An event management company usually has contacts of professional emcees so getting someone who can make your office annual dinner fun and enjoyable shouldn’t be a problem.
If getting outside help is not something you and your colleagues are keen on, perhaps you could consider being the emcee yourself?
Make A Back-Up Plan
Contingency plan for your event helps to make you stay focused and not easily panic when things do not go according to plan. Source: consumerreports.org
While you hope that your company dinner will go on smoothly and successfully with everything that is well planned in advance, there is a slight chance that things may not go according to plan.
It is always good to create a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. What if the emcee for the night is not feeling well and cannot make an appearance? What if you happen to choose an outdoor venue for the annual dinner and it rains? You should consider the possibilities of unexpected circumstances and prepare a plan B for them. You know, just in case.
Prepare for Post-Dinner Feedback
What’s your feedback? Source: forbes.com
With all the other aspects of annual dinner planned and ready for execution, there is one thing left to do that is not a norm but will be great for future dinner event hosting: preparing forms for staff feedback on the dinner.
This may seem a little unnecessary and tedious but having feedback from your guests allows for better office annual dinner hosting the next time. Did they like the food? Did they find the venue accommodating enough? Were the emcee and company annual dinner games entertaining to them? Did they like the theme for annual dinner or do they have other company annual dinner theme ideas they would like to see being implemented?
The feedback form doesn’t have to be a lengthy piece but just address a few things central to the annual dinner. You can request all staff to fill up the form during dinner and hand in their feedback slip at the end of the night.
Beautiful setting that is perfect for a grand office annual dinner.
In a nutshell, consider preparing for your office annual dinner according to this event checklist:
- Pick an Event Theme
- Choose Whether to Enlist an External Agency or Handle on Your Own
- Search for a Venue
- Plan Your Dinner Programme
- Track Your Budget Via A Tracking Sheet
- Get an Emcee for The Night
- Make A Back-Up Plan
- Prepare for Post-Dinner Feedback
Hope these tips on how to prepare for your office annual dinner are helpful to your cause. With this event checklist, it’s time to start putting all your annual dinner plans in action – all the best with your dinner event!
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