How to organise a celebratory meeting

When the purpose of your meeting is to celebrate, it’s important to set the stage for an unforgettable event that makes your employees feel appreciated and special.

Celebrations are all about giving your staff members the VIP treatment, leaving them with lasting memories of the experience and good impressions of the company.

There are many reasons for a celebratory meeting – it could be an annual party, an awards ceremony, the unveiling of a new product, or even a gala event to show appreciation of your clients. Whatever the occasion, your goal should be to bring to life the company, its brand and its culture.

From room design and décor to carefully planned food and drink, make sure you delight all the senses with the appropriate lighting, music, refreshments and aromas – all of which play an important role in making it an event to remember.

The key to success, as with everything, is careful planning and thinking ahead. Appoint an organising team and learn to delegate tasks – all too often, events become much bigger than anticipated and it’s too much work for just one person.

Write up your action plan and allocate tasks to team members, organising one person to check from time to time that everything is on schedule. Draw up a budget and make sure you have sufficient funds allocated for the venue hire, entertainment such as a DJ or compere if required and the catering. You may need to budget for speakers’ fees, decorating the venue and gifts for delegates if needed.

If you’re hosting a company awards ceremony recognising talent among your employees, consider who you’re going to invite other than staff members, such as shareholders and family members.

If it’s a regional awards ceremony for a number of local businesses, as well as inviting key companies in the district, you could also invite local councillors, representatives of educational institutes, investors and start-up organisations.

In terms of catering, a meeting is often judged by its food, so make sure you have something for everyone. Consider attendees’ special dietary needs such as vegan, vegetarian or food allergies. If you’re serving alcoholic drinks, also have a good range of soft drinks, teas, coffee and water – not everyone enjoys alcohol!

Organise the necessary equipment to keep and serve the food in hygienic conditions – such as fridges, warmers, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery and serviettes. If it’s a large event, you will be likely to need the services of an outside catering company, rather than keeping it in-house. Try and organise some refreshments on arrival, such as a cup of tea and snacks, especially if some delegates have driven a long way.

Consider having someone to welcome people at the entrance, handing out an information package if required, or noting registrations so you will see who has arrived. Also consider a notice board saying “welcome” and containing any important information written underneath, such as the location of displays, refreshments and toilets, for example.

Even though it’s a celebratory meeting, as the organiser, you must still have some kind of structure, allowing enough time for introductions and maybe an icebreaker activity to loosen everyone up.

Remember, even celebratory meetings serve a purpose – as well as recognising achievements, rewarding employees and promoting your brand, they are also ideal for networking opportunities.

Guests can seize the opportunity to mingle, meet new people and strengthen relationships with those they already know. Apart from table-planning, networking should be actively encouraged during any event.

When you’re planning a celebratory meeting, give us a call and we will lend you a helping hand. &Meetings specialises in fully-equipped meeting rooms in London, with optional catering if required.

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