However, whether you are launching into planning your company holiday party, setting up your employee programming for the season ahead, or planning a last minute summer get together for your team, event planning can feel like an added burden on top of your day-to-day operational responsibilities. As the editor for All Hands, a publication about life at work from Managed by Q, I have the opportunity learn from event planning experts and as an event organizer myself, I wanted to take an opportunity to share ideas to take the stress out of event planning and create events that everyone in your office can enjoy, including you!
What is the purpose of your event? Are you celebrating your team’s accomplishments, enabling people to unwind after an intense campaign, hosting clients or community members, or sharing content with a speaker or panel discussion? Knowing your desired outcome for your event before you start planning can help streamline your decision making.
To stay organized throughout the process, create a checklist that includes all components of your event including:
- Date and time
- Expected attendance
- Food and beverage menu
- Swag and giveaways
- Logistics for staff and volunteers
Assign dates to your checklist to hold yourself accountable and put follow up reminders in your calendar. That way nothing gets left to the last minute. For a more detailed event planning calendar, download The Complete Guide to Office Management from Managed by Q.
Get creative with venues
When you are hosting large, annual events such as your company holiday or summer party, planning in advance is your best advantage. Venues, especially those that have a larger capacity, can book up quickly, so it’s best to book three-to-six months in advance. For events outside of popular times of the year, a months notice is often sufficient. Because venue rental can be a major expense for events, flex your creativity and explore alternative locations. You can transform your office by bringing in fresh decor pieces, use a short-term rental space like a Breather or Splacer, or use a public space like a park, community garden, or museum to hold a memorable event.
Ensure your event and activities fits a range of needs
While building diverse teams is top of mind for many companies when it comes to hiring, creating an inclusive culture is an equally essential day-to-day practice and is an important factor when it comes to team event planning. To ensure you are creating an event that is welcoming to a wide range of team members, consider details like dietary needs, non-alcoholic beverage options for non-drinkers, and timing to accommodate those who have family care obligations.
When planning activities, think about how you can engage different personality types. While you may have a dance or karaoke party for the extroverts, be sure you also have quieter areas for small group or one-on-one conversations, or activities like a photo booth that don’t require performing in front of a large group to ensure more introverted team members feel comfortable.
You don’t have to plan alone
Event planning is a lot of work, but it need not be a solitary pursuit. For planning support and to better understand what your colleagues really want, send out team-wide survey collecting input, and then put together a small party planning committee where you can delegate tasks like researching venues and activities, and run ideas by various stakeholders. A word of advice: keep your planning committee small, because while everyone has an opinion, you want to make sure you can make definitive decisions in a timely manner.
For day-of event support, consider recruiting extra help, whether that is volunteers from your coworkers or hiring event support staff from a company like Managed by Q to handle tasks like check-in, security, bartending, and resetting the refreshments. When you have a team to help you set up, manage the event, and clean up can you can have a to enjoy the event you put together!
Managed by Q is the platform for office management. Q makes it easy to run an office by connecting companies to services, including cleaning, maintenance, office administration, IT, and security. A solution for recurring and ad-hoc office needs, Q saves companies valuable time and supports office operations for thousands of businesses nationwide.