Strategy & Tips

How to Plan a Successful Company Annual Dinner | The Ultimate Guide

Correct me if I’m wrong, you are here cracking your head to start planning for your company’s annual dinner. Congratulations, no more crawling on Google because this article will definitely guide you to start planning right away! 

This article tells you exactly how to plan for an annual dinner and the steps to help you start planning. 

  1. List down the details and make them accessible.

No matter you choose to plan your own annual dinner or engage an event management company, you will need to have the details ready. You will need them when you reach out to suppliers or agencies. Keep a copy of that information on your devices that makes it more accessible.

List of details: 

  • Date and Time 
  • Venue
  • No. of People 
  • Theme  
  • Budget 

Some other information that is helpful to know:

  • What were the previous annual dinner themes?
  • What was included in the previous annual dinner?
  • Who were the suppliers? Do they still supply?
  1. Search and book your venue as early as possible! 

If you already know where you want to hold your annual dinner, book it as early as possible because these venues usually get booked off really fast. You might want to choose between hotel ballrooms, convention halls, or a cozy event space. 

Few things to consider when deciding on venue:

  • Venue capacity
  • The purpose and core message of the annual dinner 
  • Price and Package 
  • Parking flat rate & ticket validation
  • Public transport options
  • Food & Beverages
  1. Plan the annual dinner activities and program

Here comes the complicated part, planning the entire annual dinner rundown. The best way to do this is to get a copy of the rundown from the previous years and modify it. However, if you are organizing an annual dinner for the first time, you may want to keep in mind that an annual dinner serves as an appreciation event to the staff, hence, the program and activities should be tailored to them. While you have all the “essential programs” in place, consider also to include the things that they may relate to, what drives the excitement, and what is meaningful to them.

Some things to include:

  • Ice breaking session
  • Speech from the management team (usually the big boss would speak)
  • Lucky draw session
  • Photo Booth
  • Entertainment (either hire performers or get the staff to perform)
  • Games
  • Photographer and Videographer

Some other things to consider including:

  • Booth Workshop
  • Registration activities
  • Social media engagement campaign
  • Door gifts
  • Emcee
  1. Keep track of your expenses 

Budget and expenses is always the main concern while organizing annual dinners, or any events. Have a tracking sheet ready to track all of your expenses, so you could have a picture of how much you have left to work with. This expenses record would also be very handy in the future as a reference when you plan for future annual dinners. 

Some things to track:

  • Services like emcee, performers, sound man, etc.
  • Equipment rentals
  • Stationery 
  • Decoration 
  • Gifts 
  • Miscellaneous
  1. Prepare a Plan B

One bad news is, no matter how well planned the whole occasion is, there will always be sudden troubles and changes. Fret not! Have your plan B ready for the sudden troubles you can think of, and improvise and be creative on the spot. 

Some of the things that may go wrong:

  • Sound and lighting system
  • Microphone 
  • Weather 
  • Speech going overtime
  1. Run a rehearsal before the actual dinner

Rehearsal can help minimize the sudden issues during the actual dinner, it gives you a chance to troubleshoot and solve the problems before it ruins the actual event. Spare a few hours for the rehearsal, so you could have enough time to run through the rundown and solve the issues on the spot. 

TOO MUCH HASSLE? TOO TROUBLESOME? Hire an event management agency.

You can always hire an event management agency to save you all the troubles. They will take care of all aspects mentioned above, and all you have to do is to agree on their proposal and they will help you execute. 

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