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Your company year-end function is as important, if not more so, than the other company events you host throughout the year. Proper planning will ensure that the expectations of your number one asset – your employees – are met.

Step 1: Get management buy-in to the arrangements – this includes the objective, theme and budget.

Step 2: Plan the theme and entertainment around the agreed objectives.

Step 3: Decide on personnel demographic seating arrangements – a seating plan is vital to breaking down any barriers within the company and must be conducive to easy dialogue and interaction.

Step 4: Timelines – At the very latest, the first three rules should have been agreed by mid-year. If this hasn’t been done, start now!

Step 5: Venue selection – The theme, entertainment, demographics, capacity of the gathering as well as transport and parking arrangements must be taken into consideration when selecting a venue. Hotels tend to be fully booked from October to December. You might want to consider alternative venues such as restaurants and clubs and work around themes that suit these venues.

Step 6: Invitations, acknowledgement and reward – Make the invitations fun and indicate that the presence of the employee at the function will be important to the employer, and that the event is a reward and acknowledgement. Printing and writing their names on the card might be time-consuming so sending e-cards or even asking them to register via eventbrite are possible options.

Step 7: Budget considerations – Although a budget is usually allocated at the very outset and line items added along the way, it should be regularly updated in order to ensure that any adjustments are taken into account.

Step 8: Admin assistance – Ensure that there is admin backup. Prior to the function, internal personnel should be utilised in the planning, but on the day of the function ensure that company employees invited to the function are not expected to coordinate and organise on-site. This is when the Event Manager who they’ve been liaising with all this while comes into full force.

Step 9: Control and monitoring – Keep one person accountable for all impromptu decisions that has to be made. This person should be the only one updating the Event Manager on any changes.

Step 10: Enjoy the party!