When it comes to planning your own company soiree, everything can feel a little bit overwhelming. Between organizing the most delicious aperitifs, having a selection of beverages and creating the perfect décor, things can feel a little bit too much. Not to mention the venue challenge! This can be tough because it needs to fit in with all of the above and it must provide a comforting, yet elegant feel for your quests and colleagues to sit back, relax and enjoy. Here are 6 cardinal rules to planning and hosting the perfect office function gathering.
As with everything in life, we tend to freak out when we feel pressured to perform at a high standard; especially when this involves a professional environment. The number one rule you must always follow in these situations is to take a deep breath and relax. Remember that the organizing is very much part of the fun. Always keep your cool and enjoy your creative flow. Play some music whilst you are trying to get everything sorted. Music helps us relax by distracting our minds from constant cognitive processing, which means your mind will focus on one thing at a time. This will allow you to focus and organize all the important details of the function so that everything runs smoothly.
2. Ze Menu
The food is probably one of the most important features to your collective corporate event. Everybody loves good food to nibble on. Whilst you may want to get ambitious, we absolutely recommend you definitely include the traditional ‘’Cheese platter’’. Although you will most likely be working closely with a catering team, it is really important for you to know and explain to them exactly what you want. The key to a successfully delicious one is to add variety. Everybody loves cheese, so mix different types; blue cheese is a must, aged, soft, feta. Dressing the platter is really important, so always garnish with sweet choices like fresh grapes, dried apricots, figs, cranberries and salty choices like nuts, olives and the selection of meats. When it comes to the breads, again, give your guests a good enough selection. We recommend you provide crackers, pitta breads, spinach bread sticks. You may also add the famous bruschetta, and with this you can get as creative as you wish. (A great recipe is tomato and mushroom bruschetta, dressed in olive oil and garnished with chives). Be sure to spoil your guests with a choice of homemade dips, tzatziki and humus are always winners.
It is very likely that your guests will prefer to move around and mingle; after all, this is what networking is all about. You want to make sure that the lighting is not too bright so that it will not blind them and make them feel uncomfortable. The desired result should provide a dim and intimate mood. This can be achieved with dim lighting (depending on your venue choice, you will be able to discuss this with the owners) and our fave props, candles. You can be really unique and get in contact with a company who designs handmade candles. However, if you don’t have the time, you can use tea light candles and place them in beautiful long glasses, or in a bowl filled with flowers. You may even make arrangements of the candles being placed in sea shells. To add more versatility, use the long thin candles in used wine bottles. This creates a very Victorian look and an elegant feel to the place.
The music you choose to play defines how your guests will feel and their overall disposition. Presuming that this is a semi-formal event with your colleagues and business acquaintances, sounds should be light and mild. Remember, this evening is about you, your company and your guests enjoying a ‘’little something different’’, with a touch of elegance and lots of beautiful food. Discuss with your event planner on dj’s who will be appropriate for your event. You will most likely create your own playlist, which is great because you will be the main decision maker on this. If this is the case, make sure the sounds give out a relaxing, chilled out vibe, which will be fun enough make your guests feel festive, but relaxing enough to keep them in good spirit. Also, take note that the volume should not be too loud; you definitely do not want your guests to be screaming at each other.
When it comes to flowers, go big. You should never feel like they are too much. A splash of colour and nice fresh smell will add to the fabulous ambiance. From having been to many functions, you can never go wrong with peony. Try and spice it up with different shades of pink and white peony. They add slight warmth to the room, and brighten up the atmosphere. They are also very very pretty, not to mention quite cost effective and they give a really clean feel to the venue. You can place the peony individually on each table in small glasses filled with water and perhaps with ribbon around them; or you can just go for the big bunches in which case, go for a simple, cream coloured vase.
It is always a wise idea to provide your guests with diverse choices of drinks, so make sure the bar is well stocked. We all love a nice refreshing beverage, but some people are just not fans of certain types. Do have a few different choices of wines, perhaps one in each colour and a selection of sparkling wine. You can go for the main spirits like vodka, gin and whisky. However, if you want to make your evening special, you can even create a cocktail for the evening, ‘’The cocktail of the night’’. You can discuss this with the bar staff and perhaps create one together. Depending on the weather, you can decide if you want to make a fruity one or one which gives a cozy, winter feel. Your guests will really appreciate the efforts you have made to ensure they all have a drink of their choice including a unique cocktail created purely for the evening.
You are ready to begin the party. Everything is now in order and you have everything under control. Let the cocktails poor and the music play, we are having a soiree.
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