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Planning End of Year Corporate Events (Start Now!)

Updated: Oct 10


Are we really talking about the end of the year? Yep, you read that right. As we emerge from the pandemic and employees are returning to the workplace, we’re predicting a big year for end of year corporate events. Offices are bustling again, and employees are looking for in-person connection once again.

How to Plan an End of Year Corporate Event


As a business, one of the best things you can do right now to build positive morale among your employees is to start planning your end of year bash. Get an event planning team behind you and get started.


Why Plan an End of Year Corporate Event?


End of year corporate events have long since been a great way to boost company morale. While we placed them on a temporary hold during COVID-19, we are expecting them to be back with a bang this year.


With rising inflation and businesses still recovering from the pandemic downswing, many companies are evaluating whether an end of year event makes sense this year. End of year parties serve a larger purpose than just celebrating another year. Here are some reasons to host an end of year corporate event:

  • Boost morale

  • Show gratitude

  • Reward employees

  • Team building opportunity

  • Improve your company culture


Before you get overwhelmed, know that planning your end of year corporate event is very similar to planning any other event your company hosts throughout the year. Planning is key, and now is the perfect time to start.


When to Start Planning


The holidays should be a fun time filled with friends and family, and end of year corporate events are no exclusion. That’s why beginning the planning process early is the key to success.


Planning early allows you greater flexibility in choosing your event date, a higher likelihood of booking your first choice venue, and the opportunity to book the vendors that are in higher demand (i.e. the best vendors!).


First, you’ll want to find an experienced event planning team like The Wynning Experience to support your planning efforts. Completing this first will ease a lot of stress in the planning process, as a great event planning team will walk with you every step of the way, from determining your event vision, to booking a venue and vendors.


The second more important element will be to pick a date and secure a venue. In the event planning process, venues are one commodity with limited resources. Unlike a caterer or furniture company, venues can only be booked once for a single date. Make sure to grab your ideal date and your first choice venue early in the process!


Types of End of Year Corporate Events


As part of your initial planning process, you’ll want to determine what type of end of year corporate event best fits your company’s needs. Let’s review a quick breakdown of your three options:


At-Work Event (In-office)


At-work end of year corporate parties hosted in your office space are a convenient and cost-effective option. However, what you gain in budget and convenience, you give up in creativity and excitement. While some employees will appreciate not having to travel to a different location, others will want an alternate location to get out of their daily workspace. Consider your audience in choosing any of these options.


After Hours Event (Outside Venue)


An after hours event will be hosted at an off-site venue after work hours. Hosting at an outside venue offers the option for a more expansive and creative event set-up, and in many cases, more fun for your employees. You will however need to consider the extra budget required to rent an outside venue.


Virtual & Hybrid Parties


With COVID still a part of our day-to-day life, virtual and hybrid events are still in high demand. Both are a great way to create an inclusive event where all employees have the opportunity to participate in a way they feel comfortable. We talk more about what hybrid events are and how to put on a hybrid event on our blog.


How to Plan the Ultimate End of Year Corporate Event


With the right plan, planning your end of year corporate event will be a breeze. The following checklist will help guide you in the process. And don’t forget, having an event planning team behind you will only support each of the steps and make the end result that much greater.


The End of Year Corporate Event Checklist


Set a Date


Check your company calendar, consider other events or deadlines within your company, and pick a date. Communicating this date to your employees early will increase chances of attendance.


Determine Budget


Make sure you consult with the appropriate executives to set your budget early in the process. Be realistic, and set aside some extra just in case!


Hire an Event Planning Team



Pick a Venue


Once you’ve determined your budget, start making a short list of favorite venues. We recommend snagging a venue as early in the process as possible as they book up fast!


Determine the Type of Event


Once you have your budget, your venue, and your planning team, it’s time to determine the type of event you’re going to have. Consider your number of employees, desired event vibe, and logistics of the date you’ve chosen as you decide between an at-work event, an after hours event (outside venue), or a virtual or hybrid event.


Transportation (if necessary)


Based on your venue choice and type of event, consider whether your guests will need help with transportation to or from the venue to keep everyone safe if alcohol is consumed.


Food & Drinks


Based on your budget priorities, you should have an amount allocated for food and drinks. Reach out to caterers for sample menus and costs, and make a short list of caterers that fit your budget and cuisine preferences.


Entertainment


Do you have room in your budget for entertainment? You will need to decide what type of music option you will have (DJ, live band, etc.) and if you will offer other entertainment such as a photobooth, games, etc.


Décor


Décor is an extra but it’s certainly important! With the budget you have left, you’ll want to plan for some type of décor which may include florals, lighting, candles or other elements. An event planner will be able to suggest options and guide you based on your event vision.

Invites


Invitations can be mailed, emailed or hand delivered. However you decide to distribute them, determine a timeline for when you will have invites sent out, and when you will need RSVP numbers (consult your event planner and vendors on this as well, as caterers may require final numbers by a certain date).


Consider a Gift Exchange or Setting up a Fundraiser Around Your Event


Since it’s the holiday season, these are two fun ideas to add to your event without costing you a penny! Having something to bring or contribute to also gives employees a greater purpose in coming to the event.


Make Plans to Recognize Employees and Celebrate Successes from the Year


Take advantage of the one of the key benefits of hosting an end of year corporate event. Recognize your employees and call out particular successes at the event. This will go a long way in showing gratitude and boosting morale!


How to Create a Wynning Experience


While you may be in the summer mindset, now is the time to start planning your end of year corporate event. Don’t let the thought of planning now for December stress you out. That’s what event planners are here for. Our team of experienced and talented planners at The Wynning Experience will walk with you every step of the way to make sure your event vision is successfully brought to life.

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