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How to Plan a Better Company Anniversary Event

An anniversary year is an important milestone for a company. It’s also a time to stop and think about what the company stands for and what it has achieved. When arrangements to celebrate start, the first thing to do is to have a thorough brainstorming session with your planning committee. As the saying goes, well begun is half done.

A lot of actions go into an anniversary year, be it preparing a company history book, being more noticeable in the media, improving or changing your visual identity, planning for a company trip abroad or a company anniversary event.  

When you start with the preparations for a grand company party, focus on creating something that aligns with your company’s vision, culture and values, something that tells a story, your company’s special history. What does your company stand for? What is the spirit of your company? What have you achieved?

Too often these events tend to be a copy of other events; to make it special, remember that your anniversary celebrations should be a representation of the essence of your company.

To be able to do that, you can rely on experienced event planners, but first, you need to start by asking the following questions:

  1. Why or what are we celebrating?
  2. Who are we organising the event for?
  3. How do we want to celebrate?

5 steps you should take to organise a memorable company anniversary

Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can safely proceed with the practicalities. Here are some tips to get you going.

1. Choose an App that will help you keep track of everyone’s actions towards your common goal

Put technology to good use: carefully chose an App that will work as ‘back-office’ for your journey. Keeping track of registrations, dietary requirements, payments, reservations, and informing your guests about dress code, location, time, and any last-minute changes requires plenty of work. But today, there’s a large choice of Apps to support you and to make sure that organising your company anniversary doesn’t become your worst nightmare. Take for example Aventri, or Idloom Events. You’ll be able to create a customised website, to follow up on the registration process, to be reminded about payments to your suppliers and about deadlines. And you can share the event App with your attendees if you like for an interactive experience. These customer-friendly Apps are a gift of modern technology, so put them to use from the beginning but remember to make sure the organising team knows how to utilise them.

2. Fix the date and time

The first thing that goes into your App? The date! It will help you to focus and keep your actions in line with the agreed deadlines. Avoid major holidays, school holiday time periods to ensure a high level of attendance. Also, consider double-checking with the key participants, if there are any.

When it comes to the exact time of the event, go back to the question ‘How do we want to celebrate it?’ if you are planning a rather formal gala type of event, evening will suit better. If you’re keeping it casual on a weekday and you want to allow your guests a chance to drop by right after their work, starting time between 5-6 p.m. will be good.

3. Checklist for the venue and book it

Make a checklist of ‘must-have’ things when it comes to the venue, and go from there. Once you’ve found the venue, that checks all the boxes, make sure to make a decision fast. Don’t waste time juggling among too many options, as the best ones, go first.

Tips for choosing the best venues?

  • They are easy to get to, both by car and public transportation.
  • They have an in-house kitchen with a catering service (*Don’t forget to check if they cater for different dietary restrictions)
  • They offer clean up service after the event
  • The size is just perfect for the group size (always have an estimate and remember it is not always ‘the bigger the better’)
  • The layout is flexible, and you can picture the place for your event.
  • The ambiance and decor are just what you were looking for: is it a modern and minimalist space you are looking for? Or a more conservative one with leather chairs and marbles? Follow the company culture, identity, and spirit.
  • They have ‘good to excellent’ acoustics. It is your company anniversary, there will be corporate speeches, which need to be heard by all.
  • Last but not least: make sure the staffs on-spot are experienced and have an open service mindset. It is imperative that your needs and requests are listened to.

4. Budget

Needless to say, you have to have a set budget from the beginning. Make sure that there is a preliminary budget agreed upon as your investment level will determine all your choices from the beginning: the number of guests, choice of venue, food&beverage, presents, program etc. Always anticipate that there will be extra unanticipated costs that you could never have thought before – for example, your management team wants to dress in similar colours and you need to find matching outfits for them; or the limousine driver needs to be compensated for the waiting hours and so forth…

The budget should be used wisely to mirror your company’s achievements. Remember that quality is generally more appreciated than quantity. If a company chooses to celebrate the anniversary with a grand firework show, it doesn’t necessarily mean your company needs to do the same. Some guests might even find it offensive to splurge on something they feel is futile.

The rule is: keep it true to your company values, don’t try to overdo it, but do it right!

5. Invitees

Remember: the estimated number of guests should be agreed and it depends on the type of event, the budget, and the venue. Don’t try to squeeze in people that simply won’t fit. An anniversary is a special occasion, not a casual buffet, where people bump into each other. There should be space to move around freely and to network, to take pictures, to enjoy the food and drinks without risk of being pushed away.  

See below our ‘Quick checklist for planning a company anniversary.’ Make sure you don’t forget anything! Happy planning and… Happy Anniversary!

Quick checklist for planning your next company anniversary:

    • Have the answer to the questions: What’s the goal of this event? Who are we organising the event for? How do we want to celebrate?
    • Set a budget
    • Make a detailed schedule with clear deadlines
    • Fix a date and time for the event
    • Compile a guest list (have the estimated number of the guests)
    • Make a checklist for the venue (make sure to check our tips above!)
    • Block the date with the venue (make a preliminary booking if possible)
    • Plan the programme well in advance. You might need a professional presenter, photographer, speeches, a live band or a DJ, and etc.
    • Think about the decor
    • Make a rundown of the event (consult the venue and/or event planner)
  • D-day: Enjoy the day! Try to stay on schedule with official programs such as speeches and entertainment.


5 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Anniversary Party