Don’t Let Your Year-end Event be the Next TITANIC!

Year-end corporate events can go one of two ways, either memorable for all the right reasons or memorable for the disasters that occurred! Some companies go BIG and turn the event into a sign-off of the successful year, an Awards evening or just a large sigh of relief -let’s party!

Whatever the reason for the event, it is very important that the event doesn’t become a “waste” of company money or an “embarrassment” due to inappropriate behaviour!

Most companies organise or try to organise themselves the year-end event, and it usually involves drinks, dressing up to look bizarre and handing out cheap and sometimes embarrassing pressies. All this is traditional and usually a lot of fun.

In this post, we look at how year-end functions can be more beneficial to your business – and why these reasons matter to the success of the event.

Rule #1


Be very clear on WHY you are having the event as this will dictate what to include in the event. If it is a celebration of work well done, then there will be awards of recognition, a need for staging and AV and certificates. If nothing other than celebrating a year of hard work, then it will be more fun and entertainment.

If it is just a traditional event, it is important to try and “top” what was done in the previous year. Be careful of the internally appointed “committee” that will often create something that becomes great for them but meaningless to everyone else.

Rule # 2

WHO and WHY!

Be aware of who will attend and what they may want from the event. If necessary, survey for ideas or expectations but again don’t go with “he who shouts loudest wins!”

A year-end often has people attending who have never actually met, or who only know each other through emails. It is a great time to mix and match and create a relaxed opportunity to have people meet and get to know each other better. There are many fun ways to achieve this other than creating “embarrassing moments.”

Be aware that not everyone wants to drink to capacity or celebrate religious-based traditions. Make the event special for your company and avoid the traps of “other people’s traditions.”

Rule # 3

Show Appreciation

Sometimes there is the opportunity to thank people for their contributions. Don’t allow these to happen after too many people have indulged too much. Best to treat this moment as serious as it is. It is a sign of respect and appreciation, so do this earlier rather than later in the program, before the festivities.

Rule # 4

Re-affirm Business Vision and Goals

Take advantage of the year-end event to re-enforce your company’s dedication to its purpose and goals, aside from just presenting your achievements. Demonstrate your vision for the future and the benefits of being a part of this vision. Your goal should be to inspire staff, cement positive beliefs and behaviour through appropriate presentations, and even the choice of activities and entertainment on offer.

Rule # 5

What to avoid

It may seem obvious, but having organised or been part of more than 500-year ends, our team at Hiside can talk with some authority on the matter. Here is some free advice:

Limit the alcohol consumption
Define the end and don’t let the “hanger-on” ruin it for everyone else
Arrange transportation for all. Don’t let your biggest assets in the organisation get locked up.
Be in control and have a program that is followed
Don’t dump the event on your staff that also want to relax and enjoy the event.
Try to avoid having clients or suppliers at your year-end function. There are appropriate times for engaging with these important people and a year-end “let your hair down” event is not the right place.
Whatever you may or may not think about year-end corporate events, do not waste this perfect opportunity to capitalise on your audience’s attention and dedication to your brand. Ensure everyone is catered for to the finer details and enjoys themselves, and keep in mind that it’s not just about the business – go on, have some well-deserved fun!

At HiSide Events, we see everything in life as an event of some kind. Our passion is making sure events work and creating an experience that is enjoyable for all who attend.

Do you want to inspire and entertain your guest, motivate them to challenge the norm, fix what is not working, or transfer knowledge?

At HiSide Events we make it happen.

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