NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Jackie Shelton
I love my job. And one of the best parts of working in public relations: planning and throwing parties. It doesn’t get much more “relations with the public,” after all, than inviting people to help you celebrate something momentous.
In the professional world, parties accomplish many things: They help with employee morale, client relationships and introducing your company to potential clients and employees. They also let our significant others inside to understand who we’re hanging out with during the day.
I’m currently knee-deep in the process of planning a 25th anniversary party for my employer, the Estipona Group. As such, I thought I’d share some insights into the party-planning process — which, I promise, doesn’t have to be complicated. Just be sure to consider the seven W’s before you get started:
Why: To raise money, draw attention to a cause, celebrate an occasion or just have fun? If your goal is fund-raising, be sure this is the most effective way to do it, as there are hard costs involved and they don’t usually make money right away.
Whatnot: I love themes, but if you want people to attend, make it easy on them. You’ll lose guests if they don’t get your theme or they don’t want to invest the time or money. However, you can go all out without putting extra pressure on your guests — just don’t require costumes.
Where: When picking a location, you need to keep several considerations in mind:
- Is it the right size for your guest list? Too big can be just as bad as too small.
- Is it available on your preferred date?
- Is it conveniently located for your guests?
- Is there parking?
- Does your rental fee include tables, chairs, linens, dishes, glassware, cutlery, AV?
- Can you bring your own food and drink, or do you have to use their caterer?
When: You want to pick a date and time that makes sense, but doesn’t conflict with other events your audience might be interested in. Also, keep in mind that breakfast and lunch events tend to be less expensive and might be easier for people to attend.
What (to eat): Some considerations include budget, availability of an on-site kitchen, catering and food service. You’ll want to have some vegetarian and gluten-free options available. And, of course, non-alcoholic drinks are a must.
Warbling (aka music): Spotify is the bomb, and it’s super-easy to create a playlist to go with your theme. For last year’s Estipona Group 24 Karat Magic anniversary party, we created a playlist that was a combination of Bruno Mars, gold and magical songs. For our 2018 anniversary event, we have chosen songs from the early 90s — to coincide with our company’s “birth” year, 1993.
- To best capture fresh-faced party-goers, take photos early before the lipstick wears off and the wine kicks in. And take at least some pics without a glass in hand.
- If it’s a fundraiser or other public event, give your guests a hashtag to use when they post their photos on social media.
What’s the most important thing? Have fun, of course. Seriously.
Jackie Shelton is the VP of PR for the Estipona Group and NCET’s VP of Programs for Biz Café. The Estipona Group is a creative agency that has been building brands and buzz since 1993. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.