Tips for Hosting the Perfect Office Party
- November 17, 2015
- Claire Slattery
- 1 Comment
As seen in the Chicago Tribune on December 3, 2015 CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
Hanan Hafez sure knows how to throw a party. The president of Events with Style, an event planning firm in Lake Zurich, Hafez orchestrates successful parties, weddings, and corporate galas week after week all year long.
Hafez, who holds almost unheard of five-star satisfaction ratings on both Yelp and Google Reviews, says the key to effective events planning is equal parts creativity, attention to detail, and relentless negotiation skills. The former community bank vice president got her start planning events for bank customers before launching her own business in 2010.
“Hanan is fabulous to work with and handles everything from top to bottom,” says Laura Kram of Midwest Motors, a luxury car dealership in Lake Zurich that hired Events with Style to plan its grand reopening. “She is so personable and makes sure everything is perfect.”
One of Hafez’ greatest coups include taking over massive wedding planning duties just one week before the big date, when the first planner revealed she’d dropped the ball to a horror-struck bride. But this time of year, Hafez is whipping up private and corporate holiday bashes. Here are her most basic tips for planning a flawless company event.
1. Establish a goal and budget from the outset, along with any limitations for your employee planning committee. To head up your team, choose an employee who is detail-oriented, willing to make lots of phone calls, and a strong negotiator.
2. Don’t settle for throwing the same kind of party year after year. Switching up venues and themes keeps interest and attendance high.
3. For the best value, request at least three vendor quotations per category-i.e., food, music, venue, etc. Keeping a spreadsheet is the easiest way to track and compare proposals.
4. Many people don’t realize this, but vendors expect to negotiate price. Ask for more options and lower price points. When one vendor offers a great price, give others a chance to match or beat it.
5. Know that if you don’t serve alcohol at an evening party, fewer people may attend. Beer, wine, and cash bars are acceptable alternatives to a full-service bar.
6. Having a theme isn’t a necessity, but it adds excitement. On a lean budget? Pinterest is a wonderful source for simple, creative decorating ideas, and dollar stores are great sources for colorful decorations.
7. The fastest way to warm up a party is with music, whether a live band, a professional DJ, or a music-loving employee who can handle DJ duties.
8. Kick the party off right with a welcome speech. Designate your speaker in advance so he or she can prepare a script.
9. Most people’s calendars are filled in December. Consider holding your party in January, when schedules are open and costs are lower. Vendors are hungry for business in January, and party supplies are often on sale.
But if it still comes down to too much work and too little time, your best move may be to call in a pro. According to Hafez, a skilled event planner will negotiate such sharp deals with vendors, her services won’t add a penny to your budget.
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