Coming together, clinking glasses , and eating tasty food. On June 10, 2022,we set up a barbecue for all firms in our office block. Much had to be organized and dealt with before, during, and after the event. Event organization is very important and thought us quite a lot.
After approximately one year in our new office, we organized an in-house barbecue to get to know the other companies and their employees better during a cozy get-together. We knew right away that we want to arrange a real event with a barbecue and entertainment, instead of just a small aperitif. This proved to be the right decision because the event was was a complete success. However, suchambitions ask for good planning. We worked with different tools to make the planning easier. In the process, we gained valuable experience.
Type and goal of the event
At first, it is important to ensure that all involved parties share one and the same idea of the event. Since we joined forces with another company for the planning and financing, we had to clarify the scope of the occasion. Of course, the preparation is different depending on the type of event. According to «onlineprinters.ch», the thematic framework of the occasion has to be set first because it has an impact on the sequencing, location, and time of the event.
In this step, it is important to distribute the different tasks to responsible people to make sure that all duties are taken care of in due time. We handled that at our first collective meeting. Afterward, we came together whenever a major task was accomplished, to decide on further proceedings and communicate possible adjustments. It makes sense to start as early as possible with the preparations to leave sufficient time to make reservations and agree on a date. If one books the location, special guests, and different services at an early stage, the possibility is higher that they still have time and capacity to be there on that date.
Even though our event only took place in June, wehadourfirst internal meeting about the event at the end of February. There, we discussed the overall idea and made the decision on who to incorporate into the planning. Thereupon, we asked the potential co-organizers whether they are interested in planning an event. After their confirmation, we met up in April to present our idea and discuss the course of action. Subsequently, we directly started to design theinvitation and send an offer request to the catering service.
Setting a budget
It is imperative to set a financial scope. Thereby, the expected costs have to be estimated realistically in order to circumvent unpleasant surprises during the planning process. According to «onlineprinters.ch», the monitoring of the desired and the current status of the planning process helps. The current status illustrates, what actually exists at that point in time and the desired status describes the goal of the process. A company should not break its budget, which is often assured by voluntary helpers or sponsors. Since we are a startup and do not possess a huge budget, we had to think about how to keep costs down without reducing the event. We accomplished this by cooperating with the administration of our office. This allowed us to organize a big barbecue instead of a short-lived aperitif without financial burden.
Event location and date
Naturally, the location and date are dependent on the budget, type of event, and the number of participants. When searching for a suitable location, one has to keep the infrastructure of the place, public transport connections or parking spaces, technical capacities, and other conditions on site in mind. In any case, it makes sense to visit the venue prior to the booking to get an idea of the location, its capacities, and what is possible to put into effect there. This way, one can already think about where to put what.
We decided to have our event directly in the parking lot in front of the office. Consequently, we were able to save costs. On top of that, there was a possibility that some people will walk past the barbecue by chance when leaving the office and decide to stay. For any optional event such as this one, the effort to join must be kept as little as possible. If the guests had to drive or take public transport to get to the location, presumably not not that many would have shown up. For example, some people only dropped in real quick due to lack of time. They probably would have not done that if the event had taken place at a location that is further away.
When fixing a date, one has to take special occasions, such as public holidays, school vacations, and potential alternative events into account. We also did some research to find out whether a festival oranother big event takes place on that day. Additionally, we considered national holidays and bridge days. Sometimes it makes sense to save an alternative date. For example, if the event can only be carried out in nice weather.
At this point in the organization, it gets down to business. Each sequence of the event has to be planned out from a to z. Thereby, eventualities such as the weather and the topic of security must be considered. It is a good idea to generate a safety concept. In case the event takes place outdoors, it makes sense to organize a tent or another shelter, be it that the weather is not on your side. Furthermore, one has to inform oneself about restrictions in terms of the number of guests and needed licenses for the selected location. It has to be deliberated, whether there is a need for catering, music, a security service, photographs, and so forth. The number of additional services is highly dependent on the type of event and the capacities of the company’s employees.
In our opinion, it is easier, more time efficient, and more cost-effective if one books as many services as possible from the same place, as long as they are high-quality services. From the outset, we had a regional butcher shop in mind that deliver meat, side dishes, desserts, tents, benches, tables, plates, and cutlery. Additionally, they provide a barbecue chef on site. Solely, the beer was ordered from another supplierin order to support a local brewery. That way, the details were determined pretty fast and easily.
Promotion and invitation
After all information about the event is collected and fixed, the guests have to be invited. epending on the type of event, it is appropriate to advertise the event with posters, flyers, and social media. Marketing material can have a supportive effect if the goal of the event is to increase the public awareness of a firm or present the firm publicly. For instance, one can order ballpoint pens or chocolate bars with a print of the company’s logo or motto.
Our invitation consisted of a carefully designed flyer. We included a QR-code on the flyer, leading to a Microsoft forms document. This allows for a fast and easy registration process for the guests. We sent the flyer via email to the guests. Additionally, we integrated the link for the Microsoft form into the mail text to keep the barrier for registration as low as possible.
In the Microsoft forms, the guests were able to indicate at what time they will arrive and whether they stay for the barbeque. On top of that, important questions about the guests’ diet could be answered. This information was valuable for the planning process and made the ordering of the food easier. For example, in the first offer, the butcher included 40 vegetarian meat alternatives but only one vegetarian registered. Based on the registration details, we reduced the number of vegetarian alternatives.
When sending the invitation, it is important to make sure that every potential guest is reached. For instance, we did not have the email address of two potential guests.Thus, we forgot about them when sending the email invitations. Fortunately, we saw them in the building and were able to invite them personally to the event. However, something like this is to be prevented.
The day of the event
The day is finally here. Everything has to work and be ready in time for the guests. That means the organizer should be on site prematurely to prepare and check everything. Thereby, it is very important that the respective people know what they have to do and when they have to do it. When the first guests arrive, they ought to be greeted. Depending on the size of the event, there might be a reception. Furthermore, it is a good idea to fix someone that acts as a moderator. This person can make the greeting, introduce the special guests, open the buffet, and thank everyone at the end of the event.
In our case, the installation started a day before the event, when the butcher dropped off the refrigerated truck with the drinks. On the day of the event after lunchtime, we started to set up the tables and benches. When the butcher joined us with the food and smoker, we diligently laid out the buffet table, a simple aperitif, and the cutlery. Before we knew it, the venue was busy, and the colleagues were chatting cheerfully over a cold drink and chips. Directly after the welcoming speech, the special guest, a personal trainer, was introduced, who then executed a couple of breathing and relaxation exercises with everyone. In the meantime, the meat was prepared in the smoker, which made everyone’s mouth water. Consequently, the people switched fastly from doing the sport exercises to eating the fresh food. Just like that, the evening took its course. The weather played along, everyone was in a good mood andthe event wasa huge success. Not least thanks to agood preparation and great planning.
To what extend is a digitized offer able to compensate the experience on site?