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A company anniversary is the perfect time to celebrate your business’ achievements, whether you've been in business two years or 32 years. Besides bringing an element of fun to your business, an anniversary party provides a way to inform everyone that your company is thriving and excited about the future. To ensure maximum success, start planning your party at least several months ahead of the date you’ve chosen to hold the event.
Figure out what you want the party to achieve. For instance, you may want to use the anniversary to let customers know you’re keeping up with a changing market or show how your company’s offerings differ from competitors. The anniversary can also be used to attract prospects and generate sales leads or to improve community relations. Or, you use the anniversary party to announce an exciting new product or service.
Review your company’s history to get ideas for the celebration. Look for milestones such as product and service rollouts over the years. Gather photos that show how your company has grown and expanded. Review why you started the business and how it has evolved since then. This information can then be used in promotional materials highlighting your business' major milestones and achievements. You can integrate the information into a slideshow that uses the photos to track your company's history. The slideshow can run in the background at your party or be part of a more structured presentation.
Create a Theme
Create a theme for your party for use in invitations, party decorations, food and entertainment. Use the theme to create graphics and copy to grab attention on your website and in flyers or other promotional materials announcing the party. Themes can vary according to the anniversary year being celebrated. For instance, you could throw a "Roaring '20’s" party to celebrate a 20-year anniversary, or build your theme around what the major cultural, news and industry events were 20 years ago.
Make the Guest List
Decide if you want to throw an employee-only anniversary party or a larger event to which clients, prospects, vendors and business associates are invited. Your budget for the party plays a role in how many people you invite and how big the celebration can be. You might need to set extra funds aside if you did not already include an anniversary party in your marketing budget. Send invitations via postal mail a few weeks before the party is scheduled so people have time to plan to attend. Send reminder emails to encourage people to attend. If the event is open to the general public, post details about it on your social media pages and website to remind and motivate people to attend.
Plan the Night
If you decide to hold your party at an outside venue, secure the date as far in advance as possible. Some popular venues require reserving a year or more in advance. Decide what food goes best with your theme. For example, if you have a Western theme, plan to serve steaks or burgers for a main meal or use a selection of barbecue or grilled hors-d'oeuvres if you plan to serve appetizers and beverages only. Decide whether you want to use the venue’s on-site catering service or an outside caterer. Hire entertainment that goes with your theme, such as bringing in a country & western band to go with your Western-themed party. Create a schedule of events for the evening that might include time for networking, a sit-down dinner and a program that includes employee or customer awards, speeches and product or service giveaways.
Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.