How to Celebrate a Corporate Anniversary

Three Methods:Celebrating With a PartyCommemorating Your Company's ProgressTaking the Opportunity to Reaffirm Your Values

A corporate anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate your company's success, reinforce connections between employees, and reaffirm your core values. There are many ways to mark your corporate anniversary, and your choices will depend on your company size, budget, and perhaps the significance of the anniversary (for example, a "hallmark" date like a first, tenth, or fiftieth year anniversary probably deserves a bigger fete than an odd, random number). Don't miss this opportunity to celebrate!

Method 1
Celebrating With a Party

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    Set a budget. The extravagance or simplicity of your party will be determined in large part by your party budget. With a big budget, you can afford to rent a venue, provide catering and entertainment, and decorate to the nines. If you don't have a lot to spend, you can still throw an excellent party for your loyal employees!
    • Consider if the party itself might be a business investment that might make sense for your company. For example, if you throw a big party and invite stakeholders, members of the community, and employees and their families, you can bolster your company's reputation and network through the event, which might mean that spending a little more money might not be a bad idea.
    • Don't let the party put you into debt or cause any financial problems for your company. Don't underestimate how quickly the costs might add up.
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    Choose a venue. The venue will depend a lot on the budget for the party, your available resources, and the tone you want to set with your party.
    • On a budget, a party in a break room or at the company president's home can create an intimate environment. With some decorations, music, and mood lighting, it can still have a great ambiance.
    • On a moderate budget, you might look into local community centers, churches, or local parks. Most charge a fee to rent space, but the fee is usually minimal.
    • With a bigger budget, you could rent a convention hall or a local historic meeting place. You could even rent out a nice restaurant or a country club.
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    Invite the guests. Be sure to give everyone plenty of notice, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time and money putting the party together. You can send a save-the-date many months in advance.
    • Decide if you will invite significant others and/or children. Be polite but clear about your expectations in the invitation. If you plan to keep it employees-only, you can add a small line at the end of the invitation that says, "Employees only, please." Otherwise, you can ask invitees to "Please RSVP for you and a guest." For a family-friendly affair, be sure to emphasize that "Families of employees are welcome to attend."
    • As with any party, the invitation sets the tone. If you send a quick email, your employees will assume it is a casual affair. If you mail a crisp envelope and an embossed card, hand addressed, you are communicating that it is a more formal party.
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    Plan the menu. This can be as simple or complex as your budget and tastes allow. For a low-budget affair, having a company-wide potluck can be fun and affordable!
    • Consider hiring a catering company if many people will be attending or if you plan to serve a whole meal or complex, fancy hors devours.
    • Decide if you want to include alcohol, and if so, if guests will receive a limited amount or if you will have an open bar. Be aware that open-bar parties often lead to intoxication.
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    Plan entertainment. In addition to music (which can be in the form of a live band or a stereo system, depending again on your budget), think of ways to incorporate your company's history into the evening's events.
    • Consider asking the owner, president, or department heads to give a toast or short speech about their best memories with the company.
    • If budget allows, you can prepare and show a video or slideshow about the history of the company. You can hire a production company to put something like this together, or do it in-house or by yourself with a lower budget.

Method 2
Commemorating Your Company's Progress

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    Give your employees and/or stakeholders a keepsake. Depending on your budget and how many keepsakes you will need to purchase, there are many great ideas that can be customized to commemorate the founding of your company.
    • Branded apparel, a desk clock engraved with the company name and anniversary year, or a mug with your company logo might make great keepsakes to show your employees or stakeholders that they are appreciated.
    • If you have a large budget and a production department in your company, you could even make a company history book or a short documentary to distribute to your employees.
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    Consider making a charitable contribution. One way to give back to a community for a successful year of business is to give a donation, spend time in volunteer work, or make improvements to a local public space.
    • Consider giving your employees an optional day of volunteer service in the community to do a group project. You can work with groups like your local food bank, Habitat for Humanity, or your local parks service for day-long projects.
    • Perhaps you would like to create some type of monument for your corporation that will stand the test of time. A park bench, new playground equipment, or even trees planted along a freeway can be erected with a plaque specifying that it was donated on behalf of your company's anniversary.
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    Make a time capsule. A time capsule is a great way to make a ceremony feel special and gives you something to look forward to in future years. It is also a great way to get employees involved in the ceremony.
    • You might put in items that represent each year of the company's history, each department in the company, or each employee (for a smaller company).
    • Hold a company-wide ceremony to put items into the capsule and reminisce about the founding of the company and its vision going forward.

Method 3
Taking the Opportunity to Reaffirm Your Values

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    Look at the past. Big anniversaries are a great time to reflect on how your organization got started and how it has since developed. Think of it as an exercise in strategic thinking.[1]
    • Think about the big questions about your company's past: Who founded it, and why? What was the original vision of the company? Reaffirm the values that are the hallmark of what you stand for as a company, but be willing to reassess those that have not served you well.
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    Use this as an opportunity to re-examine your direction. A major corporate anniversary is a great time to issue new vision plans or mission statements for the coming years.
    • Try filling in the blanks to complete this statement: "Our company was founded with a vision for _____. Our goals were ____, _____, and _____." Then think about whether your company met those goals, and whether it might be time to set new ones.
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    Choose an anniversary theme. Particularly if this is your company's centennial or other huge milestone, consider choosing an appropriate theme that builds on your company's past and current values to mark the anniversary year.[2]
    • For example, the year might be spent in "Innovation," "Service," "Diversity," or other value that will help to strategically situate your company for success in the coming years.
    • Consider launching a company-wide initiative to give form to the year's theme. [3] For example, your departments might set benchmarks or goals to measure innovation or service projects.

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Categories: Work World