An employee of yours is retiring, so how do you show them that you appreciate what they’ve done for your company? You’re sad to see them leave, but definitely proud of what they’ve accomplished. A great retirement party provides your employees with a sense of understanding how important they are to you and to the company. An event like this can even double up as an employee appreciation event for everyone, so why not make sure you get the event right the first time?
We’ve catered & planned quite a few different retirement parties and have picked up on a lot of things that are important to consider when planning a retirement event. It should be a celebration that represents how important the employee has been to the company. It’s also an incentive for dedicated employees to work harder, so that they too can one day receive an event like this.
There are a handful of things to consider when hosting this sort of event, and how to maximize the benefit for your employees, the retiree, and yourself.
Who To Invite
The very first thing to consider is who will be attending. Assuming the event isn’t a surprise (but we love surprises, so we’ll get back to that) it’s a good idea to get in contact with the retiree to invite their spouse and loved ones. Likewise, if you’re familiar with any former bosses or coworkers that might’ve been important to them, these people would also make excellent guests. If not, trust your office admin or designated employee to do some research and get in contact with the family of the guest of honor.
The easy part, in a corporate setting, is to invite their current and former (if in good standing) co-workers, key clients and any interested board members. These contacts are expected and are an important aspect of the “employee appreciation” portion of this event. As mentioned before, they’ll enjoy the event and the excitement to reach an achievement like this might push them to work harder for your business.
Date, Time, Location
If your office doesn’t have a event hall or some sort of space that can accommodate the number of guests you’re planning on inviting, you’ll be pressed to find a location. If you’re like us and from the surrounding Main Line/Philadelphia area, there’s a ton of venues in the area that would be perfectly suitable for your event. Simply contact us to discuss with our event planners, who are capable of finding a great location for your party!
If you’re NOT from our area, there’s a couple different things to keep in mind for your location:
- What is the budget you’re looking to invest in this event, and also for how long?
- How many people are you planning on inviting, and will the location have enough space to seat this many people?
- If you would like to celebrate outside, what will the weather be like?
This is often a huge concern during the summertime and can make or break an event location.
Guests of the most importance, such as family members or out-of-state visitors should take precedence when picking a date and time. Since the event is planned in advance, it’s a good idea to find when the most appropriate date would work for these guests. Afterwards, simply set it up with whoever is in charge!
If the event is a surprise, make sure this is noted in your invitations! Don’t let “that guy” in the office be “that guy” and spoil the event’s surprise because they were uninformed. Avoid a Facebook event or an impersonal group text message and instead shoot for personalized physical invitations or direct contact to get the message out.
Making it Memorable
This is where the planning gets fun – How would you like to make the event special for the retiree? Of course you’ll be sharing the love through an event with their family, friends and coworkers, but how would you like to step the game up further?
Will you provide a thank you gift? A testament from the company is always a great idea, such as a plaque or displayable piece of artwork. Companies like Philly’s own Center City Engraving can design all sorts of plaques and awards for your guest to display in their personal space as a testimony of their commitment to your company.
Are you going to present them with a presentation or speech of any sort? It’s best to keep things brief and the focus on the retiree. Allow yourself to speak, perhaps offer the floor to those who would like to speak about the retiree. It’s best to feel these sort of things out, especially if the event isn’t excessively professional. It can definitely be a funny experience though, depending on who would like to approach the podium.
Events we’ve seen have had these types of memories included, as well as a variety of different ideas, like a scrapbook, retirement video, or a giant card that guests can sign and write messages in. These gifts are also keepsakes for the retiree and are sure to make them happy. Which brings us to our final point, and definitely one of our favorite things to talk about…
Feeding Your Guests
The food and drinks: that’s where we come in. Your event, no matter which level of formal it is, should have a spread that is both enjoyable and presentable as well. For a more formal event, we’ve got you covered with fantastic entrees like our pulled pork sandwiches, tequila lime chicken and shrimp, or our baked Atlantic salmon with dill sauce.
However, this event is likely to be a more relaxed environment. It could be it’s own private affair in the evening, although most smaller businesses seem to enjoy a good retirement luncheon. Tasty Table specializes in excellent drop-off catering packages, and we also offer a variety of sandwich packages that appeal to any taste. If food really isn’t a big necessity, or the event is short and sweet, we also offer tons of different energy break-type snacks for your guests to enjoy.
However you decide to celebrate your employee retiring, we’re here to help. There are few things more enjoyable than making someone feel appreciated. There’s many things to consider hosting an event, but remember to focus on the most important aspect of the celebration– the retiree themselves. Thank them for the time and effort they’ve given and celebrate accordingly. This will most likely inspire the rest of your employees too!