Whether it’s 10 years as a small and growing business or 100 years as a pillar in the community, every company or organization should and can celebrate their milestone anniversaries with enthusiasm and intention.
The most valuable part of an anniversary celebration is the opportunity for you to strengthen your organization’s story. You can focus on the mission and values that most illuminate your role as a service provider, employer, innovator and community supporter. Take these steps to start telling yours:
- Tie your anniversary to your mission or business objectives. After all, a celebration without a plan is a lost opportunity. Commit to strengthening relationships with employees, retirees, customers, suppliers, donors and other stakeholders throughout your milestone year.
- Take time to plan. Depending on the size of your company and your vision for your celebration(s), start your planning six to 12 months in advance. If you intend to collect stories or write a company history, start earlier. Early planning allows you to include a line item in your budget for your celebration, which helps define the scope of the overall project.
- Create an anniversary logo to use consistently throughout the year. The process of creating this artwork will inspire conversations about your authentic identity and history. Be sure it is reproducible in many formats, from printed invitations to embroidered clothing or customized gifts.
- Involve employees, volunteers and board members on a planning committee. They are your best brand ambassadors and a source of energy and creativity. They might also help uncover historical photos, collect stories and create guests lists.
- Make history — again. Integrate your organization’s story into your celebration through history collections, multimedia presentations or even a published piece. Not sure how to make it all happen? Corporate event planners, specifically, have networks of story collectors and copywriters, photographers, videographers and project managers who can help create these compelling experiences. They will also happily collaborate with your existing marketing team.
- Design your anniversary event(s) to be memorable and meaningful. In the time of COVID-19, storytelling is a beautiful way to bring your people together virtually over video or via an interactive webinar-like event. Send logo gifts or history collections in the mail and have a charcuterie board or sweet treat hand-delivered before going live. When it is safe to gather again, consider an event that reflects your company culture, whether it’s a themed dinner dance, summer picnic, company tour and scavenger hunt or a special day-at-the ballpark.
Remember there really are no little things. Perfectly spelled nametags (or mailing labels or digital salutations) show honor and respect for your guests. Well-prepared tour guides reflect well on your company. A compelling anniversary logo lives on well past your anniversary year. Every decision you make — or neglect to make — makes an impression. Invest in sound planning for your big anniversary, and you will write a new success story on behalf of your company and its people.
A-mazing Events specializes in full-service in-person, virtual and hybrid event and meeting planning for companies and non-profits. Since 2005, the company’s event designers and managers plan, execute and evaluate events for mid- to large-size organizations, including corporate anniversaries, open houses, ground-breaking ceremonies, conferences, tradeshows, awards dinners, galas, picnics and holiday parties. Learn more at www.a-mazingevents.com.