For some retirement may not be a big deal. Reality is, it is. Retirement means starting a new phase in life and ending long years of being part of the workforce. It can also mean embarking on a new career. These are life milestones that deserve a celebration. And what better way to celebrate it than holding a retirement party. Showing appreciation for a retiree is a good way of sending off someone. They have invested time, effort and resources to the company they are working for. And a retirement party is one that is well deserved. Thinking of ways to make the retirement party memorable and one of a kind is truly important.
Here are 10 ideas for a successful retirement party.
1. Start things right.
Welcome retiree’s guests. Not just as they come but make sure you have decorated the venue appropriately and have prepared some food for them. Streamers and colorful balloons would be a simple but nice way to beautify your venue. Having a short speech to welcome guests would be worth preparing too. Focus on making him or her feel special most especially when it comes to what has been accomplished in the workplace.
2. Have a theme.
Let your theme reflect the retiree’s career, character, hobbies or interests. If the focus is on the retiree’s hobbies, choose from: a fishing trip, a picnic, and baseball game, a golf tournament, or a gourmet luncheon and many more. For ideas for a retirement party theme, the choices are the following: “This is Your Life” - which is focused on recounting the retiree’s biography with speeches, surprise guests and pictures. Another theme could be “The Traveler” - decorate your party with maps and places around the globe and let your food represent specialties from different places of the world. The guests could also come in attires representing their favorite destination and offer travel tips.
3. Involve the retiree’s family and friends.
The retirement party is the best place to end the boundary between work and home. Mixing guests from both work and family is one of the best ways to get to know the retiree. With his or her family getting to know about the retiree’s accomplishments made at work, they will definitely have something to be proud of. Let family members give a short and light message and put a personal touch to the celebration. Seeing family and friends gathered would make this moment really special for the retiree.
4. Reminisce about the past.
Have a little research on the retiree’s career path. Start from their teenage job and every job thereafter up to the job they currently have. It would be fun to trace where their career started, where they thought their career would end up and where their career actually ended. Make a video or a photo collage of the retiree’s pictures from the time they were born to the present. Put emphasis on the working years of the retiree on the present company. There’s also the option of making these pictures as part of the table decoration complete with funny messages and meaningful quotes.
5. Create a bucket list for the retiree.
While some retirees are ready with their list of adventures, some may be at a loss where to start and wondering what they can do with all the time they have in their hands. While catching up on sleep, golf games and TV shows may be on top of their list, it’s simply not enough to fill up their freed up schedule. Help collate their bucket list by having note cards given to other employees where they can write up suggestions on what the retiree can do. This will give the retiree a good laugh and a chance to read those suggestions way after the retirement party.
6. Plan a one of a kind celebration or play retirement party games.
For an unforgettable retirement celebration, distribute some sparklers to the guests as you send the retiree off only of course if it’s safe and appropriate. You can even set up for a real fireworks display. What better way to celebrate a retirement party than playing games that would put everyone in a relax mode. Let the retiree say goodbye to his alarm clock which symbolizes his workday life and play the “Smashing Success” game. Place old alarm clocks inside pillowcases to protect everyone from the shattered pieces. Another game you can play is the “Quiz Show” wherein you give out questions to guests regarding the retiree’s life and work accomplishments and for the one who knows the most answers, a special prize will be given away.
7. Give a meaningful gift.
Make your retirement gift say “job well done.” Find out his interests or what sport he plans to engage in after retirement. A golf set maybe? Or a new fishing pole with tackle supplies. Is he a book lover? Then maybe you can give him a year-long subscription to a book club or perhaps a weekend vacation to his favorite destination. There are many affordable yet unique gifts you can find online that will truly leave a memorable mark when given to the retiree.
8. Make keeping in touch simple.
Saying goodbye to people they’ve been used to seeing on a daily basis may be hard for these retirees. This is why the aspect of making keeping in touch simple should be a part of the agenda for the retirement party. Provide guests with the retiree's new contact information. Set up a web site or a blog that the retiree can use to broadcast events and updates easily for family and friends. The retiree should also be encouraged to have social media accounts in order to stay connected.
9. Prepare something memorable for the retiree.
Not talking about a gift this time. This is going the extra mile to make it memorable for the retiree. Prepare a big card where all attendees can write a short message and sign their names or maybe a picture mounted in a large poster board frame where everybody can sign. Asking guests to write a handwritten note for the retiree will also be a good collection for a scrapbook that can be handed to the retiree after the party.
10. Give the retiree some time to speak.
At the end of the program, the retiree should be given the opportunity to express his or her thoughts and gratitude even if it’s just for a few minutes. Brief the retiree on the content and duration of the time given to speak. Let the retiree focus on key memories keeping the talk light and humorous instead of heavy and emotional. Guests and the retiree should be leaving the party with a light heart and happy memories they can keep.
Retirement parties should be a celebratory, fun and memorable event. Coming up with one should be properly planned with a team. Don’t forget to get the retiree involved in the planning so that you know exactly what he or she wants and that all effort would be made in order to accommodate all requests as much as possible. Send off the retiree in style and show gratitude by making the retiree the star of the party.