For sure you have attended almost every type of party there is - a birthday party, Christmas party, welcome party, saying goodbye party and the like. Every party has the same basics that need to be prepared and considered. There are party essentials that can be quickly identified. You will need to determine the date and venue for the party. Knowing the budget and how many people will be invited and the tone of the party. However, there are certain things that are considered “must know” when it comes to retirement parties.
Here’s a helpful guide to the must-know on retirement parties:1. Know what the retiree wants.
He or she is the reason for the celebration. So it’s only right that the party goes just the way they want it. A retirement party is not supposed to be a surprise party. The retiree should have a say on the kind of retirement celebration he or she wants and the people that would be invited to the retirement party. This is the best time to ask what will be the tone of the party. It could be that the retiree prefers a laid back, adults-only cocktail hour or a big family-style barbeque. It could also be an intimate gathering in a piano bar, a dance party or a permanent vacation party. As for the people that would be invited, it should at least include the following: retiree’s spouse, retiree’s children, immediate boss, former boss/bosses he or she has kept in touch with, current and former co-workers, close friends and extended family members.
2. Designate a good master of ceremonies and carefully select speakers.
Most of the time, there will be people invited to the retirement party who has worked with the celebrant for a period of time. They will be asked to speak or give a message for the retiree. This is where it is crucial to have a good master of ceremonies who would know how to direct and sometimes cut short messages that are way too long. The selection of speakers should also be made carefully. Let them know ahead of time that they will be asked to speak and how long their speech will be. The master of ceremonies can help brief and guide them with regards to making appropriate remarks.3. Include lots of pictures.
A slideshow of the retiree's pics through the years projected on a screen would be perfect. You can have this playing as people come in and even after the program. However, if that would not be possible, make a large poster or photo montages placed all over the venue. Pictures included could be those taken in an office setting or even from the personal life of the retiree. Just be extra careful in choosing photos. Make sure it’s not embarrassing or going beyond personal boundaries. Make use of pictures from childhood and high school pictures that depict hilarious clothing and hairstyles.4. Remarks should be fueled by love and good humor.
The overall goal is to make the retirement party a fun and inspirational event. What’s expected from speakers are expressions of gratitude and appreciation. It’s allowing the retiree to reminisce good memories and funny incidents. Stay clear from the embarrassing stories and retirement jokes that may make the retiree feel uncomfortable.
5. Come up with something memorable.
Create a website showing an overview of the retiree’s career and what he plans to do on the new season of his or her life. The website can also provide a space for people to write their tributes and messages for the retiree. These are all printable and can be transferred later on to a scrapbook. If this is not possible, then at least prepare a large card where all guests can sign and leave a thoughtful message for the retiree. Guests can also prepare handwritten notes and photos in advance that can be placed in a lovely retirement scrapbook you can give the retiree by the end of the celebration.6. Make sure the photos and videos are done professionally.
This is one event you wouldn’t want the retiree to forget. The photos and videos coming from this event will forever be treasured. Set a portion of the budget to be able to hire a professional photographer and videographer. Label the photos and have the videos captioned right away so this will be a keepsake that the retiree can always go back to and recall happy memories.7. Go for special entertainment.
Friends, co-workers and family members will surely enjoy a retirement party that is not limited to the toast offered by the guest of honor’s boss, spouse, child, co-worker, and close friends. If the budget allows, have a small band or disc jockey play songs to entertain guest during dinner and a dance party after the program.8. Give the retiree a retirement gift.
While employees can give individual gifts, having it coordinated will avoid giving similar gifts for the retiree. Another option is for co-workers to pool their money to buy more memorable retirement gifts like something related to travel, the retiree’s favorite hobby, a company memorabilia and the like. Know the plans of the retiree so you can buy more appropriate gifts that will fit into his or her lifestyle way after retirement.9. Give the retiree a chance to speak.
Even if it’s just a few minutes, part of the program should be giving the retiree a chance to speak his or her mind and thank guests and loved ones who celebrated this momentous event. The retiree should also be briefed and the focus of the speech should be on a few key memories and that it should be kept humorous and light. Remember that the goal of the party is to make it as memorable, celebratory and fun affair. Let the retiree’s speech be not a rundown of the years of experience with the company as that would really bore your guests. Highlights and funny moments should be included in the speech. When talking about accomplishments, remind the retiree to include others who contributed. Let him or her offer some much-needed advice for the younger employees. At the end part of the speech, there should also be a hint of what he or she plans to do after retirement. All these should be said in ten minutes or less.10. Make it really special.
Let the retirement party be expertly planned. Make it the ideal kind of send-off that the retiree had always wanted. His or her preferences for the party should be given priority especially when it comes to venue, food, activities and the tone of the party. After all, this party is all about them so why not let them really feel extra special!
Holding a retirement party may spark mixed emotions. You’re truly happy about the new season of the retiree and sad at the same time for losing daily interaction and time spent with him or her. Make the transition of your retiring co-worker exciting and memorable by keeping in mind these “must know” list for holding retirement parties. As you get to know them, you can ensure that the retirement party will be a time for appreciation, celebration and reminiscing the retiree’s fun-filled experiences while in the workforce.