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Five Tips to Plan a Memorable Appreciation Event

Spring is typically a busy time for appreciation events. Organizations celebrate many spring recognition holidays, like Administrative Professional’s Day or Teacher Appreciation Week, and schools wrap up their school year with award ceremonies .

At Baudville, we do our fair share of appreciation events. We’ve planned a rocking casino-themed party for our employees, an educational luncheon for our customers, and a high energy networking reception for conference attendees. We love events! And we’ve gotten good at them, too. Employees make an effort to attend our parties and activities because they’re so much fun, and we usually draw a crowd at our industry events, too.

Planning an appreciation event can be stressful though, and there are a lot of details to remember. We’ve put together five tips to help you plan an awesome appreciation event for your recipients, whether they’re students, employees, volunteers, or donors.

1. Pick an Appreciation Theme.
Our events always revolve around an appreciation theme. The theme sets the stage for the appreciation event and affects everything from your invitation to your decorations. We’ve found that a theme makes the event more memorable, too. When all the elements of your event coordinate, your attendees have more exposure to the appreciation theme and are more likely to remember it. 

2. Send an Invitation.
Show your appreciation for attendees by sending an invitation to your appreciation event. An invitation sets the tone and shows the level of importance of the event. You can choose to do a formal invitation by mail or take a more informal approach with an electronic version. Your invitation should include important information including the start and end time and what activities to expect. 

3. Set the Agenda. 
For your event to run smoothly and on time, you will need to set your agenda. Your agenda should outline any activities, speakers, or awards that are taking place and the order in which they occur. However, be prepared for your agenda to change at the last minute. It always does!

4. Choose a Gift.
Send attendees home with a lasting reminder of your appreciation with a small gift. Choose an appreciation gift that coordinates with your theme and use it as a table decoration by placing one at each attendee’s seat. This not only saves cost on decorations, but reinforces your appreciation theme, too.

5. Get Feedback.
Congratulations! Your event has ended, and it was a huge success. At least, you think so. Take time after the event to get feedback from attendees. Find out what went well, what you can improve, and solicit ideas to make your next appreciation event even better!

Shop Appreciation Gifts
Shop Appreciation Gifts for your next event.

Quick Tips 
Planning an appreciation event requires careful attention to detail and a ready-for-anything attitude! Our experienced Baudville event planners have two quick tips that will keep you on top of every detail and unexpected occurrence.

First, use an event planning checklist. We’ve even made one for you! This checklist covers every single detail you could possibly need to cover for your event. Plus, it pays special attention to appreciation themes and helps you incorporate your theme into every aspect of the event to make it as successful as possible!

Second, create a tool kit. Our SPIRIT team doesn’t leave for an event without one! It’s a plastic case full of items you may need in an emergency: tape, stapler, pens, string, even a screw driver! You name it, we probably have it in our tool kit. The contents of your kit may differ from ours, but the concept is the same: never leave for an event without being prepared for everything!

Through all of the appreciation event planning we do at Baudville, the most important lesson we’ve learned is to be prepared. Work with a team of committed and enthusiastic individuals and plan for the best and worst situations and everything in between!

Best Practices
The Colorado State Foster Parent Association had a successful event when it used the Imagine, Believe, Achieve theme for their annual education conference. They used the theme messaging on all the communications for the conference, and each attendee left the conference with themed Imagine, Believe, Achieve gifts. Sherry Owens, the Executive Director and Conference Project Manager, was thrilled with the way her event turned out, and she hopes to use the theme more in the future.

Read the entire case study about Sherry’s event and the way she used the theme.


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