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8 Tips for Planning a Successful Off-site Business Luncheon

Amelie Theron
Amelie Theron

It takes nerves of steel to take on the responsibility of organizing an off-site luncheon for your professional colleagues.

When you finally get down writing out the gameplan and see all the different areas that need your attention, it can be overwhelming.

In order to execute every task with perfection, you must be well organized and combine everything into one big file. Use these points below as a checklist to help you start.

Business professionals come with an expectation which you have to address with finesse. The venue for example that you finalize has to have facilities to adjust to the glitz and fervor of the evening. A private facility which has everything on offer is a must and pre-requisite for any business outing.

Besides a private facility, there are the many other areas that you need to be mindful of to avoid any sort of disappointment. So, without any further ado let’s get down to business and review all these aspects in detail.

1. Determine Events Budget

Either, you have a pre-determined budget for the outing or you have to get an approval based on your planning. The complexity with event budget is that on one side you do not want to appear too cheap for the employees and on other you do not want to break your company‘s bank account. Set up a specific theme for the event. With a precise theme, your budget allocation does not get out of control and you can allocate budget in right proportions.

A rule of thumb is to calculate and keep in mind the actual worth of your spending. Are the features of the offsite meeting worth your investment or are they just increasing your expenses and not really adding any value to the event? You can evaluate this by tracking your expenditure.

2. Tracking Expenditures and Staying Within Budget

Prepare a flowchart with items or departments that you have to spend on along with estimated budget and allocated budget. This will help you to determine the overall budget for the event. You can refer to the example below for consideration:

Stay within your estimated budget by identifying the type of event you have to host. Staying within your budget is all about how you can get the maximum out of your spending for the luncheon. Choose the most feasible options some of which you can find on a digital platform. Your budget can greatly vary with an employee + one guest invitation, a pay at the door type event, or a sponsored event.

3. Invitations - Physical and Digital

Everyone loves and expects a formal invite to the event. For corporate employees, it is their golden ticket to escape from the monotony of their daily schedule. You can customize your physical invites with the theme of your event and add a personal touch to appeal to the invitees. However, if you want an easy to create option or for Budget constraints digital invites can be the best option. The best way to save up on time and money is to use a site like evite. See an example below:

 evite Invitation example in digital format

Other online web platforms which provide budget-friendly corporate invitations are:

4. Choosing a Venue

Once you know the type of event you want to organize and know your budget you can go about exploring your venue options. Inspect every bit of pertinent areas of the venue and do not shy away from asking questions ranging from amenities, space or parking options provided.

To choose a perfect venue for your offsite luncheon it is essential to be aware of:

  • Preferred date for the event
  • In case of overnight stay, prices for room accommodations
  • Space on offer for the attendees without any outside interference
  • Venue guidelines for payment/cancellation, reservation or deposit fee if any
  • Services provided along with the amenities
  • Availability of various types of food and private dining room
  • Availability and size of parking space

5. Decor

Decoration can help you cut down on your spending. Especially if you are running a tight budget you can opt for:

  • Venues which include decoration in their package
  • Going ahead with your ideas to decorate the place with the help of your co-employees

When you go about finalizing a venue you can even bargain for décor. Sometimes simple yet elegant approach for business luncheon can do wonders. Many venue rentals provide with floral arrangements or centerpieces at meager costs. You can create an exciting and uplifting ambiance for the attendees by using lighting, exquisite scenery, candles, balloons, colored linens or special stage settings.

 Picture example of table Décor

6. Food: Pick a Private Dining Room or Appropriate Caterer

Organize your business luncheon at a venue with the availability of private dining room. With a private dining room, all of your guests are treated with prominence and there is minimum distraction. As for the menu, do take in suggestions of an experienced caterer. Choose a focused menu which might be less on options but offers mouth watering delicacies.

If you are planning your luncheon with limited professionals you can opt for buffet system or else table service should be opted for. With table service, a steady flow is maintained and staff can attend to professionals without any hassle. You do not want any inconvenience for your guests. Make sure to plan in advance and depending on the number of guests prepare an appropriate timeline for meal times.

7. Room Setup

The appropriate room set-up for your offsite business luncheon greatly depends on the number of guests. For room set-up for business luncheon you need to consider:

  • Number of guests who need to be accommodated.
  • Seating arrangements for different professionals.
  • Will there be any lecture from a renowned speaker?
  • Is it an interactive session of professionals?

Accordingly, you can choose from:

Conference or Hollow Square: ideal for interactive discussions. Conference or Hollow Square

U-shape: Ideal for group seating which can be productive for discussions.

U-shape conference table

Theater: Ideal for lectures that might go on for some time and there might be some information for the guests. Theater style setting for banquet

Classroom: Ideal for lectures that might also include some important information for the guests.  Classroom style setting for a conference

8. Audio Visual

For audio-visual the acoustics and architecture of the place need to be looked for. Audio-visual help you set the ambiance and atmosphere for your business luncheon to be a successful one. Is there any renowned speaker who is going to interact; is there any special performance to delight your guests?

Related Article: 13 Genius Tax Write-Offs You Need to Take Advantage Of

Pick an appropriate venue which provides with necessary facilities such as:

  1. An appropriate Podium or stage
  2. Microphone
  3. Audio for the Room
  4. Projectors
  5. Flipcharts for your presentations, if any

All this planning at times can get a bit demanding. It is essential to not lose sight of your objective. You want everyone to have a great time. Keep your co-workers motivated and try to encourage teamwork when you go about planning a perfect offsite business luncheon. By following the above-mentioned information you are sure to impress your guests and give them a memory to cherish for their lifetime.

Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
Amelie Theron
Amelie Theron Member
Digital marketing evangelist.Covers latest industry news and trends related to search engine optimization, social media, apps, pay per click, analytics and brand marketing.Her internet marketing strategies and execution have resulted in millions of dollars in revenue for clients and her personal experience gives an advantage in elevating brands both offline and online