Although it is often a sad moment, the departure of a colleague should be celebrated, especially to thank them for the years spent and the work done in the company. Whether it’s retirement, a change of company or a move to the other side of the world, plan a festive, joyful and memorable get-together for your colleague.
Here are some ideas to help you organise a successful farewell party:
1. Choose the date and time
Choose a date and time that suits the majority of colleagues attending the farewell party.
Organise it during the weekend or at a time usually free, e.g. Thursday from 7:00 p.m. Scheduling a farewell party on a Friday can be more complicated for people with children or people who are very active during the weekend. The aim is to bring together as many colleagues as possible.
2. Invite the right teams and colleagues
The guest list for the farewell party depends on the company’s size.
All employees should be invited to the farewell party if it is a start-up.
If you are part of a team in a large international group, you will probably not be able to invite all employees. Invite the teams and the people closest to the departing colleague. You can also invite the their partner if it is, for example, a retirement.
3. Choose your venue
The venue of the farewell party will depend on the size of the event, the space available in the company’s offices and the budget available to rent a venue. It can be a room in a hotel or restaurant or even in your company.
Whatever venue is chosen, it is essential to ensure that it is accessible and that there is enough space for all guests.
4. Provide food and drink
Hire a buffet with food and drink to suit all tastes and types of food.
If your budget allows, it may be preferable to go directly to a catering service for more elaborate dishes. If you can’t afford it, some snacks are also an option. Don’t forget to ask your guests in advance to communicate any food allergies or preferences.
5. Music and entertainment programme
What would a farewell party be without music and entertainment to liven up the event?
Find out your colleague’s musical tastes beforehand, or create a song with personalised lyrics to create a special surprise effect. You can also organise many games: for example, prepare anecdotes about your colleague’s life in the company, a photo album of the best moments… Be creative, especially if it’s the last working day of their life!
6. Prepare a speech
To celebrate this moment, prepare a speech to pay tribute to the departing colleague and thank the guests for their attendance. Setting aside time for guests to say a few words is also important. A word of advice: save this moment for last; it can be a great emotional moment!
7. Create an online kitty for a parting gift
Give them a farewell present! To commemorate this date and thank your colleague for their work, you can create an online kitty to buy them a gift together. Using an online system will be much easier to organise and, above all, more discreet!
8. Define a budget according to the size of the event.
Knowing the budget for your colleague’s farewell party and planning your spending is essential. Consider expenses such as venue hire, food and drink, music and entertainment, gifts and cleaning service if necessary.
9. Manage assistance
Having an online registration system to know exactly how many people will attend the farewell party is an excellent idea. This will save you a lot of time and will be very practical for guests to confirm their attendance. It will also allow you to plan the farewell party well and ensure there is enough food and drink for everyone.
10. Communicate within the company
Effective communication is essential to ensure that all guests are informed of the event’s details, whether your colleague’s farewell party is a surprise or not. You can send an invitation e-mail to be more discreet. The most important thing is to inform all the people involved and make a list of those attending to better organise the farewell party.
Organising a farewell party requires careful planning and attention to the abovementioned elements. It is important to consider the needs and wishes of the person leaving, as well as the guests’ preferences, to make the event a success.