How to Throw a Retirement Party

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Retirement is all about celebrating a work life well lived, and therefore it is a great opportunity for a party. Whether you are throwing a party for yourself or for someone you know, the basics are the same: retirement parties are about marking the end of an era, and welcoming the start of a new one. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to throw an amazing party that does justice to all the years of hard work.

1. Finding the perfect location

Many retirement parties take place in the office or place of work that the retiree is leaving, but there are plenty of options to explore. While having a party in a workplace can be a nice touch, it can also be an unsuitable option when you factor in logistics. The workplace might not be big enough, might not have enough seating and also might be an alienating option for guests who don't work there. It might therefore be a good idea to consider hiring out a function room if possible. However, if the budget is tight, then there is no reason why it can't be an intimate function at the workplace or even in the retiree's home.

2. Getting the tone right

Setting the tone is important for any event, so it is a good idea to think through what you would like the party to be like. Classy and formal? Rowdy and informal? You need to judge what the preferred kind of party would be for the retiree, and then cater to the interests of the likely guests. In that manner, you can go ahead and plan the party in a certain style. Will it be a cocktail function? A laid-back event with paper hats and a store-bought cake? Remember all the party essentials: big banners, posters and all the other party favourites are a must. Otherwise, the choice is yours.

3. Inviting all the right people

The guest list can be quite difficult to manage at a retirement party because many people have quite distinct work and home lives, so it is important to ensure that you do not leave anybody out. Ensure that you check every possible avenue to ensure that all the people who matter to the retiree can come, and that way the party will be as bright and happy as possible for the retiree.

4. Picking an appropriate gift

Clubbing together to purchase a nice retirement gift is a tradition many still observe, so it is worth doing an informal poll of the workplace and people the retiree knows to see what can appropriate gift would be. Asking for a voluntary contribution from guests would be a good idea, but it is important that the question is posed in a polite way. In the current economic climate, not everybody can afford to contribute to a gift.

5. Bringing everything together

Retirement parties are all about execution and creating the right atmosphere. You should be celebrating what has gone by, and also what is to come. A lot of reminiscing is in order, so you should have party activities that go around that theme: slideshows of old photographs, speeches about old stories and all other manner of reminiscing should be the order of the day.

A post by Marianne Ross from B4S.

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