Guide to Planning a Corporate Celebration on Long Island

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Celebrating special occasions or your colleagues is a nice treat for everyone involved. It gives a chance to honor and appreciate those hard working individuals and to boost morale for future endeavors. Of course, celebrations can take many different forms from formal sit down dinners, to an upbeat happy hour at a local lounge. Whatever the message and feeling you want to convey - we want to help:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your celebration to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance. Perhaps your decision has already been made for you if you would like to keep the corporate celebration in the same neighborhood as your company's headquarters. Be sure to survey the organization members to see how they will be traveling to the celebration. If some/most members will be depending on public transportation, then you should focus on catering halls located near public transportation.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Of course the type of hall you end up choosing will rely largely in part to how formal or informal you would like your event to be and the overall corporate climate of your workplace. For example, if you are looking for a good place to host lunch or dinner as well as an awards ceremony, then perhaps a larger hotel ballroom type of place would better suit your needs. On the other hand, if the purpose of this event is simply to treat the members of your organization with good times, then perhaps you could look into more unique catering halls such as lounges or wineries.

  • What is the date of your corporate celebration?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your celebration function. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. Since this celebration is business-oriented, your job as the planner is to ensure that the maximum number - if not all - of the honorees are able to attend the celebration. Planning well in advance in order to set your celebration date in stone is of utmost importance. It is also a good idea to time the celebration close to the actual receipt of honor (if applicable).

  • How formal an affair do you want your celebration function to be?
  • As mentioned before, the level of formality of your celebration can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. It doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. An outdoor location may be ideal for your celebration function, depending on the weather.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your celebration function could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. For example, perhaps you are arranging a celebration for a colleague who was recently with a leadership award. Then it might make a nice statement by hosting the party at a restaurant well known for its high end clientele (perhaps a restaurant frequented by a past president of the United States).

  • How many people will you be hosting at the celebration function?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. This is true in terms amount of space and the pricing per plate of food. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature.

  • How much do you expect to spend per plate?
  • As mentioned earlier, where your celebration is located will largely - if not completely - depend upon how much you are able and/or willing to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to either rethink that catering hall, especially since a business guest list is usually never truly flexible and you won't be able to cut down on the number of plates. Another option may be to simply offer drinks and appetizers rather than a sit down meal.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. Be sure to survey the members of your organization beforehand to see if anyone has any dietary restrictions. If there are, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.

  • Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. It may be more cost effective to simply offer beer and wine service, or offer no alcoholic beverages at all since it is a business-oriented celebration.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand. Another option to consider is to place all of your out of town guests at the same hotel, and then provide transportation services to get them to the celebration site safely and soundly.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your organizational/association celebration at a catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your corporate celebration. This holds especially true for business-oriented celebrations that are held on weekend evenings. Neighboring events could distract from a calm and civil celebration or they could even compete with a high energy celebration. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that your celebration guests are comfortable.

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