Just another event? How do you make yours better than ever?

Events are a common occurrence in our business world. Almost all companies hold an event at some point so it is imperative that your next event is one to be remembered. There are basic things to consider when the planning commences, but ultimately, to put together something that is remarkable, one needs to delve deeper.

The Basics:

When you begin putting pen to paper on what you look to do at your event, start by determining what the event is for. There are a number of items which are possibilities including, a simple conclusion to the week’s conference, motivating your staff, impressing your clientele, celebrating a company milestone or achievement – the list is endless. The point is, the reason for the event will determine the theme and tone of it.


It goes without saying, that your requirements should be in line with the budget. On most occasions, the more formal the event, the bigger budget required. This is not always an exact-science as one can balance the scales of what you are spending your funds on, by potentially reducing those things that are not vital, and focusing on those items that will leave the impression. A delicious, but hearty meal is a great cure for potentially not having an A-list star perform on stage.


Once you have decided on the reason for creating the event, now let’s look at the menu. A casual or informal arrangement, which is primarily catered for enjoyment and relaxation means you can be more flexible on the menu. This is where light snacks and finger-fork items are perfectly acceptable. It means one does not have to sit down and fold their napkin to enjoy their meal – they can choose to stand at cocktail tables or even near the bar area. More formal events require more consideration. A smart-casual affair usually means that a comprehensive buffet menu is suitable as guests can make their own decisions, but this does mean that your guests will need to leave their seats and potentially disrupt proceedings as naturally, they will need to visit the serving stations.

Event planning at Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg

Award ceremonies and black-tie affairs mean that a plated menu is ideal. The proceedings during these events are the focus as you are giving the guests recognition for their role and awarding them accordingly. You certainly do not want to allow guests to move around to the various serving stations so ensuring that the food is brought to their seat will assist with this. With every option though, make sure you consider those strict dietary requirements such as Kosher, Halaal, Gluten-free and more.


You will always know roughly when the best time to host the event will be and it will lend itself to why you’re hosting it such as the end of a financial year, celebrating Christmas or other calendar related reasons, but often, dates for events can be linked to the potential and predicted weather. You may run the risk of not having the ideal guest list if they are put off by extremely cold temperatures, nor keen to get dressed up in a tuxedo in severe heat.

So the above is decided, now how do we make this unique?

The very nature of the question means that there is not one correct answer. Creating a unique event means that by its very nature, it needs to be something that has not been seen before – something that your guests will be talking about for months to come. There is a host of possibilities though, and careful consideration needs to be given to your guest list and what they will actually enjoy and not feel compelled to be a part of because they are at work.

Something familiar

By this, we mean that it may win a large portion of the battle if you can arrange something that your guests will likely have seen on TV such as a popular game show or activity that gets them involved. It will be advantageous to not have to explain every detail to the guests because the concept is not entirely new to them.

Something simple

In certain circumstances, the most effective solution is the simplest one. Why not begin the event with the proceedings, and then leave it to your guests to enjoy the evening in the way they see fit? Creating an atmosphere of relaxation, flexibility and the opportunity to forget about work may just be the best idea.

Something out-of-the-box

Who said you need to stick to a formula for your event or banquet? Who said that it needs to be indoors? Weather permitting, an outdoor event immediately increases a sense of freshness, freedom, and fun. Outdoor events have endless possibilities. Why not search for a venue that has something memorable to offer? One doesn’t have to go to the coast to find a beach bar.

The primary objective in the above suggestions, of which there are so many more, is to create that distinctive experience that becomes a difficult challenge to improve on – one that if repeated, is on the lips of every guest invited.


If you would like to host your event at Birchwood Hotel, drop us an email quotes@birchwoodhotel.co.za.

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