Guide to Arranging an Employee Recognition Event on a Budget

Your employees are one of the primary reasons for the success of your business. Apart from hiring the right talents, it’s also important to retain them. Your employees might not perform well if they are dissatisfied with their job. There are many ways to keep your employees happy. Other than offering them a good compensation package, you can offer them additional benefits and celebrate their successes together.

Most companies have an employee recognition program that recognizes their efforts and thanks them for their contribution to the success of the organization. While an employee recognition event might excite your employees, it can be pretty heavy on your pocket.

But worry not. Here, we have listed ten tips for arranging the perfect employee recognition event on a budget. Take a look.

Prepare a Budget

The very first step of the process is to prepare a budget based on the event objective. Employee recognition or work anniversary events will have a different budget than a team celebration. The budget can also depend on the food, decor, and event location. Start by preparing the guest list and allocating expenditures for each person. Collect quotes from caterers, venues, and decorators to compare and pick the best one. Always keep a cushion amount for accidents or uncertain expenditures. Also, stay below the budget for each item to save more money.

Choose a Venue

You can save a huge portion of the budget if you hold the event on office premises. You can go that route if the number of attendees is few. You can also choose an outdoor event for this group. On the other hand, if your company doesn’t have its premises, you can hold the event at a conference center. But it might cost you more.

If you want to hold a day out or a picnic for your employee recognition program, look for venues or entertainment companies with corporate packages for these events. You might even get a discount depending on the number of attendees.

Choose Reusable Decor

Hiring an event management company for the decoration will relieve you of the stress of organizing everything yourself. But if you take responsibility, always choose reusable decor pieces and store them afterward. You can use them again for the next event.

Stick to your brand colors and pick washable and reusable materials for easy repurposing. You can store the tablecloths, runners, napkins, artificial flowers, lighting, cutleries, and photo booths for the next event. You can also reuse banners if you don’t print the date on them.

Go For an Affordable Catering Option

Food comprises a large portion of the total event budget. Rather than hiring an expensive chef or picking the food from the menu of an upscale restaurant, go for affordable catering options. Many local caterers have delicious items at a much cheaper price tag. Stick to one or two different cuisines, and choose something that most attendees will prefer eating. You can also ask their preference before finalizing the caterer. Ask them about food allergies and avoid any food that can cause an accident during the event. Order food according to the needs of the attendees. Don’t order too much to prevent wastage.

Arrange Personalized Awards

Arrange personalized awards for your top performers as keepsakes. Creating an individual award plaque for each employee might sound expensive, but it will make your employees feel appreciated. Many online and offline services prepare corporate and sports plaques. Send them the employee names and other details, and they’ll take care of the rest. They also have different materials for you to choose from. Pick glass or acrylic because they’re long-lasting, and your employees can preserve them for years. Some of these services might give you a discount if you order them in bulk and help you save money.

Arrange Handwritten Notes

Other than a personalized plaque, you can also give a note of appreciation to your top performers. However, printing individual cards can add to the cost. Instead, you can prepare handwritten ‘thank you’ notes for your employees to give during the employee recognition event. It adds a personal touch to the recognition and also saves money. The employees will feel special and appreciated. 

Involve Employees in Planning

Event management companies can charge thousands of dollars for one event. Consider involving your employees in the event planning and execution if you’re on a tight budget. They can divide responsibilities and take care of different tasks. Because they know your organization better, they can suggest the best decoration or organization plan than an outsider. It’ll help cut the cost of hiring an event management company and make your employees feel more included.

Pick Affordable Entertainment Options

You can always hire entertainers for the event. But an affordable option would be to pick entertainers from your employees. They can entertain the attendees during the event if they know singing, dancing, poetry reciting, stand-up comedy, or magic tricks. You can also hold small indoor games that cost little to nothing. That way, you don’t have to spend a fortune to entertain the attendees.

Find Sponsors

Finding sponsors is another way to save money on the event. Approach a local company to sponsor a portion of the budget. In exchange, they can showcase their brands at the event. You can also approach local decorators or caterers to sponsor. It can reduce your costs in those areas and allow them to put their brand out there.

Hold a Virtual Event

Finally, the most cost-effective option is to hold a virtual event and mail the gift hampers and plaques to the top performers. This might not be an ideal way to celebrate the milestones. But if you’re on a tight budget and can’t spend more than a few hundred dollars for this event, you can choose to hold it over a video conference.

Awarding your top performers and thanking them for their extraordinary efforts is a part of being a supportive employee. But the events don’t have to be expensive and outlandish. With a little planning and effort, you too can hold a memorable employee recognition event on a budget.