Plan the best year-end party
Nomkhosi Miya looks at what you need to know about hosting a function for your members
HOSTING a year-end function for your stokvel is not only crucial, but is exciting because after 12 months of endless meetings and financial sacrifices you made as a team, you celebrate your achievements.
However, planning a party for a big group can be challenging.
HOSTING AT HOME
Zanele Mazibuko, from Special Events & Corporate Functions based in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu-natal, says it is important to remember the reasons behind your celebrations.
"You are having a party because you managed to save money as a group, therefore, saving money while planning your stokvel party is key," she says. Zanele says the first thing your members should decide on is the amount of money each member will contribute for the party.
“Once you know the budget for your party, it easy to go about all the planning. Once everyone has paid their contribution, it takes away the financial pressure come the end of the year,” she says.
“Hosting from home is advisable if your budget is small. Ask your members if anyone is willing to volunteer their homes. Remember the house must be big enough and it must be situated in a central area for everyone to get there. Learn to delegate the duties among other members in order for the party planning to run smooth. You should have different teams for different chores; for instance a dish
washing team or a cooking team.”
Zanele also advises on making sure the house that you choose to host from is clean and that the surroundings are safe.
“I always say it doesn’t matter where your party is, but it is the activities that you do at your party that make your guests happy. If you want to keep them entertained you can hire or borrow games such as playing cards, monopoly or puzzles, or organise a ball if there are guys,” advises Zanele.
One of South African’s corporate speakers and entertainer, Marcel Oudejans, says if you put people who share the same values and goals in one room and you allow them to be themselves, you are bound to understand them better and have a better chance of relating to them in the future.
HOSTING FROM A VENUE
“Booking your service suppliers early and offering to pay the full amount upfront will encourage the restaurant to give you a better rate than they normally would if you choose to have the party at a restaurant. Last minute bookings are often quoted slightly higher because the service provider knows that you’re desperate to anything on offer,” Marcel advises.
“If you have decided on hosting your stokvel party at a venue it is important to know beforehand the amount that it will cost each person when they order the starter, main course and dessert.
Remember to give the correct directions to the restaurant and make sure everyone has made transport arrangements so that they can make it on time,” says Zanele.
She advises hosting a party at a park for a small stokvel because it is free and the time you will spend together is not limited. Hosting your year-end function at a park can also provide the option of relaxing and having a braai while enjoying the weather with your drinks and snacks.
“One of the most important things to remember is to have fun and being in a park can grant your stokvel that opportunity. When people are relaxed and having fun they’re more likely to offer an honest opinion about what they would like to see happen for the stokvel. This is an opportunity to learn a thing or two from each other,” urges Zanele.
SAFETY IS KEY
Zanele emphasises the issue of safety, saying it is important to take care of the stokvel members. Observe and make sure everyone is still safe and that no one is behaving out of control, if one of your team members had too much to drink, ensure they are taken home safe by another driver.
“A cash bar should prevent your guests from abusing your bar tab. Remember that the law is becoming much stricter about driving under the influence of alcohol therefore don’t encourage drinking to be a central part of the event,” says Marcel.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: ➊ Make sure you have enough food if you are serving food. ➋ Give yourself one to two hours for preparations if hosting at home. ➌ Keep calm, cool and collected no matter what happens. ➍ Try to spend some time with each guest.
It is the activities at your party that will make guests happy
Stokvels need not spend a lot of money when hosting their year-end function