Plan the best year-end party

Nomkhosi Miya looks at what you need to know about host­ing a func­tion for your mem­bers

Move! Stokvel - - Contents -

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

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