From the time we are born to this present moment, milestones are a part of our DNA. Beginning with our very first birthday to a long awaited 50th wedding anniversary and all the significant dates in between, historical markers not only provide us with a sense of accomplishment but also showcase great accomplishments.
Companies are no different. The pride of that first year in business, a new location, hitting a significant sales goal, and then before you know it, a milestone anniversary – these are all a BIG deal! And, for good reason. It is reported that less than half of all new business ventures survive their first 5 years. So, celebrating the “early years” as well as the milestone anniversaries create the perfect opportunity to reflect on amazing achievements and reaffirm a commitment to the future.
With proper strategy and planning, corporate anniversaries can be a catalyst for an organization to launch forward while celebrating the past and honoring the present. These are perfect opportunities to increase brand awareness; refine your mission and culture; celebrate employees, clients and partners; launch new business initiatives; contribute greatly to causes; and of course, have some fun.
So, where to begin? At M&IW, we have had to ask ourselves this very question because this year is a big milestone one! Our 3rd generation, family-owned business will be celebrating 50 years in business. Proper planning for a milestone campaign and event takes time. At M&IW, we have been strategizing and planning for a while. In fact, the theme of our annual company event in 2016 was “Go the Distance” and a lead up to this momentous year in our history.
Here are the seven things to consider to get your milestone celebrations and campaigns kick-started:
1. Create a campaign for the entire milestone year. This will allow you to capitalize on a full year of celebrating your company’s success with the people who helped you get there.
2. Set milestone campaign and celebration goals. Take time to draft how you plan to leverage the milestone and how that relates back to your organizational goals.
3. Brand it. Create a commemorative logo for the anniversary. When employees, clients and partners see the new, fresh twist on your branding, they will know it is a big deal from the start.
4. Host an event. Whether it is at an existing annual meeting or a stand-alone event, make sure to celebrate together! As meeting professionals, we understand the power of human connections and the energy that is generated when people come together.
5. Honor the past. You are celebrating for a reason. There have been challenges as well as opportunities that have helped you along the journey. Make sure you honor them.
6. Stay in the moment. It is too easy to look at the past, skip through the present, and move onto the future. Take a moment to relish the here and now, for this is where inspiration grows.
7. Plan for your future and the next 25, 50, 100 years! What big goals have you set and how will you leverage your current accomplishments, talent, products and service offerings to get there!
Whether it is an annual corporate event, a milestone anniversary, or a significant accomplishment — there is always good reason to celebrate. We are very excited to unveil what we have in store for all of you and our milestone year! Stay tuned.