Five retirement party planning ideas

Retirement Party Celebration

A colleague’s retirement can be a sentimental time. After all, it is the closing of one chapter and the embarking of another.

When planning your colleague’s retirement party, you’ll want to make sure it is fun and memorable. You should also focus on the happy, productive times they’ve had during their career. Consider the following tips to ensure the party is a success.

1. Unconventional Venues

Sometimes it’s easier to keep the venue in the office, but at other times you may want to bring the party elsewhere, such as to a restaurant or relaxing venue. Be flexible when determining the date, and make sure it’s at a time and place when all guests and colleagues can attend. If your guests might appreciate an unconventional setting for the retirement part, just make sure it’s something the retiree will enjoy. How about an art gallery space if they love art, or rent out an entire movie theater room for the evening, for your guests, or–if you can pull it off–an airport hangar if they are avid travelers.

2. Toast and Speeches

To honor the retiree, you can ask a few people to share memories and heartfelt thanks through a short, genuine speech. You could also play a PowerPoint video to showcase milestones and events throughout the years. Anyone from former bosses to family members would be suitable for giving a speech at the retirement party. Just remember to give the guests adequate time to plan their speeches prior to the event. If you know anyone who is a member of Toastmasters Club, an international public speakers and communicators club, it could be a wonderful, professional addition. Check this site, Retirement Quotes, for sample speech templates you can use for creating your own speeches.

3. Retirement Memory Books

Plan this one in advance: Ask everyone to contribute a retirement wish or share a story about the retiree. This retirement memory book is like a huge group scrapbook to be treasured forever. Set up the online collection page, give your guests the link so they can share their pictures and messages, and have it printed and mailed to you to gift at the retirement party as the ultimate group gift.

4. Themed Playlist

Quite a few songs will work for the “retirement” and “relaxation” theme of your event. If your guests are game for ad-lib performances, you could even make karaoke a lively part of the entertainment. Some of the songs you might choose are:

  • “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
  • “Hit the Road, Jack” by Ray Charles
  • “When I am 64” by the Beatles
  • “Young at Heart” by Doris Day and Frank Sinatra
  • “Vacation” by the GoGos
  • “V A C A T I O N” by Connie Francis
  • “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul and Mary

Of course, you could also prepare a playlist of your celebrant’s favorite songs. To make things easier, here are a couple of retirement song playlists from Spotify and 8tracks.

5. Fun Dress-Up Party

Another twist on fun parties is asking guests to come dressed in something that reminds them of the retiree or celebrant. Maybe people will come as the celebrant’s favorite actor, or what they wanted to be when they grew up (airplane pilot), or themes based on their favorite travels (think summer in Italy!). The options here are endless. Pinterest has plenty of visuals for costume ideas, if your guests need help with originality and creativity.

There are many ways to send off that special colleague into retirement. With a little advance planning and creativity, you can make it a retirement party that he/she will never forget!

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