Hank Aaron once said, “It took me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”
Your beloved executive is retiring and although his/her achievements are more difficult to quantify than Aaron’s, he/she left an indelible impression on your organization. In order to celebrate a lifetime of dedication properly, you need to throw an unforgettable party that not only honors your executive’s dedication and body of work but is also fun for everyone.
A surprise party at the golf course during your executive’s last week at work is the ultimate expression of gratitude, respect and well wishes. With a little preparation, some cloak and dagger trickery and cooperation with your executive’s family, a surprise day golfing will be one the retiree won’t soon forget.
There are three elements to a surprise party: the surprise, the food and the party/activity. The example below shows how to pull off a surprise golf party, but these steps can be applied no matter what style of surprise executive retirement party you may be having.
Plan a catered meal and drinks following a work day at a nearby golf course and invite all the staff, family and friends of the retiree. Choose the menu based on your executive’s preferences and be sure to decorate the venue accordingly with “Happy Retirement” banners and so on. Some inside jokes or personal touches are always great (think photo boards or trivia games). Strategic Event Design is a great resource for this first and most important step: strategic event planning.
Coordinate with your executive’s family, friends and key office staff to bring his/her golf clubs and clothes to the office.
Make arrangements with the golf course for a group. This often means splitting up into three and foursomes. You can also set it up tournament style such as a scramble or best ball.
Take your executive out to lunch while all of the golfers gather in the office. After lunch, your executive returns and instead of working, his/her colleagues will simply say, “surprise! we’re going golfing.”
The End Result
Your executive is sure to be moved and thankful with the effort and care it took to coordinate an entire day of surprises to celebrate his/her retirement. After all, a small day of surprises and effort is the least your organization can do to honor an entire career full of surprises and effort.