by Morton D. Rosenbaum | September 01, 2004

While a “centennial ceremony” might sound rather dry, a well-
handled anniversary event can blow the dust mites off a company’s history. For advice on how to organize a truly unforgettable commemoration, M&C consulted Vera Parenti-Ancone, president of the Philadelphia-based commemorative communications firm Ancone Associates Lasting Images Inc.

Bring it home. Give attendees a feel for history by holding the event in the city of the organization’s founding.

Hit the books. Hire a creative consultant to turn archival materials into bound collections. These can be laid out on tables, copied and distributed as giveaways or sold, with proceeds going to the organization or to a designated charity.

Handle with care. Displaying vintage memorabilia in the prefunction space is sure to spark all the right conversations, but keep these materials protected under glass.

Speech! Speech! Invite veteran members to discuss the organization’s early days. Not only are these speeches often the most stirring, says Parenti-Ancone, the speakers typically come free of charge.