A&J truckPlanning your business’s anniversary party can be a daunting task. It’s the one time many of your valued clients will all be in one place with the focus on your company. When you’re a small business with a tight party planning budget, it can be even more challenging. However, with some careful planning and a dash of creativity, the perfect celebration to honor your clients is completely attainable.

The task of planning such a party is exactly what we, as A&J staff, took on this year, 2014 marks 30 years in business for A&J Specialty Services, Inc. DKI, which of course, is cause for celebration. The date was set for the beginning of June.

A&J employees serving bbqDeciding what to serve for food was a no-brainer. A&J Owner’s Kent and Lynn Rawhouser are well known for their delicious client barbecues. Kent first tried his hand at a barbecue smoker ten years ago and has since perfected his tender, juicy pulled-pork. One main planning item checked off the list.

A&J gift bags and t-shirts

Next up; swag bags. They’re a must-have at a company anniversary party. It’s another chance to show your clients, who got you to where you are, how much you appreciate them.

We went with custom-made anniversary t-shirts and Kent’s famous barbecue rub. While they weren’t huge gift bags, each bottle of seasoning was made by hand and labeled with care and who doesn’t love a good-looking t-shirt?

A&J trivia

In addition to the swag bags, we wanted to have some games guests could play to win additional prizes. We created a “What Happened in 1984?” trivia game. Guests answered multiple-choice questions about events and pop culture. the year A&J opened, for a chance to win a pre-paid Visa gift card.

We also brought in a semi-trailer outfitted to resemble an office and a residential setting being flooded. It was visual and interactive for guests and allowed us to demonstrate first-hand how we respond to water damage.


A&J framed picture with signatures

While a company anniversary party focuses largely on thanking clients, we also took the opportunity to do something special for A&J founders Kent and Lynn. After all, it was their hard work throughout the past three decades that got us to this point. To get employees and clients involved we put a picture of them in a matte frame and set it out for guests and employees to sign. It was a surprise for Kent and Lynn and they treasured reading the sweet notes people wrote them.

kevin needham

The final personal touch was an employee slideshow. We dug up pictures from A&J’s early days, some of the first tradeshow booths we ever had and included snapshots from throughout the years to present day. While it was fun to see how much has changed over the years, we got an especially good laugh at Kevin’s stylish mullet from the company’s early years.


A&J photo collage

There were countless other details we took care of and tweaked along the way to make sure the party was just right. but in the end, the gift bags, food and games just served as an excuse to connect with the loyal clients, family and friends that made 30 years in business possible. After all, that’s really the whole point; to break bread with friends and that goal was definitely accomplished.


A&J Property Restoration DKI is a full-service 24/7 emergency restoration company serving all of south-central Wisconsin. A&J is an expert in water restoration, mold remediation, fire restoration and sewage cleanup.