Last minute excuses were made in a bid to pull out of it, and ultimately avoid the drag of the few hours that would undoubtedly occur.
Now, we're not saying that company dinners have all of a sudden come the must-attend event that everyone in the street is attempting to get a ticket for, but there's no doubt that they are much more entertaining and dare we say it, fun.
A lot of companies now don't hesitate in pulling out all of the stops with one of the most common methods being to source an A-list celebrity to climb on stage and charm the audience for the next forty minutes.
It goes without saying that the more popular the celebrity, the bigger the impression they make. You'd probably be surprised at just how well-known some of these personalities are, as we now take a look at five entertainers who are coining in a huge side career in the field of after dinner speaking.
The first thought of Shane Warne might be of cocky cricketer, but that's exactly why he goes down a storm at most events. Warne has never shied away from controversy and when you combine an outrageous personality with one of the best spin bowlers the world has ever seen, it creates the perfect concoction.
It doesn't matter if you don't know your test match from your ODI, Warne is the type of speaker who will appeal to everyone. He's got the anecdotes, the humour and a fantastic delivery to apply to any type of dinner event.
Warne may have used his sporting achievements to net a position on stage, but the same cannot be said about John Bishop. The Liverpudlian is regarded as the funniest comedians in the country at the moment and this makes him quite the catch if you are looking for after dinner speakers for your event.
Like all comedians, Bishop isn't going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, the fact that he seems to don every comedy show on television at the moment highlights that he certainly appeals to a large market. Additionally, Bishop has performed a lot of charity work over the years, with one example being the 290-mile charity triathlon for Sport Relief. As such, there can also be a more serious side to his performance if required.
Another comedian who is high in demand is James Corden. In fact, when we say he is high demand - we don't just mean for the after dinner circuits. The fact that Corden is regularly selected to host major awards ceremonies and star in TV series and films highlights everything you need to know about his reputation.
He's one of the UK's favourite personalities at the moment and following some of his film work, he's also starting to build a reputation abroad. Again, this means that he has more than enough material for any type of event.
We touched on Corden's international exploits back then, but one man who has established himself for sure across the globe is Greg Davies. It's incredible to think that Davies' career started in a classroom (not in the Inbetweeners may we add, he was a qualified teacher), but now he is classed as one of the funniest men in Britain.
His work in the Inbetweeners was the start of a glistening career and the fact that this film proved such a hit across the world has made him one of the most recognised faces in entertainment. Prior to his major role in television he attempted stand-up on a minor stage, but with years of television experience behind him it goes without saying that he now has much more material to inject into events.
The final man on our list has been on our TV screens for decades, at least it seems that way. Graham Norton is one of the most reputable figures on television and his unique style of presenting makes him instantly humorous.
Officially classed as a comedian and chat show host, Norton also offers his services as an after dinner speaker and generally leaves audiences in stitches. Then again, being the presenter of the Eurovision song contest is always going to promote anecdotes bordering on the ridiculous so his popularity as a speaker really should not be surprising!