Company holiday parties are an important event worth doing well. It’s a celebration of the hard work and achievements of everyone at the company, while also helping to reinforce a strong bond between team members. It can also set up the coming year very nicely by getting everyone in good spirits and making the team feel appreciated for all their efforts.
To ensure a successful company holiday party, planning is key. Organizing any sort of company event can be stressful, no less a holiday party, so taking the time to plan things out will make life much easier and result in an unforgettable holiday party for everyone.
Here are 6 planning tips to help ensure a successful company holiday party this year!
1. The earlier your start planning the better
Holiday parties require a lot planning, which is why it’s a good idea to start as soon as possible, preferably several months before the planned date. This gives you and anyone involved with the planning enough time to establish a venue, finalize the date, organize catering, create a guest list etc.
2. Set a date and choose a venue early too
Setting a date as early as possible is a must. Holiday parties are big business during the festive season, so you need to be ahead of the curve and make sure you know when the event is happening. This allows you to book a venue, which is the most important thing to get locked in during these early planning stages.
Of course, you may not be holding the event at a venue, but rather planning to have the party at the office. The downsides to this option are being dependent on office space, number of guests, and it can be a little lackluster.
We always suggest hiring a venue away from the workplace, as it makes for a more memorable celebration, giving employees the chance to mingle out of the corporate setting. If possible, visit the venue before booking to ensure it is suitable!
3. Choose a theme
Obviously, a holiday party already has a festive theme, but there are ways to create a unique theme for the party. For example, you could have a formal event where everyone dresses up, a beautiful white Christmas theme, get everyone to wear ugly sweaters, or a more classic holiday theme.
4. Don’t forget about entertainment
Holiday parties should be a fun time for all. You want guests to enjoy themselves, which is why planning some good entertainment is a must. This includes music (DJ or live bands are good), games and activities, and other holiday themed entertainment.
5. Create a good guest list
Hopefully you have a robust guest list for the company party, which is generally easy to do with a quick spreadsheet. The guest list should let you know exactly who is coming, whether they are bringing a plus-one (if allowed), and how to accommodate for each guest (e.g. vegetarian or vegan food, etc.)
Also, be mindful of who is being invited. Is it an entire company event, employees only, are family allowed to attend? Know this info before creating the guest list to make sure everyone knows who is coming to the party and whether they can bring a guest themselves.
6. Hire a suitable catering company
The food and drink make or break a holiday party, so be sure to choose the right caterers for the job. You need to ensure their holiday catering menu accommodates your guests (which is why you made a guest list) and consider if its suitable for the party theme.
For example, a formal party is often best done with a sit-down meal, whereas a lighter menu with mostly appetizers or a buffet is a good option for a less formal event where you want employees to mingle with each other.