Holiday party season will be here before we know it, which means it’s time to start planning your company holiday party. Read on to find out how to host a company party, with our My Big Day event planning experts’ list of dos and don’ts.
We’ve learned a thing or two after more than 16 years in the events industry. Here are our top 10 DOs for your company holiday party.
Find the right date
The holiday season means travel and a full social calendar for many people, so it’s important to plan early and get input on your event date. Choose several potential dates and poll employees to see which date will have the greatest attendance. Once you’ve chosen a date, book that venue – and we mean, like, yesterday.
Find the right location (not the office)
Since your company probably isn’t the only one throwing a holiday party this year, secure your location ASAP. Even if your office is big enough to host your party, your employees probably spend 40+ hours per week there. Why not switch it up with a fun venue downtown?
Be sure to consider proximity to the office (so the travel time will be similar to the time it takes your employees to get to work), parking space, venue capacity, and amenities like a kitchen, stage, or projector wall. And don’t forget restroom access!
Consider food preferences
Don’t just buy the tray labeled “party food” at the grocery store. Consider your employees’ food preferences. Maybe you have a lot of vegetarians in the office, or sweet treat fanatics. A vote also comes in handy in this situation. Be sure to ask about any food allergies, particularly if that means you’ll need to keep certain foods out of the event space completely.
Hire an event planner
Feeling overwhelmed yet? We recommend hiring a local event planner who already knows where the venues are and what’s available. Event planners can create a timeline for your event, suggest caterers and entertainment, and make suggestions about how much food and alcohol to purchase. Let us do the heavy lifting – the holidays are busy enough.
Incorporate team building
Any time most of your team is in the same place is a great time to do some team-building. Your employees probably don’t want to spend their holiday party watching cheesy videos about teamwork, but there are plenty of creative alternatives. A Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange is a popular choice. Here are some others:
Consider an off-season party
Two of the major challenges of holiday party planning – guest attendance and securing a venue – can be offset by having a party just before or just after peak holiday season. Beat the crowd with an early November event, or bust the January blues with a post-New Year’s gathering. You’ll have more venue options and fewer scheduling conflicts.
Recognize your employees
A holiday party is a great time to show some employee appreciation after another hectic year. Present a slideshow of accomplishments as a company or present awards to each employee. Bonus: Incorporate team-building by asking colleagues to recommend awards for each other.
Consider an alcohol limit
Alcohol is not uncommon at company parties, but if you’re serving it, consider having a cut-off of two or three drinks per guest. Nobody wants to drink too much, do something embarrassing in front of their colleagues, and then have to see them Monday morning. Having a drink limit allows guests to relax and enjoy themselves without taking things too far.
Give a gift
Gifts are a seasonally-appropriate way to show appreciation for your employees and engage in some team building. Gift exchanges are great for team bonding, and presenting employees with gifts during the holidays boosts morale throughout the year.
Your party entertainment may be built-in with planned activities like gift exchanges, rewards ceremonies, and other team-building exercises, but some holiday background music creates a fun ambience. Bluetooth speakers are budget-friendly, while a DJ or live musician is lively and memorable. If you don’t have any activities planned, consider making your holiday party an outing to a play or comedy performance.
Unfortunately, we’ve also learned a thing or two NOT to do when planning a company event after 15 years in the biz. Download the FREE printable below and avoid the top 10 mistakes companies make when planning an event.
When you book with MBD Marketing & Events, we do all the heavy lifting. Our holidays are filling up with contracts, so book ASAP with our team of creative, experienced event planners for an unforgettable company holiday party.
For business and private event tips and ideas, follow My Big Day on Facebook and Instagram. Visit our Venues in Colorado & Wyoming Pinterest board for more location inspiration for your next gathering
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Phone: 970-613-1455 or 303-886-3068
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Choosing the right wedding venue is all about finding the destination that strikes the right note. Your ceremony location should speak to your story, personality and even your passions. If the two of you love the outdoors, consider hosting your nuptials at a park or on the beach. Some museums and historic sites also may be open for wedding events. Know your budget before exploring sites, and always read reviews of venues before committing. No matter where you plan your big day, just remember that the vows matter most…not the location.
Social media and omnipresent technology has changed the way couples plan their weddings. Today’s events now have their own wedding hashtag and web site. And it’s also not uncommon for couples to use social platforms as a means to share event updates.
But how much technology is too much for such a private occasion? Nothing ever disappears on the ‘net, and sometimes this reality can lead to an ultimate nightmare—and perhaps even a cancelled wedding! So how much is too much when it comes to utilizing technology?
Like all wedding details, even technology requires a little bit of grace and etiquette. When pulling in social networks for your wedding—and the ‘net—here are a few tips to keep in mind and to keep you from becoming too tangled in the world wide web of weddings.
Yes, everyone loves a quick Facebook or twitter update about your weddings. However, some details need to be kept under wraps. Like your wedding dress designer and, of course, the dress itself. Do post a few crazy dresses that you vetoed, though. The poufier the better! When posting updates, also be sure to not give away any surprises for guests.
Don’t email a thank you note. Always send a thank you note for any shower or wedding gifts received. However, never, ever email a note of thanks. Etiquette dictates that thank you notes should be handwritten. Keep it short and sweet, but make that note personal!
Share registry info via word of mouth. Some couples think that wedding registry information can be sent with an invite. Think again! While you can post your registries on a wedding website, the information about registries must be shared via word of mouth.
Keep certain ‘fun’ pictures private. No one needs to see those crazy—and perhaps embarrassing—photos of the bachelor or bachelorette parties. Do not ever share embarrassing photos of guests, the bride, the groom or any friends without permission.
Understand the copyrights. The couple does not necessarily own the rights to photos taken by a professional photographer. Often copyrights are owned by the photographer, and you need permission to share any copyrighted image. Don’t post copyrighted images on social media unless you get written permission from your photographer. This is something that can easily be added to your contract.
Set tech boundaries for guests. If you don’t want hundreds of phones snapping pictures at your wedding, then make sure guests are aware of your wishes. It’s ok to tell guests to keep their phones off during your wedding. This ensures that you aren’t distracted by all those flashing phones and that a guest’s ringer doesn’t disrupt your vows!
Technology and the web can add to how we plan and commemorate a wedding. However, sometimes there can be too much tech. Use social media and technology to add to your wedding, but don’t go overboard to the point of being tech obsessed. Share a few details via Facebook or Twitter and keep out-of-town friends and family updated on the important happenings. But avoid spilling secrets and surprises and definitely don’t post any photos that could embarrass a friend or relative. If you want guests to limit their use of technology at your wedding, make sure that all guests know that phones cannot be used carte blanche throughout the ceremony. Set boundaries and stick to them, and always use common sense before posting anything online—especially when a copyright is involved!
It's just around the corner... and if you don't have a regular tradition with your mom, we've composed some ideas and our own stories about how we celebrate with our moms. Whether you are a mom, have a mom, or have someone in your life who is like a mother to you... all moms deserve to be celebrated.
Enjoy some thoughts, advice and recommendations from the My Big Day planning team!
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