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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