Throwing a company holiday party is the perfect opportunity to show your staff how much you appreciate all their hard work. That said, you really don’t want to let them down.
However, planning an amazing party is much easier said than done, especially if you have a relatively large group of employees. You can’t cut any corners or risk forgetting anything.
But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to plan the best company holiday party.
Keep reading to find out more.
Top Tips for Planning a Company Holiday Party
While a company holiday party is a corporate event of sorts, it needs to be approached differently. A good party should allow people to relax and shed the masks they wear at work. That means you, as their boss, must also lay down your mask.
However, before you can begin to think about enjoying the party, you need to figure out how to plan it for success.
1. Start Planning Early
First, don’t be a procrastinator. Start planning your company holiday party long in advance. This is especially vital if you’re relying on any outside sources.
For example, renting chairs, tables, bands, catering companies, or venues will need to be scheduled in advance to ensure a solid booking. Don’t wait until the last minute, as you’re sure to end up scrambling. The last thing you want is for your party to be lame because you waited too long to start booking companies for your event.
Additionally, you’ll need to start planning what decorations, food, games, and music you want to have as well.
2. Assess Your Budget
When planning a company holiday party, you’ll need to make a budget. Plan the best party you can think of, making a list of priorities from most important to least important. Then, figure out where that puts your costs.
If your budget doesn’t quite match your planning, start taking items off the list, starting at the bottom or least important. For example, do you really need a band, or can you just play music? Do you need high-end catered food, or can you order a bunch of pizzas?
Finally, consider asking your employees to chip in for the party. Let them know if everyone chips in a certain amount, you’ll be able to go above and beyond.
3. Don’t Leave Anyone Out
Keep in mind that people come from all different backgrounds, religions, and beliefs. While it would be convenient if everyone celebrated the same holidays, that’s not really what America is about.
Therefore, when planning a company holiday party, be sure not to leave anyone out. For example, instead of a Christmas party, have a Holiday party that celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, and whatever else appeals to your staff’s religions or beliefs.
4. Take a Poll to Decide on Food
Next, an easy way to make everyone happy is by letting them be a part of the planning. Send out an email with a poll where people can vote on what they want at the party.
This can include foods, desserts, drinks, music, games, and other festive events people would enjoy. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have to make all the decisions.
It may also be beneficial to create a party planning team, that way you have some extra help with the planning.
5. Don’t Forget the Alcohol
Assuming your company doesn’t have any rules against it, make sure you remember to bring the alcohol. Drinking is a social enjoyment for most people. Additionally, it may help people loosen up and forget that they’re around people they work with.
Try to avoid letting anyone getting completely wasted, however, as you don’t need pictures of people passed out all over the place. Just make sure to tell everyone to enjoy themselves but to drink responsibly.
This may also include having some designated drivers to make sure people get home safe.
6. Throw Your Party Early to Avoid Conflicts with Other Holiday Plans
Next, you’d be wise to plan your company holiday party a week or two before major holidays. Doing so will accomplish two goals.
First, your company party won’t conflict with people’s other plans, such as traveling out of town, other parties, church events, etc. Your company may be awesome, but you’ll never be as important as people’s families or religious traditions.
Secondly, throwing your company holiday early will almost guarantee people have a good time. For example, by Christmas and New Year’s, most people are over parties, festivities, and holiday cheer. Holding your party early will ensure you get everyone’s best attitudes.
7. Make it a Themed Party
Another great idea to ensure you have a killer company holiday party is to make it a themed event. For example, you can choose from different cultural themes and interpretations of the holiday, or make it a costume party.
8. Give Yourself or Your Team Time to Decorate
Next, whether you have a party planning team or you’re doing everything on your own, make sure you leave enough time between work and the party to decorate and set things up.
You could use it as an excuse to cut the staff free early on a Friday afternoon so you and others can decorate for the party that night.
However, if you send people home, they may not want to come back, so it may be more beneficial to decorate the night before, once everyone’s gone home.
9. Consider Hosting the Party Outside of the Office
Lastly, consider hosting the party off of company property. This may lift the no drinking rule (if there was one), but it may also help people lighten up more. Additionally, going to a separate venue will add a level of fun to the company holiday party, rather than having it in the office where everyone works every day.
When looking at potential venues, ask if you can see some floor layouts and photos ahead of time so you can make an educated choice on where to host your party.
Need a Venue?
If you’re trying to plan the perfect company holiday party and know you need a better venue than your office, we can help. We have an amazing conference center and offer free tours!
Good luck with your party, and remember, we also have an on-site hotel in case things get a little crazy or run later than expected!