As soon as the weather starts to get colder, it’s time to be thinking of your company Holiday party. Holiday is the perfect time to spread some holiday cheer and get everyone together to show them how much they’re appreciated. While it can seem overwhelming planning a party for anywhere from 10-5000 people, you should be excited to be taking on such an important task.
Planning the perfect company holiday party can be broken down into three easy things: Good food, good atmosphere, and some good music. But, how are you going to get there? The good news is, if you start planning now you can sit back and enjoy the party with ease! Here are 5 (yes, just 5!) steps to planning the perfect company Holiday party:
1. Secure The Date
The holiday season gets hectic for everyone, so the quicker you nail down the big details and get date, the better. Picking a date for an office event can be tricky. Often times, people want to be with their families on a Thursday or Friday night, but if you have the party early in the week, people will not want to be coming into work the next morning. However, if you plan the date far enough in advance, chances are people will keep the date free and plan around it.
You won’t be able to make everyone happy, so remember that the best you can do is try to pick a day that’ll work for everyone. If you’re concerned about late nights and drinking, have the party during the afternoon and allow people to take the afternoon off.
Also, if you’re worried about busy schedules, it’s not uncommon for companies to do their holiday parties in January to give everyone a kick start to the year and make the holiday cheer stretch a bit further. Whatever you decide, send out a save-the-date invite ASAP so employees can begin to make plans and arrangements. Plus, you can request an RSVP and note any dietary restrictions before you begin planning the menu.
2. What Kind Of Party?
Is this a drinking and dancing party? Is it a holiday brunch? Cocktails after work? A fancy sit down dinner? You have to decide the theme of your party before you do anything else.
Decide on a budget and what type of party you want this to be before moving onto the next steps. If your budget is small and you have 3,000 employees, you may want to avoid alcohol and do a luncheon rather than a dinner.
3. Pick A Venue & Plan Logistics
Remember that during the holidays, every company is going to want to have a company party so if you have a big crowd, you’re going to want to secure a place as soon as you can. Hotel conference rooms are a great option, as well as renting out a hall or a golf course. Be mindful that some places will allow you to bring your own caterer, while some others will want to do everything in house. Also, some venues offer more staffing than others, which you’ll need to take on yourself if they don’t supply the staff.
Think about all the logistics as well. Will employees need overnight accommodation? Is the venue a bit outside of the city core where most employees live? You’ll have to take these into consideration and your budget requirements if you’ll have to pay for accommodation and cab chits. Also, decide early on if you’re allowing family members and children as you’ll need to accommodate for this as well.
4. Decide On The Menu
Everyone has to eat! Depending on your theme, the sky is really the limit when it comes to what to serve at your party. Do you want to do a traditional Holiday dinner? Do you want to have appetizers and comfort food? Or, do you want to completely step outside the box and have a mac n’ cheese station, build your own tacos, or have a burger bar? Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Winter is really great for having heartwarming, belly filling, comfort food. Tasty appetizers paired with cocktails make everyone happy, as do a good buffet or a fancy sit down meal. If you have over 300 people to feed, consider what food will work best for feeding a big crowd. Ask your caterer for their opinion and make sure to try the vegetarian, vegan, and kid food options to ensure everyone will walk away from the party happy and full.
5. Entertainment And Speeches
A good company Holiday party is nothing without good entertainment. Are you hiring a DJ or a band? A pianist or just an iPod with a holiday playlist? If you’re having kids, do you want to have a Santa on deck with gifts? If you’re doing secret Santa or any sort of gifts, you’ll have to plan that out as well and coordinate ahead of time.
Organize speeches and time them accordingly. Usually once people sit down to eat and have gotten food into them is the appropriate time to do some brief speeches. Keep things light, as the mood for your party should be carefree and fun, not work related!
In five steps, your party can really be that simple to plan. As long as you’ve got the basics covered, your employees will be happy to be apart of anything that has some good food, good music, and holiday cheer.
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