There’s nothing like a company holiday party to build camaraderie and improve employee morale. What better way to end the year on a high note than with some fun and festivity.
Now that we’re well into the fall season, this is the ideal time to begin thinking about how to organize your company holiday party. The stakes are particularly high for this year’s holiday shindig, as more employees are back working together at their offices for the first time in nearly three years.
The question becomes, where to start? There are a lot of things to consider, such as the budget, format, timing, food, venue, drinks, and gifts. With some creativity and holiday spirit, you’ll be able to surpass everyone’s expectations for a rollicking good time.
Here we will provide a practical guide comprised of seven steps to throwing the perfect company holiday party.
1) Setting the Date
The first action that should be taken is to survey your employees with date options for the company holiday party. Remember that people like to travel around the holidays, so you should have a date chosen roughly two months before mid-December.
You should be mindful of certain things during the date selection process. For example, don’t plan the holiday party within the week of Christmas, so you avoid travel conflicts.
Choose a date based on a majority vote. You will want to send everyone a “save the date” message to help ensure good attendance.
2) Decide the Type of Holiday Party
There are many different options when it comes to the type of company holiday party you decide on that will ensure buy-in from all your staff. The theme of your holiday bash will influence many other key elements, including the budget, food, and entertainment.
Here are four ideas for what your holiday party might look like:
At-Work Holiday Party – This will likely have the best attendance, and it offers a modest cost. What could prove challenging is that there will be a lower perceived value. You will need to supply your own food. This is the ideal format for a gift exchange.
After-hours Holiday Gathering – Your employees will come together at a restaurant or bar in town after work. The party might consist of a happy hour or dinner affair.
Formal Holiday Gala – This holiday party format is usually hosted at a rented event venue. There would typically be a dress code that could vary from casual to black tie. This type of event is likely to have the highest attendance. It also lends itself to employee recognition, as well as internal networking. One drawback of a formal affair is that it requires extensive planning.
Packaged Holiday Party – This would normally involve a predetermined format related to the venue, or they will be totally planned by a party planning service with input from your team. This option calls for minimal planning. In most cases, food, beverages, and entertainment are all provided by the venue. This packaged arrangement could get spendy, however.
3) Establishing a Budget
There is much to consider when creating a budget for your company holiday party. If you are looking at a rather limited budget, then might opt for an at-work party or after-hours gathering. If you have a more liberal amount of money available, you could be more elaborate with the holiday party.
It is helpful to determine the maximum budget for this holiday celebration. Then, rank the elements of the party by priority, such as food, entertainment, gifts, etc. You could allocate a budget based on priority – 30 percent for entertainment, 20 percent for gifts, and 50 percent for food, etc.
It would be wise to have some monies set aside for “extra” costs to allow for flexibility based on last-minute ideas to add more fun to the occasion.
4) Choosing the Venue
You could have your company holiday party be a more casual affair and hold it at your office. Perhaps you decide on a celebratory event at someone’s home that is decked out with holiday decorations with plenty of space to accommodate a lot of people.
What about having your holiday shindig at a local restaurant or bar? For a more upscale version of your company holiday party, you could opt for a posh, four-star hotel for the venue.
An obvious choice for your venue is the Burbity Event Center. We have a 5,000 square-foot space that offers a place to host a company holiday party. This space is available evenings and weekends.
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5) Providing Entertainment
Having the right entertainment will immediately set the mood for your holiday party. Do you want high-energy beats for dancing, low-key tunes, or maybe a DJ? Determine early on if you want live entertainment.
The entertainment could be as simple as using an employee’s Spotify playlist that ties into the holiday party theme.
Have you considered hiring a magician for your holiday party? You’ll have your employees mesmerized by the magician’s illusions, making this not just a fun time but a memorable event.
Finally, you might opt for having a band play at this year’s company party. A band could even tailor its selections to suit the individual needs of your employees.
6) Planning Your Holiday Menu
One simple option here is to have venue-provided food. For a more elegant holiday party, you may choose to have a sit-down dinner with servers.
A popular choice is a buffet where employees can choose from a wide variety of fare that is sure to satisfy many palates. Floating appetizers are always enjoyable and allow for more mingling, interaction, and movement at a holiday party.
Deciding to make a potluck arrangement gives your employees with a creative flair for culinary exploits a chance to impress the rest of the staff with their delicious dishes. It is also a budget-friendly option that allows you to spend more money on entertainment and gifts.
You could create a custom menu if your employees are more discriminating in their food choices. The menu planning process allows employees to choose their meals in advance of the company holiday party. Usually, this involves offering a few different meal options that include several courses each.
You might find catering an attractive option. Caterers are well-experienced and have the expertise to handle any problems that may arise. A catering service is a one-stop shop for your holiday party. They take care of every aspect of the food preparation, cleanup, and food service.
At the outset of planning what to serve, be sure to find out about food allergies.
7) Determining Beverages to Be Served & Alcohol Policy
A holiday party invites people a chance to be more uninhibited and enjoy themselves. But you also don’t want things to get out of hand. This is why it is advised to have a policy regarding alcohol. Look into ways you can control this aspect of your holiday party to save money and limit over-consumption.
Otherwise, you can choose among several options for the type of drinks you’ll have available and how they will be set up.
Here are four options to consider:
- Drink tickets (ideally suited for limiting alcohol consumption)
- Open Bar
- Holiday-themed cocktails
- Beer and wine only
Choosing the Perfect Event Center at Burbity Workspaces
Create a positive and memorable celebration for your attendees by booking Burbity Workspaces for your event center needs. At Burbity Workspaces, we provide the perfect place – with ample services and plenty of amenities – that will leave everyone extremely impressed and having a great time at your special celebration.