Yes, it is now just the beginning of the New Year but guess what? It is time to get started with planning your company holiday party! Here is your foolproof guide to planning and hosting an outstanding holiday party that will not only be fun for your employees but easy to plan too!
The Foolproof 12 Month Guide to Planning a Company Holiday Party
- Assemble the holiday party planning committee. Most companies prefer to have a team assigned to planning the company party. Pull together a team of 4-5 employees from across the company that can serve as representatives on the team. Assign a party planning lead who can be responsible for making final decisions. This is a critical step that will help streamline the process both internally and externally. This team should create a budget too!
- Choose a venue for your holiday party. Believe it or not, it is a good idea to choose your venue and book your holiday party at least one year out from the event. Most holiday parties occur between November and January and there are not many weekends in that 3 month period to choose from so we recommend booking early! If you love a certain venue, like Shores Event Center, be flexible with your dates. Thursday evenings offer a nice alternative to weekends as well and can be much appreciated by employees during the hectic holiday season.
- Research and book a holiday party caterer. Just like the venue, catering options is the next critical step because you want to lock in your selection as soon as possible. Ask caterers for a tasting or get recommendations from the venue or other businesses that used the caterer in the past. The last thing you want is a room full of disappointed employees because the food isn’t as delicious as expected. Get creative with food options! Consider something non-traditional like BBQ or an appetizer bar.
- Research and book your holiday party entertainment. Company holiday party entertainment options cover a huge spectrum. Some go on the light and low cost budget side of things with a visit from Santa and some background holiday music. Other companies go big with game shows, hypnotists, DJs, and more. If you are struggling to come up with something unique, contact us and we can help or check out our creative holiday party ideas.
- Send out Save the Date emails to all of your employees. It may seem early but the holiday season is busy with other gatherings and vacations. Get the date on your employee’s calendars as soon as possible.
- Choose your decorations. We have a couple of recommendations in this area. Many venues, like Shores Event Center, will do some of their own holiday decorating. Check with the venue first to see what is available. From there, use a minimalist approach to other decorating. Create or buy centerpieces that can serve as decorations but then be given away as gifts. Fresh floral can be a very nice touch during the winter season.
- Take a break and enjoy the summer!
- Review the budget. July is the perfect time to pull together costs and evaluate where the event is at compared to budget. Doing so at this time allows you to make any necessary changes or decisions to stay under budget.
- Rev up the team for the final holiday party planning stretch! This is the perfect time to pull the team together, review the final schedule and details, assign outstanding tasks, and prepare for what’s to come.
- Design holiday party invitations. This is an important step. It combines all of the work you have done previously and gets your employees exciting about the event. Be sure to include date, time, location, schedule of events, theme, entertainment, and anything else that seems helpful. And don’t forget to determine your RSVP deadline!
- Send out invitations. Now is the time to send out invitations and begin collecting RSVPs. Collecting RSVPs will help you make final decisions in the final holiday party planning stages.
- Confirm final counts with vendors. Check in with your vendors and provide final counts to give them ample planning time.
- Make your bar selections. Are you providing a complimentary bar? Drink tickets? Specialty drinks? Now is the time to make these decisions!
- Attend final planning meeting at your venue. Most venues will schedule a final planning meeting with you to review every detail of your event. This is the time to think about when deliveries will occur, how you would like the room set up, where food stations will be, etc.
- Relax and enjoy the event! The holiday party planning committee can now relax and enjoy the event too because they have done an amazing job of planning throughout the year!