Company holiday parties are a great way to build camaraderie and show appreciation for employees. However, planning one can be a big undertaking. With several things to consider, from budget and timing to venues, food and entertainment — where do you start?
With some preparation and professional help, you can execute the party your co-workers will talk about for months to come. Keep reading to learn a few tips and tricks for planning the perfect company holiday party.
Start Planning Early
It’s always a great idea to start planning your holiday party early. More specifically, six to nine months early. Prior planning will give you plenty of time to choose your vendors, secure a venue and decide on entertainment and food. It also allows you to pick a date and inform your employees in advance. Remember — the more time you allow for planning, the smoother it will go, and the more likely you can secure all the details you want.
Hire a Professional Corporate Event Planner
Hiring a corporate holiday party planner can ensure your event goes smoothly and no stones are left unturned. Professionals will consider all the tiny details you may forget, from finalizing plans with your vendors and venues to executing the perfect appetizers for your guests.
They can also help you with bigger events, like planning a corporate Christmas party. These are often the most significant company events of the year, so you’ll need all the help you can get to execute your plan flawlessly. Professionals will help you check off all those essential details before you secure a date and send out the invites.
Treadway Events can help you create a holiday party unmatched in creativity. We provide full-service event planning and project management, from establishing deadlines to prioritizing tasks and keeping track of your team so you can sit back and relax.
Determine Your Budget
Deciding on your budget early is essential to help you stick to it. With a specific budget, you know how much to spend in each area, from food and decor to entertainment.
When setting a budget, remember these important items:
- Venue: Whether renting a convention center or a back room in a restaurant, budget for the venue from the start. Remember that it’s also commonplace for attendees to bring a plus one, so plan for more guests than you’re imagining.
- Food: Your corporate holiday party isn’t complete without food! Food trucks, venue food and buffets are popular options for company holiday parties, so ensure your budget includes tasty appetizers, dinners or desserts.
- Transportation: Consider transportation, especially if alcohol is involved. You might provide transportation on site, have a carpool sign-up or give out ride-share credit to your guests.
- Decorations: From lavish decor to a few items here and there, you’ll want to plan out your decoration budget before getting started. Hiring a professional corporate event planner can help you execute your vision or theme.
- Alcohol: Holiday parties are an opportunity to let loose and celebrate all you’ve achieved this year, so, naturally, alcohol is common at these events. You might put an alcohol limit in place to save money and avoid overconsumption while budgeting for your party.
- Entertainment: If you don’t have activities planned already, you’ll want entertainment after your meal. You might choose from games, a full band or a DJ.
- Gifts: What’s a holiday party without gifts? When budgeting, decide whether you’ll include universal party favors for each guest or individual employee recognition gifts for outstanding performers.
Decide on a Type of Party
There are several ways you might throw an office holiday party. How you structure your party will affect everything, from budget to transportation, so ensure you pick the best option for your company.
A few popular holiday party types include:
- Casual, at-work holiday party: With an at-work event, you’ll wrap up early or plan extended time at the office to celebrate. The event usually includes food, drinks and often gift exchanges. Office parties are a great option to save money, though you’ll have to supply your own food and may need to spend extra time planning entertainment for the evening.
- After-hours holiday gathering: Your employees gather somewhere close by, such as a bar or restaurant, for dinner or happy hour. You might also rent a room in the establishment.
- Holiday group activity: Take your employees out for a fun activity, like an escape room, wine tasting or another local attraction. While these activities can be engaging for the team, there’s often less opportunity for recognition and gift exchange, and some activities aren’t inclusive to everyone. Also, consider that these activities might be ideal for nice weather, and with corporate Christmas party planning, you might have to limit to indoor activities only.
- Formal holiday party: A formal holiday party is typically held after work on Friday or the following Saturday. You’ll likely have a dress code with libations and extravagant entertainment or food.
Aside from the above options, have you decided on a holiday party theme? From casino night to murder mystery party, this is your chance to get creative and ensure your employees have fun!
When you hire a corporate holiday party planner, you ensure your themes and ideas become a reality. Treadway Events helps plan must-attend events no matter the style of event you’re planning. Our range of experience planning galas to milestone celebrations ensures your guests have an unforgettable experience.
Prepare Food and Drink Options
Food and drinks are the critical components of your event. Get your guests excited about your choice of foods, appetizers and drinks.
Consider the following when planning your food and drinks:
- Sit-down or food trucks: If you’re planning a sit-down dinner, will you serve the food, or will it be buffet style? And if you’re considering food trucks, you’ll want to secure your vendors. Search for popular food trucks in your community or company favorites your team will enjoy.
- Open bar: Will you serve alcohol at your party? If so, will you have an open bar? While your employees may appreciate an open bar, you’ll need to consider transportation options to ensure everyone gets home safe.
- Dietary restrictions: Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure you have options for everyone, whether certain employees have dietary restrictions, allergies or are vegan or vegetarian.
Decide on Entertainment
Decide how vital entertainment will be at your company party. How would you like to execute it? Will you provide a show or performance of some kind? Maybe it will be more interactive, like ice skating, games, arts and crafts. Whatever you choose, ensure you have some entertainment to keep your guests engaged and excited. You’ll create a fun, unforgettable experience for all when you consider this important feature for your party.
Contact Treadway Events to Plan Your Corporate Holiday Party
Hire a corporate holiday party planner who can take your event to the next level and ensure your vision becomes a reality. Treadway Events specializes in immersive, live events and can help you create a holiday party your company will remember forever. We can ensure your guests truly “feel” the experience with theatrical, themed events that take your ideas to the next level. We’ll handle the entire scope of your party, from logistics to project management.
To get started, contact us today.