5 Tips for Planning Your Company Holiday Party

It’s time to say goodbye to all those ignored RSVPs and discarded gifts you handed out after your previous parties. The time has come to prevent the snickering of the employees who know they are expected to show up and have a good time, even though some would rather run a marathon in the Amazon than spend a single minute making small talk with their supervisor.

As your employees have become more refined over time and their options more versatile, it’s no wonder the notion of the holiday party has completely changed over the years. This is an opportunity for your brand to shine while you give your teams exactly what they need to relax, unwind, and have some fun without worrying about their projects. Consider the following five tips to boost your party planning and to make the most of all of your future events.

Take it to the team

Whether you really want to organize this party for an actual holiday or you’d like to borrow a theme from one and celebrate during the general holiday season – you need to let your employees take part in the decision-making process. After all, they are the ones who are about to relinquish several hours of their free time, they deserve to choose how they’re going to spend it.

For starters, you can set up an introductory meeting where you can settle on a general theme, be it Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, or anything that’s predominant and loved in your culture. Then, you can let your employees know when they can share their ideas with you, whether through an anonymous channel or during your one-on-one meetings. Take a few months before you settle on the entire organization, since this brainstorming can take time!

Don’t skimp on sips and food

Anything from the goofy celebrations of Halloween to classy Christmas parties deserves a menu that fits the palate of your employees. There’s no need to offer shrimp cocktail if they prefer spring rolls and mozzarella sticks, so it’s up to you to ensure variety and abundance in terms of your employees’ and clients’ favorite dishes and drinks.

Certain staples are always welcome, such as delicious burgundy wine which is considered a must-have for any holiday event. The main perk of these wines is that they are often easy to match to different meals, meat-based and plant-based alike, so all of your employees will be happy. Add to that a few signature cocktails and non-alcoholic sips, paired with a range of appetizing meals, and you’ll be good to go.

Book the right entertainment

Much like themes and food, the very content of your entire event will depend on what your employees enjoy the most. It’s also best to stick to the same piece of advice: keep things versatile. When it comes to entertainment, the same wisdom applies, since you’ll have all kinds of characters attending your event, and you want to go out of your way to make them feel comfortable and enjoy their time at the venue.

Booking a band for some smooth background music is a great way to set the tone of the entire event, but not much of actual entertainment. Add a pool table, karaoke, a magician, and perhaps make the event pet-friendly if you run such an office, and you’ll have loads of people laughing out loud, having the time of their lives. A dedicated photographer is always a good way to commemorate the event, so don’t forget to hire someone who knows how to work corporate parties.

Give your party a purpose

Brands today no longer exist simply because they run a solid business, but because they have a driving force, a purpose that propels them upwards. That same purpose can be used as the goal of your event, or at the very least as the catalyst to create one. This is another topic for your employee brainstorming sessions: what can be the key goal of your event?

Perhaps you can raise money for a local charity or a very specific person, or you can create a fund that will be used to provide materials, clothes, or books for kids in impoverished families. Then again, if the pet-friendly theme perseveres, you can collect funds for a shelter, or even turn it into an adoption event where the shelter dogs will be invited to woo their potential future owners.

Set boundaries, but keep it light

Finally, it’s important to remember that this is still a corporate, business event, and certain rules apply. Make sure to go over the rules and acceptable decorum with your employees, especially the most recent additions to your teams. Maybe a brief reminder of the proper etiquette is a good way to set some healthy boundaries without taking away any of the fun.

Ultimately, the success of your event will depend on how well you integrate these steps in your party plan. Make sure you are thorough in your efforts and that your employees are involved every step of the way, and you’ll soon perfect the art of event organization so that your future parties are greeted with joy.

By Peter Minkoff

Peter is a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual magazine, living between Ústí nad Labem and Antwerp. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.