The holiday season is a great time to celebrate and thank employees for all of their hard work. Hosting a party can seem overwhelming, but our professional party planners are here to help you throw a seamless celebration, guiding you every step of the way.
To help you get started, we’ve got five of our insider tips to help you host a successful office holiday party.
We tell all of our corporate clients and wedding couples alike, once you pick the date and the venue, the rest of the planning comes together easily. The key here is to pick the date early and get it on the calendar. If you have main employees or clients that have busy schedules whose presence at the party is important, you’ll want to give them advance notice to accurately plan travel schedules. Given that the season can fill up very quickly, don’t count out the days after the standard “holiday season.” We plan a lot of parties in January when personal and professional calendars open up a bit.
We’ve all been to a corporate office party. They follow a similar format – cocktail hour, dinner, a speech or two, clapping, a few awards, home by 10. Why not break out of the lackluster norm, and add a wow factor that will really impress your guests? A mirrored photo booth with props is a great ice breaker. A slow motion video booth with confetti and live play back will mix up department interactions and have guests laughing for days.
Holiday party décor doesn’t mean that your reception needs to look like Santa’s Village. Holiday decorating can go from festive to tacky quickly, so consider neutral tones by using greenery, fresh flowers, and garlands. Additionally, keeping it semi-neutral keeps the event inclusive for your guests who may or may not celebrate all aspects of the holiday season. Upgrading the table linens at your venue is also an inexpensive way to stretch the décor budget. Rather than conference room white linen, opt for a bold color and a textured pattern. We especially love jewel tones around this time of the year.
Hire a DJ, organize a playlist, or arrange for a little live entertainment with a jazz duo. Nothing is a bigger mood crusher than walking into a room that is dead silent – remember, you want an environment that is celebratory and not “work”. Music sets the mood and creates an atmosphere of fun. If your audience would go for it, even consider adding a dance floor or hiring an impersonator for a little performance. Our office favorites: Elvis, Lucille Ball, and Lady Gaga. (See previously mentioned wow factor. They’ll never see it coming!)
Think about presentation – are you planning a formal plated meal, buffet, or heavy hors d’oeuvres? Either way, full bellies = happy people. Everyone has personal preferences on what they like and don’t like, so opt for easy, but impressive menu options. The holidays are all about rich, warm, comfort flavors, and it is the time of year when your guests don’t mind indulging a little bit. “Let them eat cake!”