“It’s the MOST wonderful time of the yeeeaaarrrr!”– Andy Williams (a Christmas icon)
With lines like that in songs during the holiday season, there can be pressure to plan your company’s holiday party so that it leaves magical memories. It doesn’t have to be stressful, though! Here are seven tips for planning your company holiday party to help you avoid the stress that can come with event planning.
It doesn’t matter where you live, venues, caterers, bartenders – things get booked up quickly because everyone is trying to schedule parties for the holiday season. Planning ahead lets you have the pick of the litter in all things pertaining to events.
Brainstorm with other people
So, I know you’re brilliant all by yourself, but bouncing ideas off other people always brings a new perspective. Verbally processing things with my coworkers allows me to better see the gaps so I can fill those holes and take my ideas in a variety of directions.
Choose a theme
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find countless holiday party themes ranging from all white Winter Wonderland to the Nightmare Before Christmas. Picking a theme at the get-go helps you choose dress code (whether it’s cocktail or casual), venue, decor, food, and entertainment, while also upping the ante so it’s not just another mingling event for the office.
Research caterers, venues, etc. in your area
Do. Your. Research. Visit at least five venues and make sure you receive quotes from a handful of vendors for everything including bands, food, alcohol, and photobooths. If you don’t already have relationships with vendors, it can be overwhelming to know what a reasonable price point in your area might be. Receiving quotes and doing your research on the companies you’re working with allows you to see what the norm is so you don’t end up spending more than you need to.
Think outside the box
At Vaco, 2019 has been the year of magical moments. Moments that wow. Moments that are memorable. Brainstorm what you can do that would be different than any other company’s holiday party whether that be an experience, a gift, or a totally out-of-the-box entertainer. I believe in you. You seem pretty creative.
Pick a focal point
Pick one thing that’ll make your party memorable. Maybe it’ll be the over the top decor. Or the ugly sweater contest. Or how awesome your DJ was. Pick something you really want to invest in that will make the night stand out from other holiday parties. If someone’s been with the company for 15 years, they need to be able to look back and be like, “Oh remember that year with that cool hypnotist? Or that Great Gatsby themed one? And the one with the silent disco?” Set it apart.
Do a mental walkthrough
Like with any event, do a mental walkthrough. From the time they park and walk through the doors to the time they’re saying their goodbyes and heading out, you need to think through everything they’re going to see and feel. Doing this helps you to foresee potential problems or awkward spots and gives you time to flip the switch to create a smooth event.
With these seven tips in mind, you have my blessing to go forward and plan your company holiday party which will be the most magical party your company has ever seen! Whether it’s for an office of six people or 600 people, paying attention to details and thinking in moments will enable you to throw an unforgettable experience that will leave your coworkers ready to celebrate the holidays. Good luck, my friend. Channel those creative energies and start planning!