Planning a company holiday party is not only a great way to recognize the company’s accomplishments for the year, but it’s also a great way to build the company’s culture (or at least reinforce the culture that already exists) while also boosting the company morale. What better way to celebrate the end of the year than with a party everyone can enjoy and talk about for years?
When our client came to us in June of last year to plan their holiday party for 234 people, it took us the whole 6 months to confirm all the details with the venue and vendors.
It was especially important to us that our client got a feel for what to expect at her event. Before we started planning we took some time to bond with our client and understand what her needs were. Once we confirmed the menu, we invited her over for a tasting with us. When she walked through the doors, she was greeted with a 1960’s crooner singing in the background, a table setting representing a 1960’s Rat Pack Casino Theme, and a look book showcasing all the venues and vendors that fitted her needs. Needless to say, we sealed the deal.
Of course, it goes without saying that planning a company party can be very involved and daunting so we’re providing you with some helpful tips on how to get started.
Start planning early!
We can’t stress enough how important it is to start planning early. If you haven’t started planning your Holiday Party yet, you should start planning now. Here’s why.
Venues and vendors book fast in the first weeks of December. In fact, many places start to book as early as March! Start researching venues, vendors, and entertainers early on to make sure they can accommodate your party size and the date you want to book.
Offer an Uber Pass.
Transportation and where to park is especially important to think about. You’ll want to provide your guests with options for getting to the event safely. If possible provide your guests with an Uber pass. You can choose how much you want to spend on each ride!
No party is complete without some good music to get your guests moving. If you plan to have a DJ, check with your venue to see if they’re equipped with the proper AV needs for your DJ. Also, keep in mind that many venues have a noise restriction due to city ordinances. Get confirmation that your venue is ok with music for the entire event.
Cash Bar or Ticket System?
Do you plan to have bar services? Consider whether you want to have a cash bar or a ticket system. At the same time, you’ll also want to think about how your guests will get home safely after the party. This is where the Uber pass would be beneficial.
You may have guests coming in from out of town. Check with the hotels around your venue to block some rooms for your guests. This will help to alleviate their headache of figuring out where they should stay.
Some foods will require electricity or sternos to keep the food warm. Check with your venue to see if they allow for this or can accommodate these things.
Most importantly, have a final headcount 10 days before your event to give to your caterer and event planner (hopefully us) and include any allergies or special dietary needs. This ensures that the Chef can prepare the proper amount of food for your guests and the Event Planner can schedule enough staff to run a smooth event.
Consider what kind of an event you’re planning and what you would like your guests to be doing during the event.
Is there a theme? Do you want your guests to dress up? We personally love themes and think they’re a great way to create a fun experience for your guests!
Seated or Roaming?
Do you want everyone to be seated formally or have them roam around? This really makes a difference when you’re looking for a venue. If you plan to have a seated dinner, you’ll need to find a venue that can accommodate the number of tables for your guests along with a dance floor (if you want one) and your vendors, entertainers, etc.
Think about what was missing from last year’s party.
What’s a party without some fun entertainment to keep your guests engaged? Was there enough entertainment last year? Did you have signage to help guide your guests?
Offer Wi-Fi Service
If you’re a company that works around the clock, then you may want to consider providing wi-fi and a working station or room for your employees who still need to work. This lets your employees continue to do the awesome work they do for your company while not feeling left out from all the festivities.
Have a Coat Check
Naturally, your guests will arrive bundled up during the holiday season. A coat check is a nice touch for your guests that show up in full fashion.
Now you’re ready to start planning your holiday party! Have questions or thoughts? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you have to say!
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