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20 Tips, Tricks & Resources for Planning a Memorable Corporate Holiday Party

The holidays can be a whirlwind for everyone, especially for corporate event planners. If you're in charge of organizing your company's annual holiday party, it's natural to feel a little overwhelmed. But fear not! With...

The holidays can be a whirlwind for everyone, especially for corporate event planners. If you're in charge of organizing your company's annual holiday party, it's natural to feel a little overwhelmed. But fear not! With some careful planning and attention to detail, you can pull off a memorable and enjoyable event that will leave a lasting impression on your boss and colleagues.

A corporate holiday party is not just a chance to celebrate; it's also an opportunity to boost morale and show appreciation for your hardworking employees. When done right, it can create a sense of camaraderie and build goodwill within the company. So, let's dive into some tips, tricks, and resources to help you plan the perfect corporate holiday party.

When Should You Start Planning a Corporate Holiday Party?

The earlier, the better! Planning an office holiday party requires coordination and attention to detail, so it's best to start as soon as possible. By starting early, you'll have ample time to sort out all the logistics and ensure a seamless event. If you're part of a larger company, you may even need to start planning in the first or second quarter of the year to secure a suitable venue. Many venues offer specials in July to book spaces for December.

How to Plan the Perfect Company Holiday Party

If you want to make your company holiday party truly unforgettable, consider involving a team member with event planning skills. Their expertise can help you come up with creative ideas and bring your holiday party theme to life. Here are some suggestions to get you on the right track:

1. Choose the Right Venue

When it comes to corporate holiday parties, the size of the venue matters. You want a space that can comfortably accommodate all your guests without feeling too crowded. It's always better to err on the side of caution and book a slightly larger venue than you think you'll need.

the bowden The Bowden - A perfect venue for your corporate holiday party

2. Make a Budget...and Stick to It

While you want your holiday party to be impressive, it's important not to go over budget. Sit down with your boss and determine how much money you have to work with. Then, do your best to stick to that budget. Remember, you can throw a fantastic party without breaking the bank.

3. Serve Festive Food and Drinks

Food and drinks are always an important consideration for any event. Choose festive and appropriate options for your corporate holiday party. Decide whether you want to serve a full meal or just finger foods. Consider incorporating a festive theme into the menu, including special drinks, desserts, and appetizers.

4. Get Everyone Involved with Fun Activities

Fun activities are a great way to get everyone in the holiday spirit and encourage interaction among your employees. Set up a photo booth with props, hire a caricaturist, organize holiday-themed games, or plan a gift exchange. The key is to choose activities that align with your company culture and the tone of the event.

5. Hire a Professional Photographer

Capture the fun and festive moments of your corporate holiday party with a professional photographer. These photos can be used for future marketing materials or even as gifts for your employees.

6. Make it a Team Effort

Planning a corporate holiday party is no small feat, so don't be afraid to delegate tasks and form a team of reliable individuals to help you out. Enlist employees from different departments to handle various aspects of the party, such as decorating, organizing activities, or managing logistics. This not only lightens your workload but also ensures everyone feels involved in the event.

7. Have a Backup Plan

No matter how well you plan, unforeseen circumstances can arise. It's crucial to have a backup plan for everything, from transportation to the venue. Prepare contingency plans for bad weather or unexpected issues with your chosen venue. Having backup options will ensure your party goes smoothly, regardless of any last-minute hiccups.

corporate holiday party - the bowden A backup venue like The Bowden helps ensure a seamless corporate holiday party experience.

8. Promote the Event in Advance

Start promoting your corporate holiday party as early as possible to give employees time to clear their schedules and generate excitement. Utilize various communication channels such as email invitations, flyers, websites, and social media events to spread the word. Don't forget to include all the essential details like date, time, location, dress code, and whether plus ones are allowed.

9. Set a Dress Code

Unless your corporate holiday party has a specific theme that requires a certain type of attire, it's a good idea to set a dress code. This ensures that employees know what to wear and sets the tone for the event. Whether it's business casual or cocktail attire, a dress code adds a touch of elegance to the party.

10. Gifts or No Gifts?

Deciding whether to allow gifts at your corporate holiday party can be challenging. While gifts can enhance the festive atmosphere, they can also be a burden for some employees. Consider alternatives like a Secret Santa gift exchange with a budget limit to create a sense of fun and inclusivity.

Fun Activities for Your Office Holiday Party

To make your office holiday party truly memorable, here are some additional fun activities to consider:

11. Have a Themed Party

Make your corporate holiday party stand out by embracing a fun theme. Whether it's a "Winter Wonderland" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas," a unique theme adds excitement and livens up the atmosphere. Your team will appreciate the effort and enjoy the creative twist.

corporate holiday party - the bowden A themed corporate holiday party at The Bowden

12. Secret Santa Gifts Are Always Fun

A classic holiday tradition, Secret Santa gifts are a surefire way to spread joy and create anticipation. Put a twist on this tradition by having a corporate-themed gift exchange. Draw names from a hat and set a budget for each participant. It's a delightful way to ensure everyone has something to open and get into the spirit of giving.

13. Do Something Charitable

The holidays are a time for giving back. Incorporate philanthropy into your corporate holiday party by collecting donations for a local charity or organizing a volunteer activity for your team. This fosters a sense of community and shows employees that your company cares about more than just profits.

14. Make It an Ugly Sweater Party

Tap into the holiday spirit and humor by hosting an ugly sweater party. Encourage employees to wear their most outrageous, festive sweaters and award prizes for the ugliest ones. Laughter and lightheartedness are guaranteed!

15. Include a Hot Cocoa Bar

What's more festive than a steaming mug of hot cocoa? Set up a hot cocoa bar with all the fixings—marshmallows, peppermint sticks, whipped cream—to let your team mix and match to their heart's content. It's a delicious way to warm up and enjoy the holiday vibes.

corporate holiday party - the bowden Create a DIY ornament-making station at your corporate holiday party

16. Set up a DIY Ornament-Making Station

Fuel the holiday crafting spirit by setting up a station where employees can create their own ornaments to take home. Provide supplies and let each team decorate their mini Christmas tree. It's a wonderful way to foster creativity and spread festive cheer.

17. Consider a Gingerbread House Competition

Challenge your team's creativity with a gingerbread house competition. Provide all the necessary supplies and let teams go wild with their designs. Don't forget to have prizes for the best houses. It's a fun and interactive activity that will bring out the holiday spirit in everyone.

18. Self-Source Holiday Music with Karaoke

Unleash your team's inner rockstars with a karaoke session featuring holiday songs. Rent a karaoke machine, set it up at your event venue, and let everyone sing their hearts out. It's a guaranteed night of laughter and unforgettable memories.

19. Get Virtual

Incorporate remote employees by adding a virtual element to your holiday party. Utilize technology to bridge the distance and allow remote attendees to participate in games and events. This way, everyone can come together for a fun and inclusive experience.

20. Hire a Local Band or DJ

There's no denying that live music adds an incredible energy to any event. Consider hiring a local band or DJ to keep the party vibes going strong. Your team will appreciate the opportunity to dance and celebrate throughout the night.

Corporate Holiday Party Resources

Now that you have some holiday party ideas, it's time to start planning. Here are some additional resources to help you along the way:

For invitations:

  • Minted
  • Shutterfly
  • Canva

For party favors:

  • Oriental Trading
  • Teambuilding
  • Party City

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun! Your corporate holiday party should be an enjoyable event for you and your team. Relax, let the festive spirit guide you, and create a memorable experience for everyone. After all, 'tis the season to celebrate!