How to Throw an Unforgettable Company Holiday Party

It's that time of the year again - holiday party season! And after a few years of disrupted celebrations, it's time to make this year's company holiday event truly unforgettable. Planning a memorable party doesn't...

Holiday Party

It's that time of the year again - holiday party season! And after a few years of disrupted celebrations, it's time to make this year's company holiday event truly unforgettable. Planning a memorable party doesn't have to be complicated, but it does require a solid plan. In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to think about to throw the best holiday party for your company or team this year.

The Essential Holiday Party Planning Checklist

Without a plan, the responsibility of organizing your company's party might seem overwhelming. But fear not, with a systematic approach and this essential checklist, you'll be well-prepared to throw a memorable event. So sit back, relax, and let's dive in!

1. Date and Venue

Colleagues at a holiday party

First things first: lock in your date and venue. Consider hosting the party in the beginning or mid-December, preferably on a Thursday evening to avoid clashing with other holiday plans. Take a look at your company calendar to ensure it doesn't conflict with other events or important deadlines. Choosing the right venue can be tricky, but you have a few options to explore:

  • Office: Hosting the party in your office is the cheapest and most convenient option. However, if the budget allows, consider an off-site venue for a more impressive experience.
  • Off-site event space: Booking a flexible event space gives you the freedom to customize every aspect of the party to suit your needs. Consider spaces like our 750-square foot space at The Post, which offers a discount for members.
  • Restaurant: Supporting local businesses by hosting your party at a local restaurant is a great option. Keep in mind that it may limit your flexibility but offers simplicity.

Remember to start the venue selection process early to secure your preferred location. If you're local in Tucson, check out our previous article for tips on finding the perfect venue.

2. Guestlist

Group of colleagues

Once you've confirmed the date and location, create your guestlist. It's essential to do this early, so everyone can mark their calendars accordingly. Consider the following when preparing your guestlist:

  • Will it be employees-only, or can they bring a plus-one? If so, who's included in that?
  • Is it a company-wide party or restricted to specific departments?
  • Do you have remote employees? How will you include them?

Be clear about who's invited and avoid any confusion or exclusions. If budget allows, consider including remote team members to foster a stronger team bond. You can also plan a separate celebration for remote employees or explore virtual holiday party ideas.

3. Invitations

Envelope with scissors and twine

When sending out invitations, you can opt for a simple email or get creative with digital invitation services like Evite or Paperless Post. Make sure to include the following details in your invitation:

  • Date, time, and location
  • Transportation and parking details
  • Plus-one policy, if applicable
  • Brief description of the party program
  • Dress code
  • Any specific items guests should bring, like a secret Santa gift
  • Request for RSVP, allergies, or food restrictions

4. Program Overview

Two men posing in a Christmas-themed photo booth

Now it's time to plan the core of your party - the program. Decide whether you want a relaxed gathering or a structured event. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Games: Classic group games like charades or Pictionary can be a hit. Add a holiday twist and offer prizes. You could also consider karaoke if your team is up for it.
  • Speeches: A short message from the CEO or leadership team can inspire and build a strong company culture.
  • Holiday gift exchange: Organize a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange, where everyone brings a small gift to swap.
  • Event or excursion: Take the party off-site and plan an activity like ice skating or an escape room.
  • Live music: Set the mood by bringing in musicians to provide entertainment.
  • Photo booth: Create lasting memories with a festive photo booth.

Consider your company's culture and preferences when planning the program.

5. Food and Drinks

Two people toasting with champagne glasses

No party is complete without delicious food and drinks. Depending on your team size and budget, you have a few options:

  • Full catered meal: Arrange a catered dinner from a local restaurant.
  • Appetizers and drinks: Opt for a variety of appetizers rather than a full meal to keep costs manageable.
  • Potluck: Encourage everyone to contribute to the meal by bringing a dish or dessert, possibly with a theme.

When it comes to drinks, an open bar can be costly and potentially problematic. Consider these alternatives:

  • Drink tickets: Provide each guest with a couple of tickets to use at the bar.
  • Signature holiday drinks: Keep it simple with one or two special cocktails for the evening.
  • Wine on the table: Place a few bottles of wine on each table.
  • Mocktail bar: Offer non-alcoholic options like mocktails, coffee, tea, eggnog, soda, and sparkling water.

Ensure responsible drinking and provide transportation options for everyone to get home safely.

6. Setup and Decor

Microphone surrounded by white lights

To create a beautiful and functional atmosphere, consider the following setup and decor elements:

  • Furniture: Ensure you have enough tables and chairs for your guests. Decide whether to assign seating or let people choose where to sit.
  • Audio-Visual equipment: If your program includes speeches or presentations, make sure you have the necessary audio-visual equipment.

When it comes to decor, you can keep it simple or go all out. Here are a few ideas:

  • Greenery: Use Christmas trees and evergreen boughs as the centerpiece of your decor. Get guests involved by letting them decorate the trees.
  • Twinkling lights: Add a magical touch by stringing lights around the room.
  • Tables: Make your dinner tables stand out with green or red tablecloths and an attractive centerpiece.

7. Transportation and Logistics

Red taxi driving with lights

Lastly, consider the logistics of the evening to ensure a smooth experience for everyone. Here are some details to take care of:

  • Arrange safe transportation for everyone, like having taxi services on standby.
  • Allocate responsibilities for receiving catering, decorating the venue, and conducting an A/V test.
  • Determine the arrival time for party planners and logistics team members.

Delegate tasks to team members to ensure a well-coordinated event. If you choose our flex space at The Post, we can provide A/V equipment and support with setup, eliminating unnecessary worries.

Remember, if you're looking for a workspace for your growing team, book a tour of The Post and discover what we have to offer.

With this comprehensive guide, planning an unforgettable company holiday party will be a breeze. Set a date, secure a venue, create a guest list, send out invitations, plan the program, organize food and drinks, set up the venue, and take care of logistics. Your team will appreciate the effort, and you'll create lasting memories. Happy planning!