1. Set a Budget
It’s very important to create a budget for your company Christmas party. The financial aspect will set the tone for the type of party you can throw. Be sure the budget is set and non-negotiable. This gives you a great budget-per-head to think about appropriate activities you can accommodate. Keep In Mind: Some employees enjoy parties, but many also enjoy end-of-year bonuses more than a large bash. Know your audience.
2. +1 or Not?
Also consider whether or not employees can bring a +1 to the party—thus doubling your event size. Be conscience of whether your budget allows for guests or if it will be employees only. This is vital to determine before looking at venues or sending out invitations.
3. Survey Dates
Allow your employees to be part of the planning process. Send out a survey with a variety of dates to choose from and try to find a date that is best for the majority. You may start by asking key executives and key members of the planning team in case answers vary too much. Keep In Mind: A company Christmas party does not need to be at night or on the weekend. Explore others options such as a holiday breakfast or lunch.
4. Find the Perfect Event Venue
Go outside the office! This is a nice event to celebrate the holidays and another year of hard work. Bring the party away from the day-to-day atmosphere to a local restaurant or banquet hall. Snappening’s event venue search is a great place to find a perfect location. Keep In Mind: People may have other commitments on the scheduled day. Ensure your venue is relatively local and easy for employees to arrive and leave when they need. Also consider parking options, or valet.
5. Make It Themed
Although Christmas is a theme, consider making it more specific. A theme will be an automatic talking point and make it even more fun! Check out our Holiday Party Themes blog for more ideas.
6. Send Out Formal Invitations
Getting mail is exciting! Give your employees something to smile about by sending out formal invitations. Invitations show the extra effort put in and make your employees feel how special their attendance is. Keep In Mind: Don’t make the party mandatory. This puts unwanted pressure on your employees. Make it feel more causal and fun.
If you have the opportunity, hire a DJ or band to set the tone all night. It’s a nice gesture to have music playing during an event and shows you put a little extra effort into making the day special.
- Open Bar
- Cash Bar
- Drink Tickets
If you are handing out drink tickets there are two approaches. First, you can provide a certain number of complimentary drink tickets per person, then switch to a cash bar for any additional drinks. Second, you can provide a fixed number of drink tickets and ceases to provide alcohol after the tickets are used. To plan out the amount of alcohol your party may need check out: “How to Throw a Cocktail Party” Drink Guide. Another aspect to consider is driving home from the party. Give your employees an opportunity for a designated driver by offering pre-paid ride services such as Lyft or Uber.
After choosing the time of day for your event, you must decide what kind of food to provide. Pick food that suits the time of day and type of event which could range from a morning bagel bar to appetizer trays. A full meal is not necessary to throw a company party, unless that’s the style that fits your team best.
10. No Forced Activities
Being forced to join an activity can be uncomfortable and change the mood of a party. Do not have any forced games or activities planned throughout the night. Have everything be optional or wait to see what people would like to do. For some game ideas check out this list of the 15 Office Party Games.
Be mindful of photographs being taken at the event. They can be a nice memory of the night or an awkward reminder. Do not force employees to take pictures, but consider setting up a photo booth where they have the option to take a few snaps.
12. Be Generous
Give back to your employees and let them have a nice event. Make it a positive experience by listening to your employees and deciding how they would like to celebrate the holiday season.