Planning your Corporate Holiday Party?
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and what better way to celebrate than with your fellow colleagues. It’s important to plan it right but how do you know where to start? When should you book? Who should you invite? Should you have a theme or group activities? We have put together a few important questions to ask before planning and a few suggestions for how to approach them!
What to think about for your Corporate Holiday Party Planning…
What is the purpose of my corporate holiday party?
Begin with the end in mind. A corporate holiday party is a great opportunity to hang out informally with coworkers/management but more importantly, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and to thank employees and celebrate a good year and a job well done. Inviting your clients and/or industry partners to your corporate holiday party can also be a great way to build deeper relationships for the coming year. Entering into the planning process with this in mind will determine whether you need to put together gift bags or schedule a thank you speech into the event timeline.
What is the best day of the week to have my corporate holiday party?
This depends on the type of company and what days your employees work. Fridays and Saturdays are most popular in the corporate world. Planning your corporate holiday party on a Wednesday night or Thursday night is a great way to save money since venues tend to have lower rates during the week. This might also make it easier for your clients and partners to attend since the weekends around the holidays fill up quickly.
How close to the holiday season should I book the venue?
Again, this depends on the type of business. It is most common to celebrate up until the last Saturday before December 24th. However, because that is most common, planning your holiday party after the New Year is a great way to keep the fun going, toast the coming year’s business success, and save on venue cost. The first quarter is a fairly slow season for the entertaining industry and incentives for creating continued business after the holiday season are very common. This makes it a GREAT time to have a party!
Should there be a style or theme?
A theme is optional but if you decide on a theme, remember to be sensitive to your employees and guests’ religious beliefs by keeping your event “holiday-neutral”. Make your corporate holiday party about coming together to celebrate a job well done.
How do I get the word out about my party?
There are many different ways to communicate the details of your holiday party. The most common forms are by email, company announcement/newsletter, company website, or lobby/bulletin flyer. The format you choose to inform your guests will depend on the environment and age group of your company as well as the style of the party. If you have an older audience or if you are inviting clients and/or industry partners, it is best to send out more formal invitations – perhaps paper invites with an RSVP and return envelope. For the younger crowd, an Evite is a great time and money saver. More importantly, be sure to include all the details of the event – date, time, food and drink offerings, plus-one allowances, suggested attire, parking locations, hotel rates, when the RSVP’s are due, etc.
Party protocol/tips for your corporate holiday party guests:
- drink too much
- play drinking games
- stay too late
- use this time as an opportunity to complain or share what you think is wrong with the company or how an employee could improve productivity!
- show appreciation for being invited
- get to know your co-workers a little better
- enjoy the food and offerings
- enjoy yourself!
For more great tips visit: Corporate Holiday Party Etiquette by the Etiquette School of New York.