There is no time like the present! We’re talking holiday party planning.
Calling all corporate planners, socialites and those “just this once please help us plan the company party” designated employees — we are here to make you shine this holiday season! From start to finish this guide will help you navigate the trials of planning the perfect holiday party.
Step 1: What is your budget?
The core of your planning process begins with your budget. Whether you are given an allotted amount from your organization or are deciding on what your group is comfortable spending, knowing your budget determines all other factors in your planning process! Get comfortable with a number and break it into categories (think menu, rentals, venue, décor etc.) so you can communicate those budgets to your vendors. This helps them to help you in the best and most efficient way possible.
Pro tip: Time is of the essence — Venues, vendors and rentals book up fast and become increasing hard to nail down as the holiday season gets closer. Starting the conversation now saves stress later!
Step 2: Where and when?
Holiday parties are not just for mid to late December anymore. We are seeing a trend of more and more holiday parties being booked for the “holiday off season” as early as October to late January. Typically, venue rates are lower in January- allowing more money to be spent on the party itself and employees to attend. Scour the internet yourself or call us up for our favorite venue recommendations.
Pro tip: While we are not planners, we have done this before! Our website offers a list of venues we love working with. Think outside of the box by choosing a public park or local art gallery!
Step 3: The good stuff! All things food and drink.
Everyone’s favorite part of a holiday party is the food and drink, right? The options are endless and talking to a catering sales professional will help you decide what is best. Passed hors d’oeuvres and stations make for a fun mix and mingle style event that keeps the party going all night. Served dinners, on the other hand, allow guests to take a seat and slow down in a more formal setting. Rentals are also an important consideration at this point in the planning process. Keep in mind that your food needs a place to go and your guests need a seat. Offering full seating is not always necessary and cutting back will help you save money! Ask us what will work best for you.
Pro tip: Hiring a caterer takes stress off of you! Your event will be professionally set, staffed and broken down without you lifting a finger.
Step 4: Fun! What entertainment will you provide?
The food and drinks might bring the party, but the entertainment is what keeps them sticking around all night long. Music is always a safe and popular direction. Party bands, local talent and DJ’s are all options to keep the dance floor hot all night. Photo booths are another fun and quirky possibility. These allow guests to let loose and be a little silly and even go home with a fun souvenir to remember the night. Want to use the party as a chance to do some good? Host a live or silent auction to fundraise for a cause aligned with your company’s mission.
Pro tip: Consider your venue. Is there entertainment onsite? Did you select a bowling alley or outdoor space suitable for games? No idea where to start? We would love to share our favorite vendors and entertainment recommendations for your next event.