Choose an offsite location
Offer more food than drink
Weigh “internal” vs. “external” messaging
Don’t rob personal time
Leave it to the pros
Tips for Throwing Your Holiday Corporate Party
It’s that time of year when back-to-back major holidays are filling the calendars. If you’ve chosen to help make the season more festive with a corporate party, there are a few things you should know to get it right. In addition to picking the best venue for joyous festivities, you’ll need to consider how holidays have the potential to bring people together or make others feel left out. Here are some best practices for ensuring your corporate holiday party is a success!
Unlike other office parties, holiday events are the most fun when out of the office. Who wants to drink eggnog or open gifts around a cubicle? Picking the right event venue not only gives you a chance to create a festive get away from the day-to-day, but it also provides options for more space, more amenities, and more fun! Most corporate locations don't have room for anyone more than just employees; if you want to open up the party to family and friends, business partners or even clients, offsite venues are the way to go. Start searching today.
Can you celebrate Christmas? Hanukkah? Another specific winter event? It’s up to you how you want to play this; some companies serve a niche where it makes sense to pick a faith-based holiday or individual cultural event to celebrate. For the majority of companies, however, it might be best to choose a more general theme. Winter holidays. End of the year shindig. 4th Quarter Bonanza. You get the idea. Create a seasonal vibe that lets everyone know that they are welcome, no matter the faith or traditions they hold in their personal lives.
One good reason to partner with an event venue that offers everything from décor to menu options is so you can get all of your meal needs taken care of. Why would you consider a full meal or hearty appetizers? It’s much safer to give your guests food with drink than not. A full belly discourages overdrinking, and it’s a great way to make the expensive alcohol last longer, too.
Partner with your venue to see what catering options are available. They can work with you to get a good variety of vegan, gluten-free, or even kosher menu items, as well – which will communicate to your guests that you’re looking out for everyone.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just have a fun party and not worry about work? Unfortunately, corporate parties are official business to some. If you have clients or partners or even community leaders in attendance, there is added pressure to maintain your appearance and not let things get to unprofessional. Corporate parties should be clearly described using “internal” vs. “external” language so that your guests know who will be there.
Sales teams will want to know if there is an opportunity to network. Hiring managers will want to use the event to keep an eye out for friends and family that could be the next best new-hire. Customers will expect to see the company represented in a way that’s consistent with the product or service they enjoy using. In short, if the event will double as marketing outreach, make sure your associate knows and is on board. Some people just want their corporate events to be a good time; if that’s not what you’re offering, be clear about it. (You may also want to consider a second “company-only” party to make up for it.)
If you’re going to have a truly successful corporate holiday bash, consider having it during work hours. Why? Not only does it give people access to daycare and school support (ensuring they can make it), but it doesn’t cut into the plans they have with family and friends for the holidays. Most people are stressed this time of year, balancing family events, school programs, shopping, and preparing for guests. If you have your party during a time when they wished they were doing something else, that cheery feeling may dwindle.
Should you pay your employees during that time? It’s not a bad idea. In fact, this can make a thoughtful holiday gift that goes well beyond fruit baskets and cheap plastic desk accessories. If you can afford it, consider gifting the party and the time this holiday season.
In the end, there are many important decisions to make to give your corporate holiday party the best chance of success. Considering all the thoughtful planning you’ll have to do, wouldn’t it be nice to give over some of those details to someone else? Picking a venue that provides it all is the best way to free up your time and make sure the people who are experienced in throwing parties get the job. For the typical company, it’s a relief to know that your party needs will be taken care of – leaving you to focus on all those other questions we discussed above.