How to Throw an Epic Holiday Party
Whether you can believe it or not, the holidays have officially arrived! And with the holidays comes all the comfort food your heart could desire, those all-too-familiar Christmas tunes drifting through your car speaker daily, and every excuse you could need to throw a holiday party your team won’t soon forget.
Even if hosting a big event doesn’t come naturally to you, a no-business-attached happening is so important, because it helps your company bond over something fun, energetic, and festive while giving employees memories they’ll look back on for years to come. Whether it’s a Christmas party, a New Year’s party, an anniversary party, or a party for National Taco Day (heyo), hosting a party is a great opportunity to create a space where the people you work with daily can come together, bond and connect over something fun, and feel recharged about the work they do daily.
Now that we’ve convinced you to start party planning, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to throw a company event that your employees will remember throughout the year!
1. Rent an event space.
As nice as your office space may be, go ahead and find an alternative venue for your holiday party! Not only will it make the event feel more special, it also gives you the flexibility to seemingly do whatever you’d like with the space you rent. You could hire a caterer, orchestrate a potluck, arrange for waitstaff to serve food, hire entertainment such as a DJ or band–the opportunities are endless! Renting an event space gives you the ability to create the event you want from the ground up, catering to the interests of your employees.
2. Not sure where to start? Take a vote!
Not sure what to do at the party or what to serve or what the theme should be, or even if you should have a theme? No need to overthink; just simply ask the people attending what they’d prefer! You’ll probably be surprised by the feedback you hear and ultimately be glad you asked! You can take a vote on several different aspects of the event–from attire, to theme, to food, to entertainment! You may not be able to please everyone, but at least the majority will be excited about the choices made.
3. Create an opportunity for giving back.
The holidays are a time when people tend to have more giving spirits and want to do good and make a difference within their communities. Create an opportunity for employees to give back to a philanthropic cause at the event. Whether it’s bringing some sort of good with them–such as canned food or warm coats, or donating financially–be thoughtful about providing an avenue for your employees to give back if they’d like. And if parties all together aren’t your team’s thing, you can still get together and find a worthy cause in your community to volunteer for! Volunteering is such a great way to bond as a team and spend your time in a meaningful way.
4. Not party people? Not a problem!
Maybe you have a smaller team, or don’t have the budget to throw an elaborate Christmas party. If that’s the case, you can get creative with a different sort of activity that you and your team could enjoy together. Some examples of fun activities could be, bowling, top-golf, a murder-mystery party, escape rooms, paintball, a cooking class, a pottery class, etc. Check out some fun local venues in your area that have fun activities your staff would enjoy!
5. Ride-share credit (Lyft, Uber, etc.)
It’s fun to have fun, but it’s also important to be responsible. It’s pivotal to remind your team that if anyone is even considering drinking at the event to go ahead and just take an Uber or Lyft (or a taxi if that’s your thing) back home. Better yet, give your employees ride-share credits so that they aren’t tempted to drive when they’ve had a drink and also feel cared for by their employer. It’s a great way to keep everyone safe and also to show employees that you value them and don’t mind going the extra mile to ensure their safety.
6. Don’t forget the food!
Ha! Like that’s even possible. Okay, so maybe you won’t forget about the food altogether, but don’t forget to consider all the many options! There are possibilities galore–from a buffet, to a sit-down meal, to floating appetizers (or placed on tables if you forgo waitstaff). Make sure to consider not only how the food will be served, but also the type of food. Be mindful to provide a cuisine that everyone will like and options that those with food allergies or diet preferences can also enjoy!
7. Create a time for “Thank yous.”
Company parties are the perfect place to let your staff all know how grateful you are for them. Be sure to recognize everyone and all of the hard work they’ve put into making the last year so successful. Take time to recognize those specific individuals who have gone above and beyond and possibly even consider opening the floor up for anyone to mention something or someone they would like to recognize or thank.
8. Book a Photographer!
So you put in tons of effort into planning and hosting a great event for everyone, it comes and goes and is a HUGE hit and everyone’s still talking about it months later…but you don’t have any photos. Now that’s a bummer. A thoughtful way to remember and look back on the fun that was had is to outsource a professional photographer to come and photograph the event! Not only will the photos be fun to look back on, they’re also great to share on your social media platforms to help showcase the personality behind your brand! Another unique option is renting a photo booth (always a fan fave). Either way, you go, taking this extra step will help the memories of your epic party to live on!
Planning a company Christmas party can feel overwhelming, but that shouldn’t stop you from making it happen. This year, try implementing a few (or all) of these tips to celebrate your staff and all the hard work they put in to make your company so successful! The key is to have fun with it, break some rules, and stay true to your company’s unique culture. We promise it’ll be a party to remember!