Tips for Planning Your Office Holiday Party

According to a recent article in Inc., 9 out of 10 companies expect to throw a holiday work party this month.  If you volunteered (or were volunteered) to plan a festive event for your colleagues and clients, we are here to help! We have searched the web to find some of the best tips for planning a holiday office party:

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Build a Party Planning Team:  Don’t go down the planning road alone—ask a few of your colleagues to help with the planning to not only assist with the task list, but to make sure that everyone will have a good time at the party.  @exploreB2B writes, “Try to come up with a theme that everyone agrees on and enjoys and assign out different roles to different people.  One person could be in charge of decorations while another could oversee who brings what food. By getting everybody in on the act, it will bring your office closer together.”

Set Up Simple Communications: The easiest way to have everyone’s contact info handy and send communications with the touch of a button (eg. last minute text re time change; emails and calls to planning committee). Create two ‘Rings’ – one with contact info for the planning committee and one of the entire office directory (simply take a picture of a paper contact list or email your office directory to Ringya) and share it with everyone on each list (Ringya lets you do that with the touch of a button).  Now, you can relay party information to the entire group with just a simple click of your finger.

Select a Theme:  Having an overall theme makes it easy for you and your party planning team to decide on decorations, food, etc.  @PurpleTrail cautions that you may want to avoid holiday-specific themes.  “Remember, not everyone is celebrating the same holiday!  If throwing a neutral holiday party, try sticking with a winter theme.”

Choose a Budget-Friendly Location:  If you are working on a budget (and seriously, who isn’t working on a budget), consider hosting the holiday party at the office.  If you are determined to go off site, look at renting a space during non-peak party times such as a weekday afternoon.  Joe Kukura, a contributor for @allvoices, suggest that renting  “an off-site space for your workplace holiday party is more affordable during afternoon hours, as opposed to evening hours. You may lose some productivity if your workplace operates during business hours, but the financial savings and team-building benefits may be worth removing a few hours from a standard workday.”

Limit Alcohol Offerings:  If you plan to serve alcohol at your company party, consider limited the options such as offering just beer and wine and consider hiring trained bartenders who are often “better equipped to limit excessive alcohol consumption,” suggests @NJNYBusinessLaw. Also, make sure you have plenty of food available and think about offering alternative options for how partygoers who have had too much “cheer” can get home safely.

Do Good While Having Fun:  Tis the season for giving, so why not make your  company’s holiday party an opportunity for others to support a local charity or cause?  @punchbowl writes, “Revolve the party around a special cause or charity.  Set up a raffle or fundraiser for the cause and do some good!”

Enjoy the Party:  Now that the planning is done, enjoy the party and use it as an opportunity to get to know others in your organization.  @_workingmother_ writes,  “Network with key players in the organization whom you respect but don’t normally cross paths with.  Keep your drink in your left hand so you can offer warm handshakes—and your business card—as partygoers pass by.”