How To Plan a Holiday Party (for the Office)

How To Plan a Holiday Party (for the Office)

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So – you’re in charge of planning the office holiday party! Congratulations?? Sometimes entertaining has to “hit the road”.  I’ve been asked a few times now for advice on entertaining at the office, so I decided I’d share what know, and what has worked for me in the past.  Being put in charge of an office holiday (or Christmas party), is not a small task, but with proper planning it’s a cinch.  Here’s how to plan a holiday party – for the office!

 

Steps to throwing a successful holiday office party:

Ask for a solid budget commitment

    • You can’t plan a party without a budget.  Get a solid budget commitment straight from the boss.  You need to know if this budget is all inclusive of the entire party, if it’s  only for food, etc.  Planning can’t even start until this number is clear.


Get a clear understanding of the type of party the company is looking for

    • Planning still can’t begin until you understand the parameters of your event.
      • Will there or won’t there be alcohol?
      • Is this an on-site afternoon get-together or an offsite soiree?
      • Do they envision this party to be specific to a department or division of your company?

 

Get a committee together

    • Take care in choosing who you’ll work with if you are given the choice.  A company holiday party is not an easy undertaking and you need to choose people you can count on and delegate to without worry.

Decide on a venue

Will this party take place at the office, in a conference room? Are you planning on catering or are you responsible for bringing in the food? (I’d advocate against the option of you bringing the food unless they plan to relieve you of all other duties the week prior and the day of).

How To Plan an Office Party (For the office)

Choose a theme

    • Holiday office parties are best when the theme is simply celebration rather than focusing on a particular holiday.  Choose a theme that celebrates a successful year rather than the traditional holidays.  Some ideas:
      • Winter Wonderland
        • Decorate with silver and blue, along with snowmen and fake snow, choose cocktails that include the word “ice”,  you get the idea
      • Early New Year
        • This is easy to pull off with New Years Eve decorations and lots of confetti!
      • Ugly Sweater
        • Your invite can ask people to wear their ugliest sweater to the party.
      • Food Truck Fantasy
        • If you’re in a temperate climate for the holidays, book a couple of food trucks and bring the party outside!
      • Cookie Exchange
        • Nothing says the holidays more than asking each employee to bring in a dozen home baked or store bought cookies to exchange! Keep the guidelines loose and allow people to get creative.
      • Movie Marathon
        • Play classic holiday movies on a big screen and tell employees to show up in the PJ’s.
      • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
        • Change it up and have a nice breakfast catered on-site.  Make it fancy with a beautiful service and long tables set with linen.

Bring in entertainment

If the budget allows, bring in a band for a couple of hours.  There isn’t anything like music to get the party started!

Rent a photo booth or hire a photographer

Capturing the silly moments of the party helps employees to bond and build rapport with people they may not have gotten to know earlier.


Arrange for a speaker

When wrapping up the year with a festive celebration, ask the boss or her designee for a speech recognizing the accomplishments of staff for the year.  After all, you wouldn’t be were you are without everyone on the team contributing!

Hype it up!

Get invitations out early – and not just a flyer you post on the the employee bulletin board.  Choose something like this Office Holiday Party invitation on Etsy that show a bit more effort and make people feel special!


Enjoy the party

Once the party has started there really isn’t much you can do to change what happens next.  Put on your best reindeer ears and enjoy yourself! Hopefully, you’re feeling a little less overwhelm and can plan that holiday party at the office with ease!

xoxo,

JJ

 

For more on entertaining during the holidays:

Prepping Your Pantry for the Holidays

Ultimate Guide to Stress Free Holiday Entertaining

5 Steps For Easy Entertaining

 

 

How to Plan a Holiday Party (For the office)

 



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