The company holiday party is around the corner and you want it to be worthwhile for everyone. While that might sound like an impossible feat right now (after all, only 36 percent of professionals think holiday parties are actually fun), just like writing a book or working on a big project, you can’t focus on the final product in the beginning. You have to take this party planning business one step at a time.
In hopes of throwing the perfect company holiday party this year, here are five tips you should consider.
Don’t Plan Alone
When planning an epic office party, take a survey to get an idea of what workers want to see and what they don’t want. Not everyone wants to partake in forced-upon games that are supposed to “build camaraderie.” At the same time, not everyone wants to attend a rager.
Asking employees to take an anonymous survey (that’s actually anonymous) on the matter will allow workers to not hold back so you get honest responses and data. Ideally, they will feel psychologically safe since they won’t feel like they need to please the boss or get in trouble for their answers.
Finding a healthy mix isn’t going to be easy, but that’s why you shouldn’t go at party planning alone. Brainstorm ideas with your committee and also use your employees as a resource.
Find The Ideal Venue
If your company holiday party is in budget mode, you might celebrate the holidays at the office. While there’s no harm in that, it’s important to give back to your employees during this time of year. The perfect way to do that is by having your office party at a venue so your employees don’t feel like they are at work.
An office party is about giving back and celebrating, but it’s also a good avenue for employees to talk to executives (and vice versa) about topics that aren’t work-related. The holiday party allows executives and employees to get to know each other on a more personal level.
The venue could be at a banquet room or all the way to a restaurant. Getting away from the office will help to liven up the mood and change up the scenery. No matter where the party is held, it’s important to set the mood with festive decorations that are also holiday neutral, such as lights and snowflakes. If you want creative decorations that aren’t found in every big-box store, check out online retailers such as Premier Glow.
Must-Haves: Good Music, Food, and Beverages
Every good party needs good music, food, and beverages. Even if you’re throwing a “dry” party, it’s important to think outside the box. It’s okay to have common soda beverages, but it’s also important to have seasonal drinks and creative cocktails (with or without alcohol). Apple cider, eggnog, and hot toddies are must-haves.
Unique Additions (Such As A Photo Booth)
Your holiday office party needs to stand out, and it can do so by incorporating unique additions.
Whether you create a winter wonderland in the entrance or add a photo booth—which is a big hit for any occasion—it’s important to give your party-goers a memorable scene. A dance floor will also liven up the mood, get people out of their bubbles, and add entertainment to the party.
Show Appreciation With Gifts, A Memorable Speech, and A Great Party
You don’t have to give out an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii with surf lessons in Waikiki, but you should offer your guests something. A party gift will help to show appreciation. A motivational speech at some point in the night will help to spread holiday cheer and show gratification.
Don’t just throw a holiday office party to throw one—throw a party that everyone will enjoy and one that celebrates the season. This party shouldn’t be stressful and make guests do things they don’t want to do (such as play boring games or partake in forced activities). It should be a time to kick back and create fun memories outside of the office.