Holiday party planning

Holiday party planning Images

  • Party planning
Friday, August 18, 2017

Getting a jumpstart on your holiday party planning? We know it’s still a ways out, but the holidays always get here faster than we think and when it comes to the perfect holiday party it doesn’t hurt to get a head start. We talked with our favorite Los Angeles-area event planners and wanted to share some tips to make your company party planning easy this year!

Select a date

This is typically the first thing you’ll figure out, unless you have a specific venue in mind. By narrowing down the date and time, you can plan the rest of the party around it.

Keep in mind that the holidays are a busy time for all of your employees and their families. Some companies prefer having low-key parties during the week whereas others might want a bigger bash on a Friday or Saturday night so no one is calling in sick the next morning. Send out an anonymous survey to see which your employees would prefer this year. 

Choose a venue

The farther out you plan your party, the better chance you’ll have at snagging your favorite venue for that date before event venues start booking out holiday parties. It’s helpful to know how many will be attending to find the right-sized venue, though many larger event venues will have smaller conference rooms for more intimate gatherings as well as large ballrooms for bigger companies.

Set a budget and theme

Are you having a classy cocktail party or informal potluck? Setting the theme or tone of the party can help you determine your budget for décor, catering, and entertainment to match.

Gift keyboard

Send invites

Give attendees plenty of notice and plenty of detail about the event. The invitations should include the date, time, location, transportation options if available, dress code, if it’s a cash bar, and if they can bring a plus one or their families.

Inviting atmosphere

Use lights, décor, and food setup to set the festive mood and encourage employees to mingle. Taco or sushi bars and DIY food stations are great ways to get people moving and talking with one another than a formal sit-down dinner. You could also try self-serve cocktail bars where they can be their own mixologists. If you’re having a caterer, talk about menu options that complement the theme and still provides options for those with dietary restrictions and allergies.

You’ll also want to talk with your venue representative about entertainment options, such as having music play through the sound system or setup if you want a live band at your party.

Another thing to think about if families are invited is having activities for kids. Whether that’s having a kids’ corner or table with crafts and coloring or hiring additional entertainment and caregivers, having something to keep the little ones entertained can help keep moms and dads engaged with the company party.

Give a gift

Besides a holiday gift or bonus, your company’s holiday party could also support a special cause or charity with a raffle or fundraiser. Studies have shown that employees feel more engaged with their company and career when they feel like it gives back to its community and what better time than the holidays to be in a charitable spirit?

Many companies also opt to do secret Santa or white elephant gift exchanges which can be fun for everyone. Just make sure to include that in the invite and set a budget for the gifts.

Already getting a head start on your holiday planning? See if our event spaces at Pacific Palms Resort are the right fit for your party!

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