The Company Holiday Party is where you realize that Jane from Accounting missed her true calling as a comedian. It’s also where you find out you grew up in the same town as the IT guy. But if you’re not careful, it could also be an event a lot of people dread.
We’ve thrown our fair share of company holiday parties at Pin Chasers, and we’ve started to catch on to what a company party needs to make it memorable (in a good way). We’ve put together this checklist that ensures you don’t forget anything while you’re planning the party for your company this year!
Decide on a budget and start brainstorming
How much can you spend? Take time to plan the cost of food, entertainment, and a venue to decide on the balance of your final budget for each. Think about what your team enjoys. Do they talk about beers they like, or does your team have more foodies? Should you stream music through the speakers, or hire a DJ? Have an idea of what the party might look like to know how much you can afford.
Pick a date and time
When will the most amount of people be able to make the party? Look at the vacation calendars and plan around big meetings. A few weeks before Christmas is usually a good time to aim for. Choose a few different times in order to have options when you contact your venue.
Choose a location
It can be hard to pick a venue for a party, as the location can determine the type of party it will be. Once again, think about the type of people at your company. What kinds of activities do they enjoy? Do you think they’d rather have dinner and talk to one another, or do they want to drink and engage in an activity? Think about the number of people who may be there, and make sure you have enough room!
Just FYI – if you’re planning a party in Tampa near one of our bowling centers, we’ll take care of all of the party planning for you! Our party planners help you work with your budget to create a package of food, drinks, and fun. Click here to learn more.
Choose a theme
Your theme doesn’t have to be overbearing, but it’s a good way to make everything look cohesive. As your planning, think about what vibe you want the party to have. Is it formal? Casual? Does it have more of a ballroom feel or a backyard barbecue? Whatever you decide, you can pick out invitations and decor to match.
Send out invites
Time to send out invitations! These days, most people are used to receiving an online invitation, but for more formal events you may want to consider a traditional invitation. Will you allow your employees to bring their significant others? What about their children? Mark this clearly on the invite. What about a dress code? Is it formal or casual? Or maybe request everyone wear an ugly Christmas sweater! Make sure everyone RSVPs with enough time for you to give the venue a final headcount and arrange the correct amount of food and drinks.
Order food and drinks
With a rough idea of how many people should be attending, start making a menu. Ask about food allergies, and find out if anyone is a vegetarian or vegan. Make sure everyone has something they can eat! Decide if you will provide hors d’oeuvres to munch on or serve a formal dinner. This is the time to plan for drinks, too. Do you have a liquor crowd on your hands, or more beer and wine drinkers? If you don’t have many drinkers, choose less alcohol and provide soda and juice (especially if kids will be attending). What will you provide for dessert?
Now, what to do when everyone gathers together? Some locations will automatically have lots of games and activities (like Pin Chasers). In this case, it’s easy to plan for fun! If you have to come up with your own, think about bringing board games, cards, and yard games.
With the stress of everything, a place like Pin Chasers that has bowling, pool, and arcade games is fun, plus space for those who are just looking for conversation to hang
Pick out gifts or party favors
Giving out gifts or party favors after a party is absolutely not required, but it came be a fun addition to the night. Play a game like white elephant, plan to exchange secret Santa gifts, or give out something small like a mini champagne bottle and a candy cane.
Choose more fun
Your party is planned! Did you come under budget? Photographers, live music, giveaways, or major decorations are not required, but always fun. If you can think of a fun surprise and it’s within your budget, go for it! It’s always nice to add a memorable touch.