Looking to wow your office with a unique and exciting corporate holiday party that will be the talk of the company into the New Year? If holiday party planning is in your purview, never fear! Even the most novice event planners can look like seasoned pros by following a few universal rules for hosting an unforgettable company event. Creativity and planning are the keys to your festive fun, as well as a hearty dose of good cheer! Read on for some pro tips to blow your staff away this holiday season and keep the office buzzing into the New Year…
1. An Oscar Moment: Everyone likes to be recognized and feel appreciated. Consider establishing an informal awards ceremony where the staff are creatively thanked for their specific contributions. Make it light-hearted and humorous. And not too long!
2. Venue Menu: Ask around the office regarding the team’s top choices for party locales. Picture a dynamic venue that is bound to create lively competition, authentic interaction and some well-deserved down time after a busy year. Make sure there’s something for everyone—activities and fun for those seeking to get out and move around and a relaxed space for those looking for chill.
3. Think Outside the Christmas Box: Plan your holiday party with an imaginative flair. Book a popular cover band that really gets the crowd energized. Or if your budget permits, hire an up-and-coming local band to provide the music. Or how about a whimsical holiday selfie station? Or a trendy slow motion booth? Karaoke is also a massive crowd pleaser, particularly later on in the evening when people are feeling comfortable and festive.
4. Embrace the Unconventional: Pick a setting that’s unique and groundbreaking. Seek out a trailblazing site that ticks all the boxes when it comes to a bold venue that will generate excitement within your office. Get your employees pumped in advance by creating teams, different holiday-themed events, and interactive competitions for the big day.
5. Power Hours: What better way to genuinely say thank you to your team than having a bash during work hours? The holiday season is filled with fun and festivities, but it can be exhausting as well. Close the office for the day and you’ve already created an employee-friendly feel. This also motivates your team to finish the year strong, wrap up projects with enthusiasm and at the same time, have a cool and engaging party where they can look forward to celebrating.
6. Flashback Fever: Consider adding more festivities to the atmosphere with a rockin’ theme. Your choices are vast—from past decades to a zombie apocalypse. Who wouldn’t want to go-kart in 80’s garb?!?!
7. We Are Family: Think of supporting a local charity and ask guests to bring donated canned goods or a holiday gift for a needy family with them to the event. Be sure to have the proper festively decorated storage bin for collecting. Then be sure to have the company match any donations made by the team. And the holiday topper? Ask the chosen venue if they support a local charity. What better way to share the holiday spirit? It’s a proven fact that engaging companies in giving back encourages a team to perform more efficiently. Everyone goes home feeling happy.
8. Swag Bag: Depending on your budget, consider sending your guests home with some fabulous bling. Exclusive door prizes or an automatic entry raffle are always a party hit. Explore options that will have your staff feeling extra cheery this holiday season. Gift cards to a luxury spa, popular restaurant, upscale boutique or a gourmet cooking class are sure to please. Or how about tickets to a popular music concert, well-known comedy act or mainstream sports event? Pampering baskets with high-end skincare products are always a crowd-pleaser. Premium chocolate? Yes, please! Lastly, your team will absolutely be seeing stars if you offer them extra paid days or half-days off.
9. Food Mood: We all know that the food and drink choices can make or break a party. Depending on the unique venue you choose, make sure you check out their paddock lounge, food and drink menu, food vendor list, etc. to make sure the grub will meet the standards of your epic night.
10. Don’t Guesstimate the Budget: Create a detailed, itemized budget for your event. Consider extras, hidden costs, tax and make sure to cover all costs. Be organized in your preparation. Your accounting team will thank you. Set up a team for expense planning and give them an incentive—perhaps a fab thank you gift.
11. Team Building Nation: Let’s face it. Team building is trending. Recent studies by Google and Apple prove that integration is the future model for a productive working environment. Office members who respect each other and have common goals are more likely to help the company succeed. A relaxed, vibrant corporate holiday party is the perfect opportunity for mingling and networking. A fabulous locale reinforces the effective notion of team building, inclusion and merry entertainment. Your officemates have your back!
Let us be clear in our cheer. Team chemistry and morale is more important than ever in today’s hyper-competitive business climate. Topping off a strong year with a holiday party that will be remembered for years to come is a fantastic reward for the hard work and perseverance of your exceptional team. Now get ready to eat, drink and be merry!
Candice Dedmon has been working at K1 Speed for 13 years, with 11 of those years spent booking electrifying and memorable events in the Group Sales Department.